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Guest Anonymous

Alignment - couple ?'s

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Guest Anonymous

Is it only me???? I selected a DIY alignment technique from the 3+ I found out there and went to it. I centered the steering wheel. Question #1:

I'm now in a left turn with the steering wheel straight. Will tie-rod adjustment correct this?

Question #2: How in the F&*^ do you adjust a tie rod?? Wheels on the ground, right? Loosen the clamps, OK. Then what!!? What's anyone's favorite way of turning that smooth round shaft?

It's always something. I have about 1/2" toe OUT right now, as best I can measure it, so I'm really looking forward to better ride soon.

Thanks,

John

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Guest Anonymous

Question 1: Did you disassemble anything or replace any suspension parts before or after centering the steering? Way out of wack tie rods could be a part of it, but a little more info on what's been done would help trouble shooting...

Question 2: Adjusting a tie rod is fairly straight forward, getting it in the zone can be tricky. Loosen the two retaining bolts on both ends enough to let the center section rotate easily. The tie ends have opposing thread patterns so when you rotate the center section one way they spread apart, rotate the other way and the tips draw in closer.

I was able to rotate mine by hand since they were fresh replacements, and I had the car centered on my large jack where I'd lift it just enough to adjust both sides by hand, drop it down, check it, lift again, make adjustment, etc. Wasn't as PITA as it sounds. And actually worked out fine, in the end.

I used two parralel lines chalked out in the driveway and a straight edge to eyeball the toe in. After some adjusting, and readjusting, it drove fine when I was done with it: no shimmy or wierdness at all speeds in turns and straights. But, Since it was my first time rebuilding a suspension on an 02, I took it in to have alligned properly just to be safe. My toe settings came out as such: LF: 1.60 degrees, RF: 1.61 degrees. Not bad for eyeballing!, but still out of the recommended ballpark of .05 - .08 degrees.

If you are anywhere near the Monterey Bay area I could swing by and give you a hand if need be...

Good luck, and hopefully something in this rambling helped...

-Shad

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Guest Anonymous

How's this for emergency alignment far from civilization and '02 parts suppliers?

When I drove my newly acquired '73tii from SoCal. to Alaska a few years ago through Canada, I ran over a large rock in the road coming around a dark corner in the rain a million miles from Nowhere, in the Yukon Territory at 1:00 am. Big BUMP, and the left tie rod, pedal box, and left floor had pretty bad wrinkles. [i was really lucky it didn't take the engine/tranny/diff, or the left wheel. Suddenly I had about 15+ degrees of toe-out!! Drove 25 miles in the rain to the next remote gas station and waited under the shelter for them to open in the morning. Owner would not let me use the little shop building to take off the tie rod and straighten it, so I hooked my tow rope (in the emergency gear in the trunk for this journey) to the peak (rear-most) of the tie-rod bend, and the other end around a telephone pole, gently backed up a few times to bump the tie rod back to fairly straight (co-driver eyeballing the wheels from outside "OK, that's ENOUGH!!"). Road tested for another 750 miles on in to Anchorage, with hands-off straight tracking. At home, I put on new lower control arm (also took a bend so the geometry was messed up), ball joint, and tie rod with ends, and I have yet to fix the hump in the floor and the dents in the pedal box (will replace with restored donor from one of my parts cars). Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do out there !! And I'm getting ready to bring a '72 up from CA next month. What a hobby we have, eh? --Eric Stice

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