At What Place on Column Did Steeing Wheel Slip?

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Last weekend I drove the 1997 LC of a rock and when we landed the right wheel was knocked back about 1/2" behind the left one and the steering wheel ended up 180 deg of of center. I'm taking the LC for an alignment tommorow and I have centered the wsteering wheel myself by pulling the wheel from the column and rotating it.

My question is that while I have centered the wheel on the column this is obviously NOT where whatever slipped was as I donth think the splines on the column allow that. So IF I wanted to put everthing back to just how it was exactlyt before the fall where would the adjustment be.

Mike
 
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Thanks all. Looking underneath I find the tie rod end where it goes into the knuckel arm has had the bold bent by about 45 deg and the grease filled rubber boot has split open. Can I buy a new tie rod end or can it be disassembled and just replace the bolt and boot?

Still don't see where steering wheel twisted from but i've straightened it just by pulling air bag and removinge center column lock nut.
 

Hoosier Daddy

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Why not fix the tie rod first and see how the steering wheel sits, rather than repositionong the wheel first?

Dio I understand you to say one side of the axle sits a half inch further back than the other side?
 
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MH_Stevens said:
Thanks all. Looking underneath I find the tie rod end where it goes into the knuckel arm has had the bold bent by about 45 deg and the grease filled rubber boot has split open. Can I buy a new tie rod end or can it be disassembled and just replace the bolt and boot?

Still don't see where steering wheel twisted from but i've straightened it just by pulling air bag and removinge center column lock nut.

The steering wheel didn't twist, the drag link is messed up. I would leave the steering wheel alone and fix the real problem... Drag link, tie rod, etc.
If your axle position has been displaced, and alignment significantly affected, you need to correct it. You can eat through a pair of tires pretty quick if your wheels are not aligned.
 
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I have centered the wsteering wheel myself by pulling the wheel from the column and rotating it.

Mike

Steering wheel alignment is never fixed this way.

Now when you replace your rod the steering wheel should be off-center again.

This time you should fix the steering wheel by removing it and putting it back centered or you steering arm (pitman) will be off center. (Inother words putting your steering wheel back the same position it was originally)
 
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As the others already stated, you goofed when you pulled the steering wheel :doh:

Here's a basic diagram of the front end....


frontendfzj80.jpg



The Tie Rod tube (one closer to the rear) adjusts toe

The Relay Rod tube (one closed to the front) adjusts steering wheel center

Which one did you bend?

In most cases, if you bent the rear tie rod tube, the toe would go out and the vehicle would be almost undrivable because the wheels would be pointed away from each other :eek:

Now, if you bent the front Relay Rod tube only, drivability would usually stay the same, but the steering wheel would be off center (most likely the problem you have)

Fix it right
 

retrofive

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Out of curiosity (still learning) couldn't the steering sector shaft be twisted to cause this as well? maybe not 180*. Like said I agree with the others especially because you can see it bent dramatically by eye.
 
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Also if you have to replace the rod, and plan on wheeling the cruiser, you should replace it with a HD rod from Slee or Marlin IMHO.
 
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Still no resolution here. I've a throught inspection of the front suspention and can find nothing bent or twisted. maybe the steering shaft turned/slipped inside the steering box? Any other suggestions or tests to do?
 
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Check for twisted splines on the sector shaft (the shaft coming out of the bottom of the steering box that the Pitman arm bolts to).

attachment.php
 
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No sign of twisted spines seen on sector shaft. Have only inspected what is visible and I have not removed nut and connector to check inside.
After inspecting all rods again I find none were bent - it was an optical illusion.
So I'm back to confusion. I need go on long trip Monday and likely will align steering wheel (first attempt I did not get it true) again by repositioning on column under air bag, but I sure would like to know where it all slipped - the slip I measured accurately at 140 deg - IE the top of steering wheel being 12 o'clock ended up at 5 o'clock.
 
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Something got bent, there's no other way for the steering wheel to get out of alignment. Worst case is the sector shaft, if it twists enough it will shear. It may already be sheared partway, and if it lets go you won't have any steering.

The proper way to align the steering wheel is through the tie rod ends, usually just on the relay rod.
 

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