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Old 04-11-2008, 09:40 PM   #1
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Steering Wheel Alignment

Hey folks,

I've got a '97TJ with a 4" lift and 33s with a steering wheel that doesn't line up with the tires. Local Jeep dealer told me it's tough to line up steering wheel with tires esp. with a lift. It does not pull one way or the other, just a "crooked" steering wheel when tires are straight ahead (favors the left). Is it possible to adjust it properly and if so, how?

Thanks, as always.

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Old 04-11-2008, 09:43 PM   #2
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i can't believe the dealer told you that. i'm 99% sure its the same linkage as a yj, cj, xj, or zj. you have an adjustment sleeve on your drag link. look at the link from your pitman arm. it has a sleeve with two bolts on each side, loosten bolts, and turn sleeve a couple turns, drive it and see if you went the right direction, adjust untill straight. or just take it to a shop and get alignment done. chances are toe is off anyway.

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Old 04-11-2008, 09:55 PM   #3
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takes a while to get it perfect. You might end up taking it for a ride 5 or 6 times before you have it right. Everytime I got mine right sitting in the driveway, I took it for a ride and it was crooked the other way. drove me nuts. It still aint right but I dont care. (I had my alignment done, and it did nothing for the steering wheel, when it came back, the steering wheel was worse because the idiot centered my pitman arm which threw the wheel off)
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:01 PM   #4
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Yep jpdocdave, dealer said just that. I was a bit skeptical as well but he was the type of guy who is always right. Didn't feel like stooping to that level so I figured I'd ask the real experts on this forum. I'm really not that mechanical so I'll have to ask for help to decipher your code. I can perform the most basic maintainence and that's it. I do appreciate your help though.
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:02 PM   #5
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Thanks Orange! I'm sure I'll be having a similar experience. I'll let you know.
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:34 PM   #6
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that dealer is a retard, you should print this image out and show it to him and ask him what the sleeve on the drag link does!!!

on a side note: if you didnt do an alignment after the lift kit, your toe will be too far in (toe in) so get that done or you will need new tires in few thousand miles

many alignment shops wont align the steering wheel though nor center ur axle if you have an adjustable trackbar.

anyhow what you want to turn is the drag link sleeve... loosen the 2 15mm nuts and turn it to align your steering wheel. Once you have it as best as u can, tighten the 2 nuts back up and take a test drive to see if its straight.. if not then repeat again. After u're done, MAKE SURE the nuts are tight.

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Old 04-12-2008, 08:22 AM   #7
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takes a while to get it perfect. You might end up taking it for a ride 5 or 6 times before you have it right. Everytime I got mine right sitting in the driveway, I took it for a ride and it was crooked the other way. drove me nuts. It still aint right but I dont care. (I had my alignment done, and it did nothing for the steering wheel, when it came back, the steering wheel was worse because the idiot centered my pitman arm which threw the wheel off)
if you took it to a shop to align it, and the steering wheel isn't straight, take it back. the job isn't done if the wheel isn't straight. its amazing how many poor mechanics and shops are out there. makes me angry, cuz regular people don't have a clue most of the time. you paid for the alignment, and its not right. and for a dealership to do that, just reinforces my stance, dealers are often worse than a legit repair shop.
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Old 04-12-2008, 08:29 AM   #8
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if you took it to a shop to align it, and the steering wheel isn't straight, take it back. the job isn't done if the wheel isn't straight. its amazing how many poor mechanics and shops are out there. makes me angry, cuz regular people don't have a clue most of the time. you paid for the alignment, and its not right. and for a dealership to do that, just reinforces my stance, dealers are often worse than a legit repair shop.
The alignment was done fine, no issues. Drives straight, toe is perfect. Just not bothered by the little bit of a crooked steering wheel. I drove a 73 Ford truck with the steering wheel upside down for 3 years and didn't care.
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Old 04-12-2008, 09:08 AM   #9
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Triple88a, that is a very helpful photo. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:19 AM   #10
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The alignment was done fine, no issues. Drives straight, toe is perfect. Just not bothered by the little bit of a crooked steering wheel. I drove a 73 Ford truck with the steering wheel upside down for 3 years and didn't care.
if you don't care thats fine, but part of an alignment is the steering wheel being straight. is part of the job. its like putting on new brakes that squeak.
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:03 PM   #11
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and your turn signals will turn off to soon or not turn off aftermaking a turn if your steering isn't centered.

it only takes a couple minutes. is faster if you've got someone to sit in the drivers seat so they can tell you if your adjusting the sleeve in the correct direction. having weight in the drivers seat will also make your adjustment more accurate... without the weight you can adj it dead center but then you sit down and drive and notice it is off a little
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Old 04-12-2008, 02:16 PM   #12
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np tyler.

as ygohome.. thats a very good point. your blinkers will turn off at different rates. I'm driving with crooked wheel now too since i dont feel like fixing it as we're getting rain now but let say i have my left blinker on, it clicks off in the smallest movement such as when i change lanes and my right blinker sometimes doesnt turn off even when turning right at a stop light or stop sign...
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:04 PM   #13
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X2- I have it hanging in my office
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyleralan View Post
Triple88a, that is a very helpful photo. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:22 AM   #14
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Hey guys, sorry to bring back an old thread but I have a similar problem. I have a 2004 TJ that I just bought and when going straight my steering wheel is turned to the right. I plan on trying to adjust the drag link as mentioned above but out of curiosity, I just had to replace the front passenger lower control arm mount and was wondering if that could have had any effect on the steering wheel pitch. I never noticed if it did it before the replacement but just noticed it the other day. And the only reason I'm asking if it's related is because I read that when you grind off the mount the axel may move, even though I lined everything back up before welding on the new one. Thanks for the help guys!
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:27 AM   #15
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The new control arm mount has nothing to do with the steering wheel's position, at least not within reason. Just adjust the link on the drag link so the steering wheel is straight and no more worries. It normally takes me driving it up & down the street 3-4 times and adjusting it before its straight. I don't tighten the link's bolts after each adjustment which is fine for short trips up/down the street while adjusting it. Just remember to tighten the bolts after the final adjustment.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:42 PM   #16
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Awesome! Thanks, yea I didn't think the mount would be part of the problem but figured I'd mention it just in case
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:24 PM   #17
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Hi, Re awakening this thread again as it concerns the same problem.
I recently bought a 98 TJ and the steering wheel was on almost upside down after a new power steering box was fitted.
I adjusted the draglink to get the steering wheel straight but now I have next to no right lock.
If I turn back the draglink the steering wheel is back off centre.
Any suggestions ???

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