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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My ‘13 JKUS has new Teraflex HD ball joints, RPM 2.5 ton tie rod and drag link and drives straight as an arrow but the steering wheel is off center. It happened on a harder trail about a month ago and I’m hitting the trail again this weekend.

I’ve been putting it off but want to get it right. I know about the adjustment and bought a big a$$ crescent wrench so I can do it. But, how does it get to be out of adjustment? Did I bend something that would affect the centering but not the alignment? Everything looks to be in good order.
 

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When that happened to me with the Steersmarts DL they said it might have jumped threads and to increase the torque. No issues after torqueing down a little more.
May be a reason to buy a nice crows foot set to use with your torque wrench?? :)
 

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If you bent a tie rod end, the length of the tie rod changes, which changes your toe. It doesn't take much at all to change toe, and everything can look fine. When this happens, the steering wheel will be off center when going straight down the road, and the change in toe can sometimes even improve straight-ahead stability. So, my bet is that you bent a tie rod end. What you are describing is exactly what happened to me when I bent a 1.25" forged tie rod end on my Yeti tie rod.
 
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Three different adjustments can cause the steering to change to off center, the draglink (obviously), the track bar, and the tie rod. If any one of those changes the steering wheel centering will be affected. As mentioned, if the adjuster isn't tight enough it is possible for it to jump threads. Also, if any one of those three were to bend that would also change your steering wheel centering.
 

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If you steering wheel is out of adjustment, you bent something. It is not possible to jump treads without first bending the tie rod.
 

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My ‘13 JKUS has new Teraflex HD ball joints, RPM 2.5 ton tie rod and drag link and drives straight as an arrow but the steering wheel is off center. It happened on a harder trail about a month ago and I’m hitting the trail again this weekend.

I’ve been putting it off but want to get it right. I know about the adjustment and bought a big a$$ crescent wrench so I can do it. But, how does it get to be out of adjustment? Did I bend something that would affect the centering but not the alignment? Everything looks to be in good order.
I would THINK it's about your suspension settling. Raising (or lowering) the jeep does have an effect on steering centre, so if you haven't done anything to it, then it stands to reason your springs are weakening a bit. That's just a guess though.
 

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I would THINK it's about your suspension settling. Raising (or lowering) the jeep does have an effect on steering centre, so if you haven't done anything to it, then it stands to reason your springs are weakening a bit. That's just a guess though.
I don't think that is correct. I have raised and lowered our Jeep small amounts (adjustable spring perches) and unless I adjust the track bar to re-center the axle side to side the steering wheel center doesn't change. The drag link and track bar work in unison to keep it that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So, something had to have changed, likely by force, and caused the change. I’m going to straighten the wheel for this weekend and then schedule an alignment for next week.
 

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I don't think that is correct. I have raised and lowered our Jeep small amounts (adjustable spring perches) and unless I adjust the track bar to re-center the axle side to side the steering wheel center doesn't change. The drag link and track bar work in unison to keep it that way.
Well... admittedly I'm guessing, but it's a well known fact that when you lift a vehicle (with bigger springs as example) the steering wheel goes off centre and you have to re-center it. The same thing is true if you drop a vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I went to HF and bought a big a$$ adjustable wrench and crawled underneath. Nothing is loose but is also not as pristine as I thought. I need to talk to my installer because the flipped stabilizer has rubbed a nice gouge in my drag link bar. So, after this next trip this weekend, I’ll take it for an alignment and address the stabilizer interference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Funny story (to me). I have an appointment to have it aligned next week. I went back to the original trail that boogered it up yesterday and did a better job of mostly avoiding the biggest rocks. I got done, aired up and hit the road. The TC light is off, the wheel is almost centered and cruise control works. I’m still having it aligned but the trail fixed what it broke!
 

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If you steering wheel is out of adjustment, you bent something. It is not possible to jump treads without first bending the tie rod.
That's not true...I had the same experience as blue baby....came out of a park where I was cranking on my wheel with 37's locked and my wheel was off center...checked it all over and all I had to do was re adjust the DL coupler....was also a SS setup...an alignment confirmed the TR wasn't bent....I drilled out the coupler holes a little and upsized the bolts and torqued heavier...I now run a fusion DL & TR...
 

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I had horrible luck with the stock drag link, nothing ever bent, and every single time I went off road, it would go out of alignment. Went to steer smarts, and the rod end on the drag link, on the passenger side would loosen significantly, every.single.time. I replaced ends, multiple times, and finally just gave up on it, and went aluminum. I have not had a problem since. I wish i knew what was causing it, because if it wasn’t torqued enough, the tierod should have had the same problem, and it was torqued way beyond their spec.
 
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