Aligning Steering Box to Wheels and Steering Wheel

Suspension, including wheel, tire and brake.
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defdes
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Aligning Steering Box to Wheels and Steering Wheel

Post by defdes » 22 Feb 2014 05:00

There has always been something funky with my steering wheel alignment and am just now realizing why.
I just replaced the outer steering rods with some heim jointed ones from Ermish. When I took the old ones out, the passenger side was 3/8" longer than the drivers side. I split the difference when putting the new ones in, subtracting 3/16" from the RS and adding to LS. I haven't put the car back on the ground, but it looks like the LS is toed in when the RS is straight ahead with the steering wheel centered. From this position, it is 1 1/2 turns of the steering wheel to full lock to the right and about 1 7/8 turns to the left. Using the bolts on the front contol arms as a reference, the Pitman arm and the idler arm are not pointing at the same spot.
I thought to correct this I should drop the drag link from both the steering box and idler arm get the wheels pointing straight (center the drag link off the frame rails), and then reconnect, then adjust the steering wheel accordingly?
Any input would be good as I am trying to adjust 3 variables.

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bertvorgon
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Re: Aligning Steering Box to Wheels and Steering Wheel

Post by bertvorgon » 22 Feb 2014 06:45

What we did ( if I remember correctly ) was to first center the steering box, so that you knew you have the same lock to lock, center to left, center to right. Then, the idler arm was put on so as to be very close to the same direction as the steering box arm, then, set up all the rest of the steering linkage to be as close to equal as possible. Then do alignment. Any subtle off center of the steering wheel can be correct by just pulling the wheel off and re-centering, as the hub splines are fine enough to get very close.

I hope I have remembered that correctly I have not touched my suspension settings in at least 25+ years.
"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

Keith Law
1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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defdes
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Re: Aligning Steering Box to Wheels and Steering Wheel

Post by defdes » 22 Feb 2014 07:05

So disconnect the steering box and count revs and divide by half to start?

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bertvorgon
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Re: Aligning Steering Box to Wheels and Steering Wheel

Post by bertvorgon » 22 Feb 2014 07:44

Yes, that is what I did..is it not 3.? revolutions lock to lock, or something like that.

then at least your starting point is spot on. my alignment guy used to lock the steering wheel in place..ON CENTER, with a rod mechanism that pushed into the seat.. You can tell when somebody has had a bad alignment, when the steering wheel is off center.

Worst thing I see occasionally, is when a vehicle "crabs" down the road, you know the shop was crap for doing the chassis straightening then subsequent alignment.

I just checked one manual I have, it says 3 turns lock to lock, which would be on a stock 510. I don't quite have that due to all my suspension mods and steering brace. Another manual says 3 also.
"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

Keith Law
1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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defdes
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Re: Aligning Steering Box to Wheels and Steering Wheel

Post by defdes » 22 Feb 2014 09:07

Thanks for checking Keith. Will report back after further scrutiny.

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okayfine
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Re: Aligning Steering Box to Wheels and Steering Wheel

Post by okayfine » 22 Feb 2014 11:31

Before I removed the pitman arm from the box when doing my first engine swap on Whitebird, I centerpunched the face of the splined steering shaft and the pitman arm so I could reassemble correctly.
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Re: Aligning Steering Box to Wheels and Steering Wheel

Post by datzenmike » 22 Feb 2014 11:37

I haven't taken a 510 pitman arm off, but 710, zx and 620s are all keyed so they can only go back on in 4 x 90 degree positions. There are 4 flat spots without spline teeth. This allowed me to use the rearward facing pitman from a truck on a 280zx steering box that takes a forward facing arm. Car steering is behind the front wheels... trucks are in front.
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defdes
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Re: Aligning Steering Box to Wheels and Steering Wheel

Post by defdes » 22 Feb 2014 14:05

datzenmike wrote:I haven't taken a 510 pitman arm off, but 710, zx and 620s are all keyed so they can only go back on in 4 x 90 degree positions. There are 4 flat spots without spline teeth. This allowed me to use the rearward facing pitman from a truck on a 280zx steering box that takes a forward facing arm. Car steering is behind the front wheels... trucks are in front.
I read that on one of the Z forums too. I don't think it will be need. All I have done so far is drop the drag link and find true center for the steering wheel. It was about 1 7/8 turns to full lock in either direction. Steering wheel is off center by probably 1 spline.

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Re: Aligning Steering Box to Wheels and Steering Wheel

Post by defdes » 22 Feb 2014 17:09

So after doing that (disconnecting box, finding full rotation and dividing by 2 to find center) I put it all back together and it's exactly the same, about 1 1/2 half turns one way and 1 3/4 the other. What gives? Is there "more" steering when the box is free of linkage or is there something else at play here?

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Re: Aligning Steering Box to Wheels and Steering Wheel

Post by bertvorgon » 22 Feb 2014 17:53

well, that is 3 1/4 turns lock to lock, factory setting says three.

I would say are your steering stop(s) wound out a tad on one side? Maybe giving you that bit less/more on the offending side.. The box maybe has some latitude at the end of the travel of the worm and sector, that goes past the "3" setting. I wish I could get the full three turns, but, my steering box brace on my driver side i have cranked out a bit, to limit travel turning left, so my tire does not rub on the cross bar. I can turn more to the right.
"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

Keith Law
1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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Re: Aligning Steering Box to Wheels and Steering Wheel

Post by defdes » 22 Feb 2014 19:11

Steering stops? What's that on a 510, never heard mention of them before.
I'll take a closer look tomorrow.

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Re: Aligning Steering Box to Wheels and Steering Wheel

Post by bertvorgon » 22 Feb 2014 20:03

They are a bolt and locking nut, that limit final travel on the steering sweep, one on each side.
"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

Keith Law
1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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defdes
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Re: Aligning Steering Box to Wheels and Steering Wheel

Post by defdes » 23 Feb 2014 07:11

Good call Kieth, I was missing the nut/bolt on the drivers side.

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Re: Aligning Steering Box to Wheels and Steering Wheel

Post by Byron510 » 23 Feb 2014 07:21

defdes wrote:Good call Kieth, I was missing the nut/bolt on the drivers side.
That's will make a big difference.

I took them right out of the ice racer due to to the extreme sideways action.

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because the opposite never works.

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