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Old 01-23-2016, 06:55 AM   #1
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Straighten steering wheel

When driving straight down the road, my steering wheel is a little counter clockwise (maybe 15 degrees). To straighten it, is that just a normal alignment, where they start with steering wheel straight on alignment rack and then set the toe using the tie rods (like a car)? I had a tech talk to me about adjusting steering box, but I think that is wrong.
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Old 01-23-2016, 06:58 AM   #2
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Depends on the Chassis, steering system used. Some it's as simple as setting the wheels straight, remove steering wheel and reset it straight.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:09 AM   #3
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My uneducated guess would be it is an alignment adjustment like in a car.
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Old 01-23-2016, 07:18 AM   #4
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My coach had the same problem before I bought it, and I asked that the dealer fix it. He had a mobile alignment guy come out and fix it. He told me that it took him 3 or 4 test drives to get it right, but it's perfect now.
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Old 01-23-2016, 09:43 AM   #5
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Assuming that the steering wheel is correctly lined up with the steering box center position and all other components are good, the adjustment would be done with the drag link.
There is no adjustment in the steering box that would change the steering wheel position.
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Old 01-23-2016, 09:46 AM   #6
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The easiest way is for a alignment shop to do it through adjusting the tie rod ends, to make the steering wheel straight. Thats how he corrected my steering wheel.
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Old 01-23-2016, 09:50 AM   #7
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Assuming that the steering wheel is correctly lined up with the steering box center position and all other components are good, the adjustment would be done with the drag link.
There is no adjustment in the steering box that would change the steering wheel position.
Yep!! Easy fix. Loosen clamps on both ends of drag link and turn drag link (prolly need a pipe wrench) until wheel is straight. Retighten clamps and road test. It may take a few fine tuning adjustments so just take wrenches with you on test drive and adjust as needed.
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Old 01-23-2016, 10:37 AM   #8
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Simple...

Look under the front end and look for the link between the steering gear and the wheels.

There will be what looks like a turnbuckle on it with clamps at the ends.

Get a helper to get inside with engine running and have them move the wheel in the direction you need change it and in the amount you need so you have an idea to which way and how much.

Measure the length first then loosen clamps and turn it to change length a bit then measure again using same points.

Tighten everything back up and drive it to test.

If more adjustment needed then compare how much you did and change in length to how much it changed to guess how much more is needed.

Remember the road may not be level and you may be offset by that.

When finished be sure yiu properly torque everything you touched.
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Old 01-23-2016, 10:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg4444 View Post
When driving straight down the road, my steering wheel is a little counter clockwise (maybe 15 degrees). To straighten it, is that just a normal alignment, where they start with steering wheel straight on alignment rack and then set the toe using the tie rods (like a car)? I had a tech talk to me about adjusting steering box, but I think that is wrong.
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Any alignment shop can fix that.
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Old 01-23-2016, 03:26 PM   #10
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Yep!! Easy fix. Loosen clamps on both ends of drag link and turn drag link (prolly need a pipe wrench) until wheel is straight. Retighten clamps and road test. It may take a few fine tuning adjustments so just take wrenches with you on test drive and adjust as needed.
Yes, this is the way to adjust it on a Freightliner chassis....not familiar with the others. Easy? Well, this adjustment will take a large pipe wrench and a bit of muscle. Patience helps also. Will help to have a helper in the coach to watch the steering wheel movement since turning the drag link the wrong direction will make the concern worse. One of the realities here is that, often, these drag links have not moved for some time....hence, muscle. Also, somethimes they "free up" all of a sudden, so be careful of the knuckles.

Several points of good advice above. I'll offer one little trick to make things a whole lot easier with much less trial & error required. As best you can with the vehicle not moving (and the engine probably running), center the steering wheel "visually" as you look at it from your normal seating position. In other words, that's where you want the steering wheel to be when you're headin' down the road. Now, secure a piece of thin masking tape (I use the blue painter's edging tape) at the very center of the top of the steering wheel. Next, drive the coach slowly and as absolutely straight as you can into a level area where you want to make the drag link adjustment....Don't look down at the steering wheel while doing this....that will mess you up for sure.

When you stop, you should see that the tape is off-center to one side of the other....right? Now, when you make the drag link adjustment, your steering wheel will move accordingly, and your goal, thus, is to get that tape right back to the center position where you first viewed it and want it to be, as mentioned above. If you take the coach out for a test drive, do not remove that tape....or you're back at square one. Make sense?

I learned this tip from one of the best heavy truck/motorhome alignment shops in our area. Caution....if you are going to get a front end alignment, get that alignment first before doing the above adjustment. A good, competent shop will make the adjustment for you. If you don't need the alignment, then do the above as described. It works, and you will be pleased.

If possible, please let us know how make out....it will help all of us. Thanks!!
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Old 01-23-2016, 04:01 PM   #11
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If you do not have both drag-links the same length, and the steering box is centered, you will have different wheel cut angles from left or right lock-to-lock turns.
Road crown makes a huge difference in steering wheel position. That may be corrected by a competent alignment technician, but, then it will pull to the left on any level surface.
A 4-wheel alignment will cause this if the rear axle is not exactly 90* to the frame, because the front wheels are aligned straight with the rears.
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Old 01-23-2016, 04:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by HeapBigEngin View Post
Yes, this is the way to adjust it on a Freightliner chassis....not familiar with the others. Easy? Well, this adjustment will take a large pipe wrench and a bit of muscle. Patience helps also. Will help to have a helper in the coach to watch the steering wheel movement since turning the drag link the wrong direction will make the concern worse. One of the realities here is that, often, these drag links have not moved for some time....hence, muscle. Also, somethimes they "free up" all of a sudden, so be careful of the knuckles.

Several points of good advice above. I'll offer one little trick to make things a whole lot easier with much less trial & error required. As best you can with the vehicle not moving (and the engine probably running), center the steering wheel "visually" as you look at it from your normal seating position. In other words, that's where you want the steering wheel to be when you're headin' down the road. Now, secure a piece of thin masking tape (I use the blue painter's edging tape) at the very center of the top of the steering wheel. Next, drive the coach slowly and as absolutely straight as you can into a level area where you want to make the drag link adjustment....Don't look down at the steering wheel while doing this....that will mess you up for sure.

When you stop, you should see that the tape is off-center to one side of the other....right? Now, when you make the drag link adjustment, your steering wheel will move accordingly, and your goal, thus, is to get that tape right back to the center position where you first viewed it and want it to be, as mentioned above. If you take the coach out for a test drive, do not remove that tape....or you're back at square one. Make sense?

I learned this tip from one of the best heavy truck/motorhome alignment shops in our area. Caution....if you are going to get a front end alignment, get that alignment first before doing the above adjustment. A good, competent shop will make the adjustment for you. If you don't need the alignment, then do the above as described. It works, and you will be pleased.

If possible, please let us know how make out....it will help all of us. Thanks!!
I did it on a Spartan.
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Old 01-23-2016, 04:17 PM   #13
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If you do not have both drag-links the same length, and the steering box is centered, you will have different wheel cut angles from left or right lock-to-lock turns.
Road crown makes a huge difference in steering wheel position. That may be corrected by a competent alignment technician, but, then it will pull to the left on any level surface.
A 4-wheel alignment will cause this if the rear axle is not exactly 90* to the frame, because the front wheels are aligned straight with the rears.
Are you talking about solid axle or independent front?
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Old 01-23-2016, 04:38 PM   #14
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I hope a solid axle. They have a drag link from steering box to spindle and a tie rod from left spindle to right.

IFS have 2 tie rods, a center link, pitman arm and ideler arm.

Unless it's a Ford twin I beam.
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