Question about adjusting tie rods to correct a crooked steering wheel
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Thread: Question about adjusting tie rods to correct a crooked steering wheel

  1. #1
    Top Dawg!! batman900's Avatar
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    Question about adjusting tie rods to correct a crooked steering wheel

    EDIT: Figured it all out and will post a DIY ASAP.
    Last edited by batman900; 05-07-2012 at 08:19 PM.

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  3. #2
    Nooblets
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    take it for an alignment any skilled tech can fix a steering wheel that is not straight that is usually one of the first questions and yes your toe is not out unless you got lucky. The car will still drive straight but you will have toe in or toe out wear down the line.

  4. #3
    Senior Member SCFAST's Avatar
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    Why are you messing with your tie rods and Toe to fix steering wheel alignment?In this case IMHO This is not needed with a much simpler fix just re clock the column at the steering rack but you should go get the car realigned now before doing that since your toe is all out of wack now.
    Last edited by SCFAST; 05-07-2012 at 07:00 PM.
    I Prefer To Comment From A Position Of Ignorance
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  5. #4
    Big Pimping!!! dagocrazy's Avatar
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    [FONT=verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif]So I get a lot of these "centering the steering wheel" questions, so I just did a simple explanation of how it's done.. remember, it's how accurate you can make it, so I cant garantee how well your alignment will be after you are done.. there are many other ways to do it, but this is the common fix I use on all my [/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif]

    [/FONT]

    [FONT=verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif]
    it's really adjusting the toe of the front end.. You will need two pieces of the straightest 2x4s of the same length that you can get and something to square them up to the tires. I normally make an L shape with the 2x4s so that the lower portion of the L is actually lined up on the back of the tire.. the upright portion of the L is laid flat on the level ground along the outside edge of the tire, so it would look something like this:

    (front of car)
    |[]-------[]|
    -- ..........--

    the green is your tie-rod/steering rack
    the red is your 2x4s that you built so that they are your right angles
    you can ignore those "....." (I couldnt space it out so that the diagram would look correct).

    Most of the time, I just tell people that this is the easy fix and to run zero toe up front. If you want to do some your own custom toe alignment, then you need to do some more math and use geometry and trig to figure out what you need (not that hard either if you made your 2x4s long enough to work with common trig numbers).

    But to have zero toe AND center your steering wheel, you would do the following:

    if you steering wheel is facing to the left and the car is going straight:
    You need to shorten the right tie rod and lengthen the left tie rod.

    if you steering wheel is facing to the right and the car is going straight:
    You need to shorten the left tie rod and lengthen the right tie rod.

    "so how do I know how much to lengthen or shorten on each end?"
    you just move them at equal distance to retain the same toe.. now, if you royal screwed up the measurements, no big deal, that's why you have those L brackets. You slowly adjust the tie rods until you get what you need to make the steering wheel straight, it may take you a couple of times, but you will get it right.. normally it takes me about 3 to 5 tries to get it right because every car is different with the number of turns for the tie rods to make it move X amount of degrees to make the steering wheel go straight.

    If you want get zero toe and not have any tire wear, you want to measure (tape measurer is fine) the front end of the L bracket from left to right(called measurement "A") and the rear end of the L bracket (called measurement "B"). It should be something like this:

    |<------A------->|
    |[] []|
    |<------B------->|

    if "A" > "B" = it means you have toe out, the greater the difference, the more toe you have out

    if "A" < "B" = it means you have toe in, the greater the difference, the more toe you have in

    if "A" = "B" = congratulations, you have zero toe.

    just keep adjusting the tie rods until you get the measurements correct. Once you have the steering wheel centered, adjusting toe will be easy because you are either adding length or shortening BOTH rods to retain the straightness of the steering wheel.


    "Is this all accurate?"
    It's only as accurate as you make it. I am only giving you the essence of it. You can find a billion ways to really do an alignment on your own car (google has a lot to offer from race cars and what race teams do and they are just as accurate down to 0.001" precision, our race team gets it down to the 0.01 precision for a lot of our setups). I dont even bother going to the alignment rack and use a hunter machine anymore because I just saved so much money from going there and I make my own tools at home (from camber readers, toe and caster readers, and my race team all chipped in and got corner scales for the car for corner balancing).


    Hope that helps.
    [/FONT]



    2012 CBP Civic SI Coupe......Hondata Flash Pro Tuned by Vit,RBC Intake manifold,Ultimate Racing 3'' High flow Catted Downpipe, Full-Race 3'' Cat back Exhaust,8th gen AEM CAI, 17'' Sparco Assetto Gara Wheels, Road Magnet Lowering Springs,Eibach Rear Anti Sway Bar,Buddy Club Short Shifter, OEM Honda Projector headlights, Xentec 4300 Ultra White Hid low beams,Eibach rear camber adjust arms, K24z7 Crew #90. 200hp club member #8 225.7 Hp on e85. 218 on 92 ocatne pump gas.

  6. #5
    Big Pimping!!! dagocrazy's Avatar
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    I copied this sorry but it's a really good explination how to get your wheel straight ^^^
    2012 CBP Civic SI Coupe......Hondata Flash Pro Tuned by Vit,RBC Intake manifold,Ultimate Racing 3'' High flow Catted Downpipe, Full-Race 3'' Cat back Exhaust,8th gen AEM CAI, 17'' Sparco Assetto Gara Wheels, Road Magnet Lowering Springs,Eibach Rear Anti Sway Bar,Buddy Club Short Shifter, OEM Honda Projector headlights, Xentec 4300 Ultra White Hid low beams,Eibach rear camber adjust arms, K24z7 Crew #90. 200hp club member #8 225.7 Hp on e85. 218 on 92 ocatne pump gas.

  7. #6
    Big Pimping!!! dagocrazy's Avatar
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    Here is the adjusting tow in if it's out of whack...It's easy but easier just to spend $40 and get it done....How to Adjust Your Car's Wheel AlignmentBy an eHow ContributorWhen you're driving along a straight and level road, your car should track straight as well. If it doesn't, your car is out of alignment. Proper alignment prolongs the life of your tires and makes for better handling and easier steering. Three things affect wheel alignment: caster, camber and toe. Caster is the angle the wheel pivots on. Camber describes how vertical the wheel is in relation to the ground. Toe is how "pigeon-toed" the wheels are. If your car's caster or camber is off, you must have this fixed by a professional. If the trouble is with the toe, however, it's possible to adjust it yourself.
    Things You'll Need (Tap on items you have)
    • Jack
    • Jack stands
    • Tape measure
    • Two open-ended wrenches
    • Pocket knife
    Steps (Tap on step to mark as complete)
    • 1 of 14
      Look up the proper toe setting for your car. You can find this information in the manufacturer's manual and certain repair guides. Look for these online or at the library.
    • 2 of 14
      Check the stability of the wheel components by jacking up the car and placing it on jack stands. Shake each wheel firmly to see if it is loose, and adjust the components appropriately if so.
    • 3 of 14
      Use the tip of a pocketknife to mark each tire's circumference. From underneath the tire, put the pocketknife against the tire, hold it in one place and spin the tire.
    • 4 of 14
      Take the car off the jack stands and lower it to the ground.
    • 5 of 14
      Let the car settle by pushing down on the fender several times.
    • 6 of 14
      Put the car in neutral.
    • 7 of 14
      Loosen up the steering wheel, but keep the tires pointed straight.
    • 8 of 14
      Push the car forward 10 feet or more without holding onto the steering wheel.
    • 9 of 14
      Take a measurement of the distance between the line marks on the front of each of the tires. Line up your measuring tape (or use a piece of string) at the same height on each side level with the spindle.
    • 10 of 14
      Take the same measurement of the distance between the lines on the backs of each tire.
    • 11 of 14
      Note the difference between the two measurements to get the toe setting. If the front measurement is smaller, then the value represents a "toe-in" measurement, and vice versa.
    • 12 of 14
      Adjust the toe to the recommended setting by loosening the lock nuts on the ends of the tie rod and turning the rod to either lengthen or shorten it.
    • 13 of 14
      Tighten the lock nuts.
    • 14 of 14
      Repeat steps 9 to 11 to check if your car's toe setting is correct.
    Tips & Warnings
    • You'll need the help of a friend for measuring and probably for pushing the car.
    • Make sure you adjust the tie rod equally on each side so that the steering wheel stays centered.

    • On some cars, you cannot adjust certain aspects of the wheel for alignment. If the wheel is misaligned, it may be because of a structural problem that needs repair.
    2012 CBP Civic SI Coupe......Hondata Flash Pro Tuned by Vit,RBC Intake manifold,Ultimate Racing 3'' High flow Catted Downpipe, Full-Race 3'' Cat back Exhaust,8th gen AEM CAI, 17'' Sparco Assetto Gara Wheels, Road Magnet Lowering Springs,Eibach Rear Anti Sway Bar,Buddy Club Short Shifter, OEM Honda Projector headlights, Xentec 4300 Ultra White Hid low beams,Eibach rear camber adjust arms, K24z7 Crew #90. 200hp club member #8 225.7 Hp on e85. 218 on 92 ocatne pump gas.

  8. #7
    Senior Member SCFAST's Avatar
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    Why go through all that just for the steering wheel when once that car is in the air that column rack/fix will take 2mins and not mess with the factory tie rod settings... Assuming you are on unmolested factory alignment.
    Last edited by SCFAST; 05-07-2012 at 07:35 PM.
    I Prefer To Comment From A Position Of Ignorance
    K24Z7 Crew Member #58....SOP Navi Coupe

  9. #8
    One Bad Mama Jama!!! StevieOntario's Avatar
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    Wish I would have seen this post when it started but I used to install the steering wheel at the plant, if the dealer had a clue it could have been fixed in less than 5 minutes, pull the airbag assembly from the steering wheel, pull the nut off that holds the wheel on, pull the steering wheel off, move it one spline and put everything back on. Shows you how much these dealer techs are really trained eh.
    Engine Assembler - Honda Of Canada Mfg.
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  10. #9
    Top Dawg!! batman900's Avatar
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    The dealership is worthless and so is almost every other shop. When I had this problem on my 03 EX I took it to 4 shops before giving up. My 2012 had the alignment off from the factory and after that was fixed they couldn't for the life of them get the steering wheel straight even after 3 visits for the issue. It either sat at 10 0-clock or 2 0-clock. I finally figured out how to fix it my self and posted a DIY on it. The point of this thread was because I was confused about which way the rods needed to turn. Every other car I have seen requires you to turn 1 rod one way and the other in the opposite direction to fix the steering wheel position while NOT effecting the alignment. Ours is different and they both have to spin in the same direction to lengthen one and shorten the other which was really odd. My alignment is still just as perfect as before I adjusted the rods because I marked my starting points and measured the distance I turned the rods to make both equal. When I wasn't getting it correct at the beginning it took 3 minutes to put it back where I started. I finally did what I should have done from the start and payed more attention to whether or not I was creating more threads behind the nut to realize which way each needed to turn.

    This whole process is actually just as easy as changing your oil and its hard to mess up if you mark and measure. I now have a perfectly straight steering wheel to go with my perfect alignment and don't have to deal with the middle school drop outs all these shops hire to dirty up my interior without fixing a dam thing.
    Last edited by batman900; 05-07-2012 at 08:32 PM.

  11. #10
    One Bad Mama Jama!!! StevieOntario's Avatar
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    If the car was tracking fine then there was nothing wrong with the alignment, the steering wheel was not installed properly.
    Engine Assembler - Honda Of Canada Mfg.
    Alliston, ON

    Home of the Civic & C-RV!

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