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Old 10-23-2008, 07:21 PM   #11
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It doesn't go further than about 30 degrees one way or the other. I will probably take it in Saturday, and see what the problem is.
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Old 10-24-2008, 09:22 AM   #12
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O Genki Desu ka?
Check if the steering rack is loose in it's mountings to the car. There are several reports (saab, VW others) of the rack shifting and producing precisely the symptoms you describe.
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:02 AM   #13
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Loose, not really, the unibody piece that it mounts to bent, yes. Seems the car was in a wreck before we bought it, and the frame, or unibody got knocked, and bent the steering rack up. There is a nice little finger that it mounts to, that sticks down low, and evidently got hit. Daihatsu quoted $2000 to fix. No one else would touch it. We will take the paper to another shop(aside from the chains) and see what they say.
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:39 AM   #14
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Should be mounted to the front crossmember, which could be replaced.

I had a 59 Corvette that had a steering box that was so worn out the wheel would spin freely if you tried to turn left. To get it to the shop I drove through intersections and then backed up with the wheel turned right in order to make a left turm LOL.

It may be cheapest to replace the front crossmember to get things straight.

Never adjust the steering wheel until you have the alignment right, that should be the last thing you touch (the wheel).

Get the caster and camber right first, replace anything necessary.

Then get the toe adjusted properly WITH BOTH TIE RODS EXACTLY THE SAME LENGTH, or you will never get the car to drive right. If you dont every time you hit a bump the car will track off one way or the other.

After you have the camber, caster, and toe right, then, and only then do you change the steering wheel position.

You should also check the wheelbase on both sides, if you suspect structural damage that could affect the wheelbase length.

If the wheelbase is off, you can have every alignment dimension in specs and the car will still not drive right. Many times you can see a car crabbing down the road due to wheelbase dimension differences becasue it was not properly repaired.

regards
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:03 PM   #15
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I disagree. Adjust the steering wheel first. Find the mid point between left lock and right lock. Set the steering wheel to that center of the rack or ball and sector.
NOW set the other adjustable axes with caster first, then camber, and toe last.

Setting the steering wheel last will hide the specific crabbing effect described above. Setting the steering wheel first will prevent that lazy shortcut to mask, rather than correct, crabbing.
Checking wheelbase for differences left to right doesn't work on some cars that have intentional differences (Renault R5 / LeCar comes to mind)
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lug_Nut View Post
Setting the steering wheel last will hide the specific crabbing effect described above. Setting the steering wheel first will prevent that lazy shortcut to mask, rather than correct, crabbing.
Checking wheelbase for differences left to right doesn't work on some cars that have intentional differences (Renault R5 / LeCar comes to mind)
(Insert politically incorrect joke about the French and crabs here)
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:47 PM   #17
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Sounds like my Geo during the last few miles of driving before the RIGHT FRONT WHEEL FELL OFF. The steering wheel kept turning more and more left to go straight. You have something seriously wrong there and I would not be driving it anywhere fast or you may have trouble stopping when the wheels turn in opposite directions as the rack breaks loose.
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:47 PM   #18
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The steering wheel has nothing to do with any crabbing effect.

Crabbing is totally due to misalignment in any of the 4 wheels involved in alignment. also to the individual positions of each wheel in relation to the frame, or unibody structure of the vehicle.

Sure the steering wheel should be centered from lock to lock.

Thats is not realted to the position of the wheel. If properly aligned the car would track straight if the steering wheel was not even installed.

I also emphasized IN CAPITALS that the tie rods have to be exactly the same lenght. If that is done then there is no place the wheel can be mounted but centered. Different tie rod lengths create bump steer and crabbing.

You are debating a detail that was already covered, by making sure the tie rods are equal length.

If everything else is in specs (and I mean EVERYTHING) the wheel will either be in exactly the right position or you have something bent that has not been discovered.

I bought a brand new Toyota with 6 miles on the odometer. The front tires had obvious wear issues on the outside of both tires at 12 k miles. Took it to the dealer who sold it to me. They tried to tell me it was due to not rotating the tires every 5 k miles. I told them to check the alignment. They said it was within specs. They lied.

I took to another Toyota dealer. The service manager was a long time friend. he put it on his machine and told me what was going on. Total toe was out of specs. The rear alignment was off also, with the rear wheels both pointing to the left of their proper positions. Solid rear axle (not adjustable). They replaced the rear axle and aligned the front wheels. It was still off. The car had to go to a frame shop to have the rear axle locating points shifted about 1/8th inch to get the rear wheels pointed in the right position. At 19,000 miles Toyota gave me a new set of tires for free.

Brand new car.

I have seen other Toyotas of the same year model belonging to people I know that had problems exactly the same as mine, which negated the possibility of my car being damaged in the 6 miles it travelled before I bought it.

I have seen cars that had their alignemnt screwed up when they were tied down on the car carrier.

Repeating, if the tie rods are the same length and the car is on an alignment machine, with the alignment properly set, the steering wheel can only be centered lock to lock. If not then there is damage somewhere in the system, be it structural in the unibody or frame, or in the individual suspension components.

In many cases a proper alignment means a real investigation into the total accumulation of damage incurred over the life of the car. In many cases the damage is disguised by fudging the alignment specs to cover the real issue.

Sometimes you have to start with checking the frame or unibody for damage as well as every component of the suspension, before you even have a chance of obtaining a proper alignment.

In most cases the wheelbase check will disclose the core issue. Even that will not always show the core problem, like a diamond condition in a ladder frame on a pickup truck.

regards
gary
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Old 10-29-2008, 04:58 AM   #19
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Tracking is not driving with no hands. Tracking is the center between the front wheels and the center between the rear wheels being on the same geometric line as the vehicle moves forward.
If the rear axle were on an angle and the front wheels had been aligned, the vehicle would go in circles. The driver would compensate by turning the steering wheel to compensate and complain that the steering wheel wasn't "straight" when the cause is the rear axle not being "straight". Adjusting the steering wheel on the column is not the proper corrective action.
"Bump steer" is the change of the angle of the wheel and hub assembly as it moves in a vertical motion. The upper and lower control arm length is frequently not the same as the length of the steering rod from it's flexible joint out to the hub. Moving the hub up and down in it's arc of motion means the steering arm, on a slightly different length has a slightly different arc and does induce a slight turn about a vertical axis as the wheel moves up and down. That's bump steer. It exists no matter what the length of the tie rod end might be. Equal to the other side or not makes no difference. Not being within alignment tolerances will quite likely wear the tires more quickly, but this fixed geometric relationship between control arm lengths and locating points and the steering control will not change because the tie rod is adjusted. Tie rod length does not affect bump steer.
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:14 AM   #20
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Besides that wheel not being straight he also said that the angle of the steering wheel changes when he works it from side to side and that indicates to me that something in the rack is moving that is supposed to be stationary relative to the frame. Be it the tie rod ends slipping in their adjusting sleeve or the entire rack or chassis it is mounted on is moving or bending. The steering wheel is on a spline shaft so it should not be slipping right? Grab a wheel while it is jacked up and steer it left and right and see what moves - if the alignment was checked and was ok then that leaves something that moves under load or in the steering linkage to the steering box.

As for bump steer - if the pivot points at the end of the rack where the tie rods connect are equal in width to the inner pivot points of the suspension A arms and struts then there should be neutral bump steer.

What I want fixed on my xB is the full stop wheel angles which apparently are not correct and it creates a lot of drag and tire scuffing when turning all the way left or right. This is in the design of the steering arm on the wheel and how much the pivot connection of the tie rod is offset in or out from the lower ball joint.
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