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  #1  
Old 04-29-2016
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Steering Wheel

Ever since I purchased my Ranger, the steering wheel hasn't been straight. The vehicle doesn't pull to one side or the other, tracks perfectly straight.

Unfortunately the spline where the steeringwheel itself connects to the shaft is keyed. Is there a spline somewhere that I can straighten the wheel myself? I'd rather not get an alignment, since I don't need one.
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Old 04-29-2016
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Mine is the same, but don't care.

Only way is to tell alignment guy about it and then have him do the alignment.
With new methods steering wheel can come out off to one side or the other, that most likely happened the last time someone got tires and a "free" alignment, worth every penny.

Proper way to start alignment is to put steering wheel straight and then lock it in place but NOT with the steering wheel key lock, because that moves.

Then tie rods are adjusted so wheels are now true with steering wheel.

You have to ask for this every time, they just don't do it automatically any more
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Old 04-29-2016
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Well, that sucks. Was hoping for a free way but, I'm not about to mess with the alignment myself. I'm not that good of a DIY'er

Thanks anyway, though. Saved me some time looking for something that isn't there.
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Old 04-30-2016
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Mines the same way must be a ranger thing
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Old 04-30-2016
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It bugs me to death, lol. My father's steering wheel is straight and his is an 03. Go figure.
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Old 04-30-2016
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They come from the factory straight, so not a Ford thing or even Ranger thing.

Just takes one alignment guy to not lock the steering wheel straight to get this issue
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Old 04-30-2016
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Makes sense. As you can probably tell, I don't know much about alignments, lol.
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Old 04-30-2016
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No reason you should, I enjoy a good steak but would have a hard time butchering a steer.

Found this: https://autoservicecosts.com/alignment-cost/#

I would check with local Ford Dealers, I have two near me and got on their email list for up coming parts and service specials.
Got motorcraft wires and spark plugs for 25% less than no-name brand wires and plugs at discount parts store, Ford sale.

Even had oil changed and inspection for $40 a couple of times, cheaper than fast lube places, although not as quick, lol.

Ford Parts guy told me on sales they sell at cost or below cost to get "known" Ford drivers down to the lot to see the new models, good promotion.
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Old 04-30-2016
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Thanks for the link. A Midas location about 5 miles or so from me runs a special every so often where I can get an alignment for 50 bucks. I suppose you get what you pay for, though.

Definitely will be getting my email address over to them, though. Would have loved to have gotten my platinum plugs that cheap.
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Old 04-30-2016
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I run regular copper in my 4.0l OHV, very easy to change plugs on this engine.
I swap coil pack wires around at 10k miles for longer life.

The Waste spark system uses up the tip on one bank and the center on the other, spark plugs are wired in series, swapping the wires around is easier than swapping the plugs around, lol.
So I am cheap(copper plugs) and lazy(swap wires not plugs)
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Old 05-01-2016
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I thought for sure this was a Ranger thing... my 06, 02, and 03 are (were) all angled slightly to the right...
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Old 05-01-2016
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Mine is tilted slightly to the left, just enough so that if I turn it straight I turn to the right. At least my tires are wearing evenly.
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Old 05-01-2016
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If you check where the steering wheel locks closest to center you will usually see why it is off to on side or the other.

Alignment guys should set steering wheel to the center and then lock it in place with a device like "the club", or 2 of them depending where they can grip the steering wheel.
But most just turn on the key rotate wheel to center then turn off the key and turn wheel enough to lock it in place............not centered
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Old 05-01-2016
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Sounds like a flat-rate method if I ever heard one.
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Old 05-01-2016
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Doing some googling looking for alignments in my area, and I originally planned to go to midas. 2.5 stars out of 5. Yeah, not going there.

EDIT: Just went out to the garage and looked at my steering shaft (within the engine bay). Solid metal steering shaft turns into a CV boot for a little while, then approximately a 15mm bolt is seen, followed by more cv boot into what I presume is the power steering rack.

I've got a long drive in eight weeks and I want this wheel straight, lol.

Last edited by TheArcticWolf1911; 05-01-2016 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 05-02-2016
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My experience with Ford trucks is that you don't really "drive them down the road", you "herd them down the road", lol.

With most other truck brands the steering is fairly responsive, with Fords it is more "relaxed" and "laid back", like the steering box is Stoned, "hey man, whats the problem man, OK man I am turning, whats the rush man, chillaxe..........got any potato chips?"

Which is why the whole off center thing doesn't bother me
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Old 05-02-2016
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That's probably one of the funniest things about the Ranger I've ever heard. I gotta remember that.

"Oh, ho! It's funny 'cuz it's true!"
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  #18  
Old 05-02-2016
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If you want a good alignment, take it to a shop that specializes in alignments.

Where I live we have Weber wheel alignment, they wanted to charge $280.00 for a 4 wheel Alignment for my Wife's HHR.

This may seem insane for an alignment yet if the work is done properly it takes time.

Time is not free. anyone that offers you a cheap alignment you will get a toe and alignment and even then they will do a crappy job.

Pretty much if the alignment does not include sand bags simulating the weight of the driver in a vehicle that is mostly driven alone the alignment will never be right.

Now ask yourself when was the last time you saw an alignment shop add weight to a vehicle to do an alignment, my guess never.

I aligned many cars over the years and I was trained to do them properly.

Yet in none of the shops I worked at that sold alignments, these shops never provided all the necessary equipment to them properly.

Even the best tech with the best intentions and equipment will end up giving you a lite version of an alignment.

Sure today they have fancy laser alignment machines that pretty much will do most of the work for you. yet if a lazy tech is running the machine you will not get what your paying for.
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Old 05-02-2016
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All valid points, and you definitely do get what you pay for. I plan on getting an alignment when I get new tires, which thankfully mine are lasting.

All I really want at this point in time is to straighten out my steering wheel. I've got a 13 hour drive in a couple months and I'd rather have it straight. If that isn't something I can do myself, then that's fine, I know my limits.
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Old 05-03-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
My experience with Ford trucks is that you don't really "drive them down the road", you "herd them down the road", lol.

With most other truck brands the steering is fairly responsive, with Fords it is more "relaxed" and "laid back", like the steering box is Stoned, "hey man, whats the problem man, OK man I am turning, whats the rush man, chillaxe..........got any potato chips?"

Which is why the whole off center thing doesn't bother me
I have to jump back to this, that is exactly right! I drove a 99 F250 (I love that 7.3) and just going 30, it had so much play you wondered if the wheel was even connected... The only time that my wheel being off center bothers me is when I want to take a picture of my cluster and parking with the wheels straight gets my steering wheel in the way.
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