Steering Wheel Isn't Centered - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 04-04-2010
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Steering Wheel Isn't Centered

I fell asleep at the wheel last week and ran through a shallow ditch and through somebody's front yard. There was no apparent damage.

I didn't notice until later the steering wheel was cocked over about 45 degrees when I was driving straight. The truck continues to track straight... if I let go of the wheel, it doesn't pull to one side or the other.

More oddly, the direction the wheel ***** over seems to be variable after I stop. I took it in to a dealer, explained what I just told you, and he aligned it. His tech said all the suspension parts were tight; just that it was out of alignment. He reset it.

The truck still rides with the wheel cocked over. I'm torn between the thought I got a half assed alignment "set the toe and let it go" and there is something nasty lurking within my truck's suspension.

Ideas?
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Old 04-04-2010
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I have the same problem with my truck that was in a n accident. It was an issue with the stock TTB suspension and with my Solid axle. Every shop said it was the allignment, but that was done on both. It must be between the pitman arm and the steering wheel.
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Old 04-04-2010
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Year of the truck and other info on it would help a lot...
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Old 04-04-2010
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2007 Ranger XLT with 3 liter engine and automatic transmission.
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Old 04-06-2010
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OK, here's the deal: I took it to a garage my father trusted for decades and they determined today the entire rack is moving. A new one is on order and will be installed Thursday. Hopefully, that'll be the end of it.

$525 installed with new alignment.
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Old 04-06-2010
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Originally Posted by Jay Hanig View Post
OK, here's the deal: I took it to a garage my father trusted for decades and they determined today the entire rack is moving. A new one is on order and will be installed Thursday. Hopefully, that'll be the end of it.

$525 installed with new alignment.
pricey but that rack is a pain in the but to remove.
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Old 04-06-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryTasker View Post
I have the same problem with my truck that was in a n accident. It was an issue with the stock TTB suspension and with my Solid axle. Every shop said it was the allignment, but that was done on both. It must be between the pitman arm and the steering wheel.
for you adjust the drag link. that is the connection between the pitman arm and the axle.

that adjustment centers the steering wheel. that is all it is really used for.
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Old 04-06-2010
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I have the same problem on my 2000 XLT, wheel is cocked an inch to the right while I drive straight. Doesn't pull or anything. Happened after my accident. I think it is because the inner tie rod is bent.
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Old 04-06-2010
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my wheel has half turn of slack in it lol its great doing 65mph and road walking
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Old 04-06-2010
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Originally Posted by Masteratarms93 View Post
I have the same problem on my 2000 XLT, wheel is cocked an inch to the right while I drive straight. Doesn't pull or anything. Happened after my accident. I think it is because the inner tie rod is bent.
My 2004 does the same thing but its never been in an accident in the front end... However doesent bother me cause of the way I rest my arm on my console and drive one handed in between the spokes...
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Old 04-06-2010
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My 2004 does the same thing but its never been in an accident in the front end... However doesent bother me cause of the way I rest my arm on my console and drive one handed in between the spokes...
Haha way to take advantage
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Old 04-07-2010
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My 2004 does the same thing but its never been in an accident in the front end... However doesent bother me cause of the way I rest my arm on my console and drive one handed in between the spokes...
Thats what I do lol
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Old 04-07-2010
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What makes mine interesting is that I never know where it's going to center. Every time I start off from a traffic light it's apt to be somewhere different, particularly if I turn the wheel with the brakes clamped.

For the first time yesterday I got the sensation that I didn't have a tight interconnect between my hand and the wheels on the road. It may just have been my imagination but I look forward to getting the rack replaced tomorrow morning. I've got the feeling it's in the nick of time. (We drove the truck this way all the way across the state since damaging it last week).
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Old 04-08-2010
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Unbelievable! The mystery is solved.

Somebody apparently replaced the steering rack in the recent past. They did so without inserting any bushings. It is thought that they managed to get the bolts tight enough where the rack was stable until the moment I went through the ditch. Then all bets were off.

I've driven it maybe 25 miles since the repair and everyting seems back to normal. The wheel is centered as I drive and it doesn't move around every time I scrub the tires with the brakes on.

The best part: the repair cost $118 instead of $525. The repair shop could easily have just kept their mouth shut, replaced the rack, and I'd been no more the wiser; just poorer.

I can't say enough nice things about Yopp's Tires and Garage in Snead's Ferry, NC. Honest guys.
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Old 04-08-2010
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Originally Posted by Jay Hanig View Post
Unbelievable! The mystery is solved.

Somebody apparently replaced the steering rack in the recent past. They did so without inserting any bushings. It is thought that they managed to get the bolts tight enough where the rack was stable until the moment I went through the ditch. Then all bets were off.

I've driven it maybe 25 miles since the repair and everyting seems back to normal. The wheel is centered as I drive and it doesn't move around every time I scrub the tires with the brakes on.

The best part: the repair cost $118 instead of $525. The repair shop could easily have just kept their mouth shut, replaced the rack, and I'd been no more the wiser; just poorer.

I can't say enough nice things about Yopp's Tires and Garage in Snead's Ferry, NC. Honest guys.
if there were more garages like that around, i might actually consider taking my truck into them every once in a while. instead of doing it all myself!!! very nice save.
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Old 04-08-2010
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yes sir indeed, good save. i do all my own work to, saves so much money.
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Old 04-08-2010
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Damn you got lucky!
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