Steering wheel off center after PS rack and pump change? (Long) | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Steering wheel off center after PS rack and pump change? (Long)

EvinH

Member
Joined
August 9, 2013
Messages
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City, State
Catskill, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Ford Explorer ST
Hey guys, hope someone will have some advice for this problem. A few months ago I had to swap out my PS rack and PS pump due to a broken tie-rod end. I thought I got everything lined back up as best I could before going to get an alignment done. I counted the # of turns it took to remove the tie-rod ends off the old rack, and I put the new rod ends on the new rack with the same # of turns, but after the alignment, my steering wheel is no longer centered when I want to go straight. I have to keep it turned to the left slightly to get my ST to track straight. During the alignment, the shop said I needed new upper and lower ball joints on both sides, so I had that done and also had them replace all four shocks.

I took it back to the shop I had the alignment done after a week and them re-check and they said it was fine, but I still have to turn the steering wheel. Do I need to make sure the steering wheel is straight and then adjust the tie-rods and take it back to get another alignment? Or do I need to look at something else? Should I take it back to the shop that did the alignment and say "please make sure the steering wheel is straight for the alignment."? Thanks in advance
 



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Did you make sure the steering wheel was straight when you hooked it back up to the rack inside the cab?
 






Warranty? Unless something failed after alignment, take it back. First thing competent shops do is center the steering wheel.

http://www.carparts.com/alignment.htm#Steering Center

I'll have to check on the warranty, but I doubt it is still good. It's been about 6 months since. I've just kind of been dealing with it since it hasn't come up. But I think I need to replace a front wheel bearing so I figured I'd ask about this issue before doing that. I would have thought this was a competent shop, since it's a franchise.

Did you make sure the steering wheel was straight when you hooked it back up to the rack inside the cab?

Thanks for this suggestion morbid. I can't remember if it was or wasn't. I do remember though that I did not have the steering wheel locked when attaching the steering shaft to the rack and it was moving all over the place when re-attaching. What I may have thought was straight (looking at the wheels) was probably off center for the steering wheel when I re-connected.

But in any case, as swsawaii said, I would think this would have been corrected by the alignment shop where they do the alignment with the steering wheel centered. Thanks for the suggestions guys.
 






When you bolted the steering shaft on you probably turned it slightly to get it lined up. The shop should've still centered it when they did the alignment.
 






When you bolted the steering shaft on you probably turned it slightly to get it lined up. The shop should've still centered it when they did the alignment.

Thanks! Looks like I'll make an appointment at the shop to get it corrected.
 






2 local NTB's took 4 (maybe 5 IIRC) tries to get my steering wheel straight. Long story. Basically one place had a tech with no experience and the other place's "rack" was out of calibration. Blah Blah. Eventually, a good tech and a good machine(they had two) got it done. The last time I rode with the tech and rode with him when he pulled into the bay. I had to remind him(after he shut the truck off and started to get out) to turn the wheels back and forth a little, engine running, before locking the steering wheel stright so the power steering rack wasn't in a bind. Whatda ya know...it's perfect now.
 






Man that sucks! I hope I'll be able to get it corrected on the first try. I'll make sure to have the tech drive with me so they can see it. Thanks everyone!
 






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