Steering wheel center and toe adjustment

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mrblaine

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Well the pitman arm should be pointing straight back when the gearbox is dead center. That puts center line 90 degrees perpendicular to the font axel’s center line, or directly parallel to the frame.

If your arm isn’t straight back when steering wheel is centered that means one of two things:

1. Your overall toe measurement is good but
In reality you driver side toe is actually positive like +3.5 degrees and your passenger side toes is actually -3.6 degrees giving an overall toe in relationship to each other as -0.1. But the functional toe to gearbox center is still +3.5 band -3.6. This means to drive straight your gearbox is in a partial turn and that means your steering wheel looks centered but is in actuality at least one turn from center

This is why I hate the overall toe method like with levels. And a measuring tape. It checks toe in relationship to each other. This might improve driving but is no where near optimal. The two string method compares to the average of all 4. But still to each other. The 3 string method actually sets it by the frame. If the frame isn’t warped will be true with the centered pitman.

2.You have an issue between the gear box and the steering wheel. Usually the gear box is off by one revolution on the input shaft which puts the pitman are 8 to 12 degrees off the pointing straight back with steering wheel centered. This happens all the time when Changing gearboxes everything wasn’t at center when doing. It’s why the service manual says to straighten wheels and secure the steering wheel when changing the gearbox.

I

You are NOT paying attention.
 
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OldGuyOldJeep

OldGuyOldJeep

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It seems to me like you are doing solutions to the issues you are creating.
Drag link is the last thing i touch, and i use it specifically to center steering wheel. After initial adjustment i take it for a little drive, and it takes about one or two more adjustments to get it centered. My steering wheel is not locked, thus it has no effect on right toe. As far as pitman arm pointing directly at the axle, there is nothing i cant do about it, it is keyed to be offset towards passenger side with steering wheel centered.

If im not misunderstanding anything, you are having the same issues as i do when i zero a scope to the rifle. My brain is wired to adjust point of aim to point of impact, but some dufus has made industry standard to mark dials for adjustment of point of impact to point of aim. Issue is not in scope or its instructions, issue is in me.

I think I am just bad at expressing it and jumble to much together.

Yes the problems are avoidable and not present if it has never been disassembled. Or only one thing at has ever been apart at one. But if say you changed the tie rod connector sleeve and not aligned it properly after. The overall toe look correct and the steering wheel be straight but the pitman arm not be straight back meaning the gearbox isn’t centered. This is all I was really trying to say. Most older gear box vehicles even ones that were professionally aligned have gotten off by that much that the steering wheel is off by at least one rotation through either assembly error or vastly off toe one bing positive and the other negative so the combined toe is correct; however, it is not aligned properly steering wheel to road. It can drive staight and have the steering wheel straight without the gearbox being centered which causes all a these little issues including trashing perfectly good gearbox’s. All this is eliminated by realizing that the franc link may visually center the steering wheel but it not “centering” the steering wheel to everything else. It is adjusting the passenger toe.
 

hosejockey61

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The only thing I would change is to take another look at the pitman and verify it is pointed back and to the right vehicle side. I typically see them just slightly off center to the left side of the vehicle.

I just went out and verified and, as usual, you are correct. I'm my mind I had it off center the other way. They are indeed off center to the driver side.
 
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machoheadgames

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That is correct and as I remembered, it is back and to the left side. We always somewhat call it 1 o:clock but not quite but mostly as a reminder that it is over to the right when viewed from the front. If you aren't sure looking at the pics, first is to show the steering wheel centered. Second is to show a comparison between the arm angle and the lower section of the lower steering shaft for angular reference, and last is what you see looking back from the front.

View attachment 379403

View attachment 379404

View attachment 379405

Yep, I have 100% seen it cocked to the left just a tad and I first noticed it when I WJ swapped. At first I thought something was wrong but multiple pitman arms later, I noticed that it was just how they are.

Apparently, this feller has not quite noticed the same. I wish he would before he rambles on uncontrollably.
 
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Moglocker

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Nah, throw more words at it, it may become perpendicular!
Nah, throw more words at it, it may become perpendicular!

831C5164-D95D-4CC6-9033-3CC00DBCD059.png
 

JMT

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How many people can confirm your steering boxes have been turning to shit since you aligned your vehicle and set the toe the 'wrong way'? 🤣
 
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Zef

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Hi! I'm brand new to this forum and to Jeeps. I just replaced tie rod, drag link etc. today. ZJ parts as appropriate.

I started reading this thread and got confused. I admit I only read the first page.

What I saw on my Jeep and what's suggested by OP do not align.

Looking at the setup I figured that I'd be adjusting toe with the tie rod. And centering the steering with the drag link.

I think I can adjust steering without affecting toe, but I can't adjust toe without affecting steering.

And the Pitman arm seems to be biased to the drivers side.

AmI having a brain fart or something?
 

jjvw

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Hi! I'm brand new to this forum and to Jeeps. I just replaced tie rod, drag link etc. today. ZJ parts as appropriate.

I started reading this thread and got confused. I admit I only read the first page.

What I saw on my Jeep and what's suggested by OP do not align.

Looking at the setup I figured that I'd be adjusting toe with the tie rod. And centering the steering with the drag link.

I think I can adjust steering without affecting toe, but I can't adjust toe without affecting steering.

And the Pitman arm seems to be biased to the drivers side.

AmI having a brain fart or something?

First, center the axle at ride height with the track bar. Second, set the toe with the tie rod. Third, correct the steering wheel with the drag link.

That's it. Three sentences and no mention of the pitman arm.
 

JMT

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As long as you’re Zef and not Zed. We had a Zed on here once. He wanted to shoot flames out his TJ. When told that was a bad idea he became frustrated with his TJ, sold it and bought a Miata. To Zed! 🍻
 
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mrblaine

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I just went out and verified and, as usual, you are correct. I'm my mind I had it off center the other way. They are indeed off center to the driver side.

It is funny how our brains work in that regard. I have remembered stuff and was dead sure I had it right and then I go look at it only to discover I flipped it around somehow. Also why I didn't state in my first post that it was 100% until I checked. I was pretty sure I knew what I see but when several said it was the other way, I was starting to doubt and wondered if my brain had flipped it somehow. Better to check and make sure which I did.

Doesn't really matter that much for this discussion since the key point is when the box is centered (and it absolutely needs to be when driving straight) the pitman is not parallel to the bore of the steering gear but offset to one side.

What may be helpful would be to get a camera set up pointing at two marks on the sector shaft and housing next to where the shaft exits or even the side of the pitman so that when they are lined up, the box is dead center.

Then set the toe angle at zero and take it for a short drive on a straight road showing that the marks line up or not.

Do that with various toe angles going to slightly past what is prudent to see if they change relationship. I suspect the box will stay pretty much centered at most of the common toe angles.
 

Zef

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As long as you’re Zef and not Zed. We had a Zed on here once. He wanted to shoot flames out his TJ. When told that was a bad idea he became frustrated with his TJ, sold it and bought a Miata. To Zed! 🍻

Obligatory: "Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."

Nope I'm not him. But my account was banned shortly after I created it, so maybe the Admin thought I may be 😊
 
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