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How to align steering wheel?

jtaborsky

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Hey everyone. Vehicle is a 1987 Bronco II 4wd. 4" lift with a drop pitman arm and no sway bars. Front axle is from a 1992 Explorer and regeared to 4.10's. Somewhat new steering sector.

The steering wheel is not straight when the wheels are straight. How do I correct this?
 


alwaysFlOoReD

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Hey everyone. Vehicle is a 1987 Bronco II 4wd. 4" lift with a drop pitman arm and no sway bars. Front axle is from a 1992 Explorer and regeared to 4.10's. Somewhat new steering sector.

The steering wheel is not straight when the wheels are straight. How do I correct this?
Loosen and turn the right tierod end. Do the same to the left, same amount of turns. Drive around the block. Do it again. Drive around the block. Repeat as many times as necesary...
The is a special tool for turning the connection tube. If you're handy you can make one. Otherwise borrow one from the pars store if they do that.
 

svtcards

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Or go to a good alignment shop and they could do it.
 

RonD

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+1 ^^^

A GOOD alignment shop will unlock the steering wheel, put it in the center, then tie it off, and do the alignment
A poor alignment shop will use the "closest lock" to center to hold the steering wheel in place while doing the alignment


Just a heads up, applies to ALL Fords
"You do not drive a Ford, you herd a Ford"

Its relaxing to drive a Ford, unlike most cars/trucks that have "over tight" steering, just a nudge this way or that way
So centered steering wheel is good but it IS A FORD
 

scotts90ranger

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Alwaysfloored has it covered, I usually just use channel lock pliers to turn the adjusters, the nuts are 15mm... if they turn easy enough sometimes I just use the 15mm socket/ratchet/wrench to turn them... I usually go 1/2 turn at a time when centering or aligning leaving the bolts at the top or bottom...

An alignment shop would likely be best but depending on your understanding of the geometry of the system it isn't rocket surgery... I've done all my own alignments with a tape measure and calibrated eyeballs (pull out the angle finder for caster sometimes) and have had good tire wear, have had a few checked (not TTB, but my '98 Explorer was checked and passed...). But that's not for everyone...
 

jtaborsky

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Are the threads for the tie rods opposite the thread for the tie rod ends, so I can just turn the connecting sleeves, or do I have to pop the tie rod ends off the knuckles?
 

scotts90ranger

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Yeah, they're just like a turnbuckle, the left and right tierod ends are opposite thread so turn them opposite directions for your purpose
 

SenorNoob

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I find a small (10") pipe wrench works great on the adjusters if they are a little tight.
 

jtaborsky

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Thanks for all the help! @scotts90ranger I had to look up what a turnbuckle is; I'm used to the WWF definition.
 

rusty ol ranger

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I havent had the wheel off my 1st gen in a while so excuse me if this sounds stupid but...

I KNOW on my old 70's fords id just set the wheels straight, pull the steering wheel off, slide it back on straight.

Or cant you do that on a ranger?
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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I havent had the wheel off my 1st gen in a while so excuse me if this sounds stupid but...

I KNOW on my old 70's fords id just set the wheels straight, pull the steering wheel off, slide it back on straight.

Or cant you do that on a ranger?
Cannot. There is a flat spot on the shaft and a corresponding flat in the steering wheel.
 

rusty ol ranger

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2WD
My credo
A legend to the old man, a hero to the child...

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