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350z 2006 Alignment issue

Old 11-21-2012, 05:01 PM
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KevinRHd
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Exclamation 350z 2006 Alignment issue

Hi guys, I have an alignment issue on my 2006 350z and I need help or advice from pro's! Here's the story:

I went to two alignment shops (2 times each) with my 350z and after each time they align the car, my Z still have the same problem. The car steering wheel is not centred. I have to turn it a bit on the right to go straight. I can't figure out the problem. I sat myself in the car personally to center the steering wheel. For now, I'm thinking about a Compression Bushing tear or a steering angle sensor problem? I need your advice. I have brand new tires. I've post my alignment sheet to show you and a picture of my car hehe .

First alignment shop: Hawkeye
Second: Sun- Snap-on

(BTW I'm French, so I might do some errors)




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Old 11-21-2012, 06:00 PM
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Damn your car looks as fresh as it must have in 06.

Anyways. Are you saying that your car is still pulling to the left? Or are you saying that while driving straight, your steering wheel is just off center, but the car is not pulling.

If its still pulling, it could be other things like your tires etc. But if its not pulling, the only thing i could suggest would be to get under the front end and have a look to see if the parts are all original and identical both right and left.

I had a similar issue. Went underneath and noticed that one tie rod was an OE replacement, but somehow longer than the original tied rod that was in the other side. Swapped it out for a Nissan tie rod and problem solved. It was strange.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:21 PM
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Thanks Arvin! When I last check, it seems to me that it was the same, but I think that I'll buy a Tein Tie Rod set. The car is not pulling, it's just off centre.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:53 PM
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I'm not knowledgeable in reading those alignment charts, so I can't comment on whether they show a problem or not. If they show that the car alignment is withing spec, and your only concern is that your steering wheel is cocked to one side I can tell you that on other cars I've owned there was an adjustment bolt of some sort in the front end that the alignment guy could adjust to center my off center steering wheel. I suspect the same is true with the 350Z. Did you ask either of the alignment places if they could correct the canted steering wheel?
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:38 PM
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That's an easy fix if you're handy with tools and don't mind getting under the car a little. If you're fairly strong and have the right wrenches, you can do it from the side without jacking the car up. You'll need some big open-end wrenches. I think it's 19mm and 22mm, but don't hold me to that. You also need a good marker pen.

The tie rods that go from the rack and pinion to the arm on the spindle can be adjusted to center the steering wheel. You need to make one longer and the other shorter to keep from changing the toe-in. If the steering wheel is turned to the right as you're going straight, you need to make the right tie rod shorter and the left one longer.

The tie rod has a jam nut that locks it in place where it screws into the outer ball joint. You'll need to loosen that first. Hold the body of the ball joint with one wrench, and loosen the jam nut with the other. Don't let the ball joint move much while you're doing this.

There's a hex section in the middle of the tie- rod. Make a reference mark on one of the flats so you can count the turns. Hold the ball joint, and count the flats as you turn the rod. Then tighten the jam nut. Repeat on the other side, being sure to go the same number of flats in the opposite direction. One gets shorter, and the other gets longer.

Each full turn makes the tie rod about 0.050" (1.25mm) longer/shorter, if I recall correctly. It may take several turns if the steering wheel is off a lot. It's best to write down exactly what you do as you go along, so you can undo it later if you go the wrong way.

It may take several adjustments to get it perfect, since a little offset is required to account for the normal crown on most roads.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:50 PM
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Allright guys! I!ll try your tricks. If it doesn't work, I'll buy the Tein tie rods and SPL compression rod bushing.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:30 PM
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Wow. Thats a big step from just having an off center steering wheel. Unless you were planning on buying those parts before hand?

But im 99% sure its something to do with the tie rod. Check it out, its not too difficult, but it can be a pain in the *** to get the tie rod loose. Use some good lube and let it penetrate.

Follow winchmans instructions and you should be okay.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:55 PM
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Before going to my second alignment shop, I try the tie rod alignment method with two strings (http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/c...e/viewall.html) but didn't work that well. It was a little bit off center after couple of tries. So that's why I will try I will buy those parts and bring back to an other alignment shop.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:20 PM
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You shouldn't need any parts.

If the car is not pulling all you need is the tie rod adjustment as mentioned. Your toe setting is ok from the alignment shop. Your toe setting is adjusted by turning your tie rods but so is the centering of your steering wheel.

If you need to adjust your steering wheel as it sounds like, you need to adjust each tie rod an equal amount but in opposite directions. I.E turn the left tie rod counterclockwise and the right tierod clockwise. This will keep your toe setting the same but change the position of the steering wheel. If the steering wheel is not off by much you should only have to turn the tie rods maybe a half turn or less to make a noticeable change to the steering wheel position.

If your wheel is pointed to the left adjust the left tierod CCW, and the right CW.

But first I would take it back to the shop and tell them your issue. They can and should adjust this for it to be a complete and proper alignment.

Good luck.
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