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Old 09-27-2015, 06:18 PM   #1
Depravity
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Unhappy Steering Wheel Alignment Post-Removal

Hey everyone,

Long story short; I removed my steering wheel a while back, but I didn't mark or take a picture of the orientation of the wheel in relation to the shaft. I did my best to line it up as best as I could with the two 'notched indicators for top dead center', but the steering still seemed off. Frustrated, I ended up taking it in for an alignment. The alignment seemed to have ultimately fixed the issue for the time being.

Fast forward to now, I had to get another alignment recently and now my steering is off again ever so slightly. I know the alignment is correct because the car goes straight and everything is within the proper spec, but I can't help but wonder if my steering wheel is not in the correct factory position. When I position the steering wheel completely straight while driving, the car doesn't go straight. It's off by just a little hair (sorta angled to the left while going straight on a flat surface). Initially I figured it was a bad alignment, so I went back and told them the steering wheel was off. I took 3 trips up there and I won't be going back for a 4th, I just want to resolve this issue the correct way and it seems the alignment is fine. During the last alignment, they turned the vehicle on and kept the steering wheel straight during the alignment.

I don't know, maybe I'm way too OCD for this but it's driving me crazy. I just want the steering wheel completely straight while going straight on a flat surface

TL;DR - Is this the correct steering wheel alignment, just matching the two spline notch marks? Or could someone take a picture of the correct/factory placement for me please? I don't mind PayPal'ing someone who has never removed their steering wheel a small amount to go take a picture of this for me.


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Old 09-27-2015, 06:21 PM   #2
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I found this picture on the forums from a DIY guide (which I'm assuming is from pre-removal; hence the pencil markings), it appears the two 'notched indicators for top dead center' are not completely lined up with one another. I have no idea if this is how my steering wheel was positioned from the factory, maybe someone could chime in on this?

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Old 09-27-2015, 07:05 PM   #3
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Mine doesnt line up either. If you want, i can check my girls nearly stock 350z tomorrow to see if its the same.
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Old 09-27-2015, 10:11 PM   #4
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Mine doesnt line up either. If you want, i can check my girls nearly stock 350z tomorrow to see if its the same.
Yeah that would be awesome, please post up pictures!
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Old 09-28-2015, 12:19 PM   #5
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I'm going to try moving it one spline to the right and see if that fixes the problem, if not I'll take it for a new alignment on the new spline position
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:06 PM   #6
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You can have a geometrically correct alignment with the steering wheel off center. Just a bad alignment tech. No need to adjust your wheel.
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:43 PM   #7
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Not really. the steering rack should be centered properly before an alignment. If the steering wheel is not centered, you can do it then, as well as a proper alignment. If the rack is not centered prior to wheel alignment, the Ackerman geometry will be off:

http://quaxio.com/steering/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ackerm...ering_geometry
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:44 PM   #8
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Yeah I'd say it's the alignment
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Old 09-28-2015, 02:05 PM   #9
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Do you guys think I should just match the 'top dead center notch marks' with one another AND THEN get an alignment? AKA, keep it the way it is and get another alignment from a different shop.

OR

Move the steering wheel one spline to the right, see how it feels. If it's not fixed, then get a re-alignment in the new spline position? In this new spline position, the 'top dead center notch marks' are not going to be lined up perfectly with one another. But I think that's how it came from the factory..that's why I was hoping someone could post up a picture to verify this.

edit ** - I guess I'm just worried that my steering wheel is not in the correct position, that's why I'm worried about getting another alignment before sorting out the main issue first

Last edited by Depravity; 09-28-2015 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Depravity View Post
Do you guys think I should just match the 'top dead center notch marks' with one another AND THEN get an alignment? AKA, keep it the way it is and get another alignment from a different shop.

OR

Move the steering wheel one spline to the right, see how it feels. If it's not fixed, then get a re-alignment in the new spline position? In this new spline position, the 'top dead center notch marks' are not going to be lined up perfectly with one another. But I think that's how it came from the factory..that's why I was hoping someone could post up a picture to verify this.

edit ** - I guess I'm just worried that my steering wheel is not in the correct position, that's why I'm worried about getting another alignment before sorting out the main issue first
The recommendation would be to match the position marks and take the car in for another alignment.

Your steering wheel looks right in the picture, similar to mine. The marks did not match up exactly and moving the wheel one notch of to eater side just looked worse.

If you want to double check that is fine but don't move it away from top dead center to correct the alignment, just get the previous shop to fix there mistake.
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Old 09-30-2015, 08:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
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The recommendation would be to match the position marks and take the car in for another alignment.

Your steering wheel looks right in the picture, similar to mine. The marks did not match up exactly and moving the wheel one notch of to eater side just looked worse.

If you want to double check that is fine but don't move it away from top dead center to correct the alignment, just get the previous shop to fix there mistake.
I'll keep the notch marks lined up (as best they can, like you said they don't match up 100% perfectly) and take the car in again. Fingers crossed, I'll keep you guys posted!

Hoping this works, lol
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Old 09-30-2015, 01:26 PM   #12
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I have the same problem, steering wheel is cocked slightly to the left and it's driving me crazy, even after getting car aligned its still like that.
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Old 09-30-2015, 01:33 PM   #13
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I have the same problem, steering wheel is cocked slightly to the left and it's driving me crazy, even after getting car aligned its still like that.
Yeah it's really annoying. Have you ever removed your steering wheel?
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Old 10-01-2015, 06:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Yeah it's really annoying. Have you ever removed your steering wheel?
Never removed steering wheel. This seems to be a problem with the alignment shop not centering steering wheel. Thinking of going to Nissan for an alignment.
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Old 10-01-2015, 05:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Never removed steering wheel. This seems to be a problem with the alignment shop not centering steering wheel. Thinking of going to Nissan for an alignment.
In that case, it's definitely the alignment! I really don't like taking my car to Firestone but I have the lifetime alignment through them so it's a pretty good bang-for-buck deal. They have a drive-on alignment rack & those clips that go on your tires instead of your actual wheel (good for protecting my bumper and volk wheels). Not quite sure I trust them seeing as how the 'master tech' was the last person to give me an alignment and it's still off. That's why I made this thread though, maybe it's my fault because of the steering wheel position.

I don't know anymore.
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