AO Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: The land that Time forgot
Re: wheel alignment query
Imagine the steering as a single rod, connecting both wheels, rather than the two separate rods.
When you move it left it pushes the back of the left wheel out so the car steers right. When you move it right it pushes out the back of the right wheel and it makes the car go left. When it's dead centre, the car goes straight.
To make the tracking adjustable, this imaginary single rod is adjustable for length at each end (the track rod ends).
Obviously when you put the track rod(s) on the car you have to adjust each end the same amount, so the wheels stay straight each side and parallel, while the steering wheel doesn't move.
If you turn the steering wheel off centre and then adjust each track rod so that the wheels are straight, each one will be adjusted by a different amount. The most important task is to get the wheels straight but secondly, it should be done with each track rod adjusted the same amount (give or take tolerances), so that the steering wheel is centred.
Normally the wheel is centred before the work starts but if the dude is careless (leaves the wheel fractionally turned) or moves the wheels as he's getting his equipment in place (which moves the steering wheel) you end up with the steering wheel off centre after the adjustment.
Hope that makes sense.
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