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Old 03-31-2013, 08:49 PM   #1
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Crooked steering wheel

Just had my big beautiful Suncruiser aligned. Back when I drove it off the lot at purchase, We noticed the steering wheel needed to be held a bit off dead straight to keep the unit traveling correctly. When I had it aligned last week, I asked the front end guy to correct this condition. I was told that certain Ford chassis do not allow for steering wheel adjustment. He said it was keyed that way and tough tamales to me. I think he was full of beans, but I have no way to verify this. Is there a service manual I should have which would reference this? Has anyone else had this issue?
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:32 PM   #2
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Changing the position of the wheel on the steering shaft is not the only, or in many cases the preferred, way to center the wheel. I think that you need a new alignment man.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:46 PM   #3
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I agree with Ernieh
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:50 AM   #4
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You didn't say what year your coach is, or what chassis it's built on. If it's built on a Ford chassis you might be able to remove and straighten the wheel. For many years (I don't know if it applies to 2011 and newer models) the proper way to straighten the Ford F53 chassis steering wheel after alignment was to remove and recenter it.

The Ford chassis had only a single adjustment to set the toe in. It was very likely that the steering wheel would be off center once the toe in was set. The proper thing to do was recenter the wheel on the shaft.

Here's a link to the Ford service bulletin (No. Q-59) that covers removing and recentering the wheel:
https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas/non-html/Q59.PDF

It was originally written in 1998 but covers many years past that date. As I said earlier I don't know what year or chassis you motorhome is built on. It may not apply.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:15 PM   #5
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You need a new alignment technician. Following a correct alignment the steering wheel is centered. When an alignment is performed, especially when setting the toe angles the steering wheel is centered and locked. Lets look at it this way. The toe angle is set by adjusting a turnbuckle between the tie rods. There's one on each side. As the turnbuckle is adjusted it angles the wheel out or in. When the toe is set the wheel is centered and both wheels are set close to straight. If one wheel is set much different from the other wheel you have to move the steering wheel off center so the vehicle tracks straight and that's probably what happened. Taking the steering wheel off and moving it to correct a poor alignment is not correcting the problem. That may or may not make sense but that's what happens.

Find a new technician and insist that the first guy give you your money back because he does not know what he is doing and I would not trust him to correct it. Setting toe with a centered steering wheel is basic alignment.

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Old 04-11-2013, 09:49 AM   #6
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When I have my/our Motor worked on, I take it to the best TRUCK shop I can find.. OH don't worry about the cost. As your life bepends on the work Quality;; I have had friends take there coach To schabb some discount place then BITCH when they have a problem.. Life is good.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
You need a new alignment technician. Following a correct alignment the steering wheel is centered. When an alignment is performed, especially when setting the toe angles the steering wheel is centered and locked. Lets look at it this way. The toe angle is set by adjusting a turnbuckle between the tie rods. There's one on each side. As the turnbuckle is adjusted it angles the wheel out or in. When the toe is set the wheel is centered and both wheels are set close to straight. If one wheel is set much different from the other wheel you have to move the steering wheel off center so the vehicle tracks straight and that's probably what happened. Taking the steering wheel off and moving it to correct a poor alignment is not correcting the problem. That may or may not make sense but that's what happens.

Find a new technician and insist that the first guy give you your money back because he does not know what he is doing and I would not trust him to correct it. Setting toe with a centered steering wheel is basic alignment.

TeJay
The OP hasn't given us any information about the model year of his motorhome or chassis it's built on. About the only information we have is thaat it's a Suncruiser. If it's newer than 1999 it's gas powered on either a Ford or Workhorse chassis.

Your statement may be correct if it's built on the Workhorse chassis, but doesn't apply to all years of the Ford chassis. For many years Ford used a single tie rod to adjust toe in. One end had a left hand threaded link and the other had a right hand threaded link. The toe in for both tires was adjusted by turining a single tie rod. Turning the rod in one direction gave more positive toe while turning it in the opposite direction gave more negative toe.

With this system the only way to keep the steering wheel centered would be to set one wheel at the desired angle, lock it in a stationary position, disconnect the tie rod at the opposite wheel, make a guess as to how far to screw the link in or out. Then reconnect the tie rod and measure the toe in again. If your guess was incorrect you may need to repeat the process several times.

That's why Ford issued service bulletin (No. Q-59) that covers removing and recentering the steering wheel:
https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas/non-html/Q59.PDF

This bulletin provides the correct information for removing the steering wheel and recentering it.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:45 PM   #8
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First you have to determine if the steering wheel is centered relative to the steering gear. Turn the wheel as far as it will go to the left (or right). Mark the position of the wheel. Then turn it as far as it will go in the opposite direction, counting the total number of turns. Then turn it back 1/2 way. If the wheel is centered, then your problem is the alignment of the steering link and/or tie rod. If the wheel is not centered, the shaft can be disconnected from the steering gear and moved one or two splines to get it centered.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:20 PM   #9
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I had an alignment done on my Thor ACE, 2011 Ford F53. Afterwards, the wheel was off center by a lot. The tech said there was nothing that could be done, and he showed me that the wheel is attached to the column with a "keyed spline" which is not adjustable. However, when I pressed him, he admitted that the wheel angle can be adjusted at the BOTTOM of the steering column where it enters the steering box. The spline at that end is adjustable. It is a nasty job due to tight access and a need for two people, one underneath and one moving the wheel.
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