Steering wheel askew

(Paul) #1

More of an annoyance, but the steering wheel is not ‘horizontal’ when the wheels are straight… I tried to get the steering boss off to get at the nut to re-centre the wheel, but am not having much luck. Unfortunately the service manual skips over this step…

Anyone have any experience in how best to tackle this?


(Robin O'Connor) #2

There should be two? Screws on the underside of the boss, with these removed it should just lift off, with tat removed loosen the nut, but do not remove completely, tension the wheel towards you and with a soft mallet give the nut a rap that should break the taper.

(Doug Schrantz) #3

Take it to an alignment shop for alignment and ask them to center the wheel as they do the job.

(John Quilter) #4

Going by my 1965 3.8S there are four pan head machine screws on the back side of the wheel spokes. Remove these and lift off the plastic cover for the spokes, the horn medallion button and spring under it. (I replace these with similar Phillips machine screws, much easier to work with than slotted ones) Then you will find three nylon nuts (which serve as electrical insulators) that hold the chrome horn ring in a spring loaded position on the wheel. Remove these nylon nuts and collect the springs under the horn ring. Note how far screwed in the nylon nuts are as these are part of the spring loaded horn ring horn activation function. Lift off the ring. Then you will find a plate with screws holding it to the wheel. Remove the screws and plate and the nuts that hold the wheel to the column will be exposed. There are two nuts, one a stamped metal lock nut and one an actual retaining nut. I believe they are different sizes. You will need two different sockets. Remove both, and the wheel should pull off the splined column. Collect the two collets that between the wheel and column if they do not stay in place. Reset the wheel on the proper spline. Having said this however, keep in mind any major change in position will throw off the turn signal canceling mechanism, If you remove the cowlings there is some adjustment of these possible. Reassembly is a reverse of the removal process but I add a dab of grease to the splines to ease any future removal. The other option is, as stated earlier, have an alignment shop set the toe in and in so doing set the wheel straight.

(tony) #5

you have a 420G

most alignment shops use the steering wheel centred & locked to set everything off

I had to personally show the Service Manager that on a 420G, as per the FSM, the steering is centralised with a (3/8" i think) drill bit locked in a special keyway in the steering box!!

everything is then setup from that point…this is critical

follow the FSM closely, measure the 495.3mm !

set the toe yourself, use long straight edges, 5m builders tape, and Stilson wrench

once that is done, (or if toe is ok upon initial measurement)

follow the FSM to remove steering wheel, its easy

set it upon the splines in the dead ahead position

(John Quilter) #6

That makes sense since with the Marles Variomatic steering box you would want the box itself in the middle of its travel otherwise the built in variation off center would differ on each side. Am I correct??

(tony) #7


note the FSM does not show it for a 420G,it shows a MKX, which shows a Churchill tool

tip for OP; for a 420G, go to MKX FSM Chapter 15 IPL4, supplement…that covers 420G

be 100% assured an alignment shop will not know jack sh!t about what I said

the keyway is underneath…even an experienced Jag mechanic did not know

(peder) #8

Tony is right on every point!
But you may find, along with myself, that when everything id correct, the steering wheel is at ”five to twelve, or five past twelve” (clock).)
The splines won´t let you get the wheel dead straight, 12.00 o´ click.
This is when you need to adjust the outer tie rods. Equal amount but in opposite direction, while keeping an eye on those critical 49mm
I need to do this on 2 cars.

(peder) #9

I meant 495mm. Sorry.

(Paul) #10

Thank you all again for the advice. Yes mine is a 420G and I did not look at the supplement.

My wheel is at 20 to 2, so quite askew. But it doesn’t pull in any particular direction when driving or braking so wheels may be aligned OK.

As I have just yesterday got the car driving properly (not cold starting quite yet), I will take it for a longer spin and see if the wheels are aligned. Then I shall take it to an alignment shop along with the service manual and see where we go from there.


(Paul Breen pay palled it) #11

I had to replace a tie tod end (as opposed to the big tie rod between the wheels) as the old one was flogged out. They come with both ends of the foot long rod adjustable. I did as Tony said with a straight edge and steel rule to align. Once satisfied with the toe-in I recentred the wheel (about 20 degrees out) by moving the tie rods at the wheel “flat by flat” on the adjusting nuts. Might only be two flats inwards on one side and two flats outwards on the other side. Not good for big errors as you affect the turning circle (left and right don’t match). Paul

(Paul Breen pay palled it) #12

I have a Mk2 without power steering.