[xj-s] 1995 steering wheel off center could this have caused?

In reply to a message from Dave 95XJS sent Wed 23 Jan 2008:

Dave,

100,000 miles on these cars is not that bad for wearing out things
in the front end unless someone didn’t maintain it well.

Unless something is loose, like your rack and pinion bushes, ball
joints, tie rod ends, etc, it is easy to center the wheel a wee
bit. Simply loosen both the tie rod ajustments and turn each one
the same amount until the wheel is where you want it.

Give this some thought before doing it. OTW you will screw up the
toe-in.
IE: One end screws in while the other screws out of the threaded
portion of the tie rod ends. A quarter turn will probably do it.

I doubt if the repairs did it unless you have ‘‘one of those’’
mechanics.

Noel–
The original message included these comments:

I have owned my 95 xjs convert ( 106K miles) a little over one
should; just not centered. So, my question is: did rotating the
tires, replacing front shocks, and now new steering wheel cause it
to be off center; I really do think it was straight when I bought
the 1995 is there some adjustments possible in the steering column?


'92 XJS Conv, '88 XJS Coupe, '1914 &1915 Ford T’s (Forguars)
Edmond, OK, United States
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In reply to a message from Dave 95XJS sent Wed 23 Jan 2008:

I’m slightly confused by what you describe. DO you mean the
wheel is not centered in the dash or the wheel is not level
to the dash? If the wheel is not centered then there is only
a very small amount of play in the two positioning bolts. If
it is not level to the dash there is only one nut that holds
the wheel to the column but with a splined shaft that allows
it to be adjusted as far as angle to the dash. It doesn’t
sound as though there is any reason to adjust your tie rod
ends since you say your car drives straight.–
The original message included these comments:

year; as best I remember the steering wheel was straight centered
when I bought it; a couple months later I had all 4 wheels rotated
it seemed slightly off center; higher on the right. Last month I


equiprx
Pacifica, CA, United States
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In reply to a message from equiprx sent Wed 23 Jan 2008:

thanks for the replies; to explain further I would compare it by
saying it’s like the hands on a clock: presently, the right hand
side is at about 2 o’clock and the left hand side at about 8
o’clock when driving and car is driving straight. The wheel
centered straight would be right hand side at 3 o’clock and the
left hand side would be at 9 o’clock. When the tires were rotated
and new shocks installed, the jag tech inspected the suspension and
said all looked to be fine; and it has always driven fine front end
wise; and the car doesn’t pull to either side or drift either in
town or on highway so to me that indicates the alignment appears to
be okay. When the steering wheel was changed out last month; the
tech. ( a body shop I trust ) who changed them said there wasn’t
any other adjustment manner he could see when he changed the wheels
out.

Any further thoughts or advice greatly appreciated; if an alignment
would fix this as advertised by the makers of the Hunter Road force
balancer claim, then that’s what I will do; I just don’t want to
mess up it’s straight driving track as it has at present.

thanks.–
The original message included these comments:

I’m slightly confused by what you describe. DO you mean the
wheel is not centered in the dash or the wheel is not level
to the dash? If the wheel is not centered then there is only
a very small amount of play in the two positioning bolts. If
it is not level to the dash there is only one nut that holds
the wheel to the column but with a splined shaft that allows
it to be adjusted as far as angle to the dash. It doesn’t
sound as though there is any reason to adjust your tie rod
ends since you say your car drives straight.


Dave H.
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In reply to a message from Dave 95XJS sent Wed 23 Jan 2008:

Dave,
It sounds as though there is nothing wrong with your
alignment so don’t mess with it until you see uneven ware on
the tires.
You need to tell the tech that installed the steering wheel
that there IS an adjustment. They need to make sure the
tires are straight ahead, remove the wheel and rotate it
until it’s straight. There are about thirty splines in the
steering column and they got it wrong.–
equiprx
Pacifica, CA, United States
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Dave 95XJS wrote:

to explain further I would compare it by
saying it’s like the hands on a clock: presently, the right hand side
is at about 2 o’clock and the left hand side at about 8 o’clock when
driving and car is driving straight.

Get under the car and remove the zerk fitting from the bottom of the
steering rack. Insert a pin while someone turns the steering wheel
back and forth. When the pin drops into a notch and locks the
steering in place, the rack is centered. Now look at the steering
wheel; if it’s not centered properly, take it off and reinstall it so
it is.

Now, after you do that, if driving the car in a straight line
requires turning the wheel to some non-centered position, then you
need to adjust the tie rod ends. You can shorten one and lengthen
the other by exactly the same number of turns and it won’t affect
your toe-in adjustment, if you’re willing to presume it was right to
begin with. Of course, all these things being messed up imply that
someone has been in there who didn’t know what he was doing, so
presuming the alignment is right is unwarranted.

– Kirbert

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In reply to a message from Kirbert sent Wed 23 Jan 2008:

Sounds like someone decided the toe-in was in need of adjustment.

So you did probably get ‘‘one of those’’ merchanics along the line.

Anyone that states that a steering wheel has no adjustment for
centering means you must leave that shop, now! They don’t
understand. This is not a Jag only adjustment, It applies to my
1914 FORD MODEL T!!

This position error is so small I would try a small amount of
adjustment, say 1/8 to 1/4 turn on each tie rod end. This fine tune
would probably be needed even with the Jaguar proceedure Kirbert
mentioned.

Noel–
The original message included these comments:

is at about 2 o’clock and the left hand side at about 8 o’clock when
need to adjust the tie rod ends. You can shorten one and lengthen
the other by exactly the same number of turns and it won’t affect
your toe-in adjustment, if you’re willing to presume it was right to
begin with. Of course, all these things being messed up imply that
someone has been in there who didn’t know what he was doing, so
presuming the alignment is right is unwarranted.


'92 XJS Conv, '88 XJS, 68 XKE, 1914 &'15 Ford Model T’s
Edmond, OK, United States
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In reply to a message from Jags+30jugs sent Sat 26 Jan 2008:

Hey Dave,

I have a similar problem on my 1987 XJS. After getting the
suspension completely redone, my steering wheel seems off-center,
even though the mechanic took off the steering wheel and lined it
up with the ‘‘center.’’

I can tell it’s actually off-center because my turn signals cancel
unevenly now. The left turn signal won’t cancel and the right
cancels too early.

Do you also have uneven turn signal canceling?–
Neil- 1987 Jaguar XJS
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In reply to a message from Neil24 sent Tue 29 Jan 2008:

Your steering rack and tie rods have to be centered before
you can adjust the steering wheel.
The steering wheel centering is the last thing to do when
replacing the steering items.

You have to center the inner rack to the housing, after that
you roughly adjust each outer tie rod for equal length, this
will get you fairly close to center.

                                   Walter--

The original message included these comments:

I have a similar problem on my 1987 XJS. After getting the
suspension completely redone, my steering wheel seems off-center,
even though the mechanic took off the steering wheel and lined it
up with the ‘‘center.’’


Walter Schuster 78XJ6L FI Ser.II, 69E Ser.II 2+2original
Albuquerque/New Mexico, United States
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Hi Neil,

Trying to center the wheel by removing the steering wheel from the
splines of the upper column and positioning it a straight ahead
position when the road wheels are straight does align the steering
wheel, but it does NOT align the upper column to the proper straight
ahead position. Since the turn signal cancelling mechanism is on the
upper column and not the steering wheel, the upper column must be
properly aligned so the signals cancel in the same position turning to
either side.

One problem that makes alignment of the steering wheel, steering column
and front wheels a bit of a test is that apparently there is no
universally defined and accepted positioning of the rack pinion shaft
with the centralized rack, or the failure of rack rebuilders to
understand or assemble to such a standard. The lower steering shaft
can only be assembled to the splined pinion shaft of the steering rack
in one position, due to the flat into which the clamping bolt must pass.

So if the replacement rack has the pinion shaft flat in one position
relative to the centered rack, and the original rack had the pinion
shaft flat in a different relative position, your steering wheel is
going to be off-center, because the entire steering column is now
rotated clockwise or counterclockwise from its original position, and
merely moving the steering wheel on the column doesn’t change that, and
now your turn signal cancelling mechanism doesn’t work right due to the
rotation of the column.

The only way to return the upper steering column to its original
position to fix the indicator cancelling is to separate the joint
between the upper & lower steering columns and center the upper column
(when the rack & front wheels are centered/straight ahead). THEN
reposition the steering wheel on the splines of the upper column in a
straight-ahead position.

It is also possible that the rack is not centered, and/or the outer tie
rod ends are uneven in their position on the tie rods, and those items
need to be checked as well. Once somebody who either didn’t understand
all the variables, or was in a hurry, has screwed it up, it may take
some detail-oriented work from the rack up to put it back so that
everything is correct.

George Balthrop, Clifton, VA USA
85 & 89 XJ-S Coupes; 89 XJ40 VDP-----Original Message-----
From: Neil24 skgupta24@hotmail.com

I have a similar problem on my 1987 XJS. After getting the
suspension completely redone, my steering wheel seems off-center,
even though the mechanic took off the steering wheel and lined it
up with the ‘‘center.’’

I can tell it’s actually off-center because my turn signals cancel
unevenly now. The left turn signal won’t cancel and the right
cancels too early.


More new features than ever. Check out the new AOL Mail ! -
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In reply to a message from Walter Sch sent Wed 30 Jan 2008:

Here’s my suggestion from the hip if the rack and pinion have NOT
been removed:

1 Center the steering using the directional signals.
2 Center the steering wheel, if possible or necessary.
3 Adjust the tie rod ends, equal and opposite, until your Jag goes
straight down the uncrowned road.

If R&P were removed, use the book’s instructions as Kirbert has
stated, Ya know, about a pin through the zerk. This is a really
important and necessary step if the R&P have been replaced.
Then follow the above steps 1-3.

Disclaimer: Everbody and everything comes with one of these!

–The above assumes the PS bushes are good.
–That the R&P were not replaced, although the steps should work in
even this case.
–The steering assembly from the steering wheel to the R&P has not
been adjusted in any manner.

Noel

This is about as simple as it can get, guys!
{Is there really a steering wheel adjustment??
Or Just a spline or ???}

++OK guys, after reading some more of the responses, consider this!
==We can all get our Jags to go down the street straight. This is
no challenge if the car is properly aligned. If it won’t, get an
alignment!
==The wheel may be not be centered, but we are now going straight.
==At this point, if the wheel is not centered the chances are the
directional signals are not centered, either!

Excercise #1
Turn the wheel 90 degrees and adjust the tie rods equally and
opposite until the car runs straight, and it will.

But the turn signals are now really unhappy, right?
In an undamaged and unmodified or unaltered steering column, the
direction signals are the centering reference!!

Some are bound to disagree.
The above is technically, per the book, a loose interpretation. But
from a practical sense, it works.

**What this indicates is that we need to START at the steering
**wheel, center the direction indicators, and work downward.

Regards,
Noel–
The original message included these comments:

Your steering rack and tie rods have to be centered before
you can adjust the steering wheel.
The steering wheel centering is the last thing to do when
replacing the steering items.


'92 XJS Conv, '88 XJS, 68 XKE, 1914 &'15 Ford Model T’s
Edmond, OK, United States
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In reply to a message from equiprx sent Wed 23 Jan 2008:

Success today! Followed Steve’s advice and had shop re install
steering wheel; now straight across as it should be and works
great. Problem was indeed that the shop failed first time to make
sure wheels were all straight ahead and they installed in wrong
splines; today they carefully lined up the wheels, and the steering
wheel to the splines, and bingo; it’s done. Shop guys are good
honest guys; they were just embarrassed at their failure to get it
done first time when it was as simple as Steve, and others,
suggested on this forum.

I truly thank all who replied with suggestions on my post; and,
yes, I re-verified the alignment is true and good… Now I can see
all the dash guages again; hooray!

thanks again,
Dave 1995 xjs convert.
Mooresville, NC–
The original message included these comments:

Dave,
It sounds as though there is nothing wrong with your
alignment so don’t mess with it until you see uneven ware on
the tires.
You need to tell the tech that installed the steering wheel
that there IS an adjustment. They need to make sure the
tires are straight ahead, remove the wheel and rotate it
until it’s straight. There are about thirty splines in the
steering column and they got it wrong.

equiprx


Dave H.
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In reply to a message from gbalthropxjs@aol.com sent Wed 30 Jan 2008:

Thanks Noel, George, & Walter (& Dave too),

I guess that means I need to take my car back to the
suspension shop to get everything straightened out…literally.–
Neil- 1987 Jaguar XJS
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