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Hello everyone...I've been told by 5 local dealers that they can't align my '05. The steering wheel wasn't straight since I bought it in March. They've all been telling me that they can't get the alignment specs. My suggestion to all of them has been "call Australia, they obviously have them" but it's falling in deaf ears. Any thoughts?
 

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vmax said:
Hello everyone...I've been told by 5 local dealers that they can't align my '05. The steering wheel wasn't straight since I bought it in March. They've all been telling me that they can't get the alignment specs. My suggestion to all of them has been "call Australia, they obviously have them" but it's falling in deaf ears. Any thoughts?
That is ridiculous on so many levels. Correcting a non-centered steering wheel is a trivial fix that can be done in about ten minutes, even without a fancy alignment rig. If they don't have the 05 alignment specs, why didn't they call and get them? Why didn't they use the 04 specs, they can't be that much different in toe in?

I have been doing my own alignments for over a year now so I can set up my car specifically for the track I am going to. During this period I have learned that getting toe in correct is easy, getting it correct with the steering wheel centered is a little harder.

Toe is the angle between the tires and the car centerline when looking straight down at the tires. Toe in is analogous to pidgeon toed. To set toe, I use two toe plates that go against the outside edge of the tires and measure the distance between the front and the back of the plates (to each other). Most cars alignment specs have toe nearly zero (e.g. the two front tires are exactly parallel to each other). If I measure my front tires and find the front measurement is 1/16" farther apart than the rear, I have a slight amount of toe out I need to correct. To correct this, I loosen the tie rod lock nut on one side and screw the tie rod into the tie rod end slightly (about 1/3 turn in this case for my car) which shortens this tie rod, pulling the front edge of the tire in and reducing toe in. I then remeasure toe to see how close to zero I am. Assuming I got it right, the problem is that while the tires may be parallel to each other, they might not be pointed straight while the steering wheel is centered, as in your case.

While driving down the road, the front tires will "center" based on the angle of the front spindle which is tilted backwards, just like the front fork on a bicycle. If your steering wheel isn't straight, it is because the tires are centering themselves, but the steering wheel isn't centered in this condition.

Assuming your wheel is turned to the left while the car is going straight, I visualize turning the wheel to the center which will make the car turn right. To make the car go straight, I have to move both front wheels back to the left the same amount so the toe is the same, but so that they are now centered with the steering wheel.

Thus, after I set toe, I actually go drive my car around the block. I know from experience how much of an adjustment I need to make to the tie rods to move the steering wheel. In my example above, I have to shorten the RF tie rod (turning that tire to the left) and lengthen the LF tie rod (also turning that tire to the left). I then recheck toe to make sure it is correct and drive it again to check steering wheel position.

It almost took me longer to type this than actually do this.

The short story is that if I can do this in my garage with two plates and two tape measures, your dealer can fix this. :cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Subdriver said:
That is ridiculous on so many levels. Correcting a non-centered steering wheel is a trivial fix that can be done in about ten minutes, even without a fancy alignment rig. If they don't have the 05 alignment specs, why didn't they call and get them? Why didn't they use the 04 specs, they can't be that much different in toe in?

I have been doing my own alignments for over a year now so I can set up my car specifically for the track I am going to. During this period I have learned that getting toe in correct is easy, getting it correct with the steering wheel centered is a little harder.

Toe is the angle between the tires and the car centerline when looking straight down at the tires. Toe in is analogous to pidgeon toed. To set toe, I use two toe plates that go against the outside edge of the tires and measure the distance between the front and the back of the plates (to each other). Most cars alignment specs have toe nearly zero (e.g. the two front tires are exactly parallel to each other). If I measure my front tires and find the front measurement is 1/16" farther apart than the rear, I have a slight amount of toe out I need to correct. To correct this, I loosen the tie rod lock nut on one side and screw the tie rod into the tie rod end slightly (about 1/3 turn in this case for my car) which shortens this tie rod, pulling the front edge of the tire in and reducing toe in. I then remeasure toe to see how close to zero I am. Assuming I got it right, the problem is that while the tires may be parallel to each other, they might not be pointed straight while the steering wheel is centered, as in your case.

While driving down the road, the front tires will "center" based on the angle of the front spindle which is tilted backwards, just like the front fork on a bicycle. If your steering wheel isn't straight, it is because the tires are centering themselves, but the steering wheel isn't centered in this condition.

Assuming your wheel is turned to the left while the car is going straight, I visualize turning the wheel to the center which will make the car turn right. To make the car go straight, I have to move both front wheels back to the left the same amount so the toe is the same, but so that they are now centered with the steering wheel.

Thus, after I set toe, I actually go drive my car around the block. I know from experience how much of an adjustment I need to make to the tie rods to move the steering wheel. In my example above, I have to shorten the RF tie rod (turning that tire to the left) and lengthen the LF tie rod (also turning that tire to the left). I then recheck toe to make sure it is correct and drive it again to check steering wheel position.

It almost took me longer to type this than actually do this.

The short story is that if I can do this in my garage with two plates and two tape measures, your dealer can fix this. :cheers
I agree, I knew this wasn't difficult, but if no local dealer can fir it I'm kind of screwed. The dealer I bought it from kept the car for a day then told me they didn't have the specs. I asked them wy they didn't tell me that before I drove 30 miles to their dealership and wasted an entire day off waiting for my car. As I expected the dealer would be little help after the sale. not sure what my next move is but I'm tired of looking at a crooked steering wheel.
 

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I would call Pontiac customer service and report the dealership for:
- Not being able to align a car they sell
- Not telling you this before you brought the car in
- Not contacting Pontiac to get the specs for the car
:cheers
 

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GTODEALER said:
Go to another dealer...... that's crap!!! BTW, the steering wheel isn't keyed so they could take it off and rotate it however much is required..... :willy:
The steering wheel isn't fixed to the shaft? What holds it on? Or is it splined on the end? If it is splined, the splines might not match up to his alignment. Then again, they might if they took it off and moved it a notch or two. :cheers
 

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Subdriver said:
The steering wheel isn't fixed to the shaft? What holds it on? Or is it splined on the end? If it is splined, the splines might not match up to his alignment. Then again, they might if they took it off and moved it a notch or two. :cheers
It's splined, and I couldn't agree more... :cheers
 
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