Steering wheel alignment GT jnr original steering wheel. - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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Steering wheel alignment GT jnr original steering wheel.

My mechanic has recently fitted new shocks/ springs/rubbers/bushes/idler box/track rod ends front and rear etc..... and yes he has many years of experience on classic cars but not Alfa specific.
The issue now is that the steering wheel is off kilter. He has adjusted the set up as per the workshop manual with measurements spot on but cannot get the steering wheel close to centred.... not enough adjustment in the track rods to get it centred either.
Also the original 2 spoke steering wheel, are the spokes facing down meaning smaller half of the steering is at the bottom allowing for more leg room (which intuitively sounds right ) or are they facing up.... pictures on the web show both ?

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Late 67 Step front GT1300 Jr
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 10:32 AM
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Was it centered before he worked on the car? How many degrees is the wheel out? I think spokes facing up, check your owners' handbook, the 2 spoke wheel in the Jr. booklet shows them both a few degrees above horizontal. Was there shimming of the idler arm on the body? What were the measurements of the 3 rods?

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/alfa-romeo-club-canada-toronto-chapter/149533-alfa-parts-garage-sale.html

Last edited by brad fischer; 09-16-2019 at 12:43 PM.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 11:20 AM
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It's very important to do the toe alignment exactly per the steps in the manual, but sounds like he's done that.

How far off is it? I got sick of shops messing up the procedure, so I do my own toe alignments at home now. Pretty much every time I've done it the steering has not been perfectly straight after the first go. What I do:

1) Align toe per factory procedure
2) Road test. Typically steering wheel will be slightly off
3) Shorten one outer rod and lengthen the other one by the same amount, and in the direction to straighten the steering. This won't change the toe but will adjust the steering angle
4) Road test, repeat (3) until you get it right
5) Verify toe (provided you adjusted both rods by the same amount it should not have changed)

Typically it'll only take like 1/8 to 1/4 turn of the two rods to dial it in. If it's off more than that it's likely something got messed up with the original toe procedure, or your frame is tweaked or something.

Also I don't have a Jr, but the photos I see online seem to show the spokes up? You may want to verify that?
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Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
1991 Spider
Former: 1987 Milano Gold
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for coming back, he followed the manual as instructed and within the measurements specified. Id say the spokes are probably somewhere between 5 past 7 and 10 past 8.

Late 67 Step front GT1300 Jr
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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So measurements he used form the manual:
Centre steering tie bar 21.25in
N/S Steering tie bar 10.75in
O/S Steering tie bar 10.75in

Late 67 Step front GT1300 Jr
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 12:01 PM
But Mad North-Northwest
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Wait, those are just the nominal measurements, and there’s a range for each. You can’t just set to those values, there’s a whole toe alignment procedure you need to follow, and the final values will not be exactly equal to those numbers.

Is he following the full toe alignment procedure in the manual?

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
1991 Spider
Former: 1987 Milano Gold
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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The steering wheel was centred before the work was done.......but there was a lot of play in the steering.

He told me he used the procedure in the manual....but maybe not as the measurements are the same for both lhs and rhs rods.

So the procedure should be as follows ?

For LHD namely (Asymmetriclal it seems ?)
Toe-in 0.6in on the left wheel
Measuring the lefthand side track rod then adjust it 5mm shorter for the right hand side.
Adjust the centre rod to Toe in the right wheel to 0.6in

Rods should fall between the following measurements:
LH rod (Longer rod) 10.4-11in (264-280mm)
RH rod (Shorter rod) 10.2-10.8in (259-
270mm)
Center rod., 20.9-21.7in (530-550mm)

Late 67 Step front GT1300 Jr
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 12:58 PM
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The photo Gubi provided is the same as in the GT Jr. owners handbook for steering wheel orientation. I disagree with his toe in fine-tuning. GT Jr 1967 and older, both outer rods are supposed to be the identical length. (at 272mm +or- 8mm) I have found all the Alfas I have measured end up at about the mean length of 272mm. Set steering box side rod to 1mm toe in, adjust off side rod to the same length, adjust the center rod to achieve 2mm toe-in.
Robin, your RHS rod is too short, I bet it should be at about 272mm. Lengthening that rod will start to center the steering wheel. The RHS specs you quote are incorrect.

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/alfa-romeo-club-canada-toronto-chapter/149533-alfa-parts-garage-sale.html

Last edited by brad fischer; 09-16-2019 at 01:04 PM.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 01:09 PM
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Yes, that's correct procedure. For LHD cars right side should be 5mm shorter than left.

You have to do the procedure in the order as stated. Also important to physically lock the wheel straight ahead before starting.

When you're done and road test it'll likely be slightly off (center top of wheel somewhere between 11 and 1 o'clock) but you can correct that out with a minor adjustment after the road test.

Steering play has nothing to do with alignment and is typically (a) play in one or more tie rod ends, (b) play in the idler arm bearings, or (c) play in the steering box. The idler arm boxes on these cars are very typically worn, and even a small amount of play there will translate to steering play.

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
1991 Spider
Former: 1987 Milano Gold
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 01:16 PM
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Gubi I object to line 3 in post 3. The random shortening of one rod and lengthening the other.
I just found in a GT Jr. owners book for 66, 67, 68 that outer rods should be 280 +or- 8mm and the same on both sides. In my post #8 I quoted the 105 Alfa Alignment Manual.

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/alfa-romeo-club-canada-toronto-chapter/149533-alfa-parts-garage-sale.html

Last edited by brad fischer; 09-16-2019 at 01:32 PM. Reason: add info
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 01:29 PM
But Mad North-Northwest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad fischer View Post
Gubi I object to line 3 in post 3. The random shortening of one rod and lengthening the other.
Objection overruled, counsel.

It's not at all random: you're doing a final adjustment to center the wheel based on a test drive. You're not going to get the steering straight to within 1/8 turn when you do the alignment, and being off by even that little will cause a noticeable offset in the steering center. The final tweak is a small enough change that it doesn't significantly affect overall alignment, and so long as you move both rods the same amount (one in and one out) then it will not affect the toe.

Centering the wheel based on a drive is the final step in a proper alignment. You don't have to do it, but if you don't then you need to live with your wheel being off-center.

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
1991 Spider
Former: 1987 Milano Gold
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 01:36 PM
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Gubi, If on a LHD 105 your wheel is say 15 degrees to the left when driving straight. You need to shorten both outer rods by say a half a turn and lengthen the center by double that at one full turn. Then you maintain equal outer rod lengths, and centralize the steering wheel.

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/alfa-romeo-club-canada-toronto-chapter/149533-alfa-parts-garage-sale.html

Last edited by brad fischer; 09-16-2019 at 01:42 PM.
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 02:20 PM
But Mad North-Northwest
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I don't believe that works. Look at the arm on the steering box or idler box: the distance from the pivot point to where the outer rod attaches is different than the distance to where the center rod attaches. It is not 1:1 in terms of adjustment length between the center rod and outer rods. You do it they way you proposed you're going to mess up the toe, and then you just undid all your work.

Do it the way I suggested. It is a very small adjustment to each outer arm and does not significantly affect the alignment. Should take 1/4 turn or less.

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
1991 Spider
Former: 1987 Milano Gold
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 02:35 PM
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I am not saying literally for 15-degree steering wheel misalignment shorten outer rods by half turn and lengthen center by one turn, these are rough guidelines.
I always road test after an adjustment to check centering and remeasure the toe as well. The point is if you want the outer rods to be equal length, then you can't lengthen one and shorten the other. If you need both outer rods to be 272mm they should be that, not 271mm and 273mm.

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/alfa-romeo-club-canada-toronto-chapter/149533-alfa-parts-garage-sale.html
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 02:50 PM
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Whatever works for you, I guess. But what do you do? You do the whole alignment for toe, test drive, adjust the rods to try to center the steering, then redo toe again? Then test drive and repeat if you don't get the steering perfectly straight the first time? Better you than me.

Personally I'm not worried if the rods are off by a mm or two: that's not going to mess things up to any significant extent, and my way is both effective and a lot easier. This is a 1960s steering system here: we're not building the space shuttle. It really just takes a very small rotation to fix the steering angle and then you're good to go.

For the record, last "professional" who aligned my car had the right side 20mm shorter than the left, which is why I started doing it myself. I didn't know for quite a long time: the car was perfectly drivable and I didn't have any odd tire wear, but it's definitely better with things done properly. So really, I'm not at all worried about a couple mm given that it can be waaaay out and even then only noticeable if you're really paying attention.

Tom

1963 Giulia Spider (1750 engine)
1974 GTV
1991 Spider
Former: 1987 Milano Gold
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