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GTV6 Steering Alignment

1101 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  dsb_dsb

With the help of a friend (who used to be an Alfa mechanic a number of years ago), I attempted to lower the front suspension on my GTV6 a bit a couple weekends ago. Long story short, we were unable to get things apart, other than 1 ball joint separated from the lower arm on the right side.

Anyway, I put it all back together about a week ago and when I drove it, I noticed the steering wheel was off, as far as its usual position while driving in a straight line. I finally got time to pull the front wheels off today and look at everything and it all seems fine. But, for some reason the spokes on the wheel are off about 90 degrees from before. No tie rods came off, etc. and it feels solid to drive, but I'm perplexed and concerned as to what happened. Any ideas?

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You didn't have the tie rod ends disconnected? I would guess somehow the rack moved without the uprights moving. Without the tie rod ends or the steering shaft being disconnected, I can't imagine how the steering wheel would move.
It's an easy fix, either disconnect the outer tie rod ens and reset, or (if you are having NO problems other than the steering wheel position), pull the steering wheel and re-set it. In the days before air bags, the latter method was very common.
I found the problem. I talked to a local mechanic and he thought that maybe the pinch bolts were loose, and he was right.

Here is the whole story. When I first took the U-joint off the shaft that goes to the steering rack, I undid the pinch bolt nut on the lower side. It was quite loose, but when I took it off I saw there was a flat spot on the shaft for the bolt to rest against, theoretically capturing the U-joint so it wouldn't turn as long as the bolt was present. The shaft on the steering rack had a castle nut on it with the cotter pin still present, so that hadn't turned independent of the steering wheel. Stumped, I put it all back together. Logically, one would assume all the shafts were the same, etc., so I was really confused.

I let the car sit for a few days but went out today and took the whole thing apart again and took the U-joint off of the steering column side too. Well, the shafts are different diameters, and there is no flat spot on the steering column side, just a continuous collar. Playing with the bolts and the U-joint, I saw that bolt on the rack side didn't really come down far enough to capture the flat spot in the shaft, so it could turn and in my unscientific fiddling saw that it would turn even with the bolt through it. So, that's it. My turning of the steering wheel on the ground at the steering lock let the U-joint twist on the shaft. It was a strong enough grip for just driving (eek!) around, but not for my mega-buff arms turning the steering wheel while stationary when I hit the stops on the rack...

Forgive me for going on a bit about this, but I'm explaining this in detail because it really is a safety issue. Anyone with a GTV-6 (or Milano I would imagine) might want to make sure the hardware holding the U-joint on the shafts is tight. Like I said, one side of mine came apart much more easily that I would have thought, and there isn't really anything else holding the U-joint in place. The shafts have splines as well, but it seems the splines aren't big enough to really stop anything from turning that shouldn't.
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Man, that's sorta, no, very scary...:eek: Think I'll be giving mine a look...
I posted earlier before I put it all back together. Having now done so, I wasn't quite right about the flat spot not mattering. Not sure what I was smoking before, but I think it can just allow some rotation on the shaft if loose, not complete revolutions. But still something you don't want to happen on the road...

And like I said, one of the nuts was loose. Quite scary, indeed.

Do you have a any picture taken, I still can't figure out which U joint you are talking about. is it the "ball joint".

Sounds like the u-joint on the steering column.
Yes, I am referring to the U-joint on the steering column. I was going to take pictures, but the batteries in the camera were dead and had none that were charged up, etc., etc. My glass is always half empty...
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