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Excursion - King of SUVs 2000 - 2005 Ford Excursion

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  #1  
Old 09-26-2008, 03:12 AM
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How To Center Steering Wheel (with pics)

I have done this on two friends Super-dutys now, besides my own.

A quick search on FTE shows a lot of confusion.

So for your enjoyment...

How to center your steering wheel.

You need a 15mm box wrench and a big set of channel locks.

Park somewhere safe and get setup like this:

Click the image to open in full size.

Looking from the drivers (left) side as in the picture you:

1. Loosen the two nuts.

2. Turn the adjustment collar.

Turn it CLOCKWISE to move the steering wheel to the LEFT.
Turn it COUNTER-CLOCKWISE to move the wheel to the RIGHT.

A half-turn of the collar moves the steering wheel about an inch.
Put a reference line on first with a sharpie.

3. Tighten the two nuts. (important!)

Drive and see how you like it, repeat as needed in finer iterations
until you are satisfied.

If the end of the bolts end up pointing up near the bottom radiator
hose, unscrew the nuts all the way off and drop the bolt in from the
top to avoid any possibility of chafing.

There you have it.

This procedure HAS NO effect on alignment, you do NOT take off the
steering wheel.

It takes longer to type it than do it...

john

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  #2  
Old 09-26-2008, 08:49 AM
cbradford cbradford is offline
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quietman, first of all good job, second I noticed in your sig. you installed a Rancho steering stabilizer and I wanted to replace my OEM with a Rancho and ordered one and was not correct so I called to try to get correct one and still got wrong one, so my question is what model# Rancho steering stabilizer did you install?
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:15 PM
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Excellent post! Rep points given!

Nice when folks posts pictures as well as step by step.
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsta View Post
Excellent post! Rep points given!

Nice when folks posts pictures as well as step by step.
Agreed.

Stewart
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:56 PM
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Great job, now I feel confident to adjust my steering wheel position just a tad back to center.

Rep given
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:05 PM
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So you cant just drive down the street and when your going straight pull the steering wheel off and put it back on straight?


On a more serious note, whats the name of that bar tahts being adjusted? Thats whats loose on my truck.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:41 PM
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The DRAG LINK (short rod) is connected to the pittman arm on steering box and INNER TIE ROD is the longer rod
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbradford View Post
The DRAG LINK (short rod) is connected to the pittman arm on steering box and INNER TIE ROD is the longer rod
So it's the adjustment collar on the drag link that adjusts the steering wheel. I just did the adjustment and found that 2 bolts that tighten the collar weren't all that tight, just a slight turn of the wrench and they were loose. When I started to move the collar (clock wise to turn the steering wheel to the left) the whole drag link rotated in both directions, it this normal? The front end seems pretty good as far as control, no shimmys or shaking, tires that I replaced were slightly cupped on the inside (had a alignment since putting on the new tires). When I got the steering wheel almost center after 3/4 of a turn it seemded to bind as if it wasn't going any further. I just braced myself and pushed it past the point of the original position it was in when it was straight, maybe an additional 1/4 turn. It is centered now but I'm just wondering about the play in the drag link, is it normal or should I be looking to replaced the tie rod ends? They have been replaced at one time or another because they are greasable and I only have 60K miles on it.

I also tightened up the collar bolts on the inner tie rod, they were slightly tightened also (not real loose but not tight).

quietman - Thanks for you info and you were right it took less time to do it than write this post.
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  #9  
Old 09-28-2008, 10:02 AM
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Great post - this needs to be added to the Tech Folder
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  #10  
Old 09-28-2008, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sddesigns View Post
So it's the adjustment collar on the drag link that adjusts the steering wheel. I just did the adjustment and found that 2 bolts that tighten the collar weren't all that tight, just a slight turn of the wrench and they were loose. When I started to move the collar (clock wise to turn the steering wheel to the left) the whole drag link rotated in both directions, it this normal? The front end seems pretty good as far as control, no shimmys or shaking, tires that I replaced were slightly cupped on the inside (had a alignment since putting on the new tires). When I got the steering wheel almost center after 3/4 of a turn it seemded to bind as if it wasn't going any further. I just braced myself and pushed it past the point of the original position it was in when it was straight, maybe an additional 1/4 turn. It is centered now but I'm just wondering about the play in the drag link, is it normal or should I be looking to replaced the tie rod ends? They have been replaced at one time or another because they are greasable and I only have 60K miles on it.

I also tightened up the collar bolts on the inner tie rod, they were slightly tightened also (not real loose but not tight).

quietman - Thanks for you info and you were right it took less time to do it than write this post.

I guess I should have asked the question outside the response. Does anybody know if the movement of the tie rod is normal? It turns in both directions when I turned the collar about 1/8 of the way.
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  #11  
Old 09-29-2008, 09:15 AM
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Sddesigns, it should rotate. If it didn't, then you would have a heckuva time turning the steering wheel. This allows it to turn and move up and down as the suspension goes through it's travels....
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:31 AM
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Nice write up. Seems simple enough.
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Cardiac69 View Post
Sddesigns, it should rotate. If it didn't, then you would have a heckuva time turning the steering wheel. This allows it to turn and move up and down as the suspension goes through it's travels....
That makes sense, thank you for clearing that up for me.
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Cardiac69 View Post
Sddesigns, it should rotate. If it didn't, then you would have a heckuva time turning the steering wheel. This allows it to turn and move up and down as the suspension goes through it's travels....
Sorry double post
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:51 PM
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very helpful post...
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