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Steering Slightly Off??

  • Green
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24 Jul 2012 15:42 #44805 by Green
Steering Slightly Off?? was created by Green
To All,

I have had this problem with my 51 plate Jimny for several months now. The steering wheel is slightly off to the right. I.E. for me to drive straight the steering wheel is at a 2 o'clock (ish) angle. There isn't any play in the steering wheel or lost motion when I move the wheel.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

AG

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24 Jul 2012 16:46 #44814 by kirkynut
Replied by kirkynut on topic Steering Slightly Off??
How long has it been like this???

If it's been like it since you've has the car, a previous owner has probably had new track rod ends put on and the steering wheel was not centre when they did the tracking. Or have you had new ones put on???

If it's gone like it whilst you've owned it, you may have bent a steering arm. I've not known or a Suzuki steering arm the bent before though.

Kirkynut

The underdog often starts the fight, and occasionally the upper dog deserves to win - Edgar Watson Howe.

My Jimny Thread Here: www.bigjimny.com/index.php/forum?view=topic&catid=8&

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  • markyp2000
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24 Jul 2012 17:29 - 24 Jul 2012 17:30 #44826 by markyp2000
Replied by markyp2000 on topic Steering Slightly Off??
is it standared or modified
Last edit: 24 Jul 2012 17:30 by markyp2000.

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28 Jul 2012 14:10 #45014 by Green
Replied by Green on topic Steering Slightly Off??

kirkynut wrote: How long has it been like this???

If it's been like it since you've has the car, a previous owner has probably had new track rod ends put on and the steering wheel was not centre when they did the tracking. Or have you had new ones put on???

Kirkynut


It's not been like it since I have owned the car and seemed to just randomly start a couple of months ago. It annoyed me at first because I'm bit of a perfectionist but not really too fussed now. Just can't think what it would be?! I've had the tracking done since an it's made no difference! And as far as I was told by the previous owner (who was a very thorough and dedicated mechanic and who also gave me pretty much the cars history so I would of thought ole would of mentioned the track rod ends being replaced) they haven't been changed.

markyp2000 wrote: is it standared or modified


It's completely standard!

Any ideas/thoughts?

Thanks in advance,
Andy

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28 Jul 2012 23:07 #45038 by facade
Replied by facade on topic Steering Slightly Off??
If you hadn't said the tracking has been done since, I'd have suggested a broken spring.

The Jimny has a very primitive set up.

The tracking (whether the wheels point in or out) is set by a long hollow tube (the track rod or tie rod) joining the two hubs that runs parallel to the axle tube. The only reason for the tracking to change is if the tube bends, a ball joint goes, or the kingpin bearings go, and allow the hubs to move around.

The steering wheel connects to a steering box attached to the chassis, and a long tube (the drag link) drops down from the steering box to the passenger side hub. If this tube changes length, the steering wheel has to move inside the car to keep the wheels straight on the axle.

Now the axle could just pull from side to side when you turn the steering wheel, so another tube, the panhard rod, attaches from axle to chassis to keep the axle still.

However, both the drag link and panhard rods are fixed length, and the naughty axle keeps going up and down, so it has to move slightly sideways as it moves up and down. This means if you hold the steering wheel still, the hubs will turn slightly. This is one reason for the vague steering we know and love.

Anyway, after the long rambling intro:

If someone messes with the tracking, the steering wheel will go off centre (the drag link has to be adjusted to move it back).
If you bend the drag link, the wheel will go off centre to the left because the drag link is now too short and is pulling the hubs to the right.
If you raise the suspension, the wheel will go off centre because the drag link is too short, and the panhard rod will also pull the axle off centre.
If a spring breaks or collapses with age the axle moves up, and the drag link is too long, likely you need to turn the wheel to the right.
If the panhard rod bends, it is too short, and pulls the axle over, so the steering wheel will move. (Can't remember which way the panhard rod goes)
If the panhard rod bushes wear, the steering wheel could go anywhere, as the axle can go sideways.

Basically, check the drag link and panhard rods for bending and attachment at each end. Check that there hasn't been a spring break, the final coil snaps off usually.
It might be worth checking that the bushes in the leading & trailing arms are sound.

Then have a look at the back axle. If this is out of alignment then you will be turning the wheel to get the car to run in a straight line, and the car will be "crabbing" ie driving sideways. Again check for worn bushes and bent arms or panhard rod.

If it suddenly breaks, go back to the last thing that you did before it broke and start looking there :)

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31 Jul 2012 15:05 #45138 by Green
Replied by Green on topic Steering Slightly Off??
All of thy is brilliant. Very thorough and offers me plenty of suggestions as to what it could be. I am busy with work (covering our Olympic transport network!) for the next few weeks but when I get time I will take a thorough look at it...possibly with m girlfriends dad who is a trained mechanic!

Will let you know how I get on and thanks again!

AG

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31 Jul 2012 16:17 #45141 by facade
Replied by facade on topic Steering Slightly Off??
I've been and looked under the car. The panhard rod goes alongside the drag link, so as the axle moves up and down, it gets pushed sideways so as to minimise any effect on the steering. If you bend the panhard rod, it gets shorter, pulls the axle to the right, and you will have to steer to the right to straighten the wheels.

If it suddenly breaks, go back to the last thing that you did before it broke and start looking there :)

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11 Jul 2018 12:56 #194190 by Missile
Replied by Missile on topic Steering Slightly Off??
Hi sorry to resurrect an old thread. I'm having a similar problem. Exactly the same symptoms.
05 plate jimny. Standard. Road biased tyres. Bought it three months ago.

To drive straight I have to lightly steer to the right as described by the OP.

I have just had all the track rod ends replaced and the tracking done. Laser front alignment. New brakes all round. Haven't had time to go through the paperwork, but I'm assuming they got them aligned bang on. The arms don't appear to have been bent, the car doesn't seem like it's been offroaded in a previous life.

I'll check my tyre pressures tonight/profiles tonight.

What else could cause this?

Thanks

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11 Jul 2018 17:13 #194196 by facade
Replied by facade on topic Steering Slightly Off??
Possible causes now you have had the tracking done (and presumably all the joints & bushes were checked before they did it):

1) the drag link wasn't adjusted with the tracking, they are supposed to set the steering wheel central and then adjust both the drag link and tie rod (track rod) to get the wheels right

2) Someone took the steering wheel off and replaced it in the wrong place.

3) the back axle is out of alignment with the front.


I'd adjust the drag link and only worry if it changed again

If it suddenly breaks, go back to the last thing that you did before it broke and start looking there :)

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11 Jul 2018 18:50 #194200 by Missile
Replied by Missile on topic Steering Slightly Off??
Many thanks Facade, especially after so many years.

I went ahead and checked tyre pressures and underneath. al the track rod ends are shiny and new + there's grip and spanner marks on the arms, so it's been done properly.

Tracking/alignment came with a diagram print out of before and after and the rear axle seams to be fine.

I would say option 1 or 2. I will query what the garage carried out tomorrow. I'm sure they would adjust it for free as its part of the job. I am wondering if its the steering wheel though as it does seem suspect. Everything else seems ok including springs.

Cheers for your help.

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15 Jul 2018 20:25 #194305 by kirkynut
Replied by kirkynut on topic Steering Slightly Off??
They've probably just done the tracking with the steering wheel slightly off centre.

Go back and ask them to sort it.

Kirkynut

The underdog often starts the fight, and occasionally the upper dog deserves to win - Edgar Watson Howe.

My Jimny Thread Here: www.bigjimny.com/index.php/forum?view=topic&catid=8&

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