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Old 07-22-2023, 10:40 AM   #1
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Steering wheel off center

Hello, I am new to this forum. Iím a diesel mechanic who has sone hundreds of kingpins and rebuilt front ends on Mack, Kenworth, perteubuilts . so I do have sone experience. Maybe Iím a little slow today or having a brain fartÖ.. I did tie rod ends on this Kodiak 5500 and aligned it and everything was perfect. A year goes by and I tell my friend that owns it that his drag link boot is torn and has some play in the socket and it need replaced. He gets the dragline and I replace it and now the steering wheel is off center while going down the road. Mind you that it steers and drives down the road perfect still. His words. I havenít actually gone and driven it so I donít know if the steering wheel was off before or not.
Now the part Iím confused aboutÖ. I keep reading that to fine tune the wheel, is to turn both ends equal turns in the same direction. In my mind I see that moving the tube but not actually moving the steering wheel. If the dragging was adjustable this would all be so easy but I m feeling kind of stupid right now haha. Any help would be appreciated . Ty
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Old 07-22-2023, 01:48 PM   #2
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You know the answer. The link needs to be shorter or longer to move the steering wheel, no matter which way the ends are threaded.
If threaded on each end, are they both the same hand thread? Or is one right and the other left hand threaded?
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Old 07-22-2023, 02:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old and soft View Post
You know the answer. The link needs to be shorter or longer to move the steering wheel, no matter which way the ends are threaded.
If threaded on each end, are they both the same hand thread? Or is one right and the other left hand threaded?
The tie rod ends are opposite threads . One is left hand and one is right hand thread. And obviously I need to drop at lease one of the tie rod ends out of the spindle.
But I still look at it as the tube not adjusting the steering wheel. I can understand it if the drag link was adjustable cause that’s exactly what would make th is so easy. Ty for taking the time to respond
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Old 07-22-2023, 06:51 PM   #4
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A pic is worth a thousand words.
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Old 07-22-2023, 08:45 PM   #5
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Just a though. Was the steering wheel straight when you R & R the drag link? I think though you aren’t going to solve this problem until you drive it. Good luck, front steering linkage can be a pain.
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Old 07-22-2023, 09:49 PM   #6
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Most vehicles (autos and light trucks in particular) have the steering gearbox pitman arm attached between the two tie rods with the centerlink (draglink) and for example bringing in one tie rod and extended the other equally will keep the same toe in while changing the steering wheel center (same for rack and pinion). This design is the first image.

However, many (if not most) larger vehicles such as the Kodiak 5500's don't have the steering pitman arm connected to the center link and instead the steering gearbox pitman arm is connected directly to the left front wheel as in the second image. What is not shown in the second image (because I couldn't find one to share) are the tie rods and the centerlink. If they were shown what you would see is that both the left and front hubs are connected to each other directly (two tie rods and a centerlink). In this setup all you can do is increase or decrease the distance between the two tie rods which will only change the toe in or out, and not change the steering wheel position. The only way I know of to change the steering wheel position easily is to remove the shaft at point 11 on the second image and turn the steering wheel shaft one or two splines.

Anyway fwiw, I am not a professional mechanic but I have worked on many pieces of equipment and large trucks over the many years similar to what you are asking about. ~CA
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Old 07-22-2023, 09:52 PM   #7
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Not sure why it wouldn't let me attach both, this is pic2. with the steering gear pitman arm attaching directly to the left hub and for the 5500.

On some larger trucks I have seen, they have an adjustable arm for part 19 which would allow to correct the steering wheel. However, the parts list for the 5500 does not show an adjustable arm there. ~CA
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Old 07-23-2023, 07:46 AM   #8
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I do appreciate your info and thank you for bringing my sanity back down to reality. I kept seeing people saying ďjust adjust the tie rodĒ and I was think to myself what am I missing. The drag link in question unfortunately doesnít have adjustable ends . But Iím going to try your idea to move the spline a couple notches at point 11. Iíll let you know how that turns out later today
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Old 02-18-2024, 12:04 PM   #9
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I know its been a long time since this post but I am catching up on the forum. I had the same issue with our 2022 37TS. Turns out the rear end was out of alignment - WAY OUT. They said we not have noticed tire damage till somewhere around 60K. It drove me crazy always felt like it was pulling just a little.
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Old 02-18-2024, 01:51 PM   #10
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Not sure what year your RV is, but many can be straightened by just pull the steering wheel off.



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Old 02-18-2024, 05:33 PM   #11
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Yes you can remove the steering wheel and make it straight, but you may not be fixing the actual problem, just covering it up. See attached. The rear end was out an 1-5/8", from the factory.
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File Type: pdf Rear Alignment.pdf (105.9 KB, 10 views)
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Old 02-19-2024, 01:13 PM   #12
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That is true if your alignment is off as you mention because it is pulling to one side or the other. If you have had your aligment fixed, sometimes the steering wheel is still of a bit while stopped. That is when I have just pulled the steering wheel off and adjusted it slightly.
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