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Old 05-14-2019, 10:45 PM   #1
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Steering wheel not centered

Those of us who have a Ford F53 with an off center steering wheel have been waiting for this..
Redlands truck and RV Redlands California has come up with a fix..the STRAIGHT AND LEVEL ADJUSTABLE DRAG LINK. The price is $495..I just read about it in June 2019 MOTORHOME magazine. And that is all I know about it. Now if someone will send me one I will be happy to test it and report!!!!#
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:29 AM   #2
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They see you coming! Save your money and have a front end alignment done. That should center the wheel.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:45 AM   #3
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They see you coming! Save your money and have a front end alignment done. That should center the wheel.
I wouldn't have it installed either but a front end alignment on the F53 motorhome chassis will not necessarily render the steering wheel centered. In fact, in most cases it probably won't if a 2011 and newer f53 chassis. The steering wheel is keyed splined and only goes on one way. There are no adjustable tie rods for steering. The only way I've read about is to remove the splined coupling from the steering box input shaft and reposition to align steering wheel.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:08 AM   #4
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I wouldn't have it installed either but a front end alignment on the F53 motorhome chassis will not necessarily render the steering wheel centered. In fact, in most cases it probably won't if a 2011 and newer f53 chassis. The steering wheel is keyed splined and only goes on one way. There are no adjustable tie rods for steering. The only way I've read about is to remove the splined coupling from the steering box input shaft and reposition to align steering wheel.
I tried the gearbox spline trick,didnt work. One spline was too much.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:11 AM   #5
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There has to be some way to adjust toe in, that would center the wheel. I have done enough front end work over the years and never saw where you can't adjust toe in.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:28 AM   #6
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I tried the gearbox spline trick,didnt work. One
spline was too much.
Didn't say it would work; Just read about it.

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There has to be some way to adjust toe in, that would center the wheel. I have done enough front end work over the years and never saw where you can't adjust toe in.
Yes, toe in adjustable however doesn't seem to center steering wheel. The F53 chassis steering wheel centered issue has been going on for a very long time.
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:40 PM   #7
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There has to be some way to adjust toe in, that would center the wheel. I have done enough front end work over the years and never saw where you can't adjust toe in.
Many large trucks, especially if they have solid front axles, can only adjust "Total Toe" and centering the Steering wheel is/was done with an adjustable drag link.

Fords were often built without the traditional "blind spline" in the steering wheel and the standard method for alignment techs that didn't have the modern alignment equipment was to adjust toe, test drive, mark steering wheel at hub when driving straight, then remove steering wheel when marks were aligned. Steering wheel was then reinstalled straight without moving the steering shaft.

More than a few techs have been known to remove a few splines off the steering shaft or remove blind spline with die grinder so the blind spline in the hub will now be able to fit when wheel is straight. Not a totally approved method but more than enough splines remain to keep wheel from spinning once secured with mounting bolt(s).

Adjusting individual toe requires a separate toe adjustment for each wheel or the ability to re-position the Pitman Arm in relation to the Steering Wheel Position.

How do I know this? 15 years as a Factory Rep for the largest manufacturer of Wheel Alignment, Balancing, and Brake Equip in the US. Also ASE Certified in Steering/Suspension, and Brakes. I've also consulted to PACCAR which buillds Kenworth and Peterbuilt trucks as well as numerous special use chassis for military vehicles. (wheel alignment is real fun when you have two steer axles up front and two drive axles in back). Spent lots of time at their Technical Center that is just up the road from me about 30 miles.

BTW, one issue causing crooked steering wheels is what's called "Thrust Angle" in the rear axle(s). If the toe angle on each side of the rear axles is not equal when measured to the vehicle center line it will always result in a crooked steering wheel. Find a shop that uses wheel sensors on rear wheels along with the sensors on the front and chances are the problem can be dealt with. Lots of "Old School" truck alignment techs will rely on everything from strings, eyeballs, plumb bobs and chalk marks on the floor, etc to make sure rear axles are aligned but unless they can measure individual toe (in relation to the Center Line) at best they are just guessing. Sometimes lucky, more times not. One reason the Old School hangs on is that the truck alignment instruments are E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E. Not all shops can afford setups that can approach 6 figures or even at the least mid 5 figures.
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:53 PM   #8
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Most often the steering wheel has to be removed and repositioned to get centered. With air bags in them, it's best done by a dealer.
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:39 PM   #9
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Most often the steering wheel has to be removed and repositioned to get centered. With air bags in them, it's best done by a dealer.
Or learn how to disable them before doing this work. It's not really rocket science.

Since they need electricity to activate, disconnect battery, turn on headlights or step on brake to activate brake lights to drain as much residual power from the system as possible. Waiting an hour or two is another method to make sure power is totally drained. Then disconnect airbag control module from system by removing harness plug.

Google "Disable Airbags for XXXXX brand/model" and you'll find the procedure for specific vehicles.
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:15 PM   #10
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Not rocket science----TRUE BUT---most folks aren't mechanically inclined.
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