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Old 03-25-2016, 05:42 AM   #1
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Steering Wheel - Off Center

Hello Friends! I've been following this forum for several months as we purchased a 28DS in January. Thanks for all the great information you have shared along the way. I took mine in this week, because it appeared to be out of alignment. They did find that the front was off a bit and corrected. However, they called yesterday and said they are unable to get the steering wheel centered. They pulled the steering wheel and due to the design are unable to adjust it. My alignment guy said almost every one of the Ford shafts he has worked on can be adjusted, but it doesn't appear mine can. Has anyone else came across this? If so, did you find a solution?

It doesn't impact me driving it, but is aggravating that my steering will requires being turned to the right in order to go straight down the highway.
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Old 03-25-2016, 06:21 AM   #2
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I would get a second opinion... there are a several ways to "adjust" the steering wheel. Some are easier than others.

I need to have the one on my new Concord done too. Drives me nuts.

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Old 03-25-2016, 07:03 AM   #3
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Back in the day when I went to automotive tech school and did alignments. Setting the steering wheel straight was done by securing it in place physically in the desired position and readjusting the toe-in on both front wheels to spec. If toe in were adjusted by only changing the setting on one tie rod end ( which would still give a proper toe-in) , your steering wheel position would probably not change enough to notice. In your case, both tie rods need to be dialed in. IMHO

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Old 03-25-2016, 11:35 AM   #4
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The only way to adjust it is to pull the steering shaft coupler on the top side of the steering box (look in the LH wheel well). There is one bolt, pry/have someone pull the steering wheel up on the inside. It'll slide off, center the steering wheel and reinstall the coupler back on the steering box where you think its center. There is no adjustment on the steering wheel and if you pull the pitman arm, it only adjust the steering wheel in like 45 degree increments (I've done it...lol).
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff64 View Post
Back in the day when I went to automotive tech school and did alignments. Setting the steering wheel straight was done by securing it in place physically in the desired position and readjusting the toe-in on both front wheels to spec. If toe in were adjusted by only changing the setting on one tie rod end ( which would still give a proper toe-in) , your steering wheel position would probably not change enough to notice. In your case, both tie rods need to be dialed in. IMHO

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Old 03-25-2016, 12:39 PM   #6
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Steering wheel correction

First, I would be very careful about attempting to remove the steering wheel or taking the sector shaft off at the steering gear. If there is an airbag in the steering wheel it could be accidentally triggered. After reading all the posts here the one I think is closest to what you need to do is adjustment of toe-in with the wheel locked straight ahead. That's a good safe approach because it would be done by adjusting the tie-rod ends. Assuming the toe-in is actually correct but the wheel is of center I would recommend correcting wheel center by loosening the clamps on both tie-rod ends, lengthening the tie-rod adjustment on one side and shortening the other tie-rod adjustment an equal amount. This is done by counting turns of the adjustment sleeve and if you turn the left side out 1 turn you would turn the right side in one turn. In this manner you can correct steering wheel centering without affecting toe adjustment. MAKE SURE when you are done you remember to re-tighten the adjustment clamps. Better yet take your rig back to the alignment shop and ask them to use this method to center the wheel.
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by KansasFR3 View Post
The only way to adjust it is to pull the steering shaft coupler on the top side of the steering box (look in the LH wheel well). There is one bolt, pry/have someone pull the steering wheel up on the inside. It'll slide off, center the steering wheel and reinstall the coupler back on the steering box where you think its center. There is no adjustment on the steering wheel and if you pull the pitman arm, it only adjust the steering wheel in like 45 degree increments (I've done it...lol).

Absolutely right KansasFR3!!!👍🏻
That is exactly the way my shop, which is a heavy duty truck shop, performed the fix. I watched the entire operation and it straightened the steering wheel perfectly with the wheels. It took two mechanics, one inside to hold the wheel straight and another under the coach manipulating the steering coupler one tooth at a time until the tires matched the steering wheel.
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:53 PM   #8
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There is no Airbag on the F53 chassis. I got tired of dealing with my shop and didn't feel like spending the fuel/time to take it back in. I fixed it in less than 30 mins and had a beer in the process! :-)
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:59 PM   #9
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Absolutely right KansasFR3!!!👍🏻
That is exactly the way my shop, which is a heavy duty truck shop, performed the fix. I watched the entire operation and it straightened the steering wheel perfectly with the wheels. It took two mechanics, one inside to hold the wheel straight and another under the coach manipulating the steering coupler one tooth at a time until the tires matched the steering wheel.
As long as coupler doesn't have a master spline....
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Old 03-25-2016, 01:12 PM   #10
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Same problem on 25DS FR3

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Originally Posted by elw5599 View Post
Hello Friends! I've been following this forum for several months as we purchased a 28DS in January. Thanks for all the great information you have shared along the way. I took mine in this week, because it appeared to be out of alignment. They did find that the front was off a bit and corrected. However, they called yesterday and said they are unable to get the steering wheel centered. They pulled the steering wheel and due to the design are unable to adjust it. My alignment guy said almost every one of the Ford shafts he has worked on can be adjusted, but it doesn't appear mine can. Has anyone else came across this? If so, did you find a solution?

It doesn't impact me driving it, but is aggravating that my steering will requires being turned to the right in order to go straight down the highway.
We have a FR3 25DS, bought in November 2014. Same problem and I contacted Forest River who said they would pay for the alignment. We took it to a shop who said it was way off and fixed what they could but we were also told it couldnt be fixed all the way. It is irritating when we drive it. Forest River did send us a check for the alignment--I think the rep told us they would pay up to 150$....good luck!
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Old 03-25-2016, 04:13 PM   #11
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I have a 2015 30ds FR3 I had my alignment done and their is only one tie that adjusts total toe, so it can not be used to center the steering wheel. My steering wheel was off center very bad before & after the alignment. I used a steering wheel puller to remove the steering wheel which does not have a airbag in it and centered it after having the vehicle in a total strait ahead position. Their is not master spline on F53 steering shaft, you just have to be careful with the wiring for the cruise .
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Old 03-25-2016, 04:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jeff64 View Post
Back in the day when I went to automotive tech school and did alignments. Setting the steering wheel straight was done by securing it in place physically in the desired position and readjusting the toe-in on both front wheels to spec. If toe in were adjusted by only changing the setting on one tie rod end ( which would still give a proper toe-in) , your steering wheel position would probably not change enough to notice. In your case, both tie rods need to be dialed in. IMHO

X-4 that is the correct way, tie rod adjusters. Find a new alignment shop!
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Old 03-25-2016, 04:36 PM   #13
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IF it has tie rod ends, it can be centered without messing with the steering wheel or shaft unless something is bent.
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Old 03-25-2016, 05:59 PM   #14
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X3

Just went through this with my E450, took it back three times before they
did it right, centered the steering wheel first, secured it, and then did the alignment. That fixed the problem. They didn't want to admit that they
screwed it up the first time but finally redid it correctly and that took care of it.
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Old 03-25-2016, 06:04 PM   #15
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steering wheel off center

my tires had worn so badly on a trip to the grand canyon and back to boston that it wore the tire down to the second and third layer of rubber. My tire guy told me that thing were loose on the front end Took it to a certified ford truck repair shop an hour away in foxboro ma. When done they told me it was within tolerances and did an alignment which was very costly and told me they were not able to center the wheel. It drives fine now but i have about a 5 degree off set on the steering wheel. Believe me i am tired off faulty sales and work in the RV world
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:42 PM   #16
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Hi folks just a little more info on the front end of the FR3. To be able to adjust the steering wheel by using the tie rods each wheel has to be independently adjusted. This can not be done on the FR3 which is on the Ford F53 chassis . Their is only one toe adjustment which adjusts both wheel at the same time. Most cars have toe adjustment on each wheel. The
FR3 does not have this on the straight axle truck front end. If your front end has been aligned simply take it to a mechanic and have them reposition the steering wheel.
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by CARMAN View Post
Hi folks just a little more info on the front end of the FR3. To be able to adjust the steering wheel by using the tie rods each wheel has to be independently adjusted. This can not be done on the FR3 which is on the Ford F53 chassis . Their is only one toe adjustment which adjusts both wheel at the same time. Most cars have toe adjustment on each wheel. The
FR3 does not have this on the straight axle truck front end. If your front end has been aligned simply take it to a mechanic and have them reposition the steering wheel.
Picture please.
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:10 PM   #18
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Steering Wheel - Off Center

Khyaskid

Was that dealer in Foxboro Minutemen Ford? They do all the fire truck service in the region and are familiar with the F53 chassis.

Reason I ask is because I'm dropping my rig next week for alignment and to try to str8ten out my wheel too.
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Old 03-26-2016, 06:31 PM   #19
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steering wheel-off center

Technoric yes it was minuteman. There service and time line was very good but i doubted that the steering wheel could not be centered. They assured me that thats the way it is and i just wasnt happy spending big money to get an unfinished job.. It rides well now so they did do their job. Drove it to florida for the winter. Taking it back up soon.
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Old 03-26-2016, 06:45 PM   #20
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Just about every motor home needs an alignment after the coach body is installed. Ford sends the bare chassis to the MH builder without the alignment since the weight of the coach would alter any alignment done before.
Our 2014 30DS also had the steering wheel off center. When we took it in for the alignment, (which FR paid for) they had to remove the steering shaft to center the steering wheel. Now all is good.
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