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Just discovered steer wheel upside down???

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 15 Dec 2012, 11:13 am
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Default Just discovered steer wheel upside down???

I don't drive this car. My daughter does.

History: 2001 PT

-Summer 2011. Right side tie rod end broke off. Car collapsed in driveway so I was able to replace it myself. Very happy with my handiwork, I sent daughter off to get it aligned. She wound up getting the steering rack replaced. Wonder if she got scammed.

-Fall 2012. PS pump failed and replaced. Had shop do it.

-Last week, while looking at her car, I noticed the steering wheel was 180 degrees off. I asked the shop that did the PS pump to take a look.

-Shop said they cannot do anything because first shop installed the wrong rack. If they installed a new rack, all would be well. I took a pass. How does one order the "wrong rack".

OK. I don't know if the wheel was always off or if it gradually slipped to new position. Simplest is that the first shop did the install wrong. Maybe it should go back there.

Amy thoughts as to how the wheel could get like that if the work was done right the first time?
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 11:30 am
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Default Re: Just discovered steer wheel upside down???

Only thing I can think of is that they used a steering rack from a RHD car. Maybe it was cheaper and they were too stupid to understand this doesn 't work...
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 11:42 am
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Default Re: Just discovered steer wheel upside down???

Turn the wheel till the tires point straight. Then grab the wheel at the top holding that spot turn it counting the turns, first one direction then the other. You should have equal turns if rack is centered. My guess you will be a half turn short on one side.
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 12:47 pm
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Default Re: Just discovered steer wheel upside down???

So when tracking straight down the highway the steering wheel is upside down? That sounds like the coupling between the steering column and the steering rack is off by a half turn, 180*. Definitely shop error. Believe it or not but there are more than one steering rack used in the Cruiser model line up with different turning radius. It must have something to do with the three different transmissions that are used which are slightly different in width. (And that also means if you ever have to replace an axle those are different too, depending on the trans.)

Not being there it's hard to say if she needed a steering rack or not. How was the second shop able to spot the "wrong rack"? Are there problems such as rubbing when at full lock? Did the second shop say it was wrong but usable or did they say to get it fixed right?
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 01:00 pm
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Default Re: Just discovered steer wheel upside down???

I would guess it was not a wrong rack for many reason but to get to your immediate problem. The shop re-installed the steering column lower coupling 180* incorrect at the power steering gear pinion shaft for the appropriate steering wheel alignment. The mechanic was not paying attention and only looked at the the steering wheel looking as if it were correct. i am surprised that they let it go thinking the no one would notice but I guess seems the PT was driven for a time before it was seen incorrect.....? Easy fix not so easy to get to.
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 06:00 pm
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Default Re: Just discovered steer wheel upside down???

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
I would guess it was not a wrong rack for many reason but to get to your immediate problem. The shop re-installed the steering column lower coupling 180* incorrect at the power steering gear pinion shaft for the appropriate steering wheel alignment. The mechanic was not paying attention and only looked at the the steering wheel looking as if it were correct. i am surprised that they let it go thinking the no one would notice but I guess seems the PT was driven for a time before it was seen incorrect.....? Easy fix not so easy to get to.
I appreciate the answers. Shop 2 thought the same, but said the shaft was keyed and only went on one way. Maybe they didn't look hard enough.

Probably the best answer as the wheel isn't slipping. My son had a '68 Pontiac where the wheel did slip because of a loose nut. Came loose on the road too.

Well, I'll count the turns to full lock, and may go back to shop 1, although it's been 15 months.
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 06:18 pm
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Default Re: Just discovered steer wheel upside down???

I wouldn't worry about it as long as it drives well
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 06:21 pm
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Default Re: Just discovered steer wheel upside down???

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryS View Post
I appreciate the answers. Shop 2 thought the same, but said the shaft was keyed and only went on one way. Maybe they didn't look hard enough.

Probably the best answer as the wheel isn't slipping. My son had a '68 Pontiac where the wheel did slip because of a loose nut. Came loose on the road too.

Well, I'll count the turns to full lock, and may go back to shop 1, although it's been 15 months.

Hmmm? I don't remember any model PT as being keyed but rather splined with a locking shoulder bolt? Here is what is a bit confusing for me...the PT uses what is called a"clockspring" in the steering wheel housing to control the various electrical controls on the steering wheel. As far as I was trained the steering wheel must be in proper alignment for them to all work? So I wonder how the steering wheel in the current position has not effected some of the controls on the steering wheel?

I still have serious doubts that you have the wrong rack?
There are operating situations you did not describe if it were the case and if it were even possible?

IMO...the shop that you had the work performed should still correct the problem
And if not contact the BAR (Bureau of Automotive Repair)and discuss with them your legal options.
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 10:16 pm
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Default Re: Just discovered steer wheel upside down???

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryS View Post
I appreciate the answers. Shop 2 thought the same, but said the shaft was keyed and only went on one way. Maybe they didn't look hard enough.

Probably the best answer as the wheel isn't slipping. My son had a '68 Pontiac where the wheel did slip because of a loose nut. Came loose on the road too.

Well, I'll count the turns to full lock, and may go back to shop 1, although it's been 15 months.
Most can't go on but one way. A wide spline prevents getting it wrong. I have seen a few cars aligned to a steering wheel out of position. You need to count the turns to lock from the straight ahead position. They should be the same on both sides.
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Old 15 Dec 2012, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: Just discovered steer wheel upside down???

^^^ QFT (eventhough I didn't quote)

Nitro is correct to bring up clockspring concerns-

The Neon (Assume PT is same as PL) has an index on steer wheel, index on rack shaft, a funky bolt with a flat on steer column shaft.
You can't get it 'off'

There's a procedure to 'center' clockspring, too- It's just a ribbon and can/will break if spun to extreme.

My guess is they have tie rods threaded way staggered, or an inner tie rod/ steer knuckle arm is severely bent.

After all these words, I'd take a look underneath- If nothings obvious do as Busa says
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