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Thread: Alignment and turning radius question

  1. #1
    DeLorean owner since 2011 Stainless's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Syracuse, UT

    Posts:    565

    My VIN:    2087

    Alignment and turning radius question

    I'm finally ready to tackle my car's alignment and turning issues. My car tracks straight down the road, but the steering wheel is not centered. Hasn't been straight in my 8 years of ownership. I had other priorities I wanted to fix first.

    My steering wheel can turn 1.5 rotations to the left, but only 1.0 rotations to the right from center (center considered when it's going straight down the road). As you can probably guess, this means that it can turn sharper to the left than to the right.

    Not ever having dealt with the car's steering, I'm not sure if a typical alignment shop will be able to fix everything. Is there any work that I can/should do before getting an alignment, particularly with being able to turn more to the left than to the right, or should I just move forward with the alignment? Ideally, I'd like to have an equal number of rotations left and right, have the car track straight down the road, and have the steering wheel centered.
    Jared L.

    June '81, manual, black inter. VIN 2087
    Other cars: 2012 Toyota Sienna, 2007 Mazda 6, 2000 Corolla, 1999 Jeep Cherokee
    DeLorean blog: http://deloreanblog.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    Delorean Guru
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    Any good alignment shop should be able to center the steering rack and the steering wheel. Was the steering rack ever removed? Before you go for the alignment you should check the air in the tires, remove anything not necessary in the car, have a 1/2 tank of fuel and a kit of shims for the TABs. If the tires are worn or old they should be replaced and balanced before the alignment. Before any alignment a good shop will check all of the bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends etc to makes sure you get a proper alignment and it stays where they put it. Actually there is little to adjust. Front and rear toe and centering the steering rack and steering wheel. If anything else is off it is not easily adjustable. Bring the alignment specs just in case their machine doesn't have them in it's database. They can enter it manually if they have to. Insist on a 4 wheel alignment. To make things easier for the shop you can remove the trailing arm shields before you go and put them back on when you get back home.
    David Teitelbaum

  3. #3
    DeLorean owner since 2011 Stainless's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Syracuse, UT

    Posts:    565

    My VIN:    2087

    Quote Originally Posted by David T View Post
    Any good alignment shop should be able to center the steering rack and the steering wheel. Was the steering rack ever removed? Before you go for the alignment you should check the air in the tires, remove anything not necessary in the car, have a 1/2 tank of fuel and a kit of shims for the TABs. If the tires are worn or old they should be replaced and balanced before the alignment. Before any alignment a good shop will check all of the bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends etc to makes sure you get a proper alignment and it stays where they put it. Actually there is little to adjust. Front and rear toe and centering the steering rack and steering wheel. If anything else is off it is not easily adjustable. Bring the alignment specs just in case their machine doesn't have them in it's database. They can enter it manually if they have to. Insist on a 4 wheel alignment. To make things easier for the shop you can remove the trailing arm shields before you go and put them back on when you get back home.
    Sounds good. The previous owner may have replaced the steering rack, but I don't have my DeLorean documents with me right now to be able to confirm. Regardless, it sounds like a reputable shop should be able to handle this without issues. I'll take the recommended prep and proceed. I actually did take it in for an alignment several years ago, but the found a bad lower ball joint that I needed to fix before they could do it. After fixing that around 7 years ago, I have yet to make it back to a shop to have it done again. Time sure flies by!
    Jared L.

    June '81, manual, black inter. VIN 2087
    Other cars: 2012 Toyota Sienna, 2007 Mazda 6, 2000 Corolla, 1999 Jeep Cherokee
    DeLorean blog: http://deloreanblog.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    Delorean Guru
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Northern NJ

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    By now they may find other parts worn out and have to be replaced before they can do the alignment! You can always judge the general condition of the present alignment by the way the tires have worn. If your tires are over 7 years old you should consider replacing them when you have the car lined up. Check the date codes on the tires. Don't forget the spare, it gets old too.
    David Teitelbaum

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