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Steering Wheel Installation
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Just popping in

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After getting the tires straight, How do I ensure that I get the steering wheel on the correct spline alignment? Are there any alignment marks on the 51 200 deluxe? Seems Im a little off from center each time. It never has been centered since I owned it.

Posted on: 3/6 16:55
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Re: Steering Wheel Installation
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There are no marks and no really good by the book procedure that doesn't get overly technical and fussy. IF it is just the wheel alignment and nothing going on such as something loose or worn in the steering box you might be able to do it by trial and error moving the tie rod ends a tiny bit in one direction of the other. Difficulty there is it will be tedious and they have to be done exactly the same amount and move the tires in the same direction on each side. It would be very easy to mess up the toe in alignment if you paid money to have that done so probably worth having it done by a professional.

Probably the easiest way a DIY mechanic might do it is to drive straight into your work space. You need a distance long enough so you know the tires and car are going straight. The steering wheel will be off center when you are in position so without turning the steering wheel at all from that point, remove it from the shaft. Once off then turn it as needed to align the spokes and slide it back onto the splines in exactly that position. It doesn't sound like it is more than one or two splines off. The splines on the shaft and wheel are fairly fine but there still could be some misalignment. If that occurs and it is still too much to live with then the only fix is to mess with the tie rod ends and that really is best done at an alignment shop with proper measuring equipment.

You will need a steering wheel puller which can usually be rented at a parts store although not all come with the bolt size that threads into the Packard hub. The two bolts you need might have to be bought at a hardware store. The horn wire and contact assy will need to be cut off and spliced back on or wire can be pulled out of the shaft in one piece in order to get the nut off and use the puller. If you pull the wire out, first tie a strong string on the bottom end to assist in pulling it back down and thru the small tube. Dental floss works well.

Posted on: 3/6 17:08
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