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Steering wheel off alignment


rockfangd

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Hi all. I rarely mention my 97 Seville but there is something that is still bugging me with it.  I have owned it for 6 years now and it has always been somewhat of a issue.

When I first got this car on the road the steering wheel was off to the left a little bit. 

I replaced the front struts, springs, mounts, links, and related.

Took to dealer for alignment. still had same problem. Dealer said it was fine. 

Drove it for a year or 2.

Bothered me enough to get another alignment last year, Seemed to be better.

This year I had 4 new tires installed and problem is back. 

Drives straight but wheel  seems to drift to the left a little bit. Not sure what the problem could be. Has no issues on the highway. Seems to be straight on long interstate hauls. My other 97 is straight (perfect). Any insight?

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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By "drifting to the left", do you mean the car pulls to the left when the steering wheel is straight or is there slop in the steering wheel?  Depending on the answer, it could point to two different fixes.

If all the suspension and steering components are tight (no slop) steering wheel centering is accomplished by adjusting the outer tie rods.  The steering wheel is set and locked to the straight position, then the toe is adjusted to bring both front wheels into spec.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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When the wheel is tipped to the left it drives straight, When this is occurring it will steer right slightly when the wheel is centered.

I have been debating if it could be slop in the rack. I hope not though.

What is the best way to check the vertical control arm bushings? I question the condition of them on both of my 97s.

Same question for the balljoints as they are loaded. Typically I jack the vehicle up by the control arm and check the 12 and 6 positions. Correct for these?

It is weird. I would blame our roads but my other 97(Deville) does not have the same problem on the same roads.

 

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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Are you saying this is an intermittant?  

I recall a few years ago someone had a rack where the bolts were loose.

How is the tire wear?, any clues from the wear?

Dont overlook the rear causing this

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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The alignments were all wheel. I made sure of that.

Tires are brand new. I only put 1000 miles on them. 800 were highway.

Old tires were worn pretty even, just slightly feathering on the inners. Front IIRC.

Yes it does seem intermittent. that is what confuses me. Sometimes it is straight. Sometimes it is off to the left. 

Rack bolts. That is interesting. I did have the engine repaired back when I bought the car. I had not driven it til I got the car back from the dealer.

I basically bought the car. Towed it home, and had it towed to the dealer to have the engine repaired. I never really drove it til I got it back home

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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There should not be any feathering on the tires - that indicates a toe alignment issue.

Have you checked the rear knuckles for movement?  Jack up the rear and attempt to rock the tire while holding it at 12:00 and 6:00.  When the rear knuckle bushings wear out they cause all kinds of goofy handling issues.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I think they were the cause of the feathering. I replaced all of them. A few years back. They were shot. New ones are nice and tight.

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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So yesterday I checked both front wheels. Jacked up by the control arms to unload the balljoints, and by the frame. I found no play at all.

I did notice some minor surface rust on the subframe though. Probably because of the horrible weather we had on our road trip this year. I will have to brush and paint it.

Maybe I will just have to get the alignment redone again.

Any thoughts on the rack bolts? I have not checked them yet. I assume they have to be checked from underneath the car.

Thanks all

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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I believe the rack bolts actually come out toward the top of the car. You may want to get to them from under the car however, reaching up blind to attach the wrench. If you have several wobble extensions you may be able to use an assortment from under the hood to put a socket on them to check for tightness. Might not be able to get to all of them, but I would think if you could reach 2-3 you would know if any are loose, causing problems. I would also expect some sort of noise if there is metal to metal movement, maybe a shiny spot against the frame to look for.

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Ok will have to check over the next weekend. I wonder if it is similar to the lesabres. Have done a few of those

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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