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  #1  
Old 9th February 2011
spannerz spannerz is offline
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Question Steering Wheel - Alignment?

Hi Chaps,

I have a 96 NG900. had it for about 3 years great car, only minor irritation is that the steering wheel is set slightly to the left when car is travelling straight.

I'm assuming that its just the case of disassembling the wheel and correcting, but is there anything I should be looking out for at the steering rack end that may have caused the problem?,

If anyone has pics or diagrams from an EPC that they could post, that would be very much appreciated.

Best Regards,
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  #2  
Old 9th February 2011
IanT54 IanT54 is offline
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There's probably nothing wrong with the steering wheel or rack. You just need to get a front-end alignment done.
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Old 9th February 2011
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Unlike most cars, you can't adjust the steering wheel on these. There's a tab on the steering column's splined shaft that fits into a slot in the steering wheel. You could grind the tab down, and then rotate the steering wheel a notch, but it's probably easier to just get an alignment and make sure to tell the guys at the shop why you're having it done. I've had a couple of alignments done where the car has tracked perfectly straight afterward, but they left the steering wheel a little crooked.
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Old 9th February 2011
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You can fix this by making a very small adjustment at one or both track rod ends.

1/2 of a flat (i.e. 1/16th of a turn) is typically the most you will have to move to get the wheel central.

I haven't had a car tracked by a garage for years as they always get it wrong.


Of course freeing the rusty track rods in the first place to get the 1/16th turn is a PITA!
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Old 9th February 2011
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I had the same problem on mine last year.

From the day I bought the car the steering wheel was slightly to the right but every time I had new tyres fitted they said the tracking was spot on.
So I took it to an indie garage to get it sorted once and for all.
It turned out that one of the track rod ends was seized, so every time I had the tracking adjusted they only did one side!!

The answer.............
Fitted two new track rod ends with one of them needing heating up to unsieze it and then retracking the car with the steering wheel facing straight ahead.
Its now spot on.
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Old 10th February 2011
smashyrhead smashyrhead is offline
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i just went in to get my alignment done today cause i am having this same problem.. and guess what? alignment is fine, parts are good.. "must be a tire issue.." my tires are close to 10k miles old with what seems to be plenty of life in them.. they recommended rotating from front to back... but didn't have enough time to do so.. is there a trick maybe of over inflating one side to counterbalance the other or should i go back and swap the tires from front to back?
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Old 11th February 2011
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Did you have a 4 wheel alignment done?
I found when they just tracked the fronts it was fine but when I took it to a different garage and had all 4 wheels aligned it was out.
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Old 11th February 2011
smashyrhead smashyrhead is offline
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just a front end. i have directional tires and a bent rim in the back so they suggested taking the tires off the wheels and switching back to front.. it's hard to believe that one of my tires could be out of round already.. maybe it's more common then i think
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Old 12th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy R. View Post
You could grind the tab down, and then rotate the steering wheel a notch...
That just made my stomach turn a bit.

What if the steering wheel nut ever comes lose after that has been done?

I hope nobody had that idea in the past on my car.
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Old 12th February 2011
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The shaft and steering wheel are both splined, so the steering wheel wouldn't rotate on the shaft even if the nut came loose. Saab just has the splined shaft keyed. There's absolutely no reason to have it splined and keyed except to make sure that it goes together easier on the assembly line.
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Old 12th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole View Post
That just made my stomach turn a bit.

What if the steering wheel nut ever comes lose after that has been done?

I hope nobody had that idea in the past on my car.
Personally, I would be more afraid of driving one of the newer Saabs with the weak/rusty front springs. Can you imaging hitting a small bump on the freeway, the spring breaking and cutting into one of your front tires? ... Ron
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Old 12th February 2011
busaboy busaboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole View Post
That just made my stomach turn a bit.

What if the steering wheel nut ever comes lose after that has been done?

I hope nobody had that idea in the past on my car.
LOL!! That would be a pretty impossible event! Have you ever removed (or tried to remove) a steering wheel? They don't just "come off!"

On some cars, one literally has to use a puller once the nut is off!
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  #13  
Old 14th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy R. View Post
The shaft and steering wheel are both splined, so the steering wheel wouldn't rotate on the shaft even if the nut came loose. Saab just has the splined shaft keyed. There's absolutely no reason to have it splined and keyed except to make sure that it goes together easier on the assembly line.
That's reassuring. I have taken off many steering wheels on non-Saabs (Ford, Renault, Mazda, Porsche), so I did not know what this looks like on the Saab. Glad that there are splines like in other cars.

Still, the idea of removing the key sounds wrong. If it's designed to have the key, and the steering wheel isn't straight, then obviously there is a problem elsewhere.

In general, I don't understand the idea of "Fixing by removal". In today's cost competitive world it would seem strange that auto manufacturers waste money on unnecessary parts. Taking a shortcut by removing stuff seems a form of downgrade - unless you are building a race car.
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