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Old 07-22-2016, 10:46 PM   #1
miatard
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Screwed up my steering wheel alignment with steering guibo/coupler replacement

I did everything I was supposed to do correctly (locked the steering wheel, etc.). There seems to be some margin of error for this coupling since this happened in the first place. I noticed that the little ears that guide the guibo onto the steering rack/column weren't "tight enough" of a fit. So my question is this...

Is there some "right way" to reassemble this or is this somewhat expected and remedied with an alignment? I'm scheduled for an alignment on Monday morning.

Reason I'm asking is because I know the steering wheel has this little mark that indicates "center" on the steering column, and I'm wondering if there's something similar for this guibo.

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Old 07-22-2016, 10:50 PM   #2
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I had to adjust my guibo 3 times before I got it lined up correctly.

There is a tab on the steering rack shaft that aligns with a slot in the lower part of the guibo assembly BUT the two can still be adjusted relative to one another by a few splines left and right.

I had to jack up the whole front of the car (not just the left corner) and break out the tape measure to ensure both wheels were pointing straight and the steering wheel was straight as well. Then I reconnected everything.
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:46 PM   #3
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****. That's exactly my issue and that's exactly the answer I didn't wanna hear...

So remedying this issue with an alignment isn't the right way to do it?

What did you use as a reference point to measure your wheels?

Last edited by Solidjake; 07-23-2016 at 05:17 AM.
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:06 AM   #4
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What did you use as a reference point to measure your wheels?
The rear of the fender lips. Doesn't really matter as long as the reference point is the same both sides and the number is the same.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:18 AM   #5
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The guibo only fits within one full turn of the rack or steering wheel. So it is VERY notable if you get off one revolution. What's likely happened is the alignment reference was off to begin with because the guibo was bad, or the new one is slightly off (less likely, unless it's cheaper than dirt).
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Old 07-24-2016, 11:22 AM   #6
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The rear of the fender lips. Doesn't really matter as long as the reference point is the same both sides and the number is the same.
What'd you use on the wheel side? Just curious.
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Old 07-24-2016, 11:24 AM   #7
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The guibo only fits within one full turn of the rack or steering wheel. So it is VERY notable if you get off one revolution. What's likely happened is the alignment reference was off to begin with because the guibo was bad, or the new one is slightly off (less likely, unless it's cheaper than dirt).
Right but for the past 13+ years, the steering column's orientation to the rack has been the same. What I need to understand if an alignment is the remedy or if theres a "right" orientation.

Like on the steering wheel, there's a notch that indicates what's center.
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Old 07-24-2016, 01:28 PM   #8
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An alignment will correct the steering wheel if it's slightly off. During the alignment, the tech will lock the wheel straight with a tool, and adjust the tie rods to correct wheel alignment. You don't normally removed steering columns or steering wheels to straight the orientation.
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Old 07-24-2016, 04:16 PM   #9
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An alignment will correct the steering wheel if it's slightly off. During the alignment, the tech will lock the wheel straight with a tool, and adjust the tie rods to correct wheel alignment. You don't normally removed steering columns or steering wheels to straight the orientation.
So basically what you're saying is that as long as it's correctly aligned, it can be within some accepted margin of error?
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:36 PM   #10
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Just to update future individuals who might face the same problem -

Just wasted an hour of my time discovering that the guibo notch/steering rack flange was a much tighter fit than I'd originally thought. You can *kind of* start getting the guibo on with an imperfect alignment, but roughly halfway down it'll seize and it'll be impossible to slip it the entire way down the shaft...

I didn't realize it was this tight until I removed & replaced it roughly 4x and finally got it on with moderate effort. Guess I got lucky the first time I did it.

I also measured my tie rods and noticed that my right one is significantly shorter than my left, by over 2 mm. Which makes sense, because now my steering wheel is a canted a few degrees to the left.

FWIW, my replacement guibo was OEM. Going for an alignment tomorrow & if there's anything noteworthy, I'll update.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:39 PM   #11
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An alignment cured it for me.
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:37 AM   #12
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An alignment can cure your guibo mis-install but it's not correct. You shouldn't need to bump the tie rods to ensure proper guibo install. You will probably have some assymetry at full lock. Just take it off and put it back on a spline or two until you get it right. You can force it to go on misaligned, but it's a bit hard. It should slide on smoothly without any force.
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:51 AM   #13
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Just take it off and put it back on a spline or two until you get it right.
^This. If the steering wheel was straight before, there's absolutely no reason it can't be with the new guibo without an alignment.

Quote:
You can force it to go on misaligned, but it's a bit hard. It should slide on smoothly without any force.
Also +1. I used a small dab of lithium grease to aid installation.
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:32 AM   #14
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Mine was very badly loose (old one) before replacement. The new one (went on easy/smooth) was put on correctly. Steering is now very tight. It was out of alignment (wheel centering wise) all along. It was just impossible to tell before.

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Old 07-25-2016, 12:18 PM   #15
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An alignment can cure your guibo mis-install but it's not correct. You shouldn't need to bump the tie rods to ensure proper guibo install. You will probably have some assymetry at full lock. Just take it off and put it back on a spline or two until you get it right. You can force it to go on misaligned, but it's a bit hard. It should slide on smoothly without any force.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spannerhead View Post
^This. If the steering wheel was straight before, there's absolutely no reason it can't be with the new guibo without an alignment.



Also +1. I used a small dab of lithium grease to aid installation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by joegr View Post
Mine was very badly loose (old one) before replacement. The new one (went on easy/smooth) was put on correctly. Steering is now very tight. It was out of alignment (wheel centering wise) all along. It was just impossible to tell before.
Then I must be in the same boat, because I nearly lost my **** last night trying to move it just one spline to the left. I got an alignment this morning & all is well. It must have been off before... not that it made any tangible difference EVER.

I can't find anything anywhere that says it must be done "this way." Even in the Bentley manual, as idiotic as it is at times, they ensure they tell you when something critical like aligning the rack must be done. All they mention for this one is to make sure the steering's locked straight-ahead.
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:19 PM   #16
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Then I must be in the same boat, because I nearly lost my **** last night trying to move it just one spline to the left. I got an alignment this morning & all is well. It must have been off before... not that it made any tangible difference EVER.

I can't find anything anywhere that says it must be done "this way." Even in the Bentley manual, as idiotic as it is at times, they ensure they tell you when something critical like aligning the rack must be done. All they mention for this one is to make sure the steering's locked straight-ahead.
Yeah it's not the easiest job when on your back under the car. You'll be fine... it's best to clean the splines gently with a wire brush cause the crud will make it hard to work with. Or scrub the splines vigorously with a micro fiber towel and some kind of cleaner.
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:44 PM   #17
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The splines are roughly 6 degrees apart. It's pretty obvious if you're off. I think the first one I did was off by this much due to installer error (me). I fixed it before I even put the car back down. Getting it more than 1 spline off is near impossible with the tab on the rack in the way.

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Old 07-25-2016, 01:53 PM   #18
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Yeah it's not the easiest job when on your back under the car. You'll be fine... it's best to clean the splines gently with a wire brush cause the crud will make it hard to work with. Or scrub the splines vigorously with a micro fiber towel and some kind of cleaner.
What I mean is that when my steering wheel was "off" must have been correct, since that was the path of least resistance & relatively easy. Every other position I tired, it would go down about halfway and stop. I didn't want to resort to some crazy method to force it on.

I wouldn't be surprised if it's been screwed up forever, since one tie rod was so much shorter than the other. I also vaguely recall that my steering wheel itself wasn't centered on the splines long ago. Who knows.
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