1989 Honda Accord U Joint / Steering Adjustment

Tiny
ANDREWW
  • MEMBER
  • 1989 HONDA ACCORD
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 194,000 MILES
Hi. I recently replaced my steering gear rack. When I took the car in for an alignment, they said that I had misaligned the u-joint when I connected it to the rack's gear shaft, and the result is that the steering wheel no longer aligns perfectly when the wheels are pointed straight ahead.

The Haynes manual doesn't say anything about adjusting, removing, or installing a u-joint, and in regards to aligning it, what direction it should be for straight ahead, all the way to the right or left, etc. My question is a two-parter: is there a way to adjust the U-Joint orientation by removing the pinch bolt and wiggling it out of the steering shaft without lowering the rack again, and how will I know how to align the U-joint properly if it goes in all directions?
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Monday, March 31st, 2008 AT 9:00 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
You would have to be off by a bunch for them not to be able to center the wheel. Try turning hte wheel lock to lock and count th eturns, then center the rack up, regardless of where the wheel winds up. Unhook the rack from the shaft and center it up.
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Tuesday, April 1st, 2008 AT 5:26 PM
Tiny
ANDREWW
  • MEMBER
I got the car back from the shop today and my original post was a bit inaccurate.

The rack is actually aligned ok, it's just that the wheel and steering shaft weren't clocked (?) To the right position when I attached it to the rack. With the wheels straight ahead, the 12 o'clock position on the steering wheel points 90 degrees to the right or about 1/2 turn.

Could I do the reverse and leave the wheels and rack in the straight position and disconnect the steering shaft from the u joint? The U joint appears to be connected to the steering shaft and to the rack on either end by a pinch bolt.

I'm wondering if I could just separate the top one, pry it off, turn the wheel to the right position, then reattach the u joint to the shaft instead of taking the u joint off the rack end (which I was only able to do when I lowered it). I read in a different forum that a moderator advised a Toyota owner to do something similar (separate a steering u joint by popping it off at either end to test its flexibility) and was wondering how dangerous it would be to try this on mine. My only hesitation is that I'll mess up the steering shaft in the process.

Is this a possibility or a really bad idea?
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Tuesday, April 1st, 2008 AT 7:16 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
I would do the re-clocking at the same spot where it was disconnected in the first place (rack). May have to lower it a little, but the shaft should slide to give you some room to work
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Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008 AT 7:31 AM
Tiny
ANDREWW
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the advice!
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Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008 AT 9:42 AM

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