XJS ( X27 ) 1975 - 1996 3.6 4.0 5.3 6.0

1996 XJS steering wheel alignment

 
  #1  
Old 04-30-2019, 10:52 AM
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Default 1996 XJS steering wheel alignment

My steering wheel is off slightly.

Going straight down the road my wheel is ~ 1-2 O’clock position.

I want to Line it up.

1. I know I need to disconnect the battery for a period of time, so the air bag does not activate Incase I screw up. How long?
2. Looks like the air bag is loossened from the back 3 screws and pulls off the front. Should expose air bag and large nut holding steering in place. Do I need to disconnect the wires if I am only trying to minimally loosen the wheel to move it a couple of splines toward center.
3. Assuming I do have to remove wires is there some sort of reprogramming of the air bag when I reassemble?
4. How difficult is actually moving the wheel off the spline. Do I need a wheel puller or a couple of hearty tugs....assuming I don’t smash my face!!!!!!

I basically can figure out how to do it ( Did my 560SL). BUT........Your INPUT Is something I always seek first!!!!!!!
I’m getting older and somewhat hesitent to tackle these Kinds of jobs!!

I can afford to pay someone but prefer to do it myself since I have nothing but time available and the satisfaction of

DIY!!!!!!!

Thanks as always for your input!!!

Softball60/Paul
 
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:08 AM
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Paul,

A couple of things:

The airbag is not electronic at all. No wires or battery connection at all. It's a manual one triggered by an impact switch. You need to carefully disarm the pin before removing it. Look through the workshop manual and make sure you really understand the mechanism and procedure before going anywhere near it.

As regards your steering wheel, are you sure that the wheel is wrong rather than track rod ends etc etc? You should centrally align your steering rack using an engagement pin. Then ensure that your steering wheel is pointing straight. If not, your wheel should be re-aligned. When the wheel is straight in relation to the rack, you should then ensure alignment of the road wheels through adjustment of the track rod end lengths.

Good luck

Paul
 
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Old 04-30-2019, 01:22 PM
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PTJS1,

Thanks for the response.

Positive it is the steering wheel being out as the car had an alignment and has been driving fine. Runs true and straight, no tire wear.

But the steering wheel is slightly off center, more 12-1 O’clock.

I have service manual not workshop.

Where can I find the procedure for disarming the air bag to move the steering wheel 1 or 2 splines to the correct position? Is there somewhere3 on this site??

Thanks

Softball60/Paul
 
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Old 04-30-2019, 01:32 PM
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Forgot to mention that I am going to have to replace the power steering rack in the near future, so is it possible that when I replace the rack I can adjust the steering wheel by changing the position of the coupling then has to be. Removed to extract the rack.

This way I can avoid the air bag?

Thanks

Softball60/Paul
 
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:04 PM
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You're getting to it the wrong way around. To centre your steering wheel you have adjust the track rod ends.

Shorten the off side track rod (screw in) by about half a turn and lengthen the near side by the same and test .... (I might be wrong about direction but you get the idea) That way you're not altering anything other than the straight ahead position on the wheel. Problem with people that do cheap wheel alignment is that they preset the steering wheel in what they think is dead centre and then set everything once without actually driving the car after adjustment. Its rather difficult to get the steering wheel position right without a test drive as there is always a bit of play in the steering wheel.
I had the same issue on my Jag recently and it took me two attempts to get it perfect. The only thing you need to remember while doing this is that you have to adjust both side by exactly the same length. I've settled at just over half a turn on each track rod end and its perfect now.
 
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by katar83 View Post
You're getting to it the wrong way around. To centre your steering wheel you have adjust the track rod ends.

Shorten the off side track rod (screw in) by about half a turn and lengthen the near side by the same and test .... (I might be wrong about direction but you get the idea) That way you're not altering anything other than the straight ahead position on the wheel. Problem with people that do cheap wheel alignment is that they preset the steering wheel in what they think is dead centre and then set everything once without actually driving the car after adjustment. Its rather difficult to get the steering wheel position right without a test drive as there is always a bit of play in the steering wheel.
I had the same issue on my Jag recently and it took me two attempts to get it perfect. The only thing you need to remember while doing this is that you have to adjust both side by exactly the same length. I've settled at just over half a turn on each track rod end and its perfect now.
This is correct, don't ever remove any steering wheel to adjust toe.
 
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:21 PM
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I’m not adjusting toe. The car runs straight with no uneven tire wear. As I take my hand off the wheel while driving the car runs straight but the steering wheel is off center to the right . Not major but more of an annoyance the it is not straight up and down, centered.


So I am not adjusting th steering to change the toe!!

Thanks


Softball60/Paul
 
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:01 PM
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You still need to adjust the tie rod length, you never change the wheel, ever.
 
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:36 PM
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Thanks and got it.

The steering wheel when going straight is slightly off center to the right.

So Does this mean drivers side tie rod need to be adjusted so that the tire is toe out and the passenger side tire has to be toe in as Katar83 was indicating. If successful the steering wheel should be centered when driving in a straight line.

Do I have it right

Thanks

Softball60/Paul
 
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Old 05-01-2019, 01:04 AM
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I get confused with these directions and my car is RHD, yours I assume is LHD? Try it as you described and test, in case you got sides wrong, your steering wheel will be driving straight at lets say 3pm so then go back by the same amount plus half a turn more on each track rod end until you get it perfect. As far as you change both sides exactly the same length you won't screw up your wheel alignment.
This adjustment should be possible with just one side up at the time and the wheel on full lock with access to track rod end so can be done very quickly.
 
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:45 AM
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Sorry, but you don't start with the track rod ends. You start with the steering rack. You centre the rack using the alignment slot. Then you centre the wheel if necessary. Then you set up the track rod ends to get the road wheels aligned.

If you haven't got the workshop manual, I can sort out he pages on the airbag for you. But am away at present and need a few days.

Cheers

Paul
 
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:06 AM
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You're talking about something completely different here and a pricey jaguar dealership scenario. Unless someone in the past messed up with steering wheel and its suspected to be badly off(the initial idea here is a good example of it), you should never touch steering wheel to center it, this is done with track rod ends adjustment only. That said if the rack is wrongly fitted or someone messed with it in the past then yeah I agree you check this first but that doesn't seem to be the case here so a quick track rod ends adjustment to straighten the wheel is most likely all that is needed here.
 
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:27 AM
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Thanks everyone!!!!!!


Softball60/Paul
 
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:03 AM
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I don't have time to confirm at the moment but I'm 99% sure that, if you did some digging in the Jaguar manuals, you'd find that Jaguar intended an off-center steering wheel to be adjusted at the splined joint right down there at the floorboard. Awkward. Darn few will do it this way.

Most commonly, however, and most correctly, the off-center condition is corrected at the outer tie-rods, as mentioned.

That said.....

If it's just a matter of a couple degrees many will just remove and re-position the steering wheel. I'm not sure why the very stern warnings against it; I can't think of anything dangerous happening....although I'm not familiar with any air-bag related possibilities. You have a car that tracks and behaves perfectly and are loathe to have the settings tampered with just to center a steering wheel that's a couple of degrees off. And, it's doubly inviting when it's hard to find a shop that will even touch wheel alignment on a Jag, as many have reported over the years.

What can happen, with anything more than very minute re-positioning, is that owner-after-owner has removed the steering wheel to center it and the self-cancel mechanism for the turn signal becomes out-of-phase.

Cheers
DD
 
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:21 AM
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Well guys, I did an adjustment.

About3/4 of a turn toe in on passenger side tire and toe out on the drivers side.

Steering Wheel is in the same location. Car goes straight down the road but the steering wheel is ~1 O’Clock.

Could the camber have shifted??

Thanks

Softball60/Paul
 
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:35 AM
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That doesn't make much sense to me It should easily change the steering wheel position unless you maybe accidentally unscrew/screw in both ends out/in same direction, which would still keep your steering wheel in the same position or that XJS setup is vastly different to other Jags(unlikely). Can't think of any other reason tbh, unless you have some play in the rack but you'd notice that surely.
I'd probably add another full turn, just to test and see if it has(it should) any effect on the steering wheel position. 3/4 of a turn on my X300 was equal to changing steering wheel position from 1:15 to 11:45 and we should have the same rack.
 
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:26 AM
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Katar83,

Did exactly as you requested. Rortated the tie rod end 1 full turn.

Car goes absolutely straight down the road...................But the steering wheel has not moved, still ~1 O’clock

Thanks

Softball60/Paul
 
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Old 05-01-2019, 02:02 PM
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Should the airbag only be disarmed while in position with a special tool.


Thanks

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Old 05-02-2019, 08:18 AM
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Paul,

You've received various suggestions and you've tried some things but it might help if we understood when the problem first started? In the same way that the steering wheel should never have been realigned since new, the track tod ends don't start moving on their own. So, has the problem started since someone tried to adjust the tracking or since some work has been undertaken on the car?

Also, I wasn't sure if you meant the car drove straight without touching the wheel or if you have to hold the wheel in that 1 o'clock position to keep the car straight? In addition, is the car on a level surface or on a typical road with a camber biased to the kerbside?

The problem with doing track rod end adjustment first is that, if the rack is not centralised, you're now affecting the steering lock and the relation of left to right lock turns.

It's a 2-minute job to check the centralisation of the rack in relation to the steering wheel. If the wheel is straight, at least you know the steering wheel spline alignment is correct. (I would definitely advise you against taking off the steering wheel unless you know it is out of line compared to a centralised steering rack.) I would then take the car into a place that does proper alignment checks and adjustment of the track rod ends. If you do it yourself, you may well end up with a car that steers straight in relation to the steering wheel but has incorrect toe adjustment giving handling and tyre wear problems.

If you do take it to a place to get the adjustment done, make sure that they also centralise the rack first. Many places don't know how to use the slot to centralise an XJS rack.

Good luck

Paul

PS Yes, you do need a special tool to disarm the firing pin, but you can make one easily, as the genuine item is really hard to track down even at Jaguar Dealers.
 
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Softball60 View Post
Well guys, I did an adjustment.

About3/4 of a turn toe in on passenger side tire and toe out on the drivers side.

Steering Wheel is in the same location. Car goes straight down the road but the steering wheel is ~1 O’Clock.

Could the camber have shifted??

Thanks

Softball60/Paul
Nothing to do with camber. If you alter the track rods identically as you describe, the steering wheel will not change position, though the car's tracking will be all over the place in relation to the correct rack central position, as PTJS1 is trying to explain. The rack on your car has a central point, at which power steering influence right or left will be zero. If you do not centralise the rack first, even though your wheel alignment may be correct, the power steering will be pushing the system one way or the other, as well as the wheel being on the slant.
To avoid all this, and in order to set the tracking correctly, the steps are, as PTJS said:
  1. centralise rack by removing the grub screw or rubber bung on the rack tube near the rack tower, and slowly move the rack until a 3mm probe clonks into an indentation
  2. next check if the steering wheel is straight. If it is, it must be held in place; if it is not, it must be straightened and then held in place, or just held in place and straightened after the next stage
  3. now align each front wheel correctly to between 0.25 to 0.5 degrees toe in, by adjusting each tie rod at each end of the rack individually.
The steering wheel can be straightened, if necessary, once 3 is done, as described above. Any other method of setting the tracking and the steering wheel will be incorrect and will cause various unwanted effects.
 
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