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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

I've recently picked up a 2004 Mazda Tribute - all is good except the steering wheel doesn't look straight when I'm driving straight.

I've had the tracking checked and that is all looking good - the garage advised me to align up the steering wheel itself. The tribute runs straight and well, it's just the steering it out.

So, this morning, I stripped down the steering wheel etc, took the front of it off - then discovered there looks like some kind of locking screw that is accessable under the steering wheel (just inside the small plastic cut out on the wheel itself). It's a 7mm bolt that seems to tighten the bolt that locks the steering wheel down.

However, when I loosen it, I still can't move the steering wheel at all.
Is there something else I need to do to rotate it?
Do I have to completely remove the wheel and rotate it 1 notch on a spline?
Is there some way to lock the steering column, so I can put a bit more force on the wheel?

Can someone point me in the right direction? - It really looks like this bolt is here for this exact reason..
 

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There is no steering wheel adjustment; I suggest you put everything back before you set off the air bags.

Have that shop (or a different one) check and re-check the rear and front toe settings with the steering wheel locked to centre. If the vehicle tracks straight otherwise, it is unlikely to be a tire problem and is almost certainly a problem with toe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not sure about that.

(PS - I disconnected and the airbag, so I'm not worried about that).

However, it really looks like it has an adjustment - do you know the 7mm bolt I'm on about.

When I had it all apart, it really looked like it would have some adjustment - in fact it even said something about adjustment.. (I just didn't take a photo)..

Anyone else have any ideas?

Or anyone have any links to diagram, or workshop manual that covers this part of the vehicle?
 

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Take it back to the place that you bought it from and ask them to re-align it or take it to alignment shop and have them fix it.
 

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You should never, absolutely never! have to take the steering wheel apart to make it aligned with the wheels. The steering wheel should be positioned straight by the mechanic and then a full 4 wheel computerized alignment should be done. Listen to your fellow escape-city friends. Good luck
 

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you are asking for trouble ! Id put it back together too before the :fan:

Take it to a good alignment shop, my experience with a steering wheel being off center is a toe issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK Guys! I got it.

Thanks for the info.. I'll stop messing, don't worry, it was all back together already.

The problem is, the local garage (that charges 30 pounds) said the tracking was correct - and the steering was out. (They corrected the tracking as it was out before).

The Mazda garage near me suggested 140 pounds for a 4 wheel computerised alignment.. ouch.. that's like 200 bucks for you american chaps.

Just not sure what to do now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK.. I found an independent 4 wheel alignment centre that charges about 85 pounds - so that's a bit better.

I guess I'll live with the steering slightly out for a month or so and then do it when my cashflow is in a slightly better state. (Only just bought the Tribby for the wife and in the middle of changing my BMW E65 right now too.)

Thanks for all your advise - I really appreciate it.

PS - The 4 Wheel alignment centre kind of laughed at the suggestion to take the steering wheel off too! - ha ha ha :lol:
 
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