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About thalfmann

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  1. Thanks for the responses. I was able to loosen the lock nut and turn the inner tie rods to get them close to straight. I had read about using a tape measure and I now have them within 1/8 inch measuring center front of tires and then center back of tires. I'm sure this isn't 100% accurate, but close enough to allow me to drive it and take to an alignment shop this week without worrying. I think I found out why both tires were off so much and pointing outward. I was thinking about putting the original outer tie rod ends back on just to see if there was a difference and when I held one of them up to the brand new one it was actually about 1/2 inch shorter. So, I'm thinking the new ones that were 1/2" longer each pushed the tires out further on both sides.
  2. Long time lurker on the forums and have read and used lots of advice from the site over the years. I appreciate all the contributors that help and explain things to those of us that are still learning. Hoping someone can assist or explain how to correct the issue I have with the install of my new rack and pinion. 2006 GMC Sierra crew cab 1500 SLE, 5.3 After installing a brand new rack and pinion (not rebuilt unit), my left rotor is at about 10-15deg angle facing out left and my right rotor is about 20 deg angle facing out to the right. So they look like this - \ / but not to that extreme. I did a front end rebuild on my pickup last week. I replaced upper control arms, lower control arms, stabilizer bar links, and shocks on both sides of the front end. After I completed all this, I reinstalled tires while waiting on my new rack and pinion to arrive. Everything looked normal as before. Received the new rack and pinion and outer tie rod ends a couple days ago and did the install following a detailed video as well as instructions someone posted on these forums. Only thing I did different was not drop the stabilizer bar as I noticed I could pull the bolts almost completely out and remove and reinstall the part without that step. I tied the steering wheel so it wouldn't move and I counted the turns of the outer ends, oddly they were both exactly 16 turns. I installed new outer ends with 16 turns on each side. When hooking back up the steering shaft to steering gear, I had to rotate the steering gear about 1/2 turn in order for the shaft to slide onto it. I had previously marked the shaft and old gear per instructions, but I'm guessing that is meaningless on a new install. Is this as simple that I need to adjust the outer ends to get them closer in to alignment? Which would mean the new unit is slightly different than the old one? In hindsight I wish I would have more closely compared the two and measured the full length, end to end. The new rack and pinion came with the inner tie rods already installed. I could pull it all back off and do the measurement, but hoping someone responds with the answer and I don't have to perform a complete removal and install again. I plan on taking to a shop for an alignment, especially with everything I have done, but I don't want to drive 30 miles with the tires that far out of whack. Additional question, the old unit has what appears to be just a connecting rod between the right and left boots, but the new unit didn't come with this. Is that of any significance or just different manufacture styles? From what I can tell, it appears to be on remanufactured units, but not on brand new ones. Maybe just part of the rebuild kit? It was kind of in the way to remove the ground strap from the old unit and I had to use open end wrench, but since it wasn't there on new unit, I was able to replace bolt with socket and ratchet. Thanks for any and all assistance.
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