Steering alignment tool/advice

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Steering alignment tool/advice

Postby NicholasXJS » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:59 pm

Help! I will need to get the front wheels on my 1996 XJS 4 litre aligned in the near future. This needs the tool to centre the rack. They don't seem to be available. Has anyone got one that I could borrow or buy. OR send me the dimensions so I could have one made up. Here's hoping.

While I am at it the steering wheel at the moment pulls to one side as if the rack is not centralised so that when the wheels are in the straight ahead position there is hydraulic pressure trying to move the wheels to the right. The pressure gets greater on a downward camber to the right and lessens to the left. The wheel bearings were a bit slack and adjusting them has improved things. On longer trips this gets a bit tiring and can't be doing the car any good. Any thoughts will be gratefully received.

Nicholas XJS

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Re: Steering alignment tool/advice

Postby J44EAG » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:44 am

I owned a V12 XJS for a brief time. That had steering issues as the front tracking was out and the rack not centralised. it caused the N/S tyre to make contact with the anti-roll bar and an MOT failure.

Centralising the rack was quite easy. There was a bolt below the tower pinion which had to be removed. Oil does not pour out with that bolt/plug out. As I recall we inserted a 3/16 drill into the plug hole and gently moved the rack by turning the road wheels until the drill bit engaged with a hole in the rack. That done, we were able to track the car and all became good. The drill bit was removed and the bolt replaced. We then had to remove the steering wheel and centre that up level relative to the dash board horizontal level. Job done and no more tyre hitting the anti-roll bar.

Prior to our sorting out the tracking issue, that car did pull to one side and had a tenancy to go round right hand bends better than to the left. I also noticed that the car was very sensitive to even or un even tyre pressures. If all were the same, the car drove well. If one or more tyre had lost pressure, that had a marked effect on the vehicles ability to go in a straight line!

Others who know this model better than I, may also be able to give further advice.

Hope that helps.

Mike K
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2004 XJR

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Re: Steering alignment tool/advice

Postby ptjs1 » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:01 am


I would suggest that you take the car to a decent place that can do proper alignment, ideally on a Hunter 4-wheel alignment bed. Your profile doesn't say where you are located. If you update it with your location, other members may be able to recommend suitable local places.

Don't confuse the rack not being centralised with the tracking being out. If the rack is just out of centre but the tracking was right, the steering won't pull, it will just mean that the wheel is out of central alignment.

I think you have a tracking problem. The rack may or may not be out of centre.

Good luck

1995 XJS 4.0 Convertible
1980 XJ-S Pre-HE
Jaguar 4.2 Supercharged engine (but not with a Jaguar body..)

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