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have a wheel alignment done
check the bearings at the top of the strut that allow the steering to turn
if failed they make the suspension spring wind up which accounts for the load on the steering wheel
yes you possibly can ( depends on the room available.)
I would do the centring at the top of the rack and pinion as this is where a multi spline is that will allow for correct centring.
when you get the shaft off the box
firstly turn the rack from lock to lock ( wheels of the ground) and position the shaft at the midpoint of the turns counted fro left to right
next with the steering wheel place it in the straight ahead position
put the shaft back on the rack and tighten up the lock bolt
On a steering wheel are 2 pins. These pins turn the signals off as the wheel returns from making a left or right hand turn. They reset the blinker mechanism by bumping the blinker arm and pushing the arm back to the center position. You can sometimes see these little pins that reset the blinker if you look between the steering wheel and the steering wheel column. There is a little gap where the steering wheel is enabled to turn with out rubbing the column. You will also see a circular copper plate in there where the horn makes electrical contact by a little flat tension arm and rubs the copper surface as the wheel spins in either direction.
To repair a damage blinker pin, the steering wheel most likely has to be pulled off and the pin repaired and steering wheel returned back onto the column. Not a big job at all, just more of a pain then anything. Some steering wheels are on pretty tight on their splines and a puller may be needed. If the pins are still intact in the back of the steering wheel, then the blinker mechanism has a problem and is not be triggered to return to center by the pins.
IF you have a rack and pinion steering pull the steering shaft of the pinion splines and centre the wheels . Centre the wheel and put the steering shaft back on the splines. If it is master splined then centre the steering wheel and adjust each side tie rod until the wheels are centred . (one in -other out ). Remember that when the wheels are straight ahead then the steering wheel will be slightly to the left (USA) to compensate for the camber of the road.. IF a steering box pull the pitman arm off --centre the wheels and the steering wheel and refit the pitman arm
jack up the front of the car and see how difficult it is to turn the steering wheels from lock to lock. Allowing for the steering box resistance they should turn freely once you have established movement. If you have power steering you may have to disconnect from the box. What you are looking for here is binding ball joints or king pin bearings . If you are happy that there is no appreciable resistance then have a wheel alignment done paying attention to castor settings as this is what gives the self centring affect to steering. The bigger the angle the harder to turn but the quicker it returns . AS the wheels are turned the vehicle is lifted up because of the angle and when the wheel is let go the vehicle drops back down and so spins the wheel back to centre.. If you have leaf springs in the front I would be checking out the spring camber AS this problem comes from sagging leaf springs turning the axle forward and so putting the castor in negative territory.
There is an adjustment on the steering box.You will see a stud with a nut on top. Loosen the nut,and turn the stud with a screwdriver while moving the steering wheel back and forth. Don't tighten too tight,as the steering wheel won't return to center when turning a corner. If that doesn't stop the clunk,you will need to change out the steering box.
Raise the vehicle so the front wheels are off the ground.
Turn the steering wheel all the way to the left.
Fill the power steering fluid reservoir to the FULL/COLD level and leave the cap off.
Have an assistant watch the fluid in the reservoir while you turn the steering wheel fully to the right and fully to the left at least 20 times.
NOTE: On systems with long return lines or fluid coolers, turn the steering wheel from lock to lock at least 40 times.
Add fluid as needed to keep the fluid level at the FULL/COLD level.
Install the reservoir cap and start the engine.
Center the front wheels and lower the vehicle.
Run the engine for about 2 minutes.
Turn the steering wheel in both directions and verify correct power steering operation.
sounds like either the camber or caster is off on your alignment or possable you got your steering gear box adjustment too tight .. this will cause it to not return to center.. thanks and holler if you have more..