Peugeot 205 Manual

Wheel alignment and steering angles - general information
Suspension and steering / Wheel alignment and steering angles - general information

1 A cars steering and suspension geometry is defined in four basic settings - all angles are expressed in degrees (toe settings are also expressed as a measurement); the relevant settings are camber, castor, steering axis inclination, and toe-setting. With the exception of front wheel toe-setting, none of these settings are adjustable.

Front wheel toe setting - checking and adjustment
2 Due to the special measuring equipment necessary to accurately check the wheel alignment, and the skill required to use it properly, checking and adjustment is best left to a Peugeot dealer or similar expert. Note that most tyre-fitting shops now possess sophisticated checking equipment. The following is provided as a guide, should the owner decide to carry out a DIY check.

3 The front wheel toe setting is checked by measuring the distance between the front and rear inside edges of the roadwheel rims.

Proprietary toe measurement gauges are available from motor accessory shops.

Adjustment is made by screwing the track rod ends in or out of their track rods, to alter the effective length of the track rod assemblies.

4 For accurate checking, the vehicle must be at the kerb weight, ie unladen and with a full tank of fuel, and the ride height must be correct (see Section 12).

5 Before starting work, check the tyre pressures and tread wear, the condition of the hub bearings, the steering wheel free play, and the condition of the front suspension components (see Chapter 1). Correct any faults found.

6 Park the vehicle on level ground, check that the front roadwheels are in the straight-ahead position, then rock the rear and front ends to settle the suspension. Release the handbrake, and roll the vehicle backwards 1 metre, then forwards again, to relieve any stresses in the steering and suspension components.

7 Measure the distance between the front edges of the wheel rims and the rear edges of the rims. Subtract the rear measurement from the front measurement, and check that the result is within the specified range.

8 If adjustment is necessary, apply the handbrake, then jack up the front of the vehicle and support it securely on axle stands (see Jacking and vehicle support). Turn the steering wheel onto full-left lock, and record the number of exposed threads on the righthand track rod end. Now turn the steering onto full-right lock, and record the number of threads on the left-hand side. If there are the same number of threads visible on both sides, then subsequent adjustment should be made equally on both sides. If there are more threads visible on one side than the other, it will be necessary to compensate for this during adjustment. Note: It is most important that after adjustment, the same number of threads are visible on each track rod end.

9 First clean the track rod end threads; if they are corroded, apply penetrating fluid before starting adjustment. Release the rubber bellows outboard clips (where necessary), and peel back the bellows; apply a smear of grease to the inside of the bellows, so that both are free, and will not be twisted or strained as their respective track rods are rotated.

10 Use a straight-edge and a scriber or similar to mark the relationship of each track rod to its track rod end then, holding each track rod in turn, unscrew its locknut fully.

11 Alter the length of the track rods, bearing in mind the note made in paragraph 8. Screw them into or out of the track rod ends, rotating the track rod using an open-ended spanner fitted to the flats provided on the track rod.

Shortening the track rods (screwing them into their track rod ends) will reduce toein/ increase toe-out (see illustration).

21.11 Adjusting the front wheel toe setting
21.11 Adjusting the front wheel toe setting

12 When the setting is correct, hold the track rods and securely tighten the track rod end locknuts. Count the exposed threads to check the length of both track rods. If they are not the same, then the adjustment has not been made equally, and problems will be encountered with tyre scrubbing in turns; also, the steering wheel spokes will no longer be horizontal when the wheels are in the straight-ahead position.

13 If the track rod lengths are the same, lower the vehicle to the ground and re-check the toe setting; re-adjust if necessary. When the setting is correct, securely tighten the track rod end locknuts. Ensure that the rubber bellows are seated correctly, and are not twisted or strained, and secure them in position with new retaining clips (where necessary).

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