Centering a 525 Steering Gear
One thing that is often overlooked is centering a steering gear after it's installed. A lot of times we all figure that the steering gear is centered from the factory, while a lot of times that is the case, many times it isn't. Having the pitman arm off even the slightest bit can make a world of difference on the the turning radius of your car.
When I installed the the pitman arm, you can see it was slightly off center. I made a mark on the crossmember that's lined up with the adjuster nut, so I would have a reference point when centering the steering gear so the pitman arm will have the same amount of distance lock to lock.
Turning the steering shaft all the way to right, I used a screwdriver to line up the mark I made on the crossmember. It measured 4-1/4” from the center of the pitman arm eye, to the screwdriver.
Turning the steering shaft all the way to the left, Although the screwdriver was off just a little bit from the mark, it measured 5”. This not uncommon, and shows how important it is to make sure that you center the steering box.
The next step is to turn the steering gear from full lock right to left, counting the number of turns. This box measured 6-1/2 turns, I turned the shaft back 3-1/4 turns which should line the pitman arm up to the mark I made on the crossmember. There are several different ways to turn the steering shaft. I've heard and seen everything from Vise-Grips, wrenches, to pliers being used to turn the steering shaft. The way I do it is, I used an adjustable wrench on the DD Flats of the intermediate steering shaft. Doing it this way will ensure that no damage can be done to the splines on the input steering shaft.
As you can see the eye on the pitman arm lined up with the mark on the crossmember. At this point the steering box is centered and ready for the center link to be installed, and the old Laguna is one step closer to getting back on the ground.