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Transmission Rebuild Effectiving Alignment and Steering Wheel Alignment

2004 Ford Taurus - transmission was going out last Aug - had it rebuilt (new seals and torque converter) got it back steering wheel was slightly off (1/2 inch) of being center when driving straight. Took a while to get it back to the shop - life happen - took back today - said they did everything they could and really needs alignment which they do not do - drove it home after hanging out at the shop for 5 hours. Steering wheel is now off 2 inches from center and the car is pulling noticeably to the right. Going back tomorrow - but they are saying that it was not them and that I need to pay for an alignment. Feel like I am being jerked around a lot.

When they removed the transmission, they would have had to remove the drive axles. That in itself may require some alignment, but if they’ve done it correctly, it shouldn’t. If they weren’t careful when they took it apart, it’s possible it hasn’t gone together exactly the same as it came apart.

I’m not sure if this one has camber/caster alignments. If it does, and they took it apart at that point, then they should set that right. If it doesn’t, then it shouldn’t have been affected.

If there’s a problem with the alignment after the transmission is replaced, the alignment needs to be checked. And if they don’t have that equipment you have to take it to alignment shop.

The reason is, in order to replace the transmission, the cradle that supports both the engine and transmission has to be lowered from under the vehicle along with the suspension/steering components. When this assembly is reinstalled into the vehicle everything isn’t going to align exactly right.

If you take it to an alignment shop and tell them you had the transmission replaced, the first thing they’ll check is the cradle to body alignment.


What tester said. To remove the transmission the shop would have removed the front subframe (to which the steering knuckle is attached) , which also necessitates disconnecting the steering rack and pinion. With all that taken apart it’s definitely possible something is out of alignment.
Another “time-saver” in removing the transmission is not disconnecting the right side axle, ball joint, and steering knuckle, but rather only disconnecting the left side, and letting the entire subrame hang and swing away supported by only the right lower ball joint. This can over stress and damage either the ball joint or lower control arm.