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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 01-03-2013, 10:18 PM
mike L mike L is offline
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2" of play in steering wheel

Is 2" of play in my steering wheel normal? Is there any other adjustment I can make? The front checked out ok, state inspection. Before adjusting the gearbox (nut) a little. It was two hands on the wheel at all times. The gearbox never leaked and it's not to bad to drive with one hand, now.

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Old 01-03-2013, 10:49 PM
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My truck always had this problem, even before the lift. I have replaced all ball joints, tie rod ends, draglinks, had a professional alignment, tightened all connections to and from the gear box/pitman arm. All that for nothing. When other people drive it they say its all over the road and unbearable but im use to it.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:20 PM
mike L mike L is offline
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Originally Posted by Nickk97tml View Post
My truck always had this problem, even before the lift. I have replaced all ball joints, tie rod ends, drag links, had a professional alignment, tightened all connections to and from the gear box/ pitman arm. All that for nothing. When other people drive it they say its all over the road and unbearable but im use to it.
Do you have a adjusting nut/screwl on top of your steering box? I turned mine to the right a little at a time and it helped.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike L View Post
Do you have a adjusting nut/screwl on top of your steering box? I turned mine to the right a little at a time and it helped.
yeah, I believe so, I may have to try this. how much do you feel it helped?
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:06 AM
88n94 88n94 is offline
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To mike L. I wouldn't put much faith in that STATE INSPECTION you mentioned. I'm betting you have a worn basic steering component. Either the drag link or a tie rod end or closely associated part.

Turn your ignition switch to unlock the steering wheel, DO NOT START THE ENGINE. Get an assistant to slowly turn the steering wheel back and forth about three inches. Crawl under the truck and closely watch the stuff I mentioned above for play.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:36 AM
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yeah, I believe so, I may have to try this. how much do you feel it helped?
It was worth doing! I had to drive with both hands before, now just one hand. I loosened the nut and turned the screw to the right to tightening the steering. I went 1/8" at a time. I heard don't go to much!! ?????? Post a new question first with adjusting steering gear box. The guys answer right away. I found out every little problem i have with the truck there's always good answer here.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:51 AM
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Make sure you check the u joints in the shaft from the steering wheel to the gear box. Mine has some play in the shaft, and a lot of play in the drag link and tie rod ends.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:11 AM
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Yeah, you want to take your time tighting the steering box nut. If you go too far it will wear the box completely out faster.

It also makes the truck steer hard, you get bump steer and will drive really strangely, dangerous even.

Also, it seems more difficult to get the adjuster to back off than tighten down, so sneaking up on it is easier.

Technically you really aren't supposed to change the lash or preload on a steering box after its inital adjustment except when rebuilding the box, but I've known people to tighten it up and drive for years.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:17 AM
88n94 88n94 is offline
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I would mess with the steering box nut only as a very last resort. I've never had to do it, but I had a neighbor who always messed with the steering box nut, so I know what can happen.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:51 PM
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I know with mine, my play is just in the steering shaft going to the gear box, not the gear box its self. I just havent gotten around to hunting down the parts needed and replacing them. Also considering its my DD and I drive it everyday makes it harder to fix.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:00 AM
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Just as a general question, are the gear boxes rebuildable, or is it cheaper/easier to just replace the whole thing?
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:00 AM
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