Hey Guys, I took my wifeís F350 in today. I noticed thesteering seems to be getting worse over the last few months and yesterday shetold me she felt a rubbing when she turns. The truck also has had a funny pulsewhen turning. If you sit in the driveway and move the steering left and rightan inch or so it feels like it is moving over center. Hard to describe but itkind of feels like the power steering is pulsing. Also, the steering box isleaking.
Took the truck in today and ford tells me that I need
A new steering box,
New ball joints
New pitman arm
There were a few other items as well but I cannot remember exactly.
They tell me the bill is going to be around 3500. I am mechanical and normally do my own workbut I donít have the tools or time for this type of job.
Does this seem reasonable? Does this amount of wear seem consistentwith the mileage or do you think they are just going to replace everything to ensurethey fix the issue?
Most of what is listed seems realistic to me for replacement timing. The price is probably realistic by dealer standards. In my area I would expect to pay a good non-dealer shop around $2500 based on work I had done just under 2 years ago.
Steering gear and pitman arm together is max, $500. You can borrow a pitman arm puller for free from autozone. The steering box is held in by three easily accessed bolts and a couple hoses basically. It can be done by the shadetree pretty easily.
A dealer will use OEM ball joints, that's like $80 total, plus lets say another $100-120 in seals. So basically they want about $2700 in labor for ball joints and a steering box???
Yeah, ball joints are a little more involved, but still straight forward and I say they, too can be done by the shadetree. But just to give you an idea, a reputably tire/alignment shop quoted me $730 for Moog balljoints installed and alignment. I think that included seals in the hub as well.
My advice - if you don't want to do it yourself then shop around. IMO, parts and labor for a quality job like that shouldn't be more than $2,000-2300.
Do the steering gear yourself, limp it to a reputable tire/alignment shop that you get a quote from, and have them do the ball joints. All in all you'd be out no more than $1300-1400.
Or, give it a go yourself for about $750 in parts and the cost of an alignment job.
It surprises me that they didn't mention the sway bar end links.
I don't know if the quote is unreasonable, but it sounds a lot more than I would be willing to give. Moog ball joints and seals, moog end links, moog pitman arm, and a good ball joint press will run $700.
I couldn't pay $2500 for the labor personally.
Ball joints are not as hard as it sounds. You can also borrow the press kit and with an impact gun it makes popping them out pretty easy. You can do it with a wrench but it's just a little more elbow grease. To me, it sounds like a lot of coin, if I could do it myself I would.
For 3500 bucks you could buy a bunch of tools and if you are mechanically inclined its not that bad of a job. The local ford shop wanted 600 bucks to install an idler arm and pitman on my 03 F-150 4X4 ( that included the parts ) and even that bill was enough to motivate me to do it myself.
The OP is in Canada and those prices are more like what i have experienced. Ball joints, hub seals, alignment cost me $1250 several years ago. Labour rates are also much higher in Canada. Upside, great mens and women's hockey teams. GO CANADA! For what its worth, thats not a terrible price, but you could do parts of it yourself amd have them do the ball joints, to save you some labour.
From Experience... the Pitman Am Puller from anywhere other than Caterpillar Dealer wont fit over the Super Duty version. I had to cut mine off with a cutoff 90 degree grinder and 3.5" wheels.
I got a puller from harbor freight, had to work to get it on but it did the job for my Excursion. I used a 4' breaker bar to get enough force and then a gentle tap with a hammer it popped off with a loud 'pow'
I would consider upgrading to a redhead steering box - IF you plan to keep it. Light years better than stock - but $$$ too.
I wanted to provide an update: Since I have owned this truck I have experienced an odd pulse going around corners. It is kind of hard to explain but it felt like the wheel would not sit at top dead center and that the wheel would rock back and forth over the top while going around long bends in the road. My father said it felt like it was stuck in four wheel drive. It was unnerving when hauling my 15,000 plus pound boat and I swore this year it had gotten to the point that I did not think I would haul it at all.
Turned out to be the steering box, I guess it was bleeding back and forth causing the pulsing. They changed the box last week and the truck feels like the 911. What a difference it is amazing. I bought the truck with about 90k on it and it has been doing that since we owned it.