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  #1  
Old 03-25-2009, 10:02 PM
deckpros deckpros is offline
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Very Dangerous Steering Box Problem

Hello all,

A few weeks ago, my employees were driving home one of my work trucks, a 2001 F350 7.3 4x4 Crew w. 130K miles. They were on a straight road in a small town when the steering went completely out. The truck veered into a telephone pole. Thankfully no one was injured. The truck has major damage to the front passenger's side.

I finally got the truck back to my shop today. It is quite evident what caused the problem. The gear/splined shaft that protrudes from the steering box and is connected to the pitman arm sheared completely off. I can't seem to find this problem anywhere else on the 'net. Has anyone heard of this before??

I can get some pix tomorrow if anyone is interested.

Last edited by deckpros; 03-25-2009 at 10:03 PM. Reason: clarity
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2009, 10:37 PM
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Fully inspect the rest of the steering system including the pump, hoses tierods etc... It may be that another part of the system failed first causing the accident. My guess is the accident may have caused the shearing of the shaft. Did the passenger tire take a hard hit? Check the box for cracks.

It would be hard to think the shaft broke on it's own, It takes quite a bit of pressure to shear it off. How is the truck generally used?

Also ask your guys if the steering went loose or did it get hard?
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2009, 11:35 PM
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i think maybe, just maybe ur employee's arent being competely upfront..

i bet teh accident happened and THAT caused the steering to sheer..

ask yourself:

what are the odds the steering failed first just in time to cause the truck to hit a pole ???

now ask yourself:

what are the odds the truck's passenger side hit the pole first, thus causing such stress to the steering gear it sheered the sector shaft off the steering box...

not saying anyones lying here, just the story doesnt seem right to me...
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:24 AM
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I have to agree with everyone else. The force to sheer that big splined shaft should have bent the drag link or tie rods first.

Although, you may want to look at the direction of the sheer and grain of the metal. I can't remember right now, how the direction goes though. I think it will ripple be perpendicular to direction of sheer, then the angle should show the vertical direction of it.
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordfanatic4life View Post
i think maybe, just maybe ur employee's arent being competely upfront..

i bet teh accident happened and THAT caused the steering to sheer..
I gotta be honest, those were my exact thoughts.

Stewart
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2009, 07:38 AM
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I had my steering box splined shaft (sector shaft?) shear on me on my 99' with 38" tires and a 6" lift. The current truck that I just picked up, an 03' with a 7" lift and 37" tires also had the shaft shear. It seems that with larger tires and lift that its compounds the stress on the steering box.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:42 AM
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The only time I've heard of this has been on trucks with a lift. Seems like there's a different arm you can buy to come off the steering box to prevent this.

You didn't mention if the truck had a lift. I've got a half dozen 99 - 03 trucks, none with miles that low, and have not had any steering linkage issues.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:56 AM
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Hi all,

Thanks for the replies. The truck is not lifted. And my employees lie to me?? NEVER!! Ok, it wouldn't be the first time... or the second, third or fourth..

The front wheel contacted the curb before the truck hit the pole, so that may have caused the problem. I'll check out all the other steering stuff if it stops raining today.

If any of you are good with body work and looking for an F350 diesel, keep an eye on eBay in the near future.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:25 AM
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I know this is a old post but I had a 02 with 35000 miles sheer the saft off. I was driving on a back road luckily nothing happened
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:40 AM
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It seems that when Ford or GM or anyone designs a truck, the engineers (that are smarter then I am) understand stress relationships and metalurgy, etc.

Then non-engineers (the customer) mess with the structure and are surprised that the extreme extra stress causes components to fail. Then, it becomes a Ford or GM issue.

My nephew put a 5 or 6 inch lift on his Chevy 2500 2 years ago. The lift manufacturer recommended some heavy duty caps that bolted over the tie rod ends. These parts were not included in the kit but were extra cost. My nephew opted NOT to but the extra parts. While off-roading a few weeks later, a tie rod end failed and the wheel turned sideways are ripped the spindle off the truck, tearing out the febder well....luckily he was not on the hiway when the tierod failed.

He blamed GM for making a crappy truck and now has a Ram with a lift kit....ouch!!

Don't get me wrong, as I really like a great looking lifted 4x4.....but there are thing the need to be considered.

Regarding this specific issue, I concur the the wreck happened first, causing the pitman arm to be sheare off..that just makes the most sense.
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:22 PM
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this is now the 4th or 5th post of someone having this dangerous failure..
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:23 PM
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This happened on my 2000 as well. The break happened while parking at work so thankfully nobody was hurt. I had about 5 years of oversized tires so I'm sure it just worn out... Couple of pics below:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:38 PM
Justin1989 Justin1989 is offline
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Deckpros: Your employes are not lying to you.

I have an 02 that I had the same thing happen to me in my 02 in a parking lot. My truck also has a 12in lift... My buddy has a 99 that only has a 6in lift and his broke goin down the road causing him to go off the road and hit someone's garage. There's not a doubt in my mind that the accident is what they say especially in a work crummy as we all know they take a little abuse. When you put on new steering box (I got mine a reman from the wrecker for a $100) use a little locktite when bolting pitman arm on. Provided I'm running 40 in tires I'm not a small guy and I tightened the hell outta mine and it still turned loose on me..... Hope that helps.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin1989 View Post
I have an 02 that I had the same thing happen to me in my 02 in a parking lot. My truck also has a 12in lift... My buddy has a 99 that only has a 6in lift and his broke goin down the road causing him to go off the road and hit someone's garage. There's not a doubt in my mind that the accident is what they say especially in a work crummy as we all know they take a little abuse. When you put on new steering box (I got mine a reman from the wrecker for a $100) use a little locktite when bolting pitman arm on. Provided I'm running 40 in tires I'm not a small guy and I tightened the hell outta mine and it still turned loose on me..... Hope that helps.
Welcome to FTE Justin!

Please remember to take a look at the date; deckpros posted this one nearly four years ago!

Sorry to hear about your sector shaft breaking, but I can't help but think that your lift and huge tires had something to do with it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:44 PM
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Even with big tires this area should be strong enough..IMO. I have heard this happening quite a bit lately but still not enough to warrant any concern from ford.


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Old 02-02-2013, 06:44 PM
 
 
 
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