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Old 07-12-2009, 08:22 PM
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Loose Steering and Column

Just nocited today that my 1990 F250 has about a 2 inch play in the steering wheel. What can cause that? Front end or Steering joints?? Seems to have happen out of no where, was fine few days ago. And since i'm talking about steering, my steering column has been loose for a while now, what can that be?



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Old 07-13-2009, 01:50 AM
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There are a ton of joints in these things, here's how the go from the steering box up:
1. rag joint - there is a rubber coupler there, oil eats this with time.
2. slip joint - this is where the two halves of the intermediate steering shaft meet, lower half fits inside the upper and there are two flat springs between them that are supposed to keep things tight, those springs wear with use and sometimes even fall out.
3. external U-joint - this is where the upper half of the intermediate shaft connects to the steering column shaft, even tho the joint is pretty large it still wears with use.
4. internal U-joint - this is for the tilt column, it's inside the column a few inches below the steering wheel.

Try to identify where the play is coming from, then we can suggest repair solutions. Don't forget the steering box itself can have lots of play in it, and this is actually very typical for trucks with high miles on them.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:34 PM
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First thing, would this happen to be a tilt wheel?

They have more places to pick up play.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
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First thing, would this happen to be a tilt wheel?

They have more places to pick up play.
No tilt steering. Plain and simple Column lol.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:17 AM
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Even with a straight column you still have joints #1-3, they are all in the engine bay so they should be fairly easy to check for play...
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:07 AM
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my vote is slip joint.
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:18 PM
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Loose column sounds like the bolts under the dash are loose or the bearings inside are shot.

Does the whole column housing move?
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Sponaugle View Post
Loose column sounds like the bolts under the dash are loose or the bearings inside are shot.

Does the whole column housing move?
Yes the whole thing moves up and down, and a bit side to side.
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:47 PM
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ahhh. ok. then i am with dave on this one. it sounds like the upper column bearings have fell apart.
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:47 PM
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