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How to adjust the steering gear box?

 
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Old 12-25-2011, 12:58 PM
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How to adjust the steering gear box?

I know I will have to loosen the nut and then use a flathead driver and turn but my steering still feels a little loose even with my new steering shaft. How can I go along and make the steering tighter by adjusting the box? Do I turn the screw left or right or what?!
 
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Old 12-25-2011, 01:58 PM
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After loosening the nut, you'll probably have to put a combo wrench on it so you can turn the bolt with a screwdriver without turning the nut. Hard to describe, you'll figure it out. Turning right will tighten everything up. Do a little at a time, and then turn the wheel lock to lock to make sure it doesn't bind.
 
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Old 12-25-2011, 02:08 PM
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Make sure it's full of grease. If you can't adjust the slack out easily, it's time to rebuild or replace the box. They don't last forever.
 
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Old 12-25-2011, 02:13 PM
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The adjuster screw is setting the position of the sector shaft in the box, the sector shaft has tapered teeth on it so the backlash between the worm and the sector changes as the sector is adjusted, most of the wear occurs where the wheels are aimed straight forward, whenever you adjust the box, make sure you crank the steering to the stops in both directions, snug in the middle may be too tight at the ends, i like to put the front axle up on jack stands and do it with the engine off, the power steering boost makes it hard to feel it binding.
 
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Old 12-25-2011, 03:12 PM
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If you get it too tight it will have memory steer, that is where when you turn the wheel slightly off center when driving straight it wont return to center.
 
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:15 PM
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Not sure which box you have, but first you need to adjust the preload on the worm gear shaft. Once that is okay, then check your sector shaft backlash. I'm not sure of the specs cos I'm out of town right now, you'd have to look in your Haynes manual or something.
 
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:25 PM
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Well I turned it to the right some; seems a little better but still wondering some; I probably didn't turn it enough or done it right. Will carry it to a mechanic in the morning- IF they are open.

Thanks guys.
 
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:24 AM
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Adusting will get some slop out but won't fully compensate for wear. I've been able to get "a little better" by adjusting but never "just right". Too much adjustment will hurt the box and cause other problems. It may be time for a rebuilt box.
 
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:51 AM
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Well I got a new steering gear box but I just came back from the mechanics. They say the box is good. They pointed out that my worn out shocks would be a problem and there is like a center link (but it's connected to the axles instead of the steering components) that moves...looks like the bushings in it are worn out. Will that cause a problem?

I am also running 38s and they mention I have a small steering wheel which could cause it to feel weird.
 
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:03 AM
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Any bushing in the front end can cause problems. Each little bit of play compounds things. The fact you're running 38's is going to hard on everything and make any weakness show up more. Even with everything in good working order, properly aligned, type tire and air pressure can cause wandering.
 
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:08 AM
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Well; looks like I need to get some new front shocks and get them little bushings for that bar (don't know what that bar is called)
 
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Old 12-03-2018, 12:02 PM
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Turning the bolt on the sector gear

Originally Posted by devino246 View Post
After loosening the nut, you'll probably have to put a combo wrench on it so you can turn the bolt with a screwdriver without turning the nut. Hard to describe, you'll figure it out. Turning right will tighten everything up. Do a little at a time, and then turn the wheel lock to lock to make sure it doesn't bind.
i have finally seen a rack and pinion gearbox taken apart and understand how the sector gear adjusts the play in the steering. The example I saw showed the sector gear with a threaded bolt on top. The bolt went through a hole in a plate mounted to the box casing. So turning the bolt clockwise will push the sector gear down causing the gear to fit more tightly in the taper. Pushing the gear down too far will cause the gears to bind severely damaging them to the point they would have to be replaced or steering would fail. Counter clockwise raises the sector gear causing it to be slack against the other gear. You have to be careful. Adjusting the bolt then trying to feel if there’s binding while the engine is running is foolish. The hydraulic assistance will push the gear right through damaging the 2 gears. Best to remove the pitman arm and try to feel the adjustment by moving it on your own. Hope this helps
 
 
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