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Still has play- Just replaced everything but balljoints including steering box

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Still has play- Just replaced everything but balljoints including steering box

 
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:01 PM
Brian Hanks
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Still has play- Just replaced everything but balljoints including steering box

2000 f350 7.3 with 150k miles. Itís much better but Iíve been fighting with my steering ever since I bought this truck about a year ago. I replaced all the steering components on the front except the ball joints that tested ok. The new steering box did help tremendously however I still have play. Sitting with the key on engine off I can grab the steering shaft and turn it by hand and get probably a quarter inch (10-20degrees) of play. No movement on the Pitman arm.. is this normal or do I have a bad remanufactured box? Since Iíve never had a 7.3 before how tight is the steering supposed to be? is it supposed to feel like more modern vehicles or have a little bit of play?
 
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:03 PM
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Iím getting ready to potentially change the ball joints anyway because Iím worried about them being dry even though they tested mechanically fine I was not able to do a friction test. Since I donít know the maintenance history of this truck I was going to get the hubs pulled and greased anyway. I donít think itís my problem though.
 
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:06 PM
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Ill have too check mine.. doesnt sound too bad but ill see.
 
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:21 PM
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Is there a way to post a video?
 
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:52 PM
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Sounds like we are in the same boat. I either have a bad rebuilt redhead box or the actual steering shaft is wore out. I ordered a new lower steering shaft last week, ill update here once I get it installed.
 
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Old 05-05-2019, 08:25 PM
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Yeah something is loose for sure. I donít have much to have for a frame of reference but I know for a fact on my Tacoma itís tight as could be. I canít hardly move it. Real really frustrating because I will be out the labor to get this thing re-installed. Kind of blew my last little bit getting it to start with. Iím cringing on the ball joints as we speak.
 
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Old 05-05-2019, 08:25 PM
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I know where the upper and lower steering shaft connect can get sloppy but when I rotate one the other rotates very solidly.
 
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Old 05-05-2019, 08:42 PM
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I canít figure out the part number that you are replacing please post when you can because I would sure like to try to see if it relieves the problem. All I am seeing are the entire intermediate shaft assembly that is ~$300.
 
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:45 PM
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Iíve also looked into hydraulic stabilization as well and would likely help but I canít get passed something is wrong causing this versus covering the PROBLEM up with a band aid. So frustrating.
 
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Old 05-06-2019, 12:50 AM
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Here is a thread I previously started:

https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...g-collumn.html

If you look in the Excursion forum, tech folders there is a few write ups on the 4x4 front ends for super duties/excursions and some of the solutions. Its usually a combination of things.

I would find a frame and alignment shop that knows what they are doing (yelp is your friend, or ask around). Take it in and have them go through it and see what is loose or worn. Steering stabilizers tend to mask the problem until it gets worse. On my personal truck I did ball joints, all tie rods, pitman arm, hubs, steering box, and now finally the steering shaft. With every change things got better than before but not perfect; dont be surprised if its similar for you ó that is a combination of things wore out not just one part.
 
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:12 AM
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Yeah thatís kind of how Iím going about it. The next step besides the steering shaft was going in and checking out the hubs and replacing ball joints. Unfortunately I paid a premium for this truck. I had multiple mechanics I trust check it out ahead of time and tell me it was in great shape with a couple things that needed replacement from being worn. Me not knowing much about these old trucks has caused me some serious headaches in the last year. Live you learn. Still better than some of the newer ones in long term. I sure learned a lot. Particularly how to open my wallet LOL . Probably spent 6000+ in parts since I bought this truck... unfortunately the dang torque converter went out after I had it 2000 miles and it took my transmission with it. I knew it was a weak link in this particular truck. I guess the steering is the other.
 
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Old 05-06-2019, 11:03 AM
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Stop chasing the impossible. A 1/4" play in the steering wheel is GREAT! Leave it alone and start driving it. It's not a Ferrari, it's a 3/4 TON 4WD TRUCK! The steering is fine, the ball joints are typically frequent replacement items, due to the weight of the engine pounding them to death. If you haven't looked at the fixes for the 4R100, there are several pretty good ones that are easy to do and relatively inexpensive. I'm at 375k on my originally tranny and it's finally letting go. At 150k, you should be doing ball joints (unless recently done), the second set of tires (unless using an aggressive tread then you may be on the 3rd set), maybe shocks/steering damper are ready to replace and finally the water pump. At 150k, that's about all that had been done to mine since new. Otherwise, oil and filter changes should be it.
 
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by U9000 View Post
Stop chasing the impossible. A 1/4" play in the steering wheel is GREAT! Leave it alone and start driving it. It's not a Ferrari, it's a 3/4 TON 4WD TRUCK! The steering is fine, the ball joints are typically frequent replacement items, due to the weight of the engine pounding them to death. If you haven't looked at the fixes for the 4R100, there are several pretty good ones that are easy to do and relatively inexpensive. I'm at 375k on my originally tranny and it's finally letting go. At 150k, you should be doing ball joints (unless recently done), the second set of tires (unless using an aggressive tread then you may be on the 3rd set), maybe shocks/steering damper are ready to replace and finally the water pump. At 150k, that's about all that had been done to mine since new. Otherwise, oil and filter changes should be it.
There is not 1/4Ē in steering wheel it is in the shaft. It translates to significantly more at steering wheel. Like 2+ inches. Like I first stated I donít have a frame of reference it seems like too much.

Ive replaced all kinds of stuff so far since I bought it.
got cts2 for monitoring
did new Hpop lines and hpx
Gooch coolant flush and aftermarket filter
complete tranny rebuild
new tires
full lube differentials
all tierods, drag link, steering box, pitman arm
cps
cold air intake
Trumax transmission cooler
full set Bilstein 5100s
Likely more I canít tbink of off top of my head.

ball joints test mechanically fine but couldnít do friction test, suspect could be dry and contributing. Have no idea service history of hubs so will probably just replace when tear that down soon to grease needle bearing and change out all the seals, etc...

whew.
 
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:20 PM
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Well. Thereís absolutely zero slop in my steering shaft. The top gear of the steering bo whatever you call it) turns whenever you touch the steering wheel. So the dang brand new box Iím guessing itís not tight. No movement in Pitman arm and top of steering gear will turn almost a quarter rotation before gets solid... ugh
 
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:31 AM
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Do you have a steering stabilizer on the front axle? I had significant play at the steering wheel until installing a Bilstein 5100 stabilizer.

What transmission did you go with? HD4R100? Do you have the larger 6.0 transmission cooler now?

I would recommend Spicer for the ball joints, u-joints and seals on the front axle. It isn't to hard to replace on your own with the write ups here and good tools. Ball joint press can be rented at the local autoparts store as well.

Where are you located? Maybe you can take a moment to update your profile and signature to reflect which truck you have.

Thanks and welcome to FTE
 

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