Ford F-250: How to Replace Lower Steering Shaft

Unresponsive steering in an F-250 might be caused by a rusted steering shaft. Learn what to do about it below.

By Makeda - December 11, 2014
Contributors: sammie0126

This article applies to the Ford F-250 and Super Duty (2005-2014).

Steering shafts generally don't have issues. Their job is to transmit steering input to the steering gear, so they don't have a lot of ways to wear out. However, on older F-250s, corrosion and rust can cause it to bind up. This binding becomes more apparent through the steering wheel when the truck is equipped with over sized tires. Examine the steering shaft first if a Super Duty's steering seems to be binding up. Spray the joints with WD-40. If that fixes the issue, it's probably time for a new steering shaft.

Materials Needed

  • 13mm socket
  • 14mm socket
  • 21mm socket
  • breaker bar
  • Torque wrench
  • Hammer
  • WD-40

Step 1 - Align steering shaft

Open the hood and locate the steering shaft, which will come out of the firewall from the steering wheel and through the engine bay. It should be covered by a black plastic "rag joint" cover (Figure 1). Underneath the rag joint is a bolt that connects the steering shaft to the steering gear. If it's not immediately accessible, turn the steering wheel so that it can be reached from the top of the engine bay. Then, secure the steering wheel so that it doesn't move by itself. Most people run the seatbelt through the steering wheel to keep it from moving.

Pro Tip

It's very important that the steering wheel doesn't move while working on the steering shaft. It if moves while the shaft is out, the steering will be misaligned upon re-installation.

Figure 1. The steering gear bolt is under the black shroud.

Step 2 - Remove upper steering shaft bolt

The steering shaft is secured at the top by a single bolt; remove it.

Figure 2. Remove the upper steering bolt here.

Step 3 - Remove the lower steering shaft bolt

Next, remove the lower steering shaft from the steering gear. It's held in with a 13mm bolt. Reaching that bolt will likely require an extended socket wrench and a breaker bar for leverage. Once the bolt is removed, pry the gear and the steering shaft apart.

  • Figure 3. Remove the bolt indicated here to free the steering shaft from steering gear.
  • Figure 4. Pry apart the steering gear and steering shaft.

Step 4 - Remove steering shaft

Push the shaft back off the steering gear to remove it. Clean the shaft joints with a wire brush to remove rust. If the joint has displayed binding tendencies, spray it with a lubricant like WD-40.

Figure 5. Push the steering shaft up and off the steering gear to remove it.

Step 5 - Install new steering shaft

Installation is the opposite of removal. Start by rettaching the lower steering shaft to the steering gear. Torque the bolt to 26 lb-ft. Then, reattach the lower steering shaft to the upper steering shaft with a bolt. Tighten this bolt to 41 lb-ft.

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