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1995 f250 'Play' in steering wheel...ideas anyone??

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by rferoni, Jul 19, 2003.

  1. rferoni

    rferoni Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    I just bought a 1995 F250 supercab 4x4. There is a bit of play in the steering wheel(more than there should be). Does anyone have ideas on what it could be, and things I could check myself??


  2. Mike 97 SS

    Mike 97 SS Banned
    from U.S.A.
    Messages: 1,106

    When you say play in steering wheel, do you mean the steering column or you can turn the steering wheel back and forth slightly and the wheels didnt move yet? If you mean the second, there may be play in a number of different things, such as the tie rods, pitman arm, and idler arm to name a few. IF it is a tie rod, best thing to do would be put them all in, in one shot and get an alignment. Alot of people like to replace just the one thats bad, which is stupid in my eyes cause they all have the same mileage on them whether they are all loose or not. Put them all in, align it, and be done with it. Mike
  3. rferoni

    rferoni Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Yes, I mean the latter, as in I turn the steering wheel and the wheels don't turn.....

  4. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    You will have to get under there and have someone yank the wheel back and forth while you take a look to see whats loose.You can also jack up each wheel and shake the tire to see whats loose.

    If when you turn the wheel,the pitman arm doesn't move,then you have too much play in the steering box.or a bad rag joint or steering shaft.

    If the pitman arm moves right along with the wheel then you play in the steering linkage,like tie rods or drag link,and then they will have to be replaced,and the truck aligned.

    If in doubt,take it to a good shop and have it inspected,as it can be dangerous if left uncorrected.

    I will disagree with Mike on replacing them all,as they can be really pricey (for good parts),and sometimes the other stuff is fine.The outer tie rods tend to go most often,as they are exposed to the most water and salt being right beside the wheels.
  5. Mike 97 SS

    Mike 97 SS Banned
    from U.S.A.
    Messages: 1,106

    Chris what I meant was, if one of the tie rods is loose, might as well put both inners and both outers in one shot, then get it aligned. Isnt it true that after ANY frontend work, you are "supposed" to get an alignment? So if thats true, you are going to get an alignment done after replacing one tie rod, then a few weeks or months later, you replace a different one and get another alignment done? Alignments arent cheap when done at a skilled shop and done correctly. In my way of thinking, put both inners and outers, align it and be done with it for a long long time. Lets put it this way, if it was MY truck that needed one new tie rod, Id do them all in one shot. Parts arent that expensive, I mean a tie rod isnt like 100 bucks or some crazy amount. Mike
  6. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Take a look at the ball joints too, they can cause steering problems as well.
  7. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    on a related note, when i recently replaced the front end on my 89 f350, it cost me around $520.00 for all the tie rods and adjusting sleeves.

    i always change everything when i find a worn out tie rod, it makes me feel better. the adjusting sleeves can also be nightmare's, if there old and rusty.
  8. ProSno

    ProSno Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    My 94 F-350 had play in the wheel and everything underneath was tight. So I figured steering box play Right? Nope! seems the shaft from the steering colum to the steering box had some play in it (and I mean the smallest amount) its two pieces an inner and an outer that telescope together and didnt seem like that would give it the play it had but that tiny amount of slop is what did it and my parts guy said its commom. Also check the universal on the end of the shaft.