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steering box... replacement or tighten the adj. screw

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by All_Clear, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. All_Clear

    All_Clear Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    Has anyone had problems with their steering box/gear box on the 80' - 90's Ford F-150 or Bronco. My 88 bronco w/ 7' western was very sloppy when i got it, it wondered all over the road, have since tightened the steering box screw which helped alot. Took about 1/2 turn of the screw to tighten up the steering. It's about $200 to replace the box.
    Am curious to know if anyone has changed theirs or if they just tightened the steering box screw. If you changed it out... about how long did it take?

    There is no binding and it drives straight down the road now, not sure if i want to mess with changing it out. Truck see's little use now....

    Thanks
    All_Clear
     
  2. 85F150

    85F150 Senior Member
    Messages: 340

    the screw is ment to adjsut the slop in the box, i wouldn't replace unless the box itself is screwed up internally. I adjust the screw at least once a year. If you do replace the box, get a good pitman arm puller, because it will not come off very easy. Also your frame might be cracked behind the box. My 85 was this way, so i had to drilled it then weld it up.
     
  3. All_Clear

    All_Clear Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    Well the frame isn't cracked.... I knew the adj screw would tighten up the steering... I however didn't realize you would need to adj the screw alittle every year... if thats the case then at some point you should have binding when turning or am i wrong about that... Since the adj screw is tightened and the bolt holds it in place... it shouldn't move throughout a yrs time... it would be wear that causes it to need adjusted... Since it was very loose when i got it and has since tightened up by adj the screw, I am wondering if it would be worth the time, trouble and cost to just replace it... Sorry kinda thinking out-loud...

    All_Clear
     
  4. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    Check your steering wheel shaft too. The U-joint / rag joint get's alot of slop in them after time. Any slop in the tie rods and such throws in more travel to the steering wheel. I have driven old ford trucks for so long I hardly notice the constant steering corrections.
    The IFS Fords or AKA Incredible Funky Steering
     
  5. 85F150

    85F150 Senior Member
    Messages: 340

    Yes you are correct, the adj screw doesn't move at all during the year i jsut create that much wear on the box and i like the steering nice and tight. Mind you though, i am running 35" tires, playing very hard with the truck and also put on quite a few miles.

    Just because it was loose when you got it might mean the prev owner might not have tightened it up often enough.

    Mick is right too, usually when i adj my steering, i have someone sit in the truck wiggling the steering wheel back and fourth jsut enough to not make the tires move, with the truck off. I then watch and see where the play is at. The rag joint is very comon to wear out, you can replace it or buy a flamin river or borgeson steering shaft that uses u-joints instead of rubber.

    Binding will only occur if you adjust the screw too much and pull the sector shaft against the worm gear too tight, then just back it off a little and test drive. Some newer vehicles will stay bound though, so don't do it on somethin new. :p
     
  6. All_Clear

    All_Clear Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    Alright, Thanks i'll check out the rag joint, It was a white knuckle ride when i first got it, i doubt the prev guy ever touched the adj screw, In town driving was fine which is all he did (winter only) I however have county and highway roads to take only when it got above town speeds was it hard to handle really. Not as noticable at lower speeds. (oh and that was with the plow off just to make that clear) As it is now i dont mind it but if it starts getting worse i'll have to change/fix something.

    Thanks
    All_Clear
     
  7. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    Put the front end up in the air and make sure no components are real loose or have slop. Wiggle the wheels, bearings maybe loose,or ball joints toast.
    Fords tend to eat tie rod ends when plowing. Buy good ones, cheap ones wear out after one season! Been there, replaced again!