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Steering Box Adjustment


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#1 ft. t bronc

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 06:24 AM

I can't remember - which way do you turn the adjustment screw to take lash out of the power steering gear box? It's been a few years...
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#2 blb4

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 02:31 PM

I can't remember - which way do you turn the adjustment screw to take lash out of the power steering gear box? It's been a few years...

clock wise

#3 Bully Bob

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 05:10 PM

I can't remember - which way do you turn the adjustment screw to take lash out of the power steering gear box? It's been a few years...


This question should be seared into the home page ^_^
THAT is NOT an "adjustment screw" per se ..... it is a pre-load adj. screw used when building, or re-building the box.
Using it to remove "play" can poss. damage/crack the box. <_<
Play that has developed, or is increasing, needs attention paid to the internal workings in the box... ;)

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#4 Broncobill78

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 07:52 PM

Oh, that's one's easy. You DON'T adjust the screw or touch it at all. That screw is there to preload the worm-gear when the box is *assembled* as in assembled at the factory, just like Bully Bob said. Touching it or doing *anything* with it will do one thing and one thing only, ruin the box and make your truck unsafe to drive. Messing with that screw will cause the steering to bind up unpredictably AND it will also cause it to not return to center after making a turn. This means that every time you turn the wheel you'll have to *manually* spin it back to center each & every time and it will bind up whenever the hell it wants to. It will NOT be a safe vehicle to drive. That screw is NOT any sort of adjustment screw and should NOT be treated as such. If the box has slop in it then you bite the bullet and replace it, simple as that. Might be something simple like tie-rod ends or a worn steering joint so have it looked at by someone who KNOWS what they're doing.

Edited by Broncobill78, 22 February 2008 - 07:53 PM.

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#5 Jersey

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 10:25 PM

These guys are correct in the fact that the screw was NOT designed to take the play out of the steering box. BUT, I have dealt with a lot of very high milage fords in which we have done this to help minimize the problem TEMPORARILY. If you do turn that screw, turn it no more than 1/4 turn, and thats only if the box has an extreme amount of play. If the play is in the shaft or tie rods, or anywhere else, it WILL bind up. So, like Bill said, if you are not sure exactly what you are doing, don't touch it.

#6 S_bolt19

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 10:45 PM

If your box needs rebuilding, send it to West Texas Offroad. They are very good and have done a number of EB PS boxes that I know of.

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#7 STLKIKN

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 02:55 AM

As suggested... please perform this checklist before attemptimg to "adjust" your steering box.

" sloppy " steering can be caused by a multitude of problems...
some are cheap fixes, some can become costly...
This is a list of things to check BEFORE attempting to adjust your steering box.

what condition are the radius arm bushings in
are all four "c" bushings in place
if you have a two or three piece steering shaft, what condition are the joints in
drag link end and tie rod end play
ball joint condition
wheel bearing adjustment
track bar bushing condition
toe in adjustment
tire pressures
tire condition
steering stabilizer condition
loose steering box to frame bolts ( quite common on EB's with larger tires)
is the sector shaft in the steering box "jumping" up and down...
(this would require the previously mentioned adjustment, NOT recommended for the novice wrench turner)

These items will require two people to check,
the tie rod ,drag link,sector shaft,and all bushings can be checked by having a friend sit in the truck and "wiggle" the steering wheel back and forth about 1/2" each direction, carefully watch each joint or bushing and look for play at each piece, for the steering box to move on the frame, or for the sector shaft to "jump" up and down ( the sector is the piece of the steering box that the pitman arm bolts onto.)

The ball joints and wheel bearings can be checked by jacking under the diff until there is a couple of inches under the tire,( use a jack stand to support the truck) grab the tire at 12 and 6, feel for top to bottom movement ( in and out) at the places you've grabbed. If you can't feel movement, the wheel bearings are ok.
Have a friend do this so you can watch the ball joints... do the same top/bottom "wiggle":
movement in the ball joints indicates wear.
Get a two or three foot lever ( steel bar works well) put it under the tire ( make sure the truck is still secure on the jack stand) gently lift the bar while watching the ball joints for movement, allow the tire to drop all the way between lifts,
up/ down movement in the ball joints indicates wear.

Toe in can be checked by measuring the difference between the centre of the tread on the front and back of the tires across the truck. Measure the tires at the same level to get an accurate measurement. The difference is your "toe-in".
Depending on your tire size, this should be anywhere from 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch.
To check your steering stabilizer, simply unbolt one end of it, see if it extends and collapses using the same amount of force each way. It should have a steady resistance all the way through its travel in either direction, without being harder one way or the other.

One other item to check while your truck is in the air is the axle u-joint, lock the hub, turn the steering to full lock ( either direction) and turn the tire. If you feel a tight spot as the wheel turns, make note of where the grease zerk is, if during the next rotation, the same resistance is felt at the same point in rotation, you have a bad axle u-joint. If you change an axle u-joint DON'T forget to grease the spindle bearings!!!

Good luck in doing your inspection... if you find any thing that you feel is worn, make a note of it and take it to your local shop, most places around here will do a
steering inspection like this for about 1/2 hours labor.
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#8 ft. t bronc

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 01:05 PM

Eeeeeeeesay fellas. Didn't mean to get you all worked up. I've been a journeyman engine rebuilder since I was 14, owned & built five or six 60's/70's Fords, ran sprint cars for a decade, and am a quality control engineer for an automobile company (not to mention drag racing and a little fun with go-karts). I won't do anything to kill myself. Just couldn't remember which way to turn it. Like one of the posters, I've also done it in the past, and like he was saying, only a very slight turn.

All points well taken though & I appreciate the advice, and the concern.
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#9 Broncobill78

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 02:55 PM

Well, if you'd seen & heard as many stories about guys who "only gave it a couple of turns" and then wondered why their steering suddenly locked up halfway thru a turn and they wound up driving thru the front of a convienance store you'd perhaps have a different view. Fact of the matter is that there's quite a bit more to it than loosening the jamnut & nudging the screw one way or another. Most people don't care to or bother to find/understand the correct procedure and the end result of that is quite simply large, unpredictable trucks being driven around by guys who don't know any better or care. These are the very same clowns who cause accidents & then claim mechanical failure or "gee, I just don't know what happened". Having responded to & investigated more than a few of these it's perhaps a little bit more of a hot-button issue to me than others. Now, having had my say, who am I to interfere with the free exchange of information ? I assume you have a power box, if so here's the *correct* procedure for adjusting it. Knock yourself out.

Attached Thumbnails

  • steering_box_001.jpg

Dave

People who say it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

84 Mustang GT (Great car to lose your license with, I recommend it for those trying to do so)
74 Ranchero (429, c6, Currie enterprises 9" w/Mickey Thompson cheater slicks, 1970 Torino shaker hood scoop)
82 Bronco (Canadian truck, kilometer speedo, dual batteries, hi-output heater, dual factory block heaters/etc)
78 Bronco (400, 33" Fun Countries, fastback softtop)
79 Bronco (460, 36" Ground Hawgs, frame-off rebuild)
84 Bronco (bone-stock beater)
73 Bronco (I only had it 2 wks before flipping & crushing it.)
76 F-350 (390, 40" Super Swampers, ugly ugly ugly fire-engine green/yellow cab w/faded purple bed)
78 Bronco (460, 38.5" Ground Hawgs, Dana 60's, boxed frame, frame-off rebuild)
86 Bronco (only truck I've ever had fall thru the ice & just plain disappear. no end of hassles from the ins. co.)
91 Bronco (25th anniversary edition, red w/grey leather everything interior, 31x11.5's)
88 Bronco (33x12.5's)
79 Bronco (Current project, 4" lift w/weenie little pizza cutters)

Looking for 78/79 parts, please let me know if you have one you're parting out.

#10 ft. t bronc

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 09:34 AM

Broncobill78 - Thanks for the shop manual scan. I'm replacing the rear spring bushings this weekend to get rid of the "extra" steering from back there, and then will take another look at the joints up front before running through that procedure.
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