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1999-2007 General Questions General questions related to 1999-2007 Super Duty trucks. If it doesn't fit the other categories, post it here. Gas engine discussion that pertains to all models is allowed. Specific gas engine questions should use the Gas Engines forum.

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Old 03-24-2008, 11:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Adjust Steering Gearbox - How to

Anyone care to give a quick rundown on how to adjust the steering gearbox?

I've read that it takes a 5/8" wrench and an allen wrench, and to make the adjustments in 1/8 turn increments; no problems there.

But, exactly what needs to come out to get to the adjustment? I looked around and couldn't clearly see the adjuster, so I'm guessing things need to come out and I didn't want to just blindly start tearing stuff apart.

TIA,
Scott
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You'd likely be doing just that; odds are very good that you don't have a problem with the steering box, and if you "tighten it up" you'll probably ruin it. Check everything else first: ball joints, tierod ends, steering damper, shocks, spring and shackle bushings (those made a huge difference when I tossed the worn-out OEMs for polyurethane bushings), cab mounts (ditto), bearings, tires and tire pressure...

Most folks who tweak the box on a newer vehicle regret it later.

Josh
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The steering wander I'm trying to resolve, feels more like a dead spot at the top of the wheel. The steering wheel returns after a turn, but there is a considerable amount of play at the top of the wheel.

My tires are new, and I'm running 65psi up front and 55psi in back. The alignment is about a year old.

The damper is original (57,000 miles) as are most, if not all of the bushings. Front shocks were replaced when the level kit went on; same time as the alignment.

I've searched through the forums for "steering wander" and thought the steering box adjustment just might be my problem since there is a dead spot in the top of the wheel.

I am looking for advice though.

Thanks,
Scott
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2000 F250 Ext Cab Long Bed 7.3 Auto
Performance Red
Ford Severe Duty AIS w/Zoodad and fender sleeve, MBRP 4" Turbo Back, FRx, EGT/Trans/Boost gauges, AIH Delete Plug, Dieselsite Boots with Plenum Inserts, PHP Hydra, TransGo Shift Kit
Born in KY on 10/05/99

2005 F250 Lariat, CC, Short Box, FX4 - SOLD...loved that truck!
Arizona Beige/Tan
Magnaflow 4" Cat back
Leveled w/ Toyo Open Country A/T 285/75-18's
Bilstein 5100's
Born in KY on 12/07/04
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The steering box is definitely a weak point on these trucks. Even though the box on my truck was already replaced once under warranty, the new one has since developed a lot of play in it. After verifying that it tracks true on smooth pavement, I checked ball joints, tie rod ends, etc., until all that was left was the steering box. I adjusted the allen screw in a half-turn and it made a world of difference. In fact, I suspect I could have taken it in some more as there is still around 10 of play in the steering wheel; but I access the box from on top, and there is too much stuff to take off again to get at the box and make another adjustment.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well if you have play in the box you can figure it out. It's job is to take input from the shaft and convert it to movement in the pitman arm. You raise the front wheels off the ground and grab the input shaft to the gearbox, work it back and forth to feel for slop. Slop would be movement of the input shaft with no corresponding movement of the pitman arm. I worked it back and forth while looking closely at the arm. Adjust in small increments until there is less slop. If it starts to feel tight you have gone too far. The idea is to remove as much slop as possible without getting it too tight. Too tight will ruin.

This assumes you have checked everything else. There is a inch pound wrench method of doing this but if you have slop you have slop, adjust it out. It ain't rocket science. If the box is already shot you have little to lose.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks to all for the advice. I hope to get it checked out before Friday, because I'll be loading up a bed rack, two ATV's, and a 25ft. TT.

Scott
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2000 F250 Ext Cab Long Bed 7.3 Auto
Performance Red
Ford Severe Duty AIS w/Zoodad and fender sleeve, MBRP 4" Turbo Back, FRx, EGT/Trans/Boost gauges, AIH Delete Plug, Dieselsite Boots with Plenum Inserts, PHP Hydra, TransGo Shift Kit
Born in KY on 10/05/99

2005 F250 Lariat, CC, Short Box, FX4 - SOLD...loved that truck!
Arizona Beige/Tan
Magnaflow 4" Cat back
Leveled w/ Toyo Open Country A/T 285/75-18's
Bilstein 5100's
Born in KY on 12/07/04
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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G2D,
Do a search on the subject. Lot of opinions. If you overdo it you can damage it but overdoing is not done until just the spot of overdone. See if you can find a picture of a worm gear. It is possible you will not get all the play out. The worm gear can be worn and is likely worn at the center or top spot of your steering wheel. You can adjust some out but not all. If the gear is worn at the top and you adjust till gone it will be too tight at the other areas so maybe split the difference.

Also check the steering stabilizer, it won't fix it but make it less objectionable.

Good luck.
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