Adjusting the gear mesh in the steering box - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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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 04-12-2006, 04:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Adjusting the gear mesh in the steering box

I have found the steering box and the allen head set on the top of it with the jamb nut. I know just to turn it a 1/4 turn at a time so that I don't over tighten or torque the gears.
A question,

How in the world did you access this area ?

I have been laying under the truck and trying to weasel both the regular wrench and the allen wrench by the fan shroud and up to the top of the steering box to fix this, but can't feasibly get both up there to be productive. I have small hands and still have barely enough room to work. I have a 'dead on center' steering problem and I know the problem is in the steering box...

All I want to do is tighten up the mesh 1/4 turn, does anyone with a 6.0L and specifically a 05-06 have a remedy?
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Old 04-12-2006, 05:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Adjusting the gear mesh in the steering box

They make it hard to get to because it's suppose to be adjusted on a BENCH not in the truck.

Wayne B
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Adjusting the gear mesh in the steering box

I reached mine on a '02 from the top with a couple of long extensions, swivel and socket.
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Old 04-13-2006, 10:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Adjusting the gear mesh in the steering box

I really don't think the swivel, socket, and extension method will work on the 6.0's.

Anyone w/ a 6.0L ever do this ??
Come on I know ya'll are out there...
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Old 04-13-2006, 12:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Adjusting the gear mesh in the steering box

Remove the battery, battery tray, air inlet, air filter, and intercooler line and it becomes easy to access the allen screw/locknut.
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Old 04-13-2006, 04:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Adjusting the gear mesh in the steering box

On mine, I loosened the serpintine belt, made the adjustment, then put the belt back on. Less than 5 min job. About to try it again before it comes out of the truck and through the dealership window.... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

If it makes the paper, I'll post the article. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif[/img]

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Old 04-13-2006, 04:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Adjusting the gear mesh in the steering box

I really don't think the serpentine belt will work either because I have a fan shroud in the way.

Removing all the stuff listed (battery, tray, filter, intercooler line) you have got to be kidding me.

Any 6.0L owners out there?
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Old 04-13-2006, 07:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Adjusting the gear mesh in the steering box

I adjust them by going through the inner fender.
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Old 04-13-2006, 11:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Adjusting the gear mesh in the steering box

Just curious, what are you trying to do? If you are trying to "fix" the "there's nothing wrong with it" Ford Super Duty steering, will you please let me know if it works. Man I hate the way my 2005 wanders all over the road. I can't believe I payed that much for a truck, and it feels like the tie rods are already shot with only 13000 miles!
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Old 04-14-2006, 07:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Adjusting the gear mesh in the steering box

When the truck is parked and engine off (no power steering pressure) I can wiggle my steering wheel (about an inch or two to each side), see the steering shaft move and watch the pitman arm not move at all. This indicates to me there is a little slack where the two gears meet at the steering box. I can also hear the two gears clanging at the end of the wiggle.

When going down the road I can shimmy the wheel from one side to the other without making the truck turn, the steering is simply too loose for my tastes. When you get past the "dead on center" and actually start to turn the truck either way (we'll use right as an example) after completing my right turn when I start to turn the wheel left again it INSTANTLY turns back left with no play in the steering at all. Also once I am passed the "dead on center" there is NO PLAY what so ever in the steering system.

Having the dead on center problem causes a big headache trying to keep the truck in a straight line on the road at high speeds, especially after I've been drinking. (joking)

Thus, I am trying to get to this adjustment mechanism at the top of hte steering box to increase the mesh of the gears a 1/4 turn to try to fix this problem. I really don't want the truck to sit at the dealer for a week for them to do a 5 minute job, that I would rather do myself.

I would bet you a case of cold beer its not your tie rods, but just the steering box.
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Adjusting the gear mesh in the steering box

Sounds like excess play in the box to me.

Also on the front wheel bearings might need more preload (at least on 2wd models). I've seen where you can jack up the front end and shake the wheel and feel play in bearing. Putting a little more preload helps.
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Old 04-16-2006, 08:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Adjusting the gear mesh in the steering box

[ QUOTE ]
Having the dead on center problem causes a big headache trying to keep the truck in a straight line on the road at high speeds, especially after I've been drinking. (joking)

[/ QUOTE ]



that is the exact some thing mine does. mine might have more that an inch or two of play though. i thought about tightening the nut on top of the box, but from doing it in the past, all it did was make the wheel a little harder to turn, not actually mesh the gears closer. am i right or does it really tighten up the gears?
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Adjusting the gear mesh in the steering box

With an '05 and 22k on miles let the dealer mess with it. If they say nothing is wrong find another dealer. I have heard of guys making it worse and cause the steering to bind up if they tighten to much.
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Old 04-19-2006, 05:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Adjusting the gear mesh in the steering box

I had the same problems and I just had to replace the steering box. Only had 78,000 miles, that adjustment is easy on a 7.3L and I set it according to Ford, with an inch pound torque wrench on the steering wheel with the tie rods removed. It had no play but it drove worse.
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