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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 12-24-2008, 11:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Steering box adjustment

I have been trying to fix the dreaded wandering problem of my 2001 F-250. Alignment has checked out fine, tires have been rotated, draglink ends and track bar have been replaced, balljoints are good, and everything seems tight. I moved to the steering box and noticed that if I grabbed the pitman arm it wiggled slightly. The pitman arm nut is properly torqued and loctited with the heavy duty red, but it seem as if the slop is in the sector shaft. My roomate's 1999 F-250 seemed tight, but I called a friend with a 2000 F-250 and his sector shaft wiggled slight also. My truck only has 56,000 miles, but all have been with 38 tires so the box could be worn or out of adjustment though it does not leak. I was hoping a few people could check theirs to tell me if it should have a slight amount of play (doesn't seem right) or should be tight. Thanks
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Old 12-25-2008, 02:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like the problem is in the steering gear, usually adjusting won't cure the symptons of wander.
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Depending on the cause of the wander, I beg to differ.... the number of success stories are significant. But one does need to be careful in the adjustment process.
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Old 12-26-2008, 02:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrampyJim View Post
Depending on the cause of the wander, I beg to differ.... the number of success stories are significant. But one does need to be careful in the adjustment process.
I should have said sometimes, instead of usually, and the care needed in adjusting. Thanks GrampyJim for the better explanation.
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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There are many threads on adjusting the box. Be careful not to get it too tight. I raised the front wheels off the ground and had someone move wheels left to right and tightened until play was gone. Double check for play by moving the steering shaft by hand as you adjust. Just tighten until play is gone and no more. Move steering shaft by hand back and forth and visually watch the pitman arm for movement.
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoss250
balljoints are good
They might be too good....

A TSB (01-3-2) was issued for your '01 Super Duty due to stiff/sticky ball joints that caused steering wander and poor steering returnability.

You can check the balljoints by doing a steering knuckle torque to turn test. Basically you put the vehicle on an alignment rack, point the wheels forward, remove the tie rod from the knuckle and install a bolt/nut into the tie rod hole. Then with a click torque wrench attached to the bolt with it's handle straight forward, and set to 100 ft/lbs try to turn the wheel outward. If the wheel turns without the torque wrench cliking, then the turning torque of is acceptable and the ball joint is good. If the wrench clicks before the wheel turns, the balljoint is bad. Ford released new lower greasable ball joint (1C3Z-3050-AB), and the same uppers can be used (F6TZ-3049-AA). Torque the lower ball joint nut to 35 ft/lbs and torque the upper to 70 ft/lbs. Then advance the nut to the next slot to line up the cotter pin hole. Then retorque the lower ball joint nut to 140-160 ft/lbs. Grease em every 5K miles. If you use aftermarket greasable joints, be sure to install them per the aftermarket maker's torque specs.
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