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Power Strokes 1994-1997 General Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the Power Stroke engine in 1994 through 1997 models.

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Old 11-04-2007, 08:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Steering column bearing replacement

I noticed for a while now the truck is harder and harder to turn, and doesn't return straight on it's own. This weekend I drove 400 miles and it was almost dangerous really. Sometimes the wheel would get stuck in a turned position, then suddenly clunk and finally return straight after quite a bit of effort to do so. I get a grinding/clicking noise when I turn the wheel and the wheel has a lot of play in it. I'll assume with 95% faith the bearings are bad, at least the upper. Has anyone had this problem and is it possible to fix without 40 hrs of labor?
Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Steering column bearing replacement

I did mine in a day the hardest part was getting the tilt fingers back in place as they are spring loaded!
best if you pull the seat out so you can get under and unpluge stuff.
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Old 11-06-2007, 06:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Steering column bearing replacement

Thanks for the tip. I bought the bearings at Ford for $6 each, part # F4DZ-3517-A, F3TZ-3517-A and a ring kit F0DZ-3L539-F that consists of the 2 bushings above the upper bearing, the spring, C-clip and a new bolt for the steering wheel. Kit was $15. Waiting for the steering wheel puller tools to break into the job. No one else has had this problem?
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1997 F350CC, 4x4, PSD Tipper pro kleenex open filter. Roggen 6" lift kit with 26" ratflex 12" offset tires. Downpipe cut and welded to adapt 3" into a 12" outlet. 12" muffler cut and adapted to 2", then a special turbo manifold from a volkswagon modified to flank out to 3" to the tail pipe. Interior from a Corvair modified by cutting 6" off the padding. Snize and snide 32gallon aux tank mounted in rear seat, rear seat relocated to bed. Bed shortened to 4ft.
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Steering column bearing replacement

I replaced mine a year or so ago
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Steering column bearing replacement

Ron, The last and only time I had the same symptons that you just described, it was a bad u-joint in the drivers side. I know it is two totally different things but I had the same exact problem. When it happened I was making a left hand turn at a light with my boat in tow, after the turn I could not get the wheel straight, then after man handling the wheel I was able to get to the shoulder and take a look, the wheel would not come back to center, I replaced all of the u joints and it was good to go. I hope for your sake it is your column bearings. Good Luck

Frank
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Steering column bearing replacement

Thanks. I'm pretty sure it's the bearings because I can hear a grinding/clicking noise right at the steering wheel, plus I can move the wheel about 1" left/right and up/down where it never used to be that way. My wife uses the wheel every time she gets in the truck as a hoist point to grab onto, so I'm thinking that's what caused the problem as although the truck has 107,000 miles, most of it's long flat highway driving. I'd think the bearings would last a lot longer so I'll blame the wife. [img]/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif[/img]
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1997 F350CC, 4x4, PSD Tipper pro kleenex open filter. Roggen 6" lift kit with 26" ratflex 12" offset tires. Downpipe cut and welded to adapt 3" into a 12" outlet. 12" muffler cut and adapted to 2", then a special turbo manifold from a volkswagon modified to flank out to 3" to the tail pipe. Interior from a Corvair modified by cutting 6" off the padding. Snize and snide 32gallon aux tank mounted in rear seat, rear seat relocated to bed. Bed shortened to 4ft.
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Steering column bearing replacement

Ron, have you looked at the intermediate shaft under the hood ?

Mine had the plastic internal sleeve wear out , caused the same symptoms.
Grab ahold of it in the middle, it should not move up & down much....mine was actually banging when I turned...
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Old 11-07-2007, 10:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Steering column bearing replacement

Gotcha Ron, Maybe if you didnt put those big wheels and tires on that truck, your wife wouldnt have to jump up in there [img]/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif[/img] I just had to Ron. Good Luck

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04 CRF250 mine....Gone
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425 Polaris magnum
500 Polaris sportsman and 300 lakota everyone
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Steering column bearing replacement

Thanks. I pulled the wheel tonight and the bearing is definately the problem. Only about 3 little balls still there out of the original 20 or so. My next question is do I need to completely remove the column for this job or just remove the part outward of the tilt swivel while the column is still mounted in the truck? Looks like not going to be the easiest job either way.
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1997 F350CC, 4x4, PSD Tipper pro kleenex open filter. Roggen 6" lift kit with 26" ratflex 12" offset tires. Downpipe cut and welded to adapt 3" into a 12" outlet. 12" muffler cut and adapted to 2", then a special turbo manifold from a volkswagon modified to flank out to 3" to the tail pipe. Interior from a Corvair modified by cutting 6" off the padding. Snize and snide 32gallon aux tank mounted in rear seat, rear seat relocated to bed. Bed shortened to 4ft.
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Steering column bearing replacement

hate to butt in but i have the same problem with my steering wheel moving side to side and up and down. but i put a new bearing in there and it still has the same slope is that ring kit your talking about have a bushing that goes between the shaft and the bearing?? i ask becuase when i put the bearing in you can see slop between the two like there is suppose to be somthing there. thanks for the help!!!P.S. every thing else is slop free its just between the upper bearing and the shaft.
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Steering column bearing replacement

Yes, the ring kit has a small bushing that goes inside the bearing itself and the bushing outward from there that the spring fits over, plus the spring, new c-clip, new bolt for the wheel and a tube of grease. Pretty good deal for $15.
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1997 F350CC, 4x4, PSD Tipper pro kleenex open filter. Roggen 6" lift kit with 26" ratflex 12" offset tires. Downpipe cut and welded to adapt 3" into a 12" outlet. 12" muffler cut and adapted to 2", then a special turbo manifold from a volkswagon modified to flank out to 3" to the tail pipe. Interior from a Corvair modified by cutting 6" off the padding. Snize and snide 32gallon aux tank mounted in rear seat, rear seat relocated to bed. Bed shortened to 4ft.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Steering column bearing replacement

Ron,
I had the same problem with mine. I would pull the steering column and tear it completely down. There are two bearings in the upper tilt head, the one you see when you take the steering wheel off and the other one is just below it before the column tilts. I replaced the upper twice before I found out the other one was bad. I ended up rebuilding the whole column because the lower tilt head bearing tore up the steering column shaft. There are only 3 bearings in the whole coulmn, the upper and lower tilt head and the lower bearing. The lower bearing and the upper tilt head bearing are the same but the lower tilt head bearing is a larger. Also make sure you watch how they come out, if you put them in upside down the spacer doesn't fit correctly. I would definatly check the lower tilt head bearing. The shaft was pretty expensive I think $180 if I remember right. Not a real hard job but there are some tricky spots.

Rob
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Old 11-10-2007, 09:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Steering column bearing replacement

Just finished rebuilding my friends 96 F350 steering column yesterday. Yes there is a thrust bushing that slides in between the top bearing and the shaft. on the top side of the tilt steering just under the steering wheel (from the steering wheel to the bearing)there will be a plastic spacer, then a Snap ring, washer, spring, spring retention bushing the thrust bushing and then the bearing mounted into the housing. On his truck the very top bearing which is the smaller bearing was ok but the thrust bushing was broke. Also the upper bearing on the bottom side of the tilt steering housing was bad all of the ball bearings had fallen out and he drove it for a while which ate up the upper shaft (Cost $163 with discount list $223)to remove the upper housing to replace the bigger bearing you will need to pull the key cylinder lock and then remove the cylinder lock gears. Using a small pick (dental Picks)remove the small green plastic keeper then the small metal retainer and the gear. (Note and remember the position of the retainer and gear. It may take one or two tries to set the gear where your truck will start and the accessory position will function.) You can now remove the top tilt housing from the shaft to replace the top bearing (the larger bearing). Make sure and clean out the housing of any shavings and metal dust and instert the bearing into the housing. A long skinny screw driver and another set of hands is helpful to hold down the tilt spring holders to remove the top housing from the bottom housing. If you have to replace the top shaft it you will need to pull the upper steering column assembly by removing it from the truck 4 13mm nuts that mount it to the dash. You will have to unbolt the blinker module and starter/accessory Electrical switch. Just reverse the order to put everything back together.

If you have all of the parts it should only take a couple of hours. Good luck all of the bearings and bushings cost around $5.00 give or take a little.
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Old 11-10-2007, 10:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Steering column bearing replacement

Thanks for the tips, I'm going to attemp this job here in about 3 hrs.
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1997 F350CC, 4x4, PSD Tipper pro kleenex open filter. Roggen 6" lift kit with 26" ratflex 12" offset tires. Downpipe cut and welded to adapt 3" into a 12" outlet. 12" muffler cut and adapted to 2", then a special turbo manifold from a volkswagon modified to flank out to 3" to the tail pipe. Interior from a Corvair modified by cutting 6" off the padding. Snize and snide 32gallon aux tank mounted in rear seat, rear seat relocated to bed. Bed shortened to 4ft.
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Old 11-10-2007, 08:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Steering column bearing replacement

I must be the slowest dang mechanic in North America. 5.5 hrs to pull the column, put in the two upper bearings and reassemble just the column. Got dark so I had to quit for the night. What a horrible job to get that tilt back on with the fingers and 300lb tension spring. My gosh, time for a beer or ten.
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1997 F350CC, 4x4, PSD Tipper pro kleenex open filter. Roggen 6" lift kit with 26" ratflex 12" offset tires. Downpipe cut and welded to adapt 3" into a 12" outlet. 12" muffler cut and adapted to 2", then a special turbo manifold from a volkswagon modified to flank out to 3" to the tail pipe. Interior from a Corvair modified by cutting 6" off the padding. Snize and snide 32gallon aux tank mounted in rear seat, rear seat relocated to bed. Bed shortened to 4ft.
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