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97 F-250 HD
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is regarding an HD diesel F-250. I do not know much about the big world of suspension and was hoping someone could clue me in.

It needs a clock spring and has a dead spot in the steering. I want to do everything it needs.
The guy at the counter says the clock spring could be the fix for the steering, but I think it needs a steering box.
Does dead zone definitely mean it needs a steering box? or could it be something else?

Also,
what I have in hand has yellow bilstein shocks on it. They are SUPER ROUGH. Bad roads are like a washboard. Washboarded gravel pack roads are "all like OMG".
I am willing to accept that may be the nature of the vehicle to some degree. I just don't want to destroy the vehicle with neglect and wrongly purposed parts.
Front end was recently done, driver ball joint inspected and repacked, pitman arm, and more, I told them to do whatever it needed for safety. Also alignment.
I am sure they can tow super great but I am not towing. I will have a bed camper but a minimal one.
I DO use the 4x4 and go off on terribly bad dirt roads. ruts as deep as a tire sometimes. They were rough there too but the truck handles it excellently.
Just put brand new open country A/T III's on it. Traction-wise, the road cannot argue. But the steering and shocks? need help.

SO if I am not hauling payloads over 5k LBS, but I am going off-road, and I want a good highway ride on junky highways, are there shocks that are better for that than these?

Thanks for your wisdom
 

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I don't think you can find much better than you have for shocks. The key is tire pressure. If you are running max pressure with no load, no shock in the world will help you. I usually run my Rear F350 SRW tires at 50 psi when empty, DRW 45 psi when empty. It makes a world of difference. Do a search on tire load vs psi, you should be able to find some charts. Figure out how much you axle load is (scales) and adjust pressure from there. Might want to get some sort of onboard air or 12 volt compressor to air up when needed.
DENNY
 

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The clock spring has nothing to do with the way the steering operates. Its just there to transmit electricity from the steering wheel (horn and cruise control) to the column and the rest of the electrical system.
If you have a "dead spot" (not sure what you mean by that) in the steering, it's either in the steering gear or other steering components. If it's looseness (no change in direction when you turn the wheel), then it could be the steering gear needing adjustment or replacement.
 

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97 F-250 HD
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
The clock spring has nothing to do with the way the steering operates. Its just there to transmit electricity from the steering wheel (horn and cruise control) to the column and the rest of the electrical system.
If you have a "dead spot" (not sure what you mean by that) in the steering, it's either in the steering gear or other steering components. If it's looseness (no change in direction when you turn the wheel), then it could be the steering gear needing adjustment or replacement.
By dead spot, I mean that if I am steering to the right, and need to adjust it somewhat left, there is some portion of the turn to the left that does not engage the tires. same the other direction. *I just called in to get a quote for the spring and steering box. Probably just do those before anything else.

The toyo chart is here: https://www.toyotires.com/media/3729/application_of_load_inflation_tables_20200723.pdf

mine are 265/60R20 so with no load, or under 2000 lbs which is the lowest on the chart, I could go as low as 40 PSI? or under 1825 as low as 35?

Do these numbers also need to include the truck weight? I think they must?
 

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Do these numbers also need to include the truck weight? I think they must?
Yes, weigh each axle, divide that weight by two, and that will be the load on each tire. Set the pressure for a bit above that shown on the chart.
 

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CombatVolcano,
What you refer to as a dead spot might be more commonly described as "loose" steering.
Before replacing the steering box, it is also possibly caused by other steering/suspension components.
If I was in your shoes, I would get a front end alignment. They will inspect the various components that wear out over time and contribute to loose steering. Any good shop will provide the inspection for free and provide a print-out of parts and cost estimates requiring replacement.
 
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