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I have a loose steering problem with my 99 f350. Its loose while driving down the road and even when the truck is parked and shut off. I turned the steering wheel back and forth in the dead spot and looked under the dash (while truck is off) to find that the shaft moves perfectly with the steering wheel and the upper u joint on the shaft has no play. I had someone turn the wheel back and forth in the dead spot and checked the pinion arm and it doesn't move so the play is farther up in the steering box or the lower shaft. Any ideas?
 

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Sounds like the steering gearbox is loose/worn. I know there is a way to take up a little slack, but if it's not done correctly it gets stiff to move. Replacing my gearbox made a huge difference in my truck.
 

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Very common description of a worn out steering gear, and common to our trucks. I fixed mine with a new steering gear. Not a difficult DIY, a 3 hour driveway project. A good steering gear is 150 to 225 bucks. The best one could get is a REDHEAD Steering Gear which is a modified stock core with upgraded parts, avg price 340 bucks, but well worth it, my unit is fun to drive one handed again.
 
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