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I've got an '88 F250 4x4 diesel that isn't worth putting a lot of money into, but the slop in the steering column sliding joint was driving me nuts. I found I could slip an .018" feeler gauge into the joint, so I got to thinking of ways to keep a shim in place. I found an old clock spring that was .250" x .020" in cross section. It is good hard steel, so I cut two pieces, each four inches long. I pushed them as far as possible into the gap. The flat on the inner shaft is just a little wider than .500", so the two strips fit well. To keep them in place, I bent them back over the outer shaft and held them in place with a hose clamp. See picture. Only driven it a few miles so far, but it feels so much better not having to work so hard keeping it between the fence posts. tom
 

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Man that’s a great idea. I have replaced almost everything in my steering and there’s still that bit of loose play. I bet it’s in the slip joint! I’m gonna check it out!


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It's very easy to remove the intermediate steering shaft, pull it apart, and fix the plastic retainer or spring steel clip inside. It's also easy to find them in good condition in junkyards and just swap them out.


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