need some advice on steering box R&R

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Mar 8, 2006
i am thinking about pulling my leaking steering box out and sending it off to that guy in texas for a rebuild, but first i would like to know: whats involved in the removal and replacement of it? i did a little searching around but didnt find anything that specifically addressed the R&R part, just the high recommendation of the texas place.

obviously there are lines to disconnect and bolts to remove but are there any "gotchas" involved? will the box clear everything coming out (but ive got a SBC so maybe thats not an appropriate question...there does appear to be plenty of room around it)? will the steering detach fairly easily? how much trouble to install? i assume the lines will need to be bled, how does one go about that? any other tips or is this a job for a pro? doesnt look like one but ive said that before!

many thanks in advance for any advice.

one love
jah bill

Pull the tire off on the drivers side and use a jack under the axle to support that side. Pull the lines off the top of the gearbox. You will make a mess when you pull off the lines. Have a bucket ready and some towels. Remove the drag link from the pitman arm. You might need some heat and a fork to pry it loose. Pull off the cover around where the steering shaft hook into the gearbox. Rotate the steering shaft until you can loosen the bolt. Pry the steering arm off the gearbox. Loosen the four bolts to the frame and pull it out. That is the major steps. To replace it is the reverse. The hardest part for me the first time was getting my drag link off the pitman arm. Also bleeding it can be a pain but the last time I figured out what works for me. I have thread somewhere about it.
yep, pretty easy job.... no real hang ups other than the ones nocal mentioned. Sometimes pulling the drag link can be pain... try to fight the urge to bang the bolt upwards with hammer (could damage the threads) if you cant help yourself at least use a brass drift. I've had good success banging the side of the arm while having someone pulling up on the link. For me the hardest part was pulling off the pitarm.. busted three HF pullers before I ended up heating it up with a torch.

Not sure what your future plans are for the truck but you may want them to port the box for Hydro assist while its there. You can block off the ports till your ready.

Good luck and ask more questions if you need to!
thanks folks that pretty much tells me what i need to know. i will refer to the fsm for details but i mostly wanted an unbiased opinion on how hard it is to do...the pittman arm and drag link have been apart in the relatively recent past so maybe those wont be a big issue. and i figured a mess when i pull the lines, thats one thing harbor freight has that are worthwhile: tarps to cover the ground/driveway!

i think ive heard of this hydro assist before, i assume thats if you want to run big meats and the regular power assist isnt strong enough? or if not that, whats the purpose of it?

one love
jah bill
I did mine recently and started a thread with pictures. I will try to finish the write-up this weekend so you can see where I screwed up.
scott can you post a link to your thread? im having trouble finding it (heh you say, cant find the thread are you sure you can find the blinkin' steering box???)


thanks man

one love
jah bill
If you have the original tie rod and drag link ends it would be a good time to change them if you have a lot of slop in the steering. I ended up messing up the threads on my drag link getting it off the first time after it had been on their 20 yrs. I was planning on replacing them anyway so I went to town with the big hammer and propane torch. What finally worked for me was torch till it is hot and then a big ice cube followed with the 6 lbs hammer. But this was before I discovered PB blaster. I would shoot some on it a could of days before you start the job.

Also pack your box well with the box you send to West Texas. The gearboxes are heavy and if the bottom threaded part where the pitman arm attached breaks through the box it could flatten the end and mess up the threads.

Have fun :)

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