Power Steering Box Rebuild/Reseal/Excessive Play Questions (1 Viewer)

Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
729
Location
Bend, Oregon
I've currently got an issue with a bit too much play in the power power steering box. After putting the front axle on jack stands, I can move the steering wheel back and forth and watch the input side of the box/shaft rotate, and not see any corresponding movement in the output/sector shaft. This makes for an almost continual adjustment, especially on pavement that isn't quite flat, etc.

Doing some reading it seems that improperly balanced tires are a big cause of premature gear wear in steering boxes. The PS fluid was quite bad when I bought it. Poorly balanced tires and bad fluid were right up the alley of the Previous Owner and I could see that contributing to excessive gear wear in the box.

I have tried adjusting the small adjusting nut but that has not helped at all.

So, I suspect that the box is in need of some TLC and the gears are overly worn inside the box. However, I'm not sure of the approach to take. I have no issues spending the money to send the box to West Texas offroad to reseal/rebuild if necessary. Same with new sector shaft/pitman arm. However, I don't want to go down that path if the issue will persist after that work.

  1. For those that had play in their steering and have resealed the box, was the excessive play resolved by the reseal?
  2. Would replacing the Sector Shaft help with the excessive play? Since this is replacing half of the gears that might be worn down?
  3. Is the Power Piston/Worm gear (I think this is what it's called, the piece with the gear teeth that the sector shaft meshes with) an available, replaceable part? If so, is it worth replacing this piece along with the sector shaft so that both gears are new?
Other info:
Cruiser drives great and caster was corrected with MAF 2.5" drop brackes, which match how much lift I am getting out of my 850's in front. I rebuilt the PS pump along with the high pressure and return lines last year. No groaning and no leaks from the system.


Any insight from folks? :cheers:




Picture from 96r50's thread. I suspect this is one gear that may be too worn down, along with the sector shaft :confused:

P1010271.JPG
 

Delancy

SILVER Star
Joined
Sep 16, 2011
Messages
12,366
Location
Tulsa
Replace with 105 sector shaft and pitman arm, be it a West Texas Offroad rebuild, or a swap with scotia for a prebuilt 105 equipped box.

If going WTO or rebuilding yourself, beno can get all the parts for.

See below for email.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
729
Location
Bend, Oregon
Replace with 105 sector shaft and pitman arm, be it a West Texas Offroad rebuild, or a swap with scotia for a prebuilt 105 equipped box.

If going WTO or rebuilding yourself, beno can get all the parts for.

See below for email.


Bear with me for a bit, but am I correct in inferring from your post that the gears are worn and that replacing the existing sector shaft with a new one would be sufficient to take out a substantial amount of the play in the system? (And by extension, its not an adjustment issue or wear on the power piston gear that's causing the excessive play?)

Just want to have a bit of confidence that a new sector shaft installed (by a competent shop such as WTO) would solve the issue. I run 33's and really don't wheel that hard, so the increased strength of the new part doesn't have as much benefit for me as it does for others on the board. But if thats the way to solve the issue, I'm all for it.

:cheers:
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2004
Messages
24,774
Location
Chandler, AZ
...
I have tried adjusting the small adjusting nut but that has not helped at all. ...

This adjustment does little to remove play. The important adjustment is the preload on the input shaft bearings, only accessible from inside the box. On the '80 box, Toyota lists the input section as an assembly, the dealer kit doesn't include seals for it, aftermarket ( Gates or Edelmann/Plews)kits do. The FSM doesn't include preload numbers or anything else, I use the numbers from the FJ62 manual. For off road/big tire use, I always preload to the upper end of the spec or slightly more.

...
So, I suspect that the box is in need of some TLC and the gears are overly worn inside the box. ...

Have built a bunch of Toyota boxes, including some that have been wheeled and/or abused (like hunks of gelled "fluid" in them), tons of miles on them, etc, and have never seen one with significantly worn gears or hard parts. The ones that I have seen that weren't worth building were from sitting, rust in them or accident/trail damage, bent and/or broken parts. They are very well made boxes, that last a longtime.
 
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
729
Location
Bend, Oregon
Have you checked your TREs?

Not within the last few months but last time I checked them there was no play with the force I was able to put on them. Suppose they still could be worn, though I suspect the steering box since I can see movement going into the box and none coming out when I move the steering wheel.

This adjustment does little to remove play. The important adjustment is the preload on the input shaft bearings, only accessible from inside the box. On the '80 box, Toyota lists the input section as an assembly, the dealer kit doesn't include seals for it, aftermarket ( Gates or Edelmann/Plews)kits do. The FSM doesn't include preload numbers or anything else, I use the numbers from the FJ62 manual. For off road/big tire use, I always preload to the upper end of the spec or slightly more.



Have built a bunch of Toyota boxes, including some that have been wheeled and/or abused (like hunks of gelled "fluid" in them), tons of miles on them, etc, and have never seen one with significantly worn gears or hard parts. The ones that I have seen that weren't worth building were from sitting, rust in them or accident/trail damage, bent and/or broken parts. They are very well made boxes, that last a longtime.

Great, thanks for the info! So what I gather from this is that a proper reseal and adjustment of the box has a high probability of reducing the play in the system? In retrospect it makes sense that the hard metal Toyota-Quality gears wouldn't wear that much. Overall it seems in pretty good shape, no real leaks, very little rust. The adjusting nut on top came loose with no drama at all.

Looks like the gates kit is Part # 348437, so maybe ordering that and sending off to Texas is a good way to start? I don't think I can cost-justify a new sector shaft unless the one I have is twisted ( I doubt it), so rather spend that money on gas for adventure!
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
729
Location
Bend, Oregon
Got the box pulled and sent to West Texas offroad. Wow is it expensive to ship and insure a 40 lb expensive steering box to Texas! About 70 bucks from CO to TX, insured for $1k.

Had to leave the pitman arm on...pb blaster/puller/hammer wasn't enough to break it loose.

Spoke to the folks at WTOR, and they were super nice. I opted not to procure a rebuild kit as apparently they source their own. With any luck it will be a good quality rebuild; even the person answering the phone was super knowledgeable, so that gives me a good sense that the people doing the reseal will be very knowledgeable as well.

So, hopefully this will resolve the slight play in the box and keep it leak-free for a while.
 

Delancy

SILVER Star
Joined
Sep 16, 2011
Messages
12,366
Location
Tulsa
It will fit on a flat rate box as arcteryx abd scotia have proven. Haha. We wonder why USPS is broke.

The pitman arm is a PITS to pull. Wound up taken to a local shop that had a pneumatic operated puller to get all mine off.

Just remember this. The owner of WTO drives and IFS FJC, so probably doesn't know anything about SA steering.....Bahaha.
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2004
Messages
24,774
Location
Chandler, AZ
... So what I gather from this is that a proper reseal and adjustment of the box has a high probability of reducing the play in the system? ...

Yes, within reason. It will never be a rack and pinion, recirculating ball boxes have to have some/slight play or will bind.
 

Darasick

The Polish Coonass
SILVER Star
Joined
Aug 1, 2010
Messages
991
Location
N. Houston
Yes, within reason. It will never be a rack and pinion, recirculating ball boxes have to have some/slight play or will bind.

Kevin, can you quantify some/slight? When changing out my TREs I noticed somewhere between 3-5 degrees of play in the steering box. Would that be excessive?
 
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
729
Location
Bend, Oregon
Just a quick update. Got the box back from Texas a few weeks ago. According to the folks there (who seemed very knowledgeable) it was definitely about time to get it rebuilt. Some of the seals had started to go.

When they received the box it apparently had pretty much 0 preload, but virtually no play. When I got it back there was a noticeable difference in how hard it was to turn the input shaft by hand.

Once installed, the slight amount of play I was hoping would be gone was still there, but maybe slightly less so due to proper preload. So, my original goal of getting rid of some of the play didn't happen but its really nice to have a rebuilt box that will last for a long time. Very impressed with the service from WTOR. Well worth the cost + shipping each way.

One note for others removing the box. Make sure to somehow mark permanently the orientation of the ujoint to the steering box. The factory alignment paint had worn off a long time ago, plus when the shop cleaned the rust off the input shaft on the box it removed any sort of marking that may have been there. FWIW.




photo.JPG



image.jpeg
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom