Side-Side Play in FJ-60 PS Box

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Sep 16, 2002
Tucson, AZ
I've got an FJ-60 PS Box, installed as a PS conversion in my FJ-40.

I had a bit of "death wobble" which was traced to loose U-Bolt Plates. This was corrected.

I have a new Tie Rod / Relay Rod, and new TREs.
Steering Box is tight on the frame.
4" Lift
4 Deg Caster Sims Installed*

When I jack up the front end, I can move the tires side-side about 1/4" - 3/8". The play seems to be in the PS Box (the pitman arm moves corespondingly even though the steering input (intermediate) shaft is securely held in position.

Is this normal? While I've got the "death wobble" corrected, it feels like the tires want to get wacky on me. I'm going to repeat my Front End Alignment, and see about adding a steering stabilizer (I know - not needed) to see if I can dampen out the wiggle.



* Lift and Shims were installed before the PS Conversion, and the wobbliness of the steering was not observed.
That sounds excessive. Have you tried to check the play another way? I recommend you have someone watch the pitman arm for movement while you sit in the driver seat and turn the wheel back and forth, just until pitman arm movement is detected.

If the wheel is moving more than say, 3 inches, then you may want to replace that box, but I cannot recommend this for a solution to the driving problems you are seeking remedy.

Please define what it means when you say: "the wheels want to get whacky on me"'

there is an adjustment screw and lock nut on the top of the steering box. You can turn the screw to take up some of the slop.
steering freeplay adjustment.JPG
The steering wheel freeplay as mentioned by 2mbb is worth checking. This made a difference on my 60.

Also, while you have new TRE's, the factory recommended pre-load on them is arguably on the loose side. If I recall correctly, it's 3.5 turns backed off of tight, and consensus on this forum seems to be between .5 and 1.5 turns. I use 1.0 turns, and it's a huge difference in how tight the steering feels.
Thanks for the info - especially the tip on adjustment of the PS Box.

I noticed that screw / nut on top of the box, but never thought it might be an adjustment, or it was a user adjustable setting.

I'm not sure about the TRE preload - I'll do some searching on that.

Thanks again.

Keep in mind that the adjustment of the preload bolt on the top of the box does not deal with a worn out steering gear very well. If you tighten it with the wheels pointed straight, it will likely bind with the wheels turned left or right. You won't feel the bind because of all the stuff attached to the pitman arm. A minor adjustment can help but overdoing it will have you shopping for a replacement steering box.

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