Steering Box Adjustment Screw (1 Viewer)

jvazquez53

El Tractor
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
3,409
Location
San Juan Puerto Rico
My steering has some play that I want to get rid of. I compared the adjustment screw on both of my Cruisers. The one that does not need adjustment, the screw protrudes above the locking nut. The other one sits flush; this is the one that needs adjustment. Is this screw too far in?:confused:
Steering bolt tractor.jpg
Steering bolt tractorcita.jpg
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2004
Messages
24,774
Location
Chandler, AZ
That screw is for final preload/play adjustment, a relatively "fine" adjustment. When turned in that far, there is a bigger problem, worm bearings and/or preload adjustment, gear wear, etc. I don't have an early FSM to see if that box has shims of other way of adjusting worm preload. The boxes aren't that technical to overhaul, but often the best bet is a reman box if you don't have experience with them?
 

jvazquez53

El Tractor
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
3,409
Location
San Juan Puerto Rico
That screw is for final preload/play adjustment, a relatively "fine" adjustment. When turned in that far, there is a bigger problem, worm bearings and/or preload adjustment, gear wear, etc. I don't have an early FSM to see if that box has shims of other way of adjusting worm preload. The boxes aren't that technical to overhaul, but often the best bet is a reman box if you don't have experience with them?

If this is the case, probably rebuilding the box or getting a re-manufactured would be a better choice.:hmm:
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2004
Messages
24,774
Location
Chandler, AZ
If this is the case, probably rebuilding the box ...

If you are or know someone who is a whiz bang on them, yes. With excessive wear it can often become a money pit, turd polishing.

... getting a re-manufactured would be a better choice.:hmm:

Very possibly the best bet. Resealing them is relatively easy, so another option is, get a good used unit and reseal it?
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
597
Location
Southern WI
I rebuilt my 88 4-runners steering gear box, but its basically the same. The hardest part was getting it of the vehicle. Once off, it was fairly simply to rebuild. I needed to use my impact hamer to unscrew the cap, and getting the balls back in was like solving a puzzle, but fairly simple all in all.

My question is how do you measure/test the preload adjustment, do you jack the truck up and wiggle the steering wheel, or some other way?
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2004
Messages
24,774
Location
Chandler, AZ
I rebuilt my 88 4-runners steering gear box, but its basically the same. The hardest part was getting it of the vehicle. Once off, it was fairly simply to rebuild. I needed to use my impact hamer to unscrew the cap, and getting the balls back in was like solving a puzzle, but fairly simple all in all.

My question is how do you measure/test the preload adjustment, do you jack the truck up and wiggle the steering wheel, or some other way?

Define rebuild? I agree that resealing, setting up for hydro, etc is relatively easy.

In this case my bet is the problem is sector play related. The leading cause would be bearing wear, there is the possibility that simply replacing the bearing(s) and resealing will restore it. If the worm preload isn't correct the late FSM says replace the worm cover. So no shims or other method of adjustment? If there is wear on the gears, case, valve ass, etc, from the bad bearing, your going to need those parts and you probably be better off buying a reman or new unit.

The FSM method for preload is a SST socket that drives the input of the worm and a beam or dial torque wrench to measure drag. I have done a bunch, so do it by feel, you want zero play and some drag, it's not really that critical, a pretty big range of acceptable readings. On off-road rigs I always set them pretty tight for better life.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
597
Location
Southern WI
Ahhh, I see now, all I did was reseal. I think mine is set up a little too tight. The internals are real expensive too if you have to start replacing them.
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2013
Messages
409
Location
East Hampton, CT
ok so my screw sticks out a bit and I want to give it like 1/4 or 1/2 turn... Do I try and turn the screw in first or should I loosen the nut a bit first???

Anyone got a sec??
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
3,555
Location
N. West CT.
You loosen nut a bit. Hold nut with wrench and turn screw with long screwdriver. You can jack the truck up and feel for any bind in steering after adjustment. If should feel smooth lock to lock. If not you tightened too far.
I turned mine about 1/4+ with great results Been 1 yr. since and still good
 

TYM4FUN

SILVER Star
Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Messages
2,056
Location
Sacramento, CA
ok so my screw sticks out a bit and I want to give it like 1/4 or 1/2 turn... Do I try and turn the screw in first or should I loosen the nut a bit first???

Anyone got a sec??

Woops I responded to the OP and deleted thinking it was old, didn't realize you were asking for help.

Here are the instructions I followed...

STEERING WHEEL
INSPECTION
1. CHECK STEERING WHEEL FREEPLAY

(a) With the vehicle stopped and tires pointed straight ahead,
rock the steering wheel gently back and forth with light finger
pressure.
(b) Freeplay should not exceed the maximum.
Maximum freeplay: 40 mm (1.58 in.)
If the freeplay exceeds the maximum, adjust it in the following
procedure.

2. ADJUST STEERING GEAR

(a) Point the front wheels straight ahead.
(b) Loosen the adjusting screw lock nut.
(c) Turn the cross shaft adjusting screw clockwise to decrease
steering wheel freeplay and counterclockwise to
increase it.

HINT:
Turn the adjusting screw in small increments and check the
freeplay between each adjustment.

(d) Turn the steering wheel half way around in both directions.
(e) Check that the freeplay is correct and steering is smooth
and without rough spots.
(f) Torque the adjusting screw lock nut
 

izzyandsue

Izzy
SILVER Star
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
5,668
Location
Charlotte, NC
I recently completed this adjustment on my 97 LC. Removing the battery box made it easier, PB blaster on the nut and let it sit for an hour. I think it is important to note where the screw is starting from, the slot, so you can track the movement afterwards. Then using a 11/16 socket gave it a 1/2 turn to loosen. A screw driver and a 11/16 spanner to hold the nut while turning the screw clockwise. I turned 1/4 turn, then use socket to tighten the nut. Made sure the post socket work did yield a 1/4 turn from pre-socket loosening.
Testing freeplay and driving it for feel. Repeat process if needed. I ended up with 3/4 turns of the screw and it made a significant difference in freeplay, the steering is much less wobbly. If I understand it correctly, I now need a lot less constant correction when driving in straight lines. Drove to work this morning and the difference is/was significant.
 

jvazquez53

El Tractor
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
3,409
Location
San Juan Puerto Rico
Update: Almost 5 years later, I have not rebuilt the box. When I installed the 4.5" Ironman suspension, and the Man-A-fre drop brackets, suspension and steering issues were gone. Like they say " If is not broken, don't fix it".
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom