Steering play after replacing steering box (14 Viewers)

lumbee1

Native American
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Sep 21, 2011
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Holly Springs, NC
So two years later, I decided to get a new steering box head and had it installed. I will let you know if that helped.
I rebuilt my steering box in 2018. I had the EXACT same issue as you. When setting the preload on the bearing, I matched up my marks. What I didn't take into account is that the bearing needed to spin another two times before it was tight. I had at least 8 to 10 inches of play in the steering wheel. I could see input on the steering box before the pittman started to move. After spinning preload down, play was close to the OEM spec of 40mm for the dead zone.

BTW, opening a steering box is no fun and messy but I had to do it three times. On the third time and while still messy, I could take it off the truck, disassemble, rebuild, and reinstall in 2 hours.
 

John Young

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Dec 4, 2015
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863
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Dubai, UAE
I've got a bit of play in the steering of the 93 I brought in from Dubai. Actually while in Dubai I first found a junkyard steering box and had them install it. Still a lot of play. Then I had them send it out for a rebuild and reinstall and it was better but still had some play.

Our 80 is back on the road in Virginia, and the play is more than I'd like, but drivable. My boys tend to complain about it. I'm tempted to try adjusting the screw/nut to see if I can tighten it up. I started to write "Above I see mention of 1/4 turn at a time, but do you have to have the front end up on jacks while you do this, or does it not matter? It is possible to ruin the box?" and then I decided to do a little searching. Here's a really great thread where a lot of this is discussed in detail. Just thought I would put it here to help the next poor sod.
 

lumbee1

Native American
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
3,504
Location
Holly Springs, NC
I've got a bit of play in the steering of the 93 I brought in from Dubai. Actually while in Dubai I first found a junkyard steering box and had them install it. Still a lot of play. Then I had them send it out for a rebuild and reinstall and it was better but still had some play.

Our 80 is back on the road in Virginia, and the play is more than I'd like, but drivable. My boys tend to complain about it. I'm tempted to try adjusting the screw/nut to see if I can tighten it up. I started to write "Above I see mention of 1/4 turn at a time, but do you have to have the front end up on jacks while you do this, or does it not matter? It is possible to ruin the box?" and then I decided to do a little searching. Here's a really great thread where a lot of this is discussed in detail. Just thought I would put it here to help the next poor sod.
Yes, overtightening can cause it to bind. But going 1/4 turn at a time is perfectly safe. You don't even have to remove the battery and box. I popped the rubber fender liners off the driver's inner fender well and used a right angle 1/4" bit driver to adjust mine. You are looking for 40mm of play in the steering wheel.

When I first bought my Cruiser, the play was about 3 to 4 inches. It required full concentration and both hands to drive. I found the adjustment screw details online, removed my battery and box, and adjusted the screw 1/4 turn at a time. If I remember correctly it required a full turn and a quarter before it was good. I didn't try to get any more play out due to the fear of binding. Afterwards, it was easy to drive one handed to free up the other hand for texting and candy crush.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
658
Location
Fontana, CA
Looking forward to your review.

I just received a rebuilt unit from Red Head steering gear boxes with the 105 sector shaft. I’ll see how that goes.
 

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