Yet another sloppy steering question

nspctr1

 
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I replaced my TRE's and rebuilt the center arm and replaced the steering stabilizer yet I still have slop. I've replaced and repacked the bearings also. I checked the center arm this evening and there appeared to be a little movement there so I loosened the top nut and tightened the large cap beneath it and resecured the top one. Question is, I tightened it pretty tight so now you can feel the tightness in the steering and the wheel doesn't have the free play anymore so, I loosened the nut on the cone on the center arm about a half turn and it feels a little better. My question is, how tight do you get that nut for the center arm to get the slop out of it and where else can I look for slop in the system.
Thanks,
Kevin
 

nspctr1

 
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Thanks Coolerman, You are right on about the "BPTY" .... but, watching the components move while turning the steering wheel I see no play in the joints. It may be more pronounced when driving and I do know that a little movement is greatly exaggerated when your travelling at 65 mph however, I can grab any part of the linkage and get very little to no play. I will double check the drag link this evening as it may have been missed but any other ideas out there?
 

Coolerman

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Then the play is more than likely in the steering box itself. Have someone turn the wheel while you watch the pitman arm coming out of the steering box. If they can turn the wheel more than an inch or two, BEFORE the pitman arm begins to move, then you need to shim the box to take the slack out. The rebuild steering column link shows how to do that. Good luck!
 

nspctr1

 
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I checked the steering box last night and there was some play in it. I got about 1.5 to 2 full turns on the screw and then tightened it back up. I didn't get a chance to drive it tho so we will see today. Hopefully that does it!!!

THX
 
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I had a problem with my steering arm unit. no matter how much adjustment I made, after rebuilding twice, I still had wobble in it, this was visable watching the bottom of the unit and the arm while someone turned the wheel back and forth. I gave up on that unit and replaced it with a new FUJI unit from MAF. I believe the housing on my oem unit was worn or cracked. The new one from maf solved all my problems. I believe it was a hundred bucks but that was cheaper than two rebuilds! Not much more than one rebuild kit actually. good luck steerin issues drove me insane for a while, take your time and chip it off a little at a time.
 
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I checked the steering box last night and there was some play in it. I got about 1.5 to 2 full turns on the screw and then tightened it back up. I didn't get a chance to drive it tho so we will see today. Hopefully that does it!!!

THX
That might help a little, but all you are doing by tightening that screw is putting pressure on the sector shaft. In other words, it adjusts the amount of pressure it takes to turn the steering wheel. It doesn't necessarily take the play out of the steering box. What takes the play out is opening up the box and pulling the shims out. That will move the gears closer together essentially removing the slop.

It really isn't that hard to rebuild the box. It took me an afternoon, and that included removing all the shift linkage (I have a 3 on the tree) which was the hardest part. Actually, I take that back. The hardest part was getting the pitman arm off. I broke one rented puller and had to go get another. If you do plan on rebuilding your box, soak it with some penetrating liquid for a day or two before hand. I used Coolerman's website to guide me. I'd say go for it if you plan on keeping your stock box for awhile.

Good luck! :cheers:
 
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...If they can turn the wheel more than an inch or two, BEFORE the pitman arm begins to move, then you need to shim the box to take the slack out....
Don't you actually have to remove shims to decrease play?

I agree with FF LC, you don't want to tighten the sector shaft adjusting nut to compensate for play. You may cause wear you don't want.
 
Last edited:

Pin_Head

 
 
 
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Shims are used to adjust the preload on the worm gear bearings. The adjuster screw sets the backlash of the sector shaft and follower teeth. What it doesn't adjust or compensate for is worn out sector shaft bushings. If you tighten the adjuster with worn out bushings, you might end up cracking the casting for the box. It is not wise to tighten the adjuster if you have worn bushings.
 
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Damn, even if the screw was fairly loose. I didn't cinch it down just took the play out of it.
That shouldn't hurt anything. If it was that loose, it might help your steering. These old manual steering boxes are pretty simple to work on, so if you have a weekend, just rebuild it. Order up a new sector shaft seal (or front axle seal - same size) and rebuild it. Like I said, it is pretty easy.

:cheers:
 
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See the below picture (sorry its big) from Coolerman's website. The screw you're talking about pushes the sector gear tighter into the worm gear. The shims are at the end of the worm gear at the left of the picture and move the worm gear along the steering column axis (left and right in the picture). So, even though the sector gear is tight to the worm gear, the gears are still worn and there is still "slop". The worm gear needs to move left or right to remove the play. Clear as mud?

Thanks C for the picture!

:cheers:


 

nspctr1

 
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OK, I removed the tie rods today and tried to straighten everything out. I got the drivers side wheel just about right but the passenger side is still pushed out about 1". I know I have to fix this but, while I was checking this I pulled a string from around the rear wheels to the front wheels. It appears the front axle does not line up with the rear. It's about 1.5" to the PS. is this normal? The way I measured is I pulled the string from the back of the rear tire to the front tire. On the PS the string comes in contact with the locking hub at about the same time it hits the sidewall on the rear tire. On the DS it is about 1 to 1.5" away from the hub when it contacts the front side of the rear tire. I'm still trying to set my toe but having a hard time doing it. may just go to a shop... btw, I did do a mini disc swap on this truck so the tie rod lengths do not match what is in the fsm.

Thx for the help..
 
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