Please help me diagnose steering play - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-24-2013, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Please help me diagnose steering play

So I bought a 2005 Excursion PSD a little over a week ago - primarily as a tow vehicle to pull an 8000# TT. I've been reading the engine forums and have cleaned the EGR - was pretty sooted but not blocked, cleaned up the Airaid intake (yes I know it's pointless until over 500BHP but it came with it and I can't afford $500 right now for all the stock airbox apparatus) and downsized the 20" rims to 18" rims with 275/65/R18's BFGoodrich XO's.

The problem is when driving there's a good 2" of play dead center in the steering wheel, I've had the alignment done twice, tires balanced, bushings replaced and steering box tightened but it persists. At 70mph it's about 3" of play and it's a constant and tiring job to keep it straight (bouncing through the deadzone to either end for minor corrections).

I suspect it's the steering gear, but before I fork out cash to have it replaced, I wanted to get some expert advice on the bellyside of the truck. I've attached some snaps of the shocks/steering. I'm not a mechanic and I'm still struggling with the terminology so please bear with me!

Underside of front end
Please help me diagnose steering play-2013-07-24-15.31.02.jpg

Front shock (Bilstein)
Please help me diagnose steering play-2013-07-24-15.30.28.jpg

Rear wheel end (photo taken from front - drivers side)
Please help me diagnose steering play-2013-07-24-15.29.41.jpg

Rear shock (drivers side)
Please help me diagnose steering play-2013-07-24-15.31.18.jpg

One of the shop guys told me it had a leveling kit, but to be honest, that means little to me. I'd appreciate any advice/explanations of what exactly I'm running.
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-24-2013, 05:03 PM
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With the truck off. Turn the key to the on position so the steering wheel can move. Have someone sit in the driver seat and turn the wheel back and forth. Now don't have them actually turn the wheels, just turn it til it feels like it is going to turn the wheels then go the other way. Do it fast and watch all the tierod ends, drag link, pitman arm. Look for anything that is loose or worn. Chances are you are going to have what I had on my 04 Ex. The steering gear shaft looks like it is wobbling when it is turning. I had the same problem with chasing it all over the road. I bought a RedHead steering gear and it completely cured it. It drives like a new truck now.

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post #3 of 8 Old 07-24-2013, 05:06 PM
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Doesn't look like a leveling kit on there.. It is usually a small spring pack that is bolted to the front springs. Ebay is great to find pics of different things. Just search leveling kit and you can see the components and verify if they are on your ride.

05 F250 4x4 CC, 9.5" Rize/Icon, 38" Toyos, 20x12 Pacers, 5" MBRP, AFE stage 2, Cass 190s, Powermax, ELC w/filter, RCD EGR delete
04 Excursion 4x4, vacation bus
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-24-2013, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-26-2013, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Steering box replaced and all is good, couldn't afford a redhead so did an O'Reilly remanu unit with a lifetime warranty...
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-26-2013, 07:15 PM
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Damn I got the same play. DoD your truck pull too or just the dead zone?

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post #7 of 8 Old 07-26-2013, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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No pull on a perfect flat, but any bump/wind/camber would make it pull. Steering box was $150 and 3 hours labor for fitting.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-12-2015, 03:29 PM
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I have play in mine as well. I narrowed it down to the steering gear too.

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