New tires, ball joints, alignmt - wheel slop - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:25 PM
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New tires, ball joints, alignmt - wheel slop

New member to the forum and to the Diesel community. So I'm glad to be here and suspect I'll submit plenty of questions. As you can see from my topic, I put upper and lower balls joints in when I replaced the tires 265x75x16.

After enjoying the new smooth ride and improved grip, I discovered what feels like 1-2" of slop in the wheel. Keep in mind I've only put 300 miles on the truck since I bought it. Tie Rods checked out good at tire store. Although I've not actually gotten the wife or a friend to turn the wheel while I watch the steering components rotate, I suspect the slop is somewhere between the wheel and the box.

So, if the group will indulge me some answers or a link to the gospel on this issue, I'd appreciate it - minus the flaming!

Thanks guys!
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:04 AM
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just an educated guess but im going to say either the steering shaft from the column to the steering box has some play, or more likely your steering box is worn and has some play internally. most of these trucks ive driven have a couple inches of play in the wheel though.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:19 AM
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Welcome to the org! I have the same problem. I've replaced ball joints, all tie rods, gearbox, etc. and STILL have loose steering. Sucks trying to keep it straight on the highway. Just reach up and put a hand on the input to your gearbox (lowest end of the steering shaft) and on the pitman arm. Have your wife turn the wheel then you can feel where its coming from. Unfortunately my gearbox is tight and I think the slop I get is the wheel turning before the tire itself turns. Perhaps a side effect of the bigger tires, I dunno. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

PS. I also hear the rag joints on the column go bad and can be replaced from NAPA.
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:00 PM
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Do you have a solid axle, or a TTB? If you have a TTB, check the pivot bushings at the end of each arm. If they get worn enough, they can cause worn tires, and extra play.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:35 AM
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I had the same problem with my 96 4x4. It ended up being the bearings in the steering column. It's a easy fix. And my local Ford dealer had the bearings in stock.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:57 AM
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I've got the TTB axle. Changing out the Pitman arm joint/bushing today - detected some movement and popping in that piece when my buddy was turning the wheel. I am interested in the steering column bearing issue. Assuming I must remove the wheel to replace these bearings?

Anybody got some recommendations for replacement front leaf springs? My front springs are inverted and I'd like fix the front end droopiness. I believe I've got Bilsteins shocks on all four corners (shocks are yellow) but the casings are so aged and dirty that I cant verify. I suspect the shocks are still good though, considering that I get zero bounce or float. But they do ride ROUGH.

Thanks for the advice guys!

Last edited by Mahi 1; 04-21-2011 at 10:09 AM.
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