What Steering Gearbox to get??? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:21 AM
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What Steering Gearbox to get???

My Gearbox Seal is leaking like a siv right where the pitman arm connects. I know I could replace the seal but the steering is pretty sloppy anyhow so I was going to replace the whole unit.

Any suggestions on where to get one and any special tools?? Looks like just the three bolts, two steering lines, pitman arm and the steering shaft. Truck has 148K on it.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:15 AM
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I did call the one shop I order parts from and they were asking if it was a 32 or 36 spline pitman? Does anyone know what trucks were what or do I need to pull it apart and count?
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:27 PM
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When I did my box on my E99 350 CCLB this spring the general consensus here was Red Head was the way to go.

[URL="http://redheadsteeringgears.com"/URL]

The gear shaft out of the box into the pitman arm has 4 wide splines evenly spaced out around the diameter. You only have to count the narrow splines between the wide splines and multiply by four. 8 splines = 32 box and 9 splines = 36 box. I did it 10 or 15 times before I was convinced. I used a small screwdriver and just did it by feel. Mine was the 32, which was a bonus because that box was about $100 cheaper. I think $300 vs $400.

I can't help on the install questions because I had a local alignment shop install it and align it for $125. That was a deal I couldn't pass up.

Just FYI - after I had mine installed I still had a pretty bad wander - new balls, tierods and pitman joints - and just assumed that was going to be the way it worked. But after a a few weeks and a death defying drive down the Baja peninsula I started to tighten the preload shaft down a bit. I now have about 1.25 turns tighter - doing them .25 turns at a time - and the truck tracks straight and I can drive down the crappiest pavement in comfort.

First post - yay!
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Rings View Post
When I did my box on my E99 350 CCLB this spring the general consensus here was Red Head was the way to go.

[URL="http://redheadsteeringgears.com"/URL]

The gear shaft out of the box into the pitman arm has 4 wide splines evenly spaced out around the diameter. You only have to count the narrow splines between the wide splines and multiply by four. 8 splines = 32 box and 9 splines = 36 box. I did it 10 or 15 times before I was convinced. I used a small screwdriver and just did it by feel. Mine was the 32, which was a bonus because that box was about $100 cheaper. I think $300 vs $400.

I can't help on the install questions because I had a local alignment shop install it and align it for $125. That was a deal I couldn't pass up.

Just FYI - after I had mine installed I still had a pretty bad wander - new balls, tierods and pitman joints - and just assumed that was going to be the way it worked. But after a a few weeks and a death defying drive down the Baja peninsula I started to tighten the preload shaft down a bit. I now have about 1.25 turns tighter - doing them .25 turns at a time - and the truck tracks straight and I can drive down the crappiest pavement in comfort.

First post - yay!
Thanks for the post . . . I got it apart last night and it's a 32 spline. Ordered a new one for $160 from the local parts store. What "preload shaft" are you talking about?? I know there's the shaft that adjusts left to right adjustment that is on top of the box . . . is that what you adjusted?
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:32 AM
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The setscrew on top of the steering gearbox is what he was referring to. A properly rebuilt gearbox should already be set correctly and should NOT require adjustment.

Lots of people with sloppy gearboxes, me included, have adjusted these slightly to buy ourselves more life prior to gearbox replacement. However, over adjusting can and will lead to premature death of the gearbox.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devil Car View Post
The setscrew on top of the steering gearbox is what he was referring to. A properly rebuilt gearbox should already be set correctly and should NOT require adjustment.

Lots of people with sloppy gearboxes, me included, have adjusted these slightly to buy ourselves more life prior to gearbox replacement. However, over adjusting can and will lead to premature death of the gearbox.
I was under the impression that those only adjusted the left and right adjustment not the tension or preload. . . ?? It's adjusted to even out the number of revolutions it takes to go left or right and get it adjusted evenly. That's what i've thought all these years.
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:27 PM
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The setscrew is used to adjust the sector shaft lash. It is a sensitive adjustment, and there are actual specs available for it's adjustment. Just keep in mind that if you were to adjust it, that it is being done at your own risk.

Having said that... a quarter turn made a huge improvement in the steering feel on my truck.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:04 PM
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Got the new gearbox in the other night . . . took it for a test drive . . . what a difference. Thanks for the comments guys.
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