Loose steering adjustment. - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:09 AM
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Loose steering adjustment.

Hey guys, after reading through thread after thread on many forums, I decided to check all my TRE's ball joints and a few other things to see of they needed replaced to tighten up my steering. I had about 3 inches of play while travling straight down the road. My truck (as you can see by the picture) has an 8" 4 link lift and big ole' tires. Well all was good with tie rod ends ball joints ect. So I moved toward the steering gear.
After adjusting the steering gear, which helped a freaking ton, my question is: if the steering feels a little tight in just moving it for minor adjustments while driving straight down the road, but feels fine when making turns, do I need to back off the adjustment screw just a little bit?
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:32 AM
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Wait, there's an adjustment screw? Please explain more! This might be my problem!
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:55 AM
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Ya on the steering gear box. I would first check everything else, have someone play with the steering wheel while you check for turning of the shaft into the steering gear box and output being turning to the pitman arm. If the steering shaft into the gear box is moving and the pitman arm is not then you know you have some play in the box. The box itself is above your front axle drivers side below the engine. Follow your steering shaft and you will see it. There is a 5/8th lock nut with a Allen head screw sticking out of the top of it. Simple lossen the locking nut (I would suggest marking the screw itself so you know where you started as this is a pretty precise process) and then use an Allen key to turn the screw clockwise in 1/4 turn rotations, then tighten your locking nut, take her for a test drive. Be sure to turn the wheel lock to lock (full left full right) and check for binding. If there is binding come back (counter clock wise a quarter turn). Continue this process until steer is good to go. It took me about 7 1/3"4 turns till I saw a major improvement. Again I would not suggest this unless you have check everything else as over tightening can be bad ju-ju for your steering gear box and can potentially ruin it.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:07 AM
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Awesome! Thank you. I already bought TRE and waiting on my center link adjusting sleeve to come in so I'm gonna put it all on since I got it, but I am gonna check that box!
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:07 PM
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When checking your TRE, what do you look for to know if they are going bad/shot? Ive got roughly 2" of play in my steering wheel....but it MIGHT all solve itself once i install my new track bar this weekend. I had swapped out my stock suspension for a pro comp 8" lift but the guy was running a stock track bar mount with a drop pitman arm....he had no left hand turn!!! anyways i ordered the prom comp drop track bar mount and installed it last friday only to find out the guy welded his "adjustable" track bar...again haha so once i FINALLY get the new adjustable track bar on this weekend and tighten up my axle sway...that might solve my steering wheel play, but just in case I should go ahead and do some preventative maintenance and check my TRE...any advice?
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:35 PM
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TRE's can be checked by jacking up the front end and shaking the wheel from the 3 and 6 or 9 o'clock position. Have some one check for movement if you can't see it. That's the simple way. If I'm wrong someone please correct me, I do not want to put the wrong information out there.

Welded an adjustable track bar... Talk about a conundrum.

Hope the new stuff helps! I was looking at my pitman arm today and noticed its a little loose will tighten that up soon.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanerbanner10 View Post
TRE's can be checked by jacking up the front end and shaking the wheel from the 3 and 6 or 9 o'clock position. Have some one check for movement if you can't see it. That's the simple way. If I'm wrong someone please correct me, I do not want to put the wrong information out there.
It's better to not raise the front end as it will be easier to see the movement in a tie rod or drag link end.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:09 PM
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Thanks for the correction. Now does anyone have any input to the original post?
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:10 PM
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That's a tough one. The gears in the steering box wear in one spot more than others because you are generally going straight. I've never been a fan of "tightening" up a steering box because by the time the box feels tight with the wheel pointing forward, you're putting a lot of extra pressure on the gears when turning left or right. Frankly, if it was that sloppy, I'd be looking at a rebuilt box or a good used one.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:14 PM
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Appreciate the comment. Definitely makes sense, I feel that I should back off the adjustment screw as the steering just feels right as can be.
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