2008 6.4L F-350 Steering Gear Factory Stupidity
I have 200 miles on my new truck which had the steering wheel slightly off center and a very slight drift to the left. After hearing a lot of malarky from my dealer concerning uneven tire pressures and manufacturing differences in tires, I decided to fix it myself.
You will find on the right end of the long rod connecting the power steering output to the wheels a double clamp and a safety clamp. Loosening these clamps allows the rod to be turned to adjust its length and thereby change the relationship of the steering wheel to the position of the front wheels.
I found that Ford had made a fabrication mistake on the safety clamp. They had formed the clamp to fit a rod about one-quarter inch diameter too large but kept the holes in the correct position for the rod. This resulted in making it impossible to insert the clamp bolt because it would not miss striking the rod when the bolt was inserted.
In order to keep the assembly line going at all costs, some yahoo on the production floor took a grinder and ACTUALLY GROUND A SHORT GROOVE into the connecting rod to get the bolt through. Of course, this meant that the clamp would fit only at that position and no other thus making it impossible to re-bolt the safety clamp after adjusting the rod.
I fixed it by a combination of reforming the clamp and elongating one bolt hole. This was not easy with ordinary tools and a vise because the clamp is one heavy mother.
With the clamp fixed, it took about ten degrees of rotation to make my truck steer like a Mercedes.
I expect Ford slammed out about a jillion of these clamps so my truck is not the only one out there with a wrongly-placed hand-made groove in the steering connection rod.