Compression Ignition Addict
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Out west
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A 7" lift will handle the 37x13.50R18 tires you are running. Wheel width could be a factor, as could back spacing.
What I would suggest is jack the front end up and use jack stands under the axle to keep the suspension weighted. With the steering wheel unlocked turn the wheels from left to right and see where the rubbing occurs. I am guessing it will be on the leafs (which is quite common). Drilling and tapping the steering stops and threading in a bolt will keep the tire off the leaf.
The hard steering is related to the width of the tires coupled by a possibly weak steering pump, or a wearing steering box (where the internal seals could be allowing fluid to pass through the piston and not use full force to help steer. Check by having the vehicle parked on a relatively level asphat or concrete surface. With the engine running but transmission in park (or neutral w/ e-brake set if manual) and keeping foot off brake pedal turn the steering wheel. See if giving more engine revs helps any. Important to not press the brake as steering and brakes use the same hydraulic system.
If steering improves as engine speed increases, then the first thing to suggest is replace the pump and add new fluid. Pumps aren't expensive. Look for evidence of leaking on the steering box, and see if there is play. It might be time to replace the box soon, as they wear faster with the larger tires. The final option is to use Ram Assist.
2004 F-350, 4x4, SC, LB, 6.0PSD, 6spd
Changed some stuff