Steering issue - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-23-2019, 10:01 AM Thread Starter Rookie
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Steering issue

So I just bought a 97' crewcab F350 2wd and one thing I have noticed is there is a lot of slack play in the steering wheel. I have to turn the wheel at least 1/8 to 1/4 turn before it will start turning the wheels. What could this possible be? It did bug me a little bit when I first hopped in it to take it home and I'd like to figure out the issue or issues if there is more than one. This is my very first Powerstroke ever owned let alone a Diesel motor pickup. All of my previous vehicles have been gas motors.
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-23-2019, 10:19 AM
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Someone needs to turn the steering wheel back and forth while another looks under the truck to see where the slack is. I wouldn't feel comfortable driving the truck until this was done.

In my defense, I was unsupervised
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-16-2019, 07:27 AM Fanatic
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Sounds like a wore out steering box. Quarter turn is a lot of play. You didn't say how many miles are on the old girl,but that much play indicates to me a steering box issue. Like Hydro says have a look see under rig.Good luck!
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-30-2019, 11:01 PM Rookie
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I also just picked up a '97. Mine has very tough steering at slow speeds. Haven't driven it anywhere yet because it's so bad. My first thought is the pump, but I'm curious if the box could also be a potential issue here.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-06-2019, 09:57 AM Rookie
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worn out midshaft?

You may find the midshaft in the steering column has play in it. I had that on my F350 before I rebuilt it. The midshaft sits between the steering column and the steering gearbox. Not too hard to reach or remove. It has a telescoping feature that allows it to collapse in the event of a front end collision. To keep these two parts of the shaft 'snug' to each other, there is a plastic bushing between the two of them that can deteriorate over time. When it deteriorates, it can introduce significant play into the steering, even BEFORE you get to the steering box...... as recommended above, you might have one person turn the steering wheel, while the other checks where the play is occurring......

If it's your steering shaft, you can take your chances at an auto wrecker (I found a few good replacements), or you can buy OEM replacement at a number of distributors, and I even understand there are excellent aftermarket options available too (I believe Flaming River has a splined shaft that'll have no chance for play anywhere)


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