Steering box adjustment

Is there any way to properly adjust the steering box without removing the pitman arm and steering wheel cover? I have a 1995 f150 that I want to adjust the steering box on but removing the steering wheel cover is
more than the book calls for (air bag)
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Wayne,
Not sure why you would want to remove the pitman arm or steering wheel cover. Simply loosen the locknut on the top of the steering box and gradually turn the screw in. I usually do this in 1/2 turn increments. If you turn adjuster screw in too far the gears will bottom out and the steering will bind.
John

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Because the proper procedure is to disconnect the steering linkage (to avoid false readings) and measure the amount of torque it takes to rotate the steering shaft/gears thru the high spot on the sector gear with an in.lb. torque wrench
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Neil Nelson wrote:

thats correct, but removing the steering wheel cover requires removing the air bag. Can I get a good adjustment by just turning 1/2 turn then drive until it seems ok? what damage/problems might come if I over tighten.
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Neil Nelson wrote:

You can also find the high spot by turning the wheel to one lock, then counting the turns to the other lock. Divide by 2, then turn it back to the middle. This will eliminate the error one can sometimes find when the steering wheel is installed incorrectly on the shaft.
Gerard
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Neil, I appreciate your technical knowledge. Not to disrespect your input but proper procedure doesn't come into play when your working on a Ford box. Ford Truck steering boxes wear prematurely. Depending on the type of driving your doing, with moderate to heavy duty use you can bet on it that the gears are going to be worn. The side of the gears are the problem, not the tip of the gear.
Even if you purchase a new ford box (new = remanufactured) there is no guarantee the gears won't be worn. It's the nature of the beast, and I do mean beast.
John
wrote:

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wrote: -snip-

Yea.. beast is right.. There's only a few ford "features" I hate, and steering has a lot of them.
Ford usually = awful turning radius Ford steering = very noisy, sounds like it's grinding gears at the end of wheel travel. From personal experience, 3 of the 4 Ford's my folks and I've owned have always developped a slight leakage in the power steering fluid. (The only one that didn't was my folks old 1985 land yacht: LTD Crown Vic.. man.. I LOVED that big blue monstrosity.. if you weren't careful, you'd wind up driving down dirt roads at 50-60mph without even realizing how fast you were moving.. smooth smooth ride!)
Chuck Burns
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Zex0s wrote:

I have had/have 6 fords so far and have had no problems with steering. as for steering radius my bronco II was better than any car I have ever driven. Now my 1985 e150 needed alot of room to turn (wheel base had alot to do with this) The f150 I have has a good turning radius for its wheel base. My concern here is how do I determine the best steering adjustment?
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Wayne asked a question, I clarified the reason for disconecting the pitman arm and the need to access the steering wheel nut.
In addition, I've owned two Ford pick-up trucks in addition to having been a line technician at a ford dealership and yes, proper procedure -does- come into play, but then my perspective comes from being paid to do it correctly.

If you over adjust the adjuster for the sector shaft, the tip of the gear -will- become a problem, so why add to what you already describe as a problem area?

Most of the time, the steering wheel is in the straight ahead position, the center tooth of the sector gear is slightly higher than the ones to its side, this high spot is meant to assist in keeping the steering on center. Over adjusting the pre-load on the sector can cause the high spot to wear pre-maturely because you're -forcing- the sector gear -into- the worm gear. Just cranking away on an adjuster can create more problems than it solves.
Again, I was only replying to Wayne's query...
For the OP, if you have to, adjust in small increments, if you begin to loose returnability of the steering after a turn, you've gone too far.
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Neil,
<but then my perspective comes from being paid to do it correctly.>
You cannot perform a labor operation correctly if the component being operated on is defective from the start.
I'm sure you will disagree, I look forward to your response.
Note: Please understand my sarcasm is with Ford, not you
John
wrote:

input
box.
that
not
It's
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depends on what you consider "defective." i.e., bad OEM design that isn't worth a damn to begin with, or certain parts are worn out or leaking.

All I can say is if there are defective components, replace the defective components. I turn down an awful lot of work because the customer has in their mind that they want a half assed job done.

Understood.
Please understand that I was merely clarifying Wayne's question.
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