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
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.
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
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.
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's Automobile Book, Video, and DVD Store
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.
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
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!)
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
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.
<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
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