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Steering Loose


power453's Avatar
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02-28-05, 06:58 PM   #1  
Steering Loose

I have a 1986 F150, 2wd, 5.0FI. On last thursday night I parked the truck just like normal, no problem noticed. However, on friday morning I noticed it.

The steering has some exterme slack in the middle range mostly to the left. I inintialy thought it might be the steering box, but now i'm not sure. The repair manual suggested it might be ball joints or tie rod ends or any of a number of things.

In the last two days the probelm seems to be getting worse, I now have to turn the wheel at least 90degrees to the left before the steering is engaged.
It also seem to have some jerks when I do that.

For the most part the right hand turns are not affected. On a side note the tuesday before this happened, I had the tires rotated and balenced. The truck had been pulling to the right, this fixed that problem. It will still drive straight as long as the road is not leaning.

I took a quick look under the truck and I noticed that the ends on my linkages seem to have broken grease seals. Could this be the Problem, whole or part?

I need some help to indentify this problem. Many thanks to all who read.
R. Ellis

 
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02-28-05, 07:57 PM   #2  
claims guy
Unless the shop that did the rotate/balance left some lug nuts waaaay loose, it's doubtful that this has anything to do with excess play in the steering.

You'll need to start with the steering shaft (lower portion of the column,under the hood), where it meets the flange on the upper side of the steering box. Have a helper turn the steering wheel, and make sure the rag joint doesn't have excessive play or damage. You should see the shaft move at the same time the flange moves, without any type of "twisting" or "windup" before the flange moves (think about how when you twist a rope, it takes some movement before it moves further down the rope - you do NOT want this effect).

Now look under the vehicle, and watch the pitman arm (output arm on the lower side of the steering box) on the steering box as a helper turns the wheel. See how far the pitman arm moves before the center link and tie rods start to move. They should start to move immediately, as should the wheels.

There's also a possibility that there could be excess play within the steering box itself; as you're turning the steering shaft under the hood, watch the pitman arm to see if you have any delay in movement that appears to originate within the steering box.

Once you find the parts that have the delay in movement when the steering wheel is being turned, you've likely found the worn components.

You did mention the difference in pulling left/right; which could be indicative of ball joint wear, too. I'd chk the steering linkages first, and then have the ball joints checked for wear to go after that problem. If any of this linkage is original, it would not be unusual for it to be worn beyond specs.

Hope this info helps!!

 
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03-02-05, 09:11 AM   #3  
Thanks For the help

I still believe that the ball joints might be loose. However, The main problem has just reared its ugly head. I was driving to work today and just as I pulled into the parking lot the left steering was almost impossible. So I pulled into a parking spot and turned the wheels back and forth. The right hand side was also difficult, and then when I turned back to the left I heard a pop. Then the wheels wouldn't turn at all. So I popped the hood and took a look and saw the steering column had slipped out of the gear box and took the steering shaft right out of the box. So I know what I'll be doing this weekend. One steering box to change!!!

Thanks for your Help,
R. Ellis

 
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03-02-05, 01:58 PM   #4  
I'm curious did someone attempt to adjust the steering box?

 
power453's Avatar
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03-03-05, 12:05 PM   #5  
Nope. However, we did talk about and I was going to attempt that this weekend. Oh well now me and my dad get to change it out anyway and hopefully it will come factory balenced.

Thanks for your help,
R. Ellis

 
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03-06-05, 06:11 PM   #6  
Thanks

I just wanted to everybody know that I replaced the steeritng box today, The truck know drives straight and true. Thanks for everyones help.

 
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