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Old 06-08-2008, 01:41 AM   #1
lategreat28
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What's the deal with Bronco steering problems?

I have a 1995 Ford Bronco XLT. Just trying to figure out why there is such a loose feel and less than responsive steering. Is it the ttb that makes it act this way? I have a feeling it's the steering boxes on these things too.

I don't want to put band-aids on the ttb. Not to mention I have a strong preference for 1 ton running gear. Will going to Dana 60 front end stop some of these problems?

Also, I haven't decided whether or not I will use coil springs or leaf springs. Anybody have some solid reasons why they feel one is better than the other?

As far as the steering I feel like the box is sloppy on broncos and F-150s of this vintage. I had an '87 Bronco that was just as sloppy as my '95 XLT.

Basically I want some advice before I spend money.
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:58 AM   #2
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The deal is that, like any piece of machinery, steering and suspension need preventive maintenance, and a good-sized majority don't get it. So when you buy a used vehicle, you're buying someone else's problems. Did the previous owners sell the Bronco because of the sloppy front end? I don't know. Will the front end need repairs? Likely. How you accomplish that is your decision. You can rebuild the existing frontend or you can swap in a 1-ton frontend. But the big thing you need to know is that both require a money outlay, and planning ahead will make either job go smoother. As for coils vs. leafs, the coil springs tend to give better road manners; leaf springs usually give somewhat better articulation and stability in off-road use. So what you do then depends on what you want the truck to do. In the meantime, make sure the tires are all inflated to the same pressure, and tires with a 35 psi max pressure should be 30-32 psi with no extra load; 44 psi max pressure tires should be 34-38 psi
with no load; and 50 psi max pressure tires should be 36-40 psi with no load. Then test drive. I find my '87 is less sloppy if my tires are 40 psi (they're 50 psi max). if you still feel slop, have a mechanic shake down the front end for worn parts. If the front end is good, install a steering stabilizer.
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Old 06-08-2008, 02:49 AM   #3
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its a 13 year old truck, not a ferrari, you will have play, but follow andy's advice, he knows a thing or 2

also, about sas, do alot of research before you go this road, it isnt like installing a lift kit.

Last edited by Gillamonster; 06-08-2008 at 02:51 AM. Reason: add a statement
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:46 AM   #4
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You didn't state your mileage so I'll assume it's getting up there. The steering boxes are adjustable for wear. It's a pretty simple procedure I did a few years ago when my steering was getting pretty sloppy. There is a large screw with a jamb nut on the box. You just loosen the jamb nut and turn the screw in. I think the procedure wa 1/2 turn at a time, then test drive. While turning, when you let go of the wheel it should come back to center on it's own. Once you get to the point where it binds a bit as it's returning, back it off 1/4 turn and as long as it returns to center freely, tighten the jamb nut and you're done. This may or may not help your situation. There are a lot of front end parts that can wear out.
An SAS is one way to go but will require a bunch of money and modification. And you also need to lift it quite a bit to fit a straight axle. Check out the SAS forum for a wealth of information on this.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:57 AM   #5
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Yeah..I have 385000 on mine...it has some play. But like people have said, go through the normal front end parts, do the research for the swap.
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Old 06-08-2008, 04:44 PM   #6
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It's got 73,000 miles on it. I am probably comparing it to my 2004 Super Duty too much.
There are alot of people telling me to adjust the box, but many have also said that it may cause damage.
The basic problem I have is with how easily the front wheels move back and forth or how much wiggle there is in the wheel. It just feels like it should be tighter, mainly for safety.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:35 PM   #7
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I honestly prefer my Bronco's loose steering compared to all my newer vehicles. I feel like I have more control over it.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lategreat28 View Post
It's got 73,000 miles on it. I am probably comparing it to my 2004 Super Duty too much.
There are alot of people telling me to adjust the box, but many have also said that it may cause damage.
The basic problem I have is with how easily the front wheels move back and forth or how much wiggle there is in the wheel. It just feels like it should be tighter, mainly for safety.
You can adjust the steering gear, but there IS a procedure for it, and it's not just a quick and easy turn of the wrench. Most guys will adjust it a half-turn at a time until it feels right (or close to it), without any interference coming back to center after a turn. I can't even find a remanufactured steering gear anymore that's even close to where it's supposed to be. I think Cardone just cleans and repaints all of the steering gear cores they get and resell them. I'd plunk down big $$$ just to get a NEW Ford steering gear.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:22 PM   #9
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I used to think the slop and wander of the 80-96's was inherent to the vehicle, but then I thought to myself, "Self, if these things were this bad from the factory, no one would have ever bought one."

That's when I totally rebuilt the front end of my truck. All of the bushings, replaced the complete steering link, new coil springs, balljoints, steering rag joint, and adjusted the steering box. It costs about $400 if you do the work yourself.

Since then I'm on my third TTB/TIB and have done the exact same thing to each of them before even getting them plated and legal. It is that much of an improvement that there's no reason NOT to do it.

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Old 03-01-2012, 01:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Hoxviii View Post
I used to think the slop and wander of the 80-96's was inherent to the vehicle, but then I thought to myself, "Self, if these things were this bad from the factory, no one would have ever bought one."

That's when I totally rebuilt the front end of my truck. All of the bushings, replaced the complete steering link, new coil springs, balljoints, steering rag joint, and adjusted the steering box. It costs about $400 if you do the work yourself.

Since then I'm on my third TTB/TIB and have done the exact same thing to each of them before even getting them plated and legal. It is that much of an improvement that there's no reason NOT to do it.

Justin

I know this thread is 4 years old. BUT. This seems to be pretty valuable information, and if you wouldn't mind doing a write up for it, or sharing which parts you replaced so that I could do a write up, it would be immensely helpful for both the Bronco Community as well as the F150 Community, I'll post it in both. Thank you.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:17 PM   #11
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I'll be installing this Steering Rod kit soon. Does everyone agree that the wheels have to be off to do tie rods/draglink? I'd like to leave them on if that'd help keep the alignment alittle more intact, before I get it done professionally.

Already tried the adjustment nut on the steering box, so now it's time to toss some money at the problem.

Edit: The new tie-rods are in, new drag link, and the slop is still there. The shop I took it to says it's common to have play in the steering and thats abourt as tight as it gets.

Installing the tie-rods took longer than I assumed, more like 5 hours at a very slow pace, but not remotely hard to do. It was way out of alignment afterwards, but it's back in spec now.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:38 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by copperblue View Post
I'll be installing this Steering Rod kit soon. Does everyone agree that the wheels have to be off to do tie rods/draglink? I'd like to leave them on if that'd help keep the alignment alittle more intact, before I get it done professionally.

Already tried the adjustment nut on the steering box, so now it's time to toss some money at the problem.
There is a write up about it if you look through the tech write up section where a guy did it with the wheels on. it is very simple, even for a noob.
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:49 AM   #13
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check for play between the upper, and lower sterring shafts.
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I can see the nuts now , the rod was in the way before . Thanks ,Bill
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:14 PM   #14
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yo,

Here ya go,

thanks to my friends for getting this info up again on the net! (I had most of it until the Host decided they liked mo' money and deleted it all without warning..
Description & Operation, Diagnosis & Testing, Removal & Installation, Disassembly & Assembly Procedures, Cleaning & Inspection, Adjustments, Specifications & Special Service Tools & Equipment; from 1996 F-150, F-250, F-350, F-Super Duty and Bronco Workshop Manual - same for your year
See Meshload In-Vehicle Adjustment


Steering System, Service

More in my site @ http://www.broncolinks.com/index.php?index=45

btw, when I took a test drive our about to purchase new 96 w/4 miles on it; I pulled straight out from parking space and turned wheel to right, but... Bronco almost went straight toward through showroom window; pitman was cracked! Took 2 weeks for Ford to send a new one...I think they were discussing a possible law suit by us and waited.
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my broncolinks.com was "disturbed"; but some sections are archived @ [url]http://web.archive.org/web/20121009110424/http://www.broncolinks.com/index.php
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:37 AM   #15
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I had about 4 inches of play in my wheel. Most of it was the steering shaft. Unhooked the battery and tack welded it. A little was in the gearbox but not much. Barely any play now. I drive an SVT Focus with really sharp steering daily. I'm not nervous when I get in the Bronco now.Ii threw a steering stabilzer I got from the boneyard on it. Couldn't tell a difference but mines not lifted (yet).
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:51 PM   #16
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Just to add another angle that may or may not have been discussed.

With the bronco's, when the ball joints wear, they sometimes jamb, and get too stiff. That was the case with mine. As a result the steering was a bit sloppy. I had to turn the steering wheel too far, before the ball joints would break free and allow the wheels to turn, once they started to turn, they would go too far, and I'd have to correct. Constant over-steering. Once I replaced the ball joints it handled very nicely.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:30 PM   #17
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reman gear boxes are shit. Don't waste your money. PO of one of my rigs has a reman in with over half turn of slack. Why he didn't warranty it is beyond me.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:25 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by 69Hcode View Post
I had about 4 inches of play in my wheel. Most of it was the steering shaft. Unhooked the battery and tack welded it. (yet).
Hey, if you get in a front end accident, it will shove the steering shaft into your chest, and you will die. I bought a used upper, and lower shaft, drilled a hole through both shafts, and intend to put something breakable in the hole. Either a hard, but thin plastic piece of something, or glass, or a thin piece of wood. Right now I have a bolt going through them, and it stopped the slop, but I need to modify it a safer way.
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I can see the nuts now , the rod was in the way before . Thanks ,Bill
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:15 PM   #19
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Hey i'm new to this site as well as new to the FSB i just bought a '93 eddie B. How do you have this manual web site. This is a Factory Manual web site? I am looking for a Factory Manual for my 93 Bronco. can you help?
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:20 AM   #20
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Hey i'm new to this site as well as new to the FSB i just bought a '93 eddie B. How do you have this manual web site. This is a Factory Manual web site? I am looking for a Factory Manual for my 93 Bronco. can you help?
yo T,
WELCOME!

Some here such as Steve83 can help you with the Ford Electrical and Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual (EVTM/PCED-Powertrain Controls and Emission Diagnosis & Service Manual Manual) in CD
I believe he also has the Ford Wiring Manual for all 93 Trucks & MPVs in print

Here is Steve's Service Disk Installation & Useso look him up in SEARCH function & send him request by e mail function)
or Fireguy or e bay; best $ you'll ever spend
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my broncolinks.com was "disturbed"; but some sections are archived @ [url]http://web.archive.org/web/20121009110424/http://www.broncolinks.com/index.php
select a LINK, Right Click & Hit Properties; copy the second HTTP address; paste in a new browser window or Tab to see original page
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