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I did a search so don't blast me with hate messages,....please. I just recently bought an 87 Eddie Bauer 5.0L Bronco,..WHOO!
Finally,...BUT, I've noticed in my few years that many people have problems with the extra "play" that is in the steering wheel. A little bit of "free" space where the wheel moves and it feels loose. I've heard that there is a bushing kit or some repair that can be made to repair this problem? Is there or am I just stuck with loose steering?!
 

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Check all the joints in your front end - tie rods, ball joints. Have a friend get in the truck, and rock the steering wheel back and forth, and check all the steering joints, for any that might move more than the rest. If those are fine, move on to putting the front axle on jack stands. Grab the tire at the 12 and 6 o'clock positions, and rock the tire back and forth. have your friend look at the ball joints while you do that, and see if one moves more than the other

One more joint to check, is the rag joint, in the steering shaft, just before the steering gearbox
 

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I have an 89Eddie and have the same problem. I have preplaced the ball joints and have had several people look at the sterring components. In regard to the rag joint. The intermediate Shaft (between the Firewall and the Gear Box) is a two piece shaft. One goes inside the other. Make sure that were they go together is not worn out. The end that goes inside the other is rectangular and get rounded off causing the play you talk about.

Bronco-Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm thinking it's gotta be this rag joint because ther eis play even when it's sitting still. If i move the steering wheel there is quite a bit of play before the wheels move. I'll give it a check tomorrow night,..i appreciate the help guys,...I know i'll have tons more questions as this is my first bronco,..my first FORD ever! it's so much different than a 2x4 S-10 xcab:)
 

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I had a similar problem when I purchased my 85. I checked everything mentioned and nothing. Someone told me to check the steering box and to tighten the bolt up. I did it a 1/4 turn at a time. A total of 1/2 turn was all that was needed. It tightened the steering up nicely. After checking the rest, if it still persist try that. The bolt that I am referring to is a screw with a nut on it, the screw is slotted for a screw driver. Hold it still w/ driver and use wrench to loosen bolt. then turn screw 1/4 turn, take it for a drive. You should notice some difference. Repeat until steering is good. Note you shouldn't over tighten, this will cause the steering not to return to center (if I remember correctly). Hope it helps, Baked:toothless

Oh yea, if I am wrong someone please correct me.
 

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BigLarryT said:
I'm thinking it's gotta be this rag joint because ther eis play even when it's sitting still. If i move the steering wheel there is quite a bit of play before the wheels move. I'll give it a check tomorrow night,..i appreciate the help guys,...I know i'll have tons more questions as this is my first bronco,..my first FORD ever! it's so much different than a 2x4 S-10 xcab:)

I have the same problem with my F150. If it's a slip shaft style like mine, I'd do what Bronco-Jeff suggested to do. I have about a 1/4-turn of play before my tires start to move...cause? Missing the piece that sits between the two shafts.
 

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How much is this miraculous rag joint and where can I get it. This problem has been plaguing me for 18 years now!!!! My truck rides like a brand new vehicle but the play in the steering makes it feel terrible.




 

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they are a few bucks and you should be able to get one at any parts store. make sure your truck has one though, not all do (depending on the year).
 

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bakednaz said:
I had a similar problem when I purchased my 85. I checked everything mentioned and nothing. Someone told me to check the steering box and to tighten the bolt up. I did it a 1/4 turn at a time. A total of 1/2 turn was all that was needed. It tightened the steering up nicely. After checking the rest, if it still persist try that. The bolt that I am referring to is a screw with a nut on it, the screw is slotted for a screw driver. Hold it still w/ driver and use wrench to loosen bolt. then turn screw 1/4 turn, take it for a drive. You should notice some difference. Repeat until steering is good. Note you shouldn't over tighten, this will cause the steering not to return to center (if I remember correctly). Hope it helps, Baked:toothless

Oh yea, if I am wrong someone please correct me.
:stupid

This is the fix. The rag joint is easily visible and when its worn it is very easy to check by turning the steering wheel. You could just go ahead and replace the shaft with a Borgson (they also sell the rag joint) shaft and do it the right way

This is what the Borgson unit looks like.

.http://www.borgeson.com/TruckProductFord.htm

But if it aint the rag joint and most times it is not, or replacing the rag dont completely cure the problem.....and after you have gone over the steering linkage and ball joints for play......then it has to be the steering gear box.
I have found that using the sector shaft adjuster (fount on the top of the steering box....slotted screw with a lock nut) you can get all the play out of the steering. Just go at it very slow and try a 1/4 turn CW, and drive the truck. You will know you have gone too far if after you complete a turn the steering wheel does not return to 90% of straight on its own.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I adjusted the steering box slotted adjustment screw,..I believe I did go to far because now my steering doesn't return to "straight" at all! It feels like there is something holding it. It's not super stiff or solid but it does require a lil extra strength to manuever the wheel back around. I'll go and adjust once more,...
I realized after replacing the steering pump,...not the problem,...but I did replace all the hoses attached curing my leaks.
So, do Ford's just have a "natural whine" to gear boxes? When I turn it whines.
 

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You could upgrade to a Saginaw pump and a Borgson shaft......that should help out quite a bit!
 

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BigLarryT said:
I adjusted the steering box slotted adjustment screw,..I believe I did go to far because now my steering doesn't return to "straight" at all! It feels like there is something holding it. It's not super stiff or solid but it does require a lil extra strength to manuever the wheel back around. I'll go and adjust once more,...
I realized after replacing the steering pump,...not the problem,...but I did replace all the hoses attached curing my leaks.
So, do Ford's just have a "natural whine" to gear boxes? When I turn it whines.

yes, the stock pumps are noisy.
 

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When I first got my truck the mechanic claimed that tightening the sector shaft adjuster is at best a temporary fix and that broncos are just known to eat steering boxes... I travel for work so its hard for me to get under there and do every little thing myself...

I think he may be trying to milk me for a steering box...
 
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