Bronco Forum - Full Size Ford Bronco Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
yes, this is another one of those repetetive questions.. anyway..

My 94 has some terrible steering response. i have checked all the usual (ball joints, steering linkages, and what not)..

so this leads me to believe the steering box is at fault..

question is,

How do you adjust it? iv'e read a couple different posts, but i'd like an up to date one..

Pics would b great too

thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
From my experiences....
There is a nut with an adjustable bolt running thru the center of the bolt on top of the steering gear (at least on the old ford ones i have had-not sure about your year). This will let you adjust the amount of play in your steering wheel. But I have found-often the box is too worn out for that to help and I have just replaced the box and seen great improvement.

It doesn't hurt to try though. Loosen up the nut and turn the set screw/bolt clockwise a turn or two and see it if helps. Try the other way too. If it does not help, replace the box. Thats how it was on powersteering for a 74 bronco and and 81 scrambler for me.

Good luck
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
22,854 Posts
that bolt is NOT for adjsuting steering, its for adjusting the backlash on the gears, best not to mess with it unless you know how to exactly set.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,774 Posts
I agree with ^^. Seems most people regretted try to "adjust" their steering gear.
First determine for sure its the culprit then purchase a new unit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
that bolt is NOT for adjsuting steering, its for adjusting the backlash on the gears, best not to mess with it unless you know how to exactly set.
How then do I properly set it? I kno I have narrowed it down to the steering box.. so I'm looking to adjust or fix it, replacing is a last ditch effort.. little expensive..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
I am not 100% but I think the box is the same on bronco F150 F250 and F350 92to96 so should be cheap to replace with a good used one.
 

·
Ultra Premium Member
1996 EB w/5.8 TOO much lift, 44" Mudders & 5:43-5:38's
Joined
·
5,231 Posts
I replaced the one in my 93 with a reman for $100, cheap enough and it has a lifetime warranty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,073 Posts
Adjusting it is eazy. I don't know why people are scard of this.

1. Note location of screw.
2. Back off lock nut. Watch the screw doesn't turn while you do this.
3. Turn screw 1/4 turn clockwise.
4. Tighten lock nut. The key here is when your done the screw is 1/4 turn from the beginning.

Now take the truck for a test drive. Turn full right and left. The wheels should not stick or get tight in a hard turn. If it is not tight in the turn and it is still loose in the center, repeat steps 1 through 4.

You can keep doing this untill it gets tight in the turn. Then back off the screw 1/8 turn. (Lock the nut)

Sometimes you will find that you can't get the play out of the center without getting tight in the turn. Time for a new steering box. I recommend Redhead.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
22,854 Posts
PROPER WAY TO ADJUST A STEERING BOX


STEERING SYSTEM
There are four adjustments and measurements that need to be made to properly set up a non-integral steering box:
This section deals with the Saginaw-design Ford Non-Integral Steering Box. This style box was used from the late 1950's on up to their replacement by rack-and-pinion systems. The non-integral refers to the box having no internal power assist and having no hydraulic lines connected to it. The power assist system, if there was any, was remote and separate from the steering box.
1 ) Input Shaft / Worm Gear bearing preload
2 ) Adjustment Screw to Sector Shaft end play
3 ) Sector Shaft to Rack Block gear mesh load
4 ) Sector Shaft movement degree-of-arc measurement (Optional)
These steps must be made in this order to correctly assemble, adjust and check the steering box. These are the steps outlined by Ford in shop manuals and technical bulletins for proper setup by a qualified mechanic.To make these adjustments requires the use of:
1 ) Direct-read (dial or digital) Torque Wrench capable of measuring 0-10 in/lb in 1 in/lb increments
2 ) Feeler shim gauges to measure .002"-.005"
It is important that Steps 1-3 be done in order as one step affects the next. If the first three Steps are made correctly, step 4 should fall within tolerance. Therefore, Step 4 is optional and needn't be done if you do not have the tools to do it..
Steering Box Adjustments & Measurements
For Ford/Saginaw designed non- integral style steering boxes
StangerSite © 2008
All pictures, diagrams, text and illustrations are the property of StangersSite and may not be copied or reproduced without the express written permission of the Webmaster
Send Me Email
Input Shaft / Worm Gear Bearing Pre-load: The end of the Input Shaft that is inside the steering box has a worm gear design. Both ends of the worm section have ball bearings that secure the shaft inside the housing and allow the shaft to rotate freely. The surface of the input shaft acts as the inner race to these bearings. The Input Shaft Bearing Nut tightens down into the box and tightens these bearings to the input shaft. This loads the bearings so that they are tight and hold the worm section of the input shaft securely. This bearing load must be sufficient to remove all movement and slack from the input shaft and yet loose enough not to have the bearings bind or wear excessively as the input shaft is turned. They must hold the input shaft in place as the steering action of the sector shaft places a deflecting action against it. This bearing load is determined by measuring the drag on the bearings as determined by rotating the input shaft.
Short Input ShaftInput Shaft with BearingsShort Adjustment NutLong Adjustment NutBearing race in adjustment nutBearing race in housing
INPUT
SHAFT
WORM GEAR
WORM GEAR with INNER BEARINGS
ADJUSTING
NUTS
OUTER
BEARING
RACE in
ADJUSTING
NUT
OUTER
BEARING
RACE in
HOUSING
Adjustment Screw to Sector Shaft End Play: The Adjustment Screw lowers the Sector Shaft into the housing and forces the Sector Shaft Teeth to mesh with the teeth on the Rack Block. This screw also sets the amount of end play of the Sector Shaft. This screw must have enough clearance to allow the Sector Shaft to turn without binding on the screw, but no so much that there is excessive end play in the Sector Shaft to affect gear mesh.
The clearance is adjusted by changing the shim located between the Adjustment Screw and the top of the Sector Shaft. Different thickness shims allow for correction of production tolerances and wear compensation.
Adjustment shim clearanceAdjustment shim in sector shaft
Gear Teeth Mesh Load: The teeth on the Sector Shaft mesh with the teeth on the Rack Block, which is mounted to the Input Shaft Worm. The center gap on the Rack Block is designed tighter than the other gaps so that the center tooth on the Sector Shaft has a tighter fit when meshing with it. This tightness is designed into the center of the box because this is the position the box is most often in - steering the car straight down the road. This tightness in the center keeps the box tighter when going straight down the road so the car doesn't wander. The mesh load is determined by turning the steering box through its full travel and measuring the increased drag in the center of travel.
Input Shaft with Rack BlockSector Shaft TeethRack Block and Sector Teeth
SECTOR
SHAFT
TEETH
RACK BLOCK TEETH
SECTOR SHAFT
MESHED WITH
RACK BLOCK
The most common problem and complaint about steering boxes is the excessive amount of play in the steering wheel. It is not unusual for the steering wheel to move several inches without causing the tires to actually turn at all. While there are many reasons why this this can happen, the part most often blamed for this situation is a loose steering box. This section will address the steering box's role in this problem and how to resolve it.
Any looseness in the steering box will cause play in the steering wheel and steering linkage. Small amounts of excessive play in the box will cause larger movements elsewhere. Many things can cause play in the steering box: worn sector shaft needle bearings, worn teeth on the sector shaft or rack block, worn balls in the recirculating assembly as well as worn worm gear grooves. Over time the bearings inside the box also wear and become looser, adding to the problem. While the gear tooth mesh may contribute only a small part to the looseness of the box, it is this adjustment that can remove most of the play found inside the box. However, tightening this adjustment alone will only provide a temporary fix and can cause problems in the future.
There is only one proper way to adjust a steering box. To do this requires:
a)

b)



c)

d)
e)
All internal parts must be in good condition. That is, the bearings must be in good condition, the tooth surfaces of the sector shaft, rack block and worm gear must not be excessively worn, the recirculating balls must not be worn down, and the bearing surfaces of the input shaft must be smooth and clean.
The steering box must have no outside drag imposed on it. Meaning, the pitman arm must be removed or the adjustment screw turned all the way out so that the sector shaft teeth are not providing any drag on the rack. The pitman arm must be removed from the sector shaft or the pitman arm disconnected from the steering linkage so that there is no drag imposed by them.The steering wheel and column must be removed so they add no drag to the input shaft.
The Input Shaft Bearing Load must be done first. For this measurement to be done, the adjusting screw on the top of the box must be turned all the way out to remove the drag of the sector shaft from the rest of the assembly.
The Gear Teeth Mesh Load can now be done until the correct total of center mesh load is obtained.
Measurement is done using a direct-read inch-pound torque wrench mounted to the end of the input shaft. The wrench measures the drag imposed on the input shaft by the adjustments. The proper loads are small and impossible to measure accurately without such an instrument.
That being said, here is the proper way to adjust the steering box:
1)


2)

3)

4)


5)

6)



7)
Mount the torque wrench onto the end of the input shaft. On long shaft boxes this can be done by threading a large nut onto the threads that secure the steering wheel to the shaft and using the proper socket on the wrench. On short shaft boxes an 11/16" 12-point socket will usually slip over the splines and allow the shaft to be turned.
Measure the amount of drag needed to turn the input shaft. If the input shaft is in a more-or-less horizontal position, take the measurements while lifting the wrench to get a more accurate reading.
If the reading is less than 4 in/lb, loosen the Bearing Nut Lock Ring. Tighten the Bearing Nut and take another reading. Continue until you get a consistant reading of 4-5 in/lb of drag.
Once you have gotten the proper reading, tighten down the Lock Ring with a hammer and drift. Check the reading again. Sometimes tightening down the Lock Ring with tighten down the Bearing Nut, sometimes it will loosen it. Re-adjust Bearing Nut and Lock Ring until reading is correct with Lock Ring tightened down.
Slowly tighten down the Adjusting Screw while turning the steering box from lock to lock until you feel the box tighten while passing through the center of travel.
Lock down the Adjusting Screw and measure the increase in drag while passing through the center of travel. The drag reading should stay around the original 4-5 in/lb of drag until the center of travel is reached. The drag should then increase slightly and then go back down to the 4-5 in/lb reading. The desired increase at center is a total of 9-10 in/lb of drag.
Once the total drag has reached 9-10 in/lb at center, with the Adjusting Screw locked down, tighten the Lock Nut securely.
Adjusting Input Bearing Preload Measuring Input Bearing Preload
TIGHTENING
ADJUSTMENT
NUT
MEASURING
INPUT
BEARING
DRAG

PROBLEMS:
When checking for the gear mesh center drag, if the reading stays the same throughout the travel of the box, and the adjustment is turned as far as it will go, then the center teeth on the rack block and/or sector shaft are worn out and must be replaced.
If the drag reading goes up more than 2 in/lb just before you reach the end of travel on the box, then the Sector Shaft is dragging on the inside of the housing because it has moved too deeply onto the Rack Block. This indicates that either or both of the Sector Shaft or Rack Block are worn out and must be replaced.
If there seems to be two peaks at the center of travel and not just one, then the Sector Shaft and/or Rack Block are worn out and must be replaced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,073 Posts
Redwagon, do you really think anybody is going to do that? Is anybody going to read that? I think they could possibly be done before reading that. Are you impersonating Miesk5?

I have adjusted the sector screw on many trucks and cars of several different makes. Never had a "horror" story as a result.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
829 Posts
If you do it really slowly and really incrementally you won't run into trouble. It's the people who crank the screw that end up with an exploded steering box.
 

·
Ultra Premium Member
1996 EB w/5.8 TOO much lift, 44" Mudders & 5:43-5:38's
Joined
·
5,231 Posts
Redwagon, do you really think anybody is going to do that? Is anybody going to read that? I think they could possibly be done before reading that. Are you impersonating Miesk5?
:histerica
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
22,854 Posts
Redwagon, do you really think anybody is going to do that? Is anybody going to read that? I think they could possibly be done before reading that. Are you impersonating Miesk5?

I have adjusted the sector screw on many trucks and cars of several different makes. Never had a "horror" story as a result.
damn, I have been found out....:whiteflag
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Adjusting it is eazy. I don't know why people are scard of this.

1. Note location of screw.
2. Back off lock nut. Watch the screw doesn't turn while you do this.
3. Turn screw 1/4 turn clockwise.
4. Tighten lock nut. The key here is when your done the screw is 1/4 turn from the beginning.

Now take the truck for a test drive. Turn full right and left. The wheels should not stick or get tight in a hard turn. If it is not tight in the turn and it is still loose in the center, repeat steps 1 through 4.

You can keep doing this untill it gets tight in the turn. Then back off the screw 1/8 turn. (Lock the nut)

Sometimes you will find that you can't get the play out of the center without getting tight in the turn. Time for a new steering box. I recommend Redhead.
thanks. if the adjustment doesn't work, ill look into getting the redhead u were talking about..

would this be the correct one??

http://www.redheadsteeringgears.com/inventory/1980-97-ford-f-series-with-2-bolt-top
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,999 Posts
I'd go a 1/4 turn then drive it around the block and see if that makes it better and if not try another 1/4 turn but any more then that probably means you need to rebuild/replace the steering box.......less is more......:doh0715:

Good Luck ~ :thumbup
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top