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Sayulita Layta!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've posted something similar a long time ago, but never got the answer I was looking for. Instead of going back and reopening that thread that was mooshed up with other jumbo, I figured Id start a new one seeking the one answer I need.


I have a late model with 140k on the ticker. The ball joints and TRE's are new as of a couple of months ago. The steering is relatively tight but there is a dead spot when the wheel is perfectly straight. I've checked out the rag and it seems to turn WITH the wheel which is a good thing. The only thing I can think of for my semi-sloppy steering is a worn gear box (but I have no leaks).

The truck tends to veer to the drivers side when the wheel is straight (after having a couple of alignments at different shops). Some times though, the truck will track straight or start to veer to the passenger side. This also makes me think the gearbox is the culprit.

I can get the most recent alignment specs up in a little bit if it will help, but everything was within spec.

Any help please?
 

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I've got the same problem. My BKO wanders to the right when I let go of the wheel, but not always, and there is no sign of tire wear. Also when rounding a corner I get the old :shocked when it doesn't hug the corner and roll back into it perfectly. Instead of replacing my ball joints, bearings, brake job, camber kit, and alignment and whatever else the guy told me to get, I got a second opinion, and was told the gearbox was old. So instead of getting an $800 bill for stuff I don't need, I am gonna get a $200 gear box .

If you have "play" in your steering, your like me, and in need of a gearbox :thumbup.
 

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Stan I've asked and asked on here how to diagnose a sloppy steering box and have never gotten a clear answer. Mine doesn't leak either but when I rock my wheels left and right to full lock once, it runs down the pitman arm a bit.

I have the same problem as you've stated; asked my mechanic neighbor and he said it is probably the box. I mean it IS 12 to 14 years old, and the bigger tires and wheeling have only accelerated its wear.

PS: Does any one know if a bad box can make noises?
 

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Sayulita Layta!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
:rolleyes:




















Obviously, NONE of you have bothered searching or browsing the Tech Writeups forum. :shrug I'll save you a few tries: the keyword is "preload". :thumbup
Its not that havent tried searching, its that I cant come up with the right keywords. I searched gear box or sloppy steering and all that pops up is crap Roman started :doh0715::toothless
 

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Sayulita Layta!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I havent browsed that forum :whiteflag


Anyways Steve, with the right keyword I found exactly what I was looking for. Thanks Steve! I have one question though... in your diagram it says alignment check should be done before you change the preload. What exactly does this mean? Should I have an alignment done before or AFTER i set the reset the preload?

- Front End Wander Front end wander is a condition that is noticed when the vehicle is driven in a straight ahead position with the wheel held in a firm position, but the vehicle wanders to either the right or left side. Front end alignment should be checked before any gear service is made.
NOTE: Front end alignment and tire pressures should be checked before any gear service is performed.

Also, what is the difference between the preload and meshload (if any)?


Here is the link to the tech writeup by Steve.
http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=95056&highlight=preload
 

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Sayulita Layta!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yup.

Meshload technically means the force holding gears in mesh (tooth-to-tooth); preload is the axial load on tapered bearings that keeps the shaft from turning sideways. But the terms are sometimes interchanged (incorrectly).
Gotcha Steve. So if all goes as planned, the preload should tighten the gearbox up and should eliminate the play and looseness in the steering wheel. Then I can go get a real alignment afterwards?
 

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Sayulita Layta!
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
you and those faces steve.... haha

stan if your alignment is good now. if all checks out, then when you perform this service on your truck an alignment will not be needed. you will just have tighter steering
Gotcha. Okay well I was just wondering because if they set the alignment before with a loose box, it could be off a little :shrug

I'll just tighten the box and shut up. Is there anything I have to be aware of before I take off the steering wheel pad, seeing as how I have an airbag? I dont want to get smashed in the face :cry
 

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Gotcha. Okay well I was just wondering because if they set the alignment before with a loose box, it could be off a little :shrug

I'll just tighten the box and shut up. Is there anything I have to be aware of before I take off the steering wheel pad, seeing as how I have an airbag? I dont want to get smashed in the face :cry
Why are you taking your steering wheel off?

Setting the preload on the box does not require it.

Is your wheel off to one side when going straight?
 

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Sayulita Layta!
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Why are you taking your steering wheel off?

Setting the preload on the box does not require it.

Is your wheel off to one side when going straight?
Okay well maybe I am totally confused on this. It said steering wheel nut, maybe Im taking this too far :doh0715: Is the nut that Im supposed to tighten on the gearbox itself? Because I dont get how you can turn the wheel full lock right, measure the preload, then do it at center (from the gear box).


5. Attach an inch-pound torque wrench to the steering wheel nut and determine the torque required to rotate the shaft slowly approximately one-eighth turn (45°) toward center from the initial 45 degree position. Note this first value.

 

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If you are going by those instructions then yes, you will have to take the steering wheel off.

I've only ever loosened the lock nut on the box, turn the sector shaft adjusting screw a hair and check the wheel for play.

Sometimes it takes a couple of tries to get the slop out, but only move it a kunt hair at a time and re-check it. If you tighten it too much, it could bind at full lock.

It's just a matter of feel to get it right.
 

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Sayulita Layta!
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Gotcha stosh. You're saying skip the inch/pound wrench and just feel it out. Makes sense, and seems to be easier and more time efficient; would you take the pitman arm, and return line off too?

I like the idea of going by the "numbers" better though.
 
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