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LOOSE steering wheel. 3rd gen.

master hec0

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so i finally paid off my 97 ranger and drove it home man was that every scary

the wheel has about a 1/8th of play from side to side and the wheel wobbles in every direction but one come out by pulling on it. my question is. is there any way of tightening the wheel? or do i just need to replace it? and what year ranger would swap steering wheels it has airbag no cruise control.
 


xkotyx

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sounds like play in your steering box. my 91 is about the same, but i have gotten used to it. i dont even notice it anymore.
 

master hec0

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no it is not. im 100% sure the wheel itself is loose. mainly because if i push it on the bottom of the wheel it will steer normally but without and pressure it plays alot. the vehicle was in a low speed collision but i dont think that caused it.
 

crusin93

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so i finally paid off my 97 ranger and drove it home man was that every scary

the wheel has about a 1/8th of play from side to side and the wheel wobbles in every direction but one come out by pulling on it. my question is. is there any way of tightening the wheel? or do i just need to replace it? and what year ranger would swap steering wheels it has airbag no cruise control.
Yeah, and do it before you kill yourself! Pull the airbag off the steering wheel to access the Torx bolt that holds the wheel on the column. The air bag is held in place by 4 10mm bolts accessed on the backside of the wheel. Disconnect your battery beforehand, so you dont get a nose bleed and chipped teeth.

If the wheel bolt is not loose, then you have a problem inside the column. Post what you find before I write a bunch on the subject for nothing.

Oh yeah is it a tilt steering wheel?
 
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LIMA BEAN

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I use Med. strengh Lock-tite on those nuts no matter what.
 

srteach

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On the 97, there are two small plugs you need to remove from behind the steering wheel. This gives access to two small 10mm screws that allow removal of the airbag. Remove the positive cable from the battery, then unplug the airbag. DO NOT stand or sit in front of the airbag when unplugging it, even without power, static could set it off. Tighten the single nut on the steering column to tighten the steering wheel.

If you need to replace the steering wheel, any from '94 to '97 will work.
 

master hec0

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are you sure that a 4th gen wheel will not work? i know the 94 wont work because the wheel does not have airbag. and the interior of my 97 is almost identical to my dads 2001 ranger.
 

MountainMike

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Should work, my 98 Ranger's interior should be identical. It is whether the top on the steering shaft is the same or not.
 

Ranger Sport Honduras

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any 95-03 steering would work since its the same thing, imo.
but to be sure get a 95-00 steering in case u cant find a 97
 

97RangerXLT

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something else to check, look at the linkage coming out of the firewall between the firewall and the steering box and make sure it does not have damaged or missing bolts.

AJ
 

WTF

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Yeah, what they said:agree:

Tighten the loose nut behind the wheel!!!

Sorry, I know it was lame.
 

97RangerXLT

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something else... I just remembered what it took to remove a nice mint leather wrapped steering wheel from the U pull yard... I bent a cheapo puller trying to remove it from the truck. I ended up having to get a better puller and I had to really reallly crank on it to get it to come loose. so even if the torx screw is missing, I do not see the steering wheel coming loose by itself. I would check the linkage and the box it itself.

AJ
 

exbass94

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Keep in mind that 98+ trucks have rack and pinion, whereas your 97 uses a steering box. So a 98+ column might not work.
 

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