Steering locknut stigma


Eddo Rogue

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Crossed threads are tight threads.
I have read threads that advise both for and against adjusting/tightening the steering box adjuster/lock nut.

My steering has a lot of play only in the middle. Upon visual inspection, the play was in the steering box. When moving the steering back and forth going into the gearbox, pitman gear on the other end does not move at all. The u joint at the steering shaft is also solid. Looks like all the play is in the box.

I also read that steering gearboxes don't wear out 🤷‍♂️

Any clarification is appreciated.
 


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RonD

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Well......................you don't "steer" Ford trucks, you HERD Ford trucks, once you get used to it its very relaxing to drive a Ford truck :)
A nudge this way and then that way, and down the road you go

You can tighten the steering box to suit your needs, give it a try, just keep track of turns so you can decide whats best for you

Steering box can wear out, there is just not alot of "wear" since rotation and stress on gears is not all that much

Also check the "rag joint" on the steering shaft in the engine bay, they can deteriorate adding slop to an already sloppy system, lol
 

Eddo Rogue

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Haha I was hesitant to even post knowing that line would be the first response I would get. I am well aware of the old saying, but this is a little ridiculous, even borderline dangerous, were I not a savvy driver (like I know how to countersteer)...

Herding would be fine...but more like loosely corral while bouncing off the fence line would describe this. Im talking maybe 4" of left -right play going straight (or trying to). I've just been dealing with it, but look like a terrible/drunk driver out there.

Its actually great if Im steering through a long sweeping turn or something where its held to one side....
The real problem is any kind chicane or switchback. By the time I get the wheel to the other side I am over the lane and over correcting. The slack in the middle makes the side to side transition unpredictable.

Rag joint is tight, as is the all the steering linkage. Steering is good when Im actually steering. its trying to go straight that sucks, because I am still steering as if its a sailboat wheel.
 

ericbphoto

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And you are positive that you have enough caster and the toe is set right?
 

Eddo Rogue

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Crossed threads are tight threads.
And you are positive that you have enough caster and the toe is set right?
caster and toe should be fine but I am not sure. Camber is off due to leveling kit, and wheel bearings are a tad loose, both of which I am addressing.
I can physically see movement going into the steering box and none coming out of it.
 

RonD

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So adjust it, its your vehicle, its like tire pressure, users choice :)
 

Eddo Rogue

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So adjust it, its your vehicle, its like tire pressure, users choice :)
Oh gotcha, I guess an 1/8 turn at a time wont hurt and I can always go back...Thanks again Ron!
 

19Walt93

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Get the weight off the wheels and slowly tighten the adjustment while checking the steering for a binding feeling in the middle/straight ahead position. Once you feel it starting to bind, back it off a hair and tighten the lock nut. As long as you don't feel binding or stiffness in the center it's not too tight.
 

RonD

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+1 ^^^^

Check lock to lock for binding BEFORE you get out on the road
 

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Get the weight off the wheels and slowly tighten the adjustment while checking the steering for a binding feeling in the middle/straight ahead position. Once you feel it starting to bind, back it off a hair and tighten the lock nut. As long as you don't feel binding or stiffness in the center it's not too tight.
I thought it was at full lock when it would bind. The way I’ve alway heard was that it will wear the most in the center of travel and if you adjust the slop out while centered, it will bing up at full lock where there’s less wear.
 

19Walt93

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I thought it was at full lock when it would bind. The way I’ve alway heard was that it will wear the most in the center of travel and if you adjust the slop out while centered, it will bing up at full lock where there’s less wear.
I've always checked for binding in the center during adjustment and have never seen one bind ate either end of travel. It's still a good idea to check for binding lock to lock just in case.
 

Eddo Rogue

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Crossed threads are tight threads.
Thanks guys, good stuff. The binding end to end is what I'm worried about. Hopefully I can find a sweet spot where it tightens up in the middle but doesn't bind up side to side...
 

19Walt93

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Steering gear boxes absolutely wear out. If you start feeling it bind before the play is gone, it's worn.
 

Eddo Rogue

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Crossed threads are tight threads.
So lets say my gearbox is worn...Do they make new ones or do I hit the junyard? I have seen rebuild kits but it looks like just seals....
 

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If it wanders a lot I would point at caster which is hard to get with extra height... also if the steering linkage isn't flat or very close it's going to handle weird, a drop pitman arm would probably help...

That said, I'd probably adjust the preload screw from the sounds of it...
 


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