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I need to tighten steering box slop?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 85-m1028, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. 85-m1028

    85-m1028 1/2 ton status

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    I jacked up the front end and moved the front tires back and forth, theres a lot of play in the steering box. Some of the bolts were loose allowing the box to slide up and down on the frame, so I torqed em all down to 80ftlbs.

    I still get about a 1/2" of play in either direction for the sector shaft and pitman arm itself "some of this play is from the coupler or rag joint" Do I just need to loosen the locknut and crank it a little tighter from the top?? or is there something else I should looking at?? How much movement should there be??
     
  2. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    The adjuster nut should not, IIRC, be used for this purpose. It sets preload for return-to-center, but by the time you can feel it tightening, something else is very wrong.

    You sure it's not DLE's (or TRE's)?

    -- A
     
  3. 85-m1028

    85-m1028 1/2 ton status

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    with the steering wheel locked in place the only thing that was moving was the piman arm back and forth about 1/2" in either direction. the tre and dle have seen better days but the pitman was definentaly where the slop was??
     
  4. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    You sure the steering shaft doesn't have play in it?
    Take a couple of pairs of vice grips, clamp one on the upper half of the shaft, and one on the lower half of the shaft. Attempt to wiggle in opposite directions. If there is ANY movment, replace the shaft. Play here translates 3 fold as it is before steering box input.
    Tightning the sector shaft preload probably won't help you in this instance. All this does is set the preload,so, how much effort (torque) is required to turn the steering wheel. It will not remove any play in the system.
    The box itself could be bad as well, although is is somewhat uncommon, but not unheard of.

    Check these things as well (read my post here):
    http://coloradok5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=172322&highlight=steering

    Remember, these trucks never had really tight steering from the factory, bigger tires, lifts, all make that worse. So make your expectations realistic.
    With the steering wheel locked, it still allowed to move a little. I'd suspect DLE, TRE, and steering shaft.
     
  5. 85-m1028

    85-m1028 1/2 ton status

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    awesome, thanks!! I'll check the collapsible steeering column today.
     
  6. 85-m1028

    85-m1028 1/2 ton status

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    Well the draglink/pitman connection was really loose so I pulled the pin and cranked it down. I adjusted the toe out a bit and recentered the steering wheel and I couldn't seem to make it DW but I can still feel the front tires need to be balanced.

    The steering column wasn't that bad but the rag joint was pretty loose. At least it's drivable now!!!
     

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