Extremely loose steering

Isaac nickerson

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So, 2 very obvious things were present when I went under the hood. 1 was the belt was loose, which made it about twice as better. And turns out the steering box was loose on the frame. Which made it 3 times better (however no cracking was visible)I no longer feel like I'm going to drive off the side of the road. However there is still some play in my joints so I will have to fix that someday soonish lol.
 

mtbadbob

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I second checking the rag joint and adjusting the free play at the box with the adjuster nut. It's like a 5/8" nut w/1/4" or 5/16" allen bolt adjuster. I did that to my '87 & took all the wandering out of my steering.
 

ali_c20

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Found this info when I had play in my steering box.

I would not touch the adjustment if the box does not have any play. Is there play in the center position and not on the right or left turning positions? If so your adjustment may cause a bind and shorten the life of your box. If you need to adjust it turn the wheel full lock left or right (doesnt matter). Loosen the jam nut while holding the screw adjuster and turn the screw to the right to tighten the gear mesh. I would go 1/4 turn at a time until you have no more slop. Most steering boxes wear at the wheel center position, so it is important you adjust the box in the least wear position (left or right lock) to prevent binding.
 

idahovette

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I wouldn't mess with the PS gear adjustment until I had checked all the linkage, ball joints and bearings for play.
 

75gmck25

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I agree, steering box gear adjustment is the last step.

There used to be a lot of articles with “tips” about fixing your steering play with a quick box adjustment; however, you can also really screw it up. After each 1/8 to 1/4 turn to decrease the play you have to run it through the full range and make sure it is not binding and it returns to center on normal turns.
 

AuroraGirl

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So, 2 very obvious things were present when I went under the hood. 1 was the belt was loose, which made it about twice as better. And turns out the steering box was loose on the frame. Which made it 3 times better (however no cracking was visible)I no longer feel like I'm going to drive off the side of the road. However there is still some play in my joints so I will have to fix that someday soonish lol.
well i didnt say belt but there was an underlying assumption that by that point you would have checked the belt. but no matter, if your box was loose there was maybe the point where your belt was fine but the box shift and the pump demand was higher and that is when it would be "loose" either way, glad that helped.
 

Rusty Nail

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Id look at the frame where they got that box bolted to.
 

75gmck25

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The steering box adjustment should be made with the box disconnected, and using a spring scale to measure resistance. However adjustment in the truck is very easy if you just don’t get carried away. Remember, it should usually be the last adjustment after you already know the tie rods and ball joints are good, and the rag joint is in good condition.

On top of the body of the steering box, near where the lines connect on top, there is a 5/8” nut with an Allen wrench fitting in the middle.

- Slip a box end wrench over the nut and insert the Allen wrench into the middle. Note which direction the L of the wrench points.
- while holding the Allen wrench in the same orientation, loosen the large nut around it about a 1/4 to 1/2 turn, until the Allen wrench is no longer locked in position.
- with the large nut loose, turn the Allen wrench about 1/4 turn clockwise. This is moving the gears inside the box closer to each other. Hold the Allen wrench in position and use the large nut to lock it down.

Do a test drive after each 1/4 turn clockwise to ensure it’s not binding inside. It should feel smooth and even throughout the full range, and should return to center easily as you come out of a turn.

I’ve seen a few articles where guys just screwed the Allen wrench down until it lightly bottomed, and then backed off a set amount (1/2 turn?). The risk is that you may get it much tighter than needed, which will cause the box to bind.
 

Rumbledawg

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when running bigger tires, there are a few things you can do to make it steer better. besides the obvious, checking your tie rod ends, draglink, pitman, etc for wear, best thing to do is get rid of the reman box and get a quality built box. the quality of a reman is a crapshoot, and bigger tires will find any weaknesses in it pretty quick. i switched up to crossover steer about 5 yrs ago and installed a "new" reman box. besides constantly being a leaker, there was a dead section in the steering that i could not adjust out, and i went all new tie rods and whatnot during the conversion, as well as a dual stabilizer.
after blowing the sector shaft seal 30 miles out in the bush (and screwing up my brakes, hydroboost) i decided it was time to get a serious box.
i would recommend replacing your gear with a Redhead steering box. ya, there more expensive than a reman, but do you really want to put a price on losing control of your truck?
belive me, there worth the money. my truck steers 100%, centers beautifully and i can steer the truck wit 1 finger, and this is with 38's or 42's.
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a steering brace is pretty much mandatory with bigger rubber. go to a wrecking yard and look for a 1 ton, they come with a factory steering brace that will bolt onto any K square with no mods needed.
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if you want your frame to be bulletproof without cracking around the box, think about triangulating your frame. i mounted a piece of 1/4 thick angle iron right beside the fr spring hangers. besides eliminating any frame flex around the box, it also gave me a handy spot to mount a fr receiver for our bike rack.
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big question, does it work? well after 20 yrs of big rubber, check out the frame around my box.....can't ask for better than this...
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would definitely recommend a Redhead
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