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2009 - 2014 Ford F150 General discussion on 2009 - 2014 Ford F150 truck.

PSA when doing a leveling kit

 
Old 04-09-2019, 10:27 AM
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Default PSA when doing a leveling kit

So yesterday, I was driving home, and i made a turn, and all of a sudden my dash lights went crazy, and I lost power steering. I thought I lost my steering rack, and was pissed because I just put in a new one 6 months ago. Then I hit another bump, and power steering came back. So I drove home very carefully.

When I got home I check my steering rack, and the plug was not all the way seated on it. The clip did not clip properly. I just did my leveling kit last week, and had to unplug it, and I did not make sure the locking clip engaged.

So PSA, make sure you plug in your steering rack all the way, or you could end up in a dangerous situation. I know it seems like common sense, and I've swapped engines, transmissions, brakes, etc in my driveway alone, and consider myself to be pretty good with cars, and I messed this up, so it could happen to anyone.

Last edited by Kbexperience; 04-09-2019 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 04-09-2019, 12:36 PM
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I installed Bilstein 6112's two weeks ago and didn't have to unplug my steering rack. I don't see why you would need to for a leveling kit install.
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Old 04-09-2019, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by smcnich View Post
I installed Bilstein 6112's two weeks ago and didn't have to unplug my steering rack. I don't see why you would need to for a leveling kit install.
You are supposed to unplug it when doing anything to the front suspension/steering rack. Something about messing with it with power applied to it, could mess it up. It doesn't make sense to me, but with the questionable track record of these steering racks, I didn't want to risk it. All leveling kit manufacturers now include unplugging the rack in the instructions.

If you're going to do work on the front suspension or steering on a 2011 F150 with EPAS (all except the 6.2's) be sure to deactivate the electronics to the steering rack or you will be paying dearly for Ford's screw up. The text below is directly from the Ford service manual for the 11's. "Disconnect the negative battery cable anytime the steering gear is being serviced or damage to the steering gear internal power relay may occur resulting in steering gear replacement.
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Old 04-09-2019, 01:48 PM
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So is this for 2011 only? the quote in bold that you put only stated 2011 not 2011+. Just curious because I did a leveling kit over a year ago and never disconnected anything (instructions didn't state to nor did the youtube videos I watched for it). I never had any issues.
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 2012_4x4 View Post
So is this for 2011 only? the quote in bold that you put only stated 2011 not 2011+. Just curious because I did a leveling kit over a year ago and never disconnected anything (instructions didn't state to nor did the youtube videos I watched for it). I never had any issues.
The source I quoted from was posted back in 2011, which is why it says 2011 only. The process is the same for all 11-14's. I'd say you're fine if its been 2 years, but it COULD mess it up. It takes 10 seconds to unplug, so there's no reason not to do so just for the peace of mind on these fault prone steering racks.


If you have the EPAS (electronic power assissted steering) then you need to disconnect the neg on the battery and wait 10 mins before you remove the tie rod end from the knuckle. What causes issue is the hit from the hammer can cause an electrical current or spark and will fry the EPAS system. I just installed a lift on my truck and my brother truck and we have no issues with the epas because we followed directions and disconnected the battery.
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by [b
If you're going to do work on the front suspension or steering on a 2011 F150 with EPAS (all except the 6.2's) be sure to deactivate the electronics to the steering rack or you will be paying dearly for Ford's screw up. The text below is directly from the Ford service manual for the 11's. "Disconnect the negative battery cable anytime the steering gear is being serviced or damage to the steering gear internal power relay may occur resulting in steering gear replacement.[/b]
I don't think a leveling kit install counts as servicing the steering gear.
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by smcnich View Post
I don't think a leveling kit install counts as servicing the steering gear.
Then by all means, don't do so. Like I stated before, it didn't make sense to me, but I wasn't going to take the chance with the steering rack I just replaced 6 months ago, especially considering the instructions say to do so.
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:52 PM
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I wouldn't risk it. Disconnect the battery and careful on reconnecting the battery. These electronics are sensitive.

I friend my power running board module by replacing my battery (yes I connected positive first and then negative).....The only thing I can think of is the driver door was open slightly (I can't verify this) when I re-connected the battery and got a jolt of power and fried that part of the circuit. I haven't replaced it yet because it still "works." It just times out (about 14 seconds extended) before going in. Luckily it is only $150 and takes 5 minutes to swap..unlike the EPAS system....That is not a fun or cheap job.
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jdunk54nl View Post
I wouldn't risk it. Disconnect the battery and careful on reconnecting the battery. These electronics are sensitive.

I friend my power running board module by replacing my battery (yes I connected positive first and then negative).....The only thing I can think of is the driver door was open slightly (I can't verify this) when I re-connected the battery and got a jolt of power and fried that part of the circuit. I haven't replaced it yet because it still "works" just takes longer to go in. Luckily it is only $150 and takes 5 minutes to swap..unlike the EPAS system....That is not a fun or cheap job.
Not fun, nor cheap! Took me 4 hours, mostly because the damn bolts holding it in were so tight, I needed a 5 foot breaker bar. (My Jack Handle), and could only turn them a little bit at a time. But doing it myself it cost me $400 rather than $1000+ at the dealer.
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:27 AM
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Wow, $400 is good for the EPAS. Reman? Used?
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