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Adjusting gear play in new steering box

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Old 11-13-2017, 03:29 PM   #1
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Default Adjusting gear play in new steering box

Hey everyone, I recently replaced my steering box per the alignment centers recommendation, but the issue I'm having is my new box is allot worse than my original, with about 2 inches of play before the wheels catch (miserable with 35s) so my question is should i try to adjust the play out of the new box and assume it wasn't properly adjusted or should i assume it's a bad box and return it? I'm 99% sure the play is from the box since it's the only thing I replaced at the time and the play started immediately after, truck was a bit loose but not anywhere near this level before. Thanks in advance for your replies.🍻🍻
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:52 PM   #2
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I'm hoping that the box you put on was USED and not brand new off the shelf. Wow if it was new.

How was the intermediate shaft from the column to the box? If that was a new box, I'd be checking there. Sounds like it's time for you and a buddy to check all the front end linkage also, to make sure that the idler or pitman aren't your problems, and not the box. The idler arm is the weak piece in this front end, IMO.
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Old 11-13-2017, 04:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akdoggie View Post
I'm hoping that the box you put on was USED and not brand new off the shelf. Wow if it was new.

How was the intermediate shaft from the column to the box? If that was a new box, I'd be checking there. Sounds like it's time for you and a buddy to check all the front end linkage also, to make sure that the idler or pitman aren't your problems, and not the box. The idler arm is the weak piece in this front end, IMO.
Exactly this. The idler arms on these pretty much just need replaced if it ever comes off for any reason.
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Old 11-13-2017, 04:51 PM   #4
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It's a remanufactured box, so honestly I'm not sure how tight the tolerances are for those. Idler arm, pitman arm, center link, inner and outer tie rod ends, upper and lower control arms and wheel bearings have all been replaced in the last 6 months, the steering box was supposed to be the final nail. How do I check the intermediate shaft? Just wiggle the wheel and see if the movements translate to the box?

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Old 11-14-2017, 02:17 AM   #5
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I'd still check the idler arm. Yes on how to check the shaft. You are looking for play, since it was loose while you replaced the box, and the box is reman'd, so you look for other things. The Int Shaft or the Idler are my choices. Good luck.
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:29 AM   #6
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The problem I've seen with "remanufactured" boxes is they change seals, but not the gears. They're not really remanufactured. You figure if the box you got was redone, it must have been pretty bad for the original owner to get rid of it.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:45 PM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions guys they're much appreciated, I'm gonna check out the idler again and mess with the intermediate shaft a bit after work, ill give an update with my findings. If it does end up being a bad reman box does ford still sell oem boxes this old?

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Old 11-14-2017, 03:14 PM   #8
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They sell Motorcraft Remans. You can get them through Rock Auto too, cheaper than the dealer I suspect.
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:29 PM   #9
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A1, who makes a good amount of the reman boxes, do actually check the rack rod and the shaft for excessive clearance. If they don't meet the requirements, they are replaced with reground shaft/rack units (matched). The seals of course are replaced. These are well built boxes, and if I remember correctly, they also do the reman's for Ford/Motorcraft to Ford specs.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:44 PM   #10
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Thanks for the help and suggestions guys, I checked the idler and intermediate shaft for play, the shaft had small amount up and down but not rotationally, idler feels solid. Lesson learned don't buy Amazon steering boxes lol..time to start shopping.
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