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#64011 - 01/12/03 12:23 PM STEERING--How to adjust the Steering Box???
P71_Interceptor Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 6716
How to adjust the Steering Box when it's mounted in the vehicle ???

I have the procedure here in the Haynes manual, but it only gives the adjustment while the Steering box is on the bench.

The problem is, the manual states to appy 4-8lbs of torque TO the Steering gear. This is OBVIOUSLY NOT possible to gauge while the Box is mounted.

I'll back up a bit and post the adjustment procedure from the Haynes manual. Keep in mind this is WHILE the box is on a work bench held by a vice.


14. With the gear on center and the sector shaft adjuster backed-off, measure the turning torque. Adjust the sector shaft screw so that the preload is 4 to 8 lbf in excess of the figure previously obtained. Readings should be made through an arc not exceeding 20 degrees with the gear on center.

15. Tighten the sector shaft adjuster screw locknut to a torque of 30-35lbf.

So how is this done while the box is in the car ??

Edited by Liquid (01/13/04 08:49 AM)
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#64012 - 01/12/03 04:54 PM Re: How to adjust the Steering Box (when mounted) ???
lifespeed Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 01/31/02
Posts: 1040
Loc: northern California
You make the adjustment with the steering wheel serving as your torque wrench.

Translated, what the Haynes manual says is: "back off on the sector gear preload until it is free, then gradually snug it down until you just start to feel the resistance turning the steering wheel."

A new Ford "reman" box is priced at a shade over $300. If your box is worn, an adjustment won't fix it. May be worth replacing, that's what I did. I have actually adjusted steering boxes. If you have little wear, you can get away with an adjust.

Trouble is, you can't feel this subtle increase in steering shaft torque indicating correct preload with the suspension connected. You have to disconnect the pitman arm from the centerlink.

Edited by lifespeed (01/12/03 04:56 PM)
- Lifespeed

2004 Silver Birch Marauder 140K miles
Wilwood F/R brakes, Penske 7500DA shocks, Hypercoil 600lbs F and Grand Marquis R air springs, Addco tubular sway bars, Metco control & Watts, 31 sp axles, Stainless Works cat-back exhaust, Lidio tune, BFG KDWS tires

#64013 - 01/13/03 02:00 PM Re: How to adjust the Steering Box (when mounted) ???
P71Cruiser Offline

Registered: 09/10/02
Posts: 830
Loc: Wisconsin
I have only adjusted a handful of gearboxes, but was always told that most wear on the gear is where the steering is at most of the time which is in the center position. When you tighten the adjuster, you mesh the gears in the shallow spot. If you leave it this way you run the risk of it binding when you turn the wheels and possibly cracking and ruining your gearbox. Either adjust the gearbox with the wheels turned to one side or after adjusting the center with the front wheels off the ground and turning the wheels WITHOUT the engine running and feel for any binding. 4-8 ft-lbs isn't much just lightly snug it up. Imagine your hand as a torque wrench, and tighten up the jam nut sufficiently. I'm sure I'll get some feedback on this, but the mechanics I've worked with don't use a torque wrench for everything even those there is a value (torque) for everything. In areas that aren't accesible with a torque wrench and an extension effects the true torque value, what else you gonna do- an experienced tighten of the fastener is about it.
Selling all my Police equip and parts.Drop me a message if you need anything.

#64014 - 01/13/03 04:21 PM Re: How to adjust the Steering Box (when mounted) ???
Mr_pogo Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 07/14/01
Posts: 1601
On worm and sector or recirculating ball boxes, the center of travel is designed to be the tightest and the position where you adjust at. Centering the steering wheel is not always the center of travel of the steering box. You have to turn wheel lock to lock and find the center of travel, then adjust. If worm is worn enough in the center of travel then you can run into binding when its turned offcenter.
I usually jack front wheels up and turn steering wheel with engine off to check for binding, adjusted my 92s box with no probs this way.


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