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Old 2006-12-06, 16:15   #1
scooper77515
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Adjusting the steering gear screw

Does anyone know the "correct" way to adjust the screw in the top of the steering gear box?

Mine is manual, in case it makes a difference.

Are there specific directions, such as "straighten the wheel, torque to X, then back of Y turns, and lock down"?
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Old 2006-12-06, 17:19   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl Branham
if you have play in the wheel, loosen the 5/8" nut, and using a big screwdriver, screw the adjustment down, and move the wheel back and forth. This will take the slack out. Adjust the screw down until there is no play in the gear. Be sure to fill up the gear with grease, and it should be ok. Hope this helps.
May try giving Earl a PM if you need any help. From what I've heard, the wheels do need to be exactly straight.
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Old 2006-12-06, 17:25   #3
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The boxes are technically non-adjustable.
The "adjuster" is preset from the factory and not supposed to be used.
That is not to say you can't, however you should only move it very little.
For details, someone wrote up a thread about it a year or so ago.
I might be wrong, but I think it was dmhines.

The adjuster forces the gears together, so remember, very little adjustment is available before you cause things to bind up and ruin the box.
Good luck
Dave
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Old 2006-12-06, 18:32   #4
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Quote:
The "adjuster" is preset from the factory and not supposed to be used.
I disagree. The adjuster is there so that it can be adjusted, to take up the slack as the gears wear. Obviously there is only so much "adjustment" attainable before the box needs to be replaced.

Scoop;
The correct method is to loosen the nut, and tighten the screw with a flat-tip screwdriver. Just turn it clockwise until it stops. Do not put torque on it, or you will cause binding of the gears. Turn the screw until it stops, then retighten the nut. You're done. It's easy, takes less than 5 minutes, and it makes no difference if it's manual or power steering...
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Old 2006-12-06, 19:08   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.L.
I disagree. The adjuster is there so that it can be adjusted, to take up the slack as the gears wear. Obviously there is only so much "adjustment" attainable before the box needs to be replaced.
Ratio411 is correct. The adjuster is there for factory adjustment and when you do a rebuild. The reason I say this is that the most wear on the gears is at center with the wheels straight. As you go either way on the gear it will have less and less wear on it. So on a worn gear box if you adjust the slack out of the box at the center position it will get tighter and tighter as you turn the wheel and sometimes lock up. When you get a reman gear box from the parts store it has a red tag on it that says to please resist the urge to adjust the lash on the box. Hmmmm I wonder why that is.

So a solution to the problem would be to turn the wheels all the way in one direction and adjust it the way that T.L. has stated so you will not run into any binding problems.
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Old 2006-12-06, 19:22   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordmaster169

So a solution to the problem would be to turn the wheels all the way in one direction and adjust it the way that T.L. has stated so you will not run into any binding problems.
i disagree...the tight spot is in the center, that way it dosen't walk either way when going down the road..next!!!
...frank...
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Old 2006-12-06, 20:08   #7
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10-14 inch lbs

source: http://autorepair.about.com/library/a/1f/bl869f.htm

I did this to my 1994 F-150 to try to get the slack out to the steering. Re-torquing the screw seemed to help ... a little bit. And, yes, the resistance to turning the steering increased also (by a small amount - I didn't have an inch/Lb torque wrench nor the patience of Scooper else I could quantify it. ).




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Old 2006-12-06, 20:48   #8
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Yes, according to the manufacturer, the preload is adjustable.
The problem arises when the wear is too great for even application of the tension. The center of the worm gear is the tightest when it is new. It is also where most of the wear takes place. Once there is wear on the worm, it spreads to the follower and since it affects the center more than the extremes if you try to set the adjustment to take out the slack you have more wear in the center so when you adjust it there it is too tight on the extremes (the wear is less). In the books you will find the procedure to adjust the tension.
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Old 2006-12-07, 04:16   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulS
Yes, according to the manufacturer, the preload is adjustable.
The problem arises when the wear is too great for even application of the tension. The center of the worm gear is the tightest when it is new. It is also where most of the wear takes place. Once there is wear on the worm, it spreads to the follower and since it affects the center more than the extremes if you try to set the adjustment to take out the slack you have more wear in the center so when you adjust it there it is too tight on the extremes (the wear is less). In the books you will find the procedure to adjust the tension.
Thanks PaulS, I guess neither one of us has any idea what we are talking about. And yes, I learned the hard way about this very subject. The funny thing about experiance is you dont get any untill just after you need it.

And Frank, what keeps the car from walking down the road is not the preload on the worm and sector, it is an adjustment called CASTER.
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Old 2006-12-07, 06:15   #10
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Thanks guys. The reason I am even messing with it is because I have "rebuilt" it. Not really, but I took all the grease out, cleaned it, inspected it, put in a grease zerk, and reassembled it. I took that screw all the way out while doing this, and now need to put it back where it belongs. I left it a little loose just in case, figuring it would swim a little, but at least not damage anything, until I figured out what the correct torque was.
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