Hi, I have about 10 degrees or so of play in my steering system. I know it is in the steering box. I can move the wheel and see the column turn where it enters the box, but doesn't budge the linkages that exit from the box. Can I fix this myself?
The last vehicle I owned with manual steering was a 1958 Ford and the last one I actually adjusted was on a 1954 Ford so my advise is a little dated.
First I would look for a filler plug on the top of the steering box and check to see that you have oil in it. Don't overfill and I don't know what oil it takes. Second there should be some kind of adjuster on top of the box. It would look like a locking nut with a screw or bolt through it. Loosen the nut and adjust the screw until your steering tightens up.
You don't indicate what year your truck is, but maybe someone else can provide some specifics like actuall specs.
Ok, there was a flat head screw with a nut around it. I turned the flathead screw one full turn tighter and re-tightened the lock nut. The steering did improve, however there is still some play. I am weary to tighten it any more, for fear of messing up the steering rack. Does anyone have any comments/experience?
Also, there is a loose little cap thing on the top of the steering box, but I couldn't get it off. Is this the oil fill?
Sounds like you found the adjuster. I don’t believe you have a ‘rack’. If you have manual steering, it should be a recirculating ball design. Yes, you can over tighten it.
You haven’t provided the year of your truck which will prevent anyone for giving you precise information, but here are some guesses.
Steering play – around 1.5 degrees
Lubricant – maybe gear oil
Fill – no more than 1/3 to ½ full
Loose cap – probably a vent
Filler/check plug – I don’t know where it’s at but it should be on top somewhere
Hi, I read more online and found a procedure where you tighten the adjustment until you feel resistance in the steering, and then back off 1/4 turn. I did that but backed off about a full turn to be safe. I still have reduced slop in the steering. The loose cap was a vent, and when I unbolted it, I found sufficient gear oil in the box. While I don't have only 1.5 degrees of play, I think I have the best I am going to get with what I have.