Me: And what are you doing with the steering link? - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-28-2005, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Me: And what are you doing with the steering link?

Repair Guy: I'm going to replace it.

Me: [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] Uhm, what do you mean, "you're going to replace it?". You do know that it is not the stock steering link on the truck, right? It is a part of the lift kit. And.... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/codger.gif[/img]

Repair Guy: [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif[/img]

.................................................. ..................

So that was part of the conversation I had with the repair guy a couple days ago as they finished up checking out the truck . I took it in to see what it would cost to get the play in the steering repaired. I expected the pitman arm to be part of the problem, but all the needed to do was an inner tie rod. Which is fine, hundreds less than I expected to pay. They did recommend a new steering box, lower ball joints and a steering stabilizer though [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

So, the truck drives great after the tie rod replacement and alignment. There is still play, but I surely aint going to pay $280 for a steering box and ball joint labor, then another whatever to end up with a near $700 bill.

I'm considering a steering stabilizer though. I would need to install the brackets and all as my truck didn't come with a stock stabilizer.

What do you guys recommend? I'm thinking of just not even adding a stabilizer.

I love telling the shops how to work on my truck [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-29-2005, 12:05 AM
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Re: Me: And what are you doing with the steering l

You can replace all that stuff yourself anyway, right? Did you get an alignment with bad ball joints? If there is any play in them it wouldn't be alignable (or should I say done right). A steering stabilizer is a good investment. It's harder to turn with one, but it makes steering parts last longer because there is less stress on them. I have way too big tires for 1/2 ton steering, but the stabilizer helps a lot.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-29-2005, 01:14 AM
 
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Re: Me: And what are you doing with the steering link?

If there is play in the box itself then just use the adjuster on the top of the box to take the play out.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-29-2005, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Me: And what are you doing with the steering l

MSF, they did align it after they put the new tie rod on. I have the alignment readout with the specs on it, apparently they did it. I'm not sure how bad my ball joints are anyway. We replaced them, MOOG of course, when we installed the lift kit. I can post the #s if you're curious thugh. I know I don't fully understand how to read them....just never looked at them [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] Up here in WA, I don't have all the tools to work on my truck, so, I'm deferring more truck work to the shops. Of course, I nit-pick them, they're working on it, but hey, it's still my truck and I know more about it than they do.

Jason, I also inquired about adjusting the steering box with the nut, but the guy said the problem with that was that "it causes the steering to bind". ??? hmmm??? I'm sure he just wanted me to plant another $700 into their shop. I'd try to tighten it up with the nut first though. I'm sure if you got overambitious about turning the nut you'd run into problems.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-30-2005, 01:05 PM
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Re: Me: And what are you doing with the steering l

It's possible to align a vehicle with loose ball joints, but any time you hit a bump, or if the ball joints wear out any further, your alignment will be off again. You might want to check out just how loose they are, if they're too loose they could actually pop out (I've seen it, it's not pretty).
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-01-2005, 11:05 AM
 
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Re: Me: And what are you doing with the steering l

[ QUOTE ]
Jason, I also inquired about adjusting the steering box with the nut, but the guy said the problem with that was that "it causes the steering to bind". ??? hmmm???

[/ QUOTE ]

He is exactly right IF you get crazy and overtighten.....HOWEVER.....you can take some of the play out without causing binding or over tightening of the gear box. Just do it carefully and sparingly.

It is a fine line between getting some play out and overdoing it and causing increased wear or even failure of your gearbox.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-01-2005, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Me: And what are you doing with the steering l

The LBJs can pop out??? That's crazy! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] Do they pop the nut off the end?

Cosmo, that's what I was thinking about the adjuster nut. As long as the adjustment was in moderation, it would be ok. Is there anything specific I need to do before adjusting the nut? Like making sure the wheels and steering wheel are both straight?..etc?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-01-2005, 09:31 PM
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Re: Me: And what are you doing with the steering l

If they're worn out enough, the ball can actually pop out of the joint. I had a friend with an S10 that it happened to. The bottom of the tire swung out and the truck fell on the frame. It was a good think she was going slow, no injuries.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-02-2005, 01:16 AM
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Re: Me: And what are you doing with the steering l

In my limited experience with tinkering with Saginaw steering gears the little adjustment on top is a sort of "preload" which only hides the slop in the box. I could be wrong though.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-02-2005, 06:17 PM
 
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Re: Me: And what are you doing with the steering l

Shorts....I never did anything special before adjusting a gearbox....other than common sense stuff, like not having the wheels turned at full lock or something. Last time I did it I tightened it a little and then moved steering from one side (while front was off the ground) to the other to feel for binding....if not I tweeked a little more...I never went as far as the point where it did bind though (I figure being conservative is the way to go here considering the potential danger/cost for screwing the gearbox up)....It helped a little but don't expect miracles.

Like stated above....you are only reducing a little play within the gearbox....doesn't do you a bit of good if other parts are worn.
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