Can You Adjust Steering Play??? | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

Can You Adjust Steering Play???

Explodr94

Well-Known Member
Joined
March 29, 2006
Messages
235
Reaction score
0
City, State
Vista, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 XL
Last weekend, put in new bearings and races. Wheels felt nice and tight up and down. When I grabbed the tire from side to side I noticed that there was a lot of play. I did not put the car down and check the tie rods properly, but will do that. However, when I did the same check on the driver side, I noticed that the steering gear had a lot of play and I am starting to think that is the issue, not tie rods. On my friend's old corvette you can adjust the play on the steering gear. The gear box on the ex looks like it has an adjusting nut, but I could not find an adjustment procedure in the Haynes manual. Can you adjust the steering play on a 94 ex? And what is the procedure?
 
<

Join the Elite Explorers $20 Gets rid of the ads!

Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




DeRocha

NEX Vice President
Elite Explorer
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
July 5, 2003
Messages
6,671
Reaction score
42
City, State
Brockton, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XLT 4x4
As you have found the steering gear can be adjusted with the set screw located on the top. You would loosen the lock nut and turn the set screw clockwise to tighten up the gear. I did this a several years back when my steering felt really loose. I first loosened the locknut, turned the setscrew a 1/4 turn, tightened the locknut and drove around the block. I repeated the above until it felt the best. BTW If you over tighten the setscrew the steering wheel will NOT return to center on its own which will be obvious when you take a test drive.

Bear in mind the set screw only tightens the gear and doesn't remove any unwanted slop do to internal wear (which was the problem I had). I ended up replacing the steering gear and my steering has been Fantastic ever since.
 
<



Blacksheep Josh

Slinky+Escalator=Fun
Joined
July 31, 2006
Messages
3,668
Reaction score
13
City, State
Statesboro, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'01 Ford Ranger, RIP 93 X
yup, i'm having to adjust my stearing gear. i'm not willing to pay to replace it yet. my steering wheels (if centered) can travel 3 inches either way before starting to turn. yikes!
 
<



410Fortune

Truck Season!!
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
August 3, 2000
Messages
27,147
Reaction score
2,773
City, State
NORTH IDAHO, 7B
Year, Model & Trim Level
B2 "Slightly" Modified
Callsign
FOURTEN
check your pitman arm and steering linkage for looseness

3" is nothing, I haev 1/2 a full turn of steering slop
My slop was in my steering linkage
 
<



<



Joined
April 18, 2008
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
City, State
St-Hubert,QC
Year, Model & Trim Level
92 XLT
Look iunedr your truck ... look for tie rod end pitman arm and the steering box ...look if you can play with the centerlink... if you can move it with your and and the steering doesn't move check for loose side by side and look for the joint on the pitman arm ...
 
<



Explodr94

Well-Known Member
Joined
March 29, 2006
Messages
235
Reaction score
0
City, State
Vista, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 XL
Thanks, I let you know the results when I get it done.
 
<



wolfnutts

Well-Known Member
Joined
September 16, 2006
Messages
422
Reaction score
0
City, State
chester nh
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 nav ho. 96 5.0 4 dr
id say it may be your rag joint . just behind the box their is a plastic cover move that outa the way an look their while some one turns steering wheel back an forth
 
<



Masterd

Well-Known Member
Joined
October 16, 2005
Messages
807
Reaction score
6
City, State
Upland, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1993 Explorer Sport
Ive narrowed mine down to box wear, probably.

The rag joint is solid, and you can turn the steering shaft both ways a bit and clearly see the play is in the box.

Now to the good part...I'd adjust the screw if I had ANY way of breaking that lock nut loose. No amount of liquid wrench did any good, even after taking a hammer to the back end of the wrench.
 
<



Maniak

Moderator-Stock 91-94
Elite Explorer
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 9, 1999
Messages
12,064
Reaction score
124
City, State
Vail, Arizona
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 XLT 4x4
use pb blaster on the nut to see if it will free it up..
If you still can't get it free the only thing I can think of is an impact wrench on it to break it free.. For something like that I'd use my 12V impact wrench as it has one hit every 5 seconds.. That way once it pops free it won't spin it all the way.. It also won't have the risk of spinning the adjusting screw if they screw and nut are stuck together still.

~Mark
 
<



Titan09

Active Member
Joined
December 27, 2008
Messages
59
Reaction score
1
City, State
Southeast Georgia
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 Sport 4x4
I have a '93 Sport, and I'm also having this issue. Is getting to the adjusting screw and actually adjusting it a simple procedure? Or is there dismantling involved? I've never had to deal with anything like that before.
 
<



DeRocha

NEX Vice President
Elite Explorer
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
July 5, 2003
Messages
6,671
Reaction score
42
City, State
Brockton, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XLT 4x4
I have a '93 Sport, and I'm also having this issue. Is getting to the adjusting screw and actually adjusting it a simple procedure? Or is there dismantling involved? I've never had to deal with anything like that before.

I don't believe you need to remove anything to access the set screw.. its been awhile.. At the most you'd need to remove the air intake, but I do believe you can access the set screw from above with several long socket extensions.
 
<



RangerX

Elite Ranger
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
July 14, 1999
Messages
10,242
Reaction score
445
City, State
Omao, Kauai
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 Ranger XLT 4X4
Bear in mind the set screw only tightens the gear and doesn't remove any unwanted slop do to internal wear (which was the problem I had). I ended up replacing the steering gear and my steering has been Fantastic ever since.

As DeRocha said in this earlier post, the set screw is not there to correct freeplay. I recommend having someone rock the steering wheel back and forth (engine running) while you look down into the engine bay at the gearbox and the steering column, and then at the steering linkage itself. See where the looseness is. These parts all wear.

When I have major play, it was the splines on the very end of the steering column, where it clamps onto the splined end of the input shaft of the gearbox.
I suggest you look there, your splines may be wearing down. I put in a new used ragjoint section, and solved my problem.
 
<



Titan09

Active Member
Joined
December 27, 2008
Messages
59
Reaction score
1
City, State
Southeast Georgia
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 Sport 4x4
Well, thankfully I didn't have any major play in the wheel...I just tightened the adjusting screw a bit and it works great now :)
 
<



monsterblur

New Member
Joined
October 3, 2009
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
City, State
mechanicsville, virginia
Year, Model & Trim Level
88, xlt
I adjusted my steering box a little too much and the steering was tight, then when I tried to loosen it, I couldn't turn the adjustment scew back any. The locking bolt will move but not the set screw. Any suggestions?
 
<



Maniak

Moderator-Stock 91-94
Elite Explorer
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 9, 1999
Messages
12,064
Reaction score
124
City, State
Vail, Arizona
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 XLT 4x4
I've done that too.. to get it to turn back, wiggle the steering column as you try to loosen the bolt. Each time it moves back/forth it will allow the bolt to turn a little.

~Mark
 
<



nitro71

Explorer Addict
Joined
April 30, 2009
Messages
1,061
Reaction score
1
City, State
Spokane WA
And if you want to know more about the inards of that thing here you go!

http://www.stangerssite.com/HowItWorksSteeringBox.html

That adjusting nut is setting the mesh between two gears. Two tight and it'll bind, cause wear. To loose and your steering wanders. I'm pretty sure that the text book way to set it is on a bench with a torque wrench turning the gear.

I've had luck using a longer screw driver on the adjusting nut and getting a wrench on the lock nut.
 
<



monsterblur

New Member
Joined
October 3, 2009
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
City, State
mechanicsville, virginia
Year, Model & Trim Level
88, xlt
That worked.
Thanks for the advice.
 
<



gmanpaint

It's Always Something!
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
August 1, 2008
Messages
11,546
Reaction score
1,711
City, State
MO MO
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 & 95 XLT's
Sweet!

I was just going to do a search on this subject. I have a little play in the 94 steering after lifting it a little. Guess it couldn't hurt to try this. I wont go crazy, just a little bit at a time turning that screw.
 
<

Join the Elite Explorers $20 Gets rid of the ads!

Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




nak4af

Elite Explorer
Joined
July 4, 2001
Messages
825
Reaction score
1
City, State
Bellevue, Nebraska
Year, Model & Trim Level
1993 Explorer Sport
I'm gonna try this when I get home from work.
 
<



Top