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Loose steering

allen820

Member
Joined
May 5, 2003
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
City, State
Oak Ridge, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 EB, '95 XLT, '97 XLT
I just bought a '94 4d 4X4 with 175k on the clock. It is in perfect shape, so I am HAPPY! Except for a possible steering problem . . . There is some play in the steering -- going down the highway, you can turn the wheel about an inch or maybe a little more before it "connects." In other words, the wheel can be turned back and forth about this much without any effect on steering the truck.

It could be, I am comparing the "box" on my new '94 with the rack and pinion on the '95 which I have had for many years. The '95 has 219k and the steering is tight as ever.

What do you think? Has the box on the '94 seen better days, or do I just need to get used to a different feel? Do I need to think about a new steering box?

Thanks.
 
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X

XLenT X

Same steering problem

I have the same problem with my steering (94 XLT w/183k). I have been told from various mechanics that there is an adjustment nut on the top of the steering "box" (a little difficult to get to). However, most of them just say, "you're better off getting a new steering box/pump". I have been living with it for a while now, but it gets a little hairy when travelling on the interstate at speed while the wind is kicking! I am with "allen", if anyone has any ideas, please let us know.
 
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Josh

Explorer Addict
Joined
June 6, 2001
Messages
1,437
Reaction score
1
City, State
Virginia Beach, VA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 4 Door Explorer XLT
I have played with said nut. It will not take the play out. It is there to raise/lower the sector shaft to keep it in propper alignment. One of the procedures when rebuilding the gear box is to adjust the set screw so there is no binding in the gear box so it is smooth lock to lock. I have read posts about replacing the shaft that connects the steering wheel to the gear box. There are a lot of other things that contribute to this as well. I just replaced the pivot bushing and it seemed to make a difference. Ball joints, and tie rod ends should make a difference too.
 
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unclemeat

Explorer Addict
Joined
October 20, 2002
Messages
3,077
Reaction score
4
City, State
Richmond, VA
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 sport
I replace my stering gear box. It made a noticible difference in steering wheel play. I still have some play. THe only things left for me to replace is tie rod ends and the steering shaft.
 
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PTBishop

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 13, 2005
Messages
114
Reaction score
0
City, State
Vancouver, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
before replacing the box, check your front end out, make sure the idlers and pitman arms, are tight...if it has them, i believe the explorers do. i'll tell you in comparison. i have a 65 mustang. the idler bushing was shot, you talk about loose steering, that was it, on the free way i could turn the wheel 1/8 to 1/4 turn with out doing anything, and it was because the idler would flex before working. after i replaced it, it felt tight as ever with no other steering problems.
 
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Josh

Explorer Addict
Joined
June 6, 2001
Messages
1,437
Reaction score
1
City, State
Virginia Beach, VA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 4 Door Explorer XLT
1st gen Explorers dont have idlers. Its a funky draglink setup. Kinda shaped like a Y but sideways. 2nd gens are rack and pinion.
 
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