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Steering Lower Shaft and Rack & Pinion

Blown

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I had been watching steering wheel slop and finally had to do something as it got drastically worse with 1 1/4" play......................

The column is fine, the lower steering shaft was not. The slip shaft and the double cardan u-joints were loose. The u-joints were not easily rebuildable and there was no use in doing so as loose as the slip shaft was. There appears to be a heat shield around the top of the shaft which was partly melted and cracked. I was not able to source a new lower steering shaft for a V8, it's discontinued, nor from Dormann, could get one built by someone (flaming river.com), but found a 4.0 lower shaft from a U-Pull that fit with slip shaft and cardan joint but had no heat shield. I wrapped it in self adhesive heat shield and tied them on with steel zip ties. I hope that protects the shaft from the heat as it is very close to the headers. I used high heat brake grease on the slip shaft. I'll get a couple pics up later of the lower shaft.

I wrestled the rack and pinion out with the two lines from the pump removed and a line disconnected on the passenger side of the rack that was hitting on the frame. It wasn't hard, but barely came out by pushing it into the passenger side and pulling it out the front drivers side with the tie rods removed and the rack turned hard left. I caught a youtube vid that helped, but he did not clean and flush everything. Yo need to be clean and have clean parts, kinda like working the AC, it will eat itself if dirty. I used new lines, new pump, and did thoroughly clean the reservoir and low pressure lines. The frame and axle were a mess, scraped a mess of stuff off. The pump must be primed first! There are warnings all over the rack and pump! The video showed a way to do this without a vacuum pump. After I had everything back in and hooked-up, I filled the reservoir and turned the steering at the wheel by grabbing the rotor. You turn it back and forth a few times, add fluid, do it again add fluid, start it briefly add fluid, then start it and turn it side to side with the steering wheel to bleed the rest of the air and add fluid.

This was an overall difficult job, in tight places, required cleanliness, and you got to be comfortable with messing with your steering and be able to set the toe-in or get it done. I found a new 4.0 lower shaft for $230, got a tight one at the wrecking yard for $20. I think I saved about $1,000 to $1,400 doing it myself for about $400 but it was a messy PIA! It did come-out great and I am getting used to having no play or very very little at the steering wheel.
 



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CDW6212R

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Well done, that's dirty work. I haven't had a worn out shaft yet, but I bought a spare long ago. The pump is expensive, the OEM is double or more what older Ford PS pumps cost. I'd like to do the same with my trucks and some day see what an aftermarket shaft would cost to have made. Those would leave the most space at the headers, but not a big gain to do that.
 






Blown

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My X has 150k. I went with a lifetime rebuilt pump and rack.

I will inspect the lower shaft this weekend. There were no V8's at either of my pick n pulls...........I may get one eventually, but hopefully won't need it. The V8 shaft has the heat shield, but it was melted and I think it used a hard rubber in the slip shaft. The 4.0 shaft has a metal slip, so hopefully heat wont be an issue, but I will make sure after a few days of driving in the heat.................Went out for a sandwich for lunch and man is it nice to have good steering.

Side Note: I tried driving around the neighborhood without the front sway bar and I had previously removed the rear bar. NO WAY would I run without a front sway bar! It rode a bit nicer over bumps but there is way too much body roll. Disconnects would be good for wheeling, but I cannot imagine having to make a quick swerve to avoid an accident without that huge sway bar up front.
 






CDW6212R

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I noticed that bad handling in mine months ago, the right end link fell apart. You get used to it if you leave it that way, but having the sway bars is much safer and more secure on road. I drove with mine that way for a short while, and I also noticed it bottomed out a lot more when hitting a hard bump.
 






Mr. Alligator

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Replaced my 4.0 very well worn slip shaft recenty. The steering had about 2” or 3” of play, and when I removed the slip shaft it moved and shook like a baby rattle. Used a junkyard shaft that had far less wear. Greased it, worked the joint in al directions, and slid a rubber boot over it. The steering is greatly improved. Certainly a very worthwhile project.

Drive safe, and have fun.
 






Blown

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I got the lower from a 1996 and the boots over the u-joints were still intact. I wrapped them with heat insulation. I'll get a pic or two up of the installed wrapped shaft.
.

The two shafts, top is 4.0 from a 96 and the 2000 for V8:
shafts.jpg


Here is the double cardon joint, notice the metal of the "H" yoke is pressed into the u-joint caps and not made to rebuild.
cardon-joint.jpg


The heat insulation was bubbled and cracked from heat:
bakelite.jpg


The larger diameter double cardon actually fit and is no concern:
double-cardon-joint.jpg
 






donalds

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I just fixed up mine and put on a boot

1629324170482.png



That crack in that shaft is crazy
 






Mr. Alligator

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^^^. Nicely done @donalds, as always.

How did you get it that clean? And what kind of boot did you use?
 






donalds

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^^^. Nicely done @donalds, as always.

How did you get it that clean? And what kind of boot did you use?
 






Blown

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Donald,
That shaft looks like what I had but without the heat shielding up top, same slip. Looks clean and booted for protection.

Is the lower steering shaft for 4.0 as close as the 5.0 to the exhaust manifold or header???

Here is a picture of it installed with heat shielding:
wrapped.jpg
 






donalds

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Donald,
That shaft looks like what I had but without the heat shielding up top, same slip. Looks clean and booted for protection.

Is the lower steering shaft for 4.0 as close as the 5.0 to the exhaust manifold or header???

Here is a picture of it installed with heat shielding:
View attachment 341712
I'm not sure you will have a picture by morning :).
But I don't think so .
Much more clearance
Jess is at work
 






donalds

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Donald,
That shaft looks like what I had but without the heat shielding up top, same slip. Looks clean and booted for protection.

Is the lower steering shaft for 4.0 as close as the 5.0 to the exhaust manifold or header???

Here is a picture of it installed with heat shielding:
View attachment 341712
I'm not sure you will have a picture by morning :).
But I don't think so .
Much more clearance
Jess is at work
20210820_082936.jpg
 






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