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48 Ford play in steering box

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I can not give you a steering wheel play number because there are too many variables. Bias ply tires do not respond to turning the steering wheel as well as radial tires. The worm and roller steering gear is not as responsive as the rack and pinion steering. Old tires and toe adjustment can make the car wander or follow grooves in the road.


There are several causes of excess steering wheel play. I like to lock the steering wheel in the straight ahead position, jack up one front wheel and grab the front and back of the tire then try to turn it left to right. There should be NO play with this test. If there is any play get some assistance so you can see where the play is: tie rod ends, drag link, wheel bearing or steering box.


When you have NO play, grab the top and bottom of the tire and try to move the top in and out. Again there should be NO play. If there is, you will have to replace the king pins and bushings. Repeat both tests on the other front wheel.


When you are satisfied that you have good parts in your steering system, have the front end alignment checked by a shop that does truck alignment. If the caster is out of specs, replace the rubber bushing on the wishbone before bending the axle.



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