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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-28-2011, 05:44 PM
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Play in steering box

I have a Saginaw Manual steering box in my truck. It came with the truck when I purchased it. I recently took it in to have it gone through and checked for being worn because I had alot of play in the steering. The guys said it's out of a 64-70 Dodge truck Anyways, I check all the pitman, draglink and steering components all is tight. My steering has about 3-4 inches of play (about 10 and 2 on the wheel) before the steering initiates. I installed the new rebuilt box and although it seems smoother in turning, I still have the play. I removed the unit again and asked the guy to check it out again for adjustments and he said the box is properly adjusted. Thinking this guys an idiot, I tried to adjust the lock nut and screw on the side slightly to see if I could get some change, which really didn't do much. I'm wondering if the top nut with the lock ring which the steering column connects to needs adjustment. I loosened it by breaking the ring, but the nut and ring turn together. It's tough holding the nut because there isn't much meat to hold on to, and it's bigger than 1.5 inches. Without yanking the unit a 3rd time, Any suggestions on where to go at this point? Pretty frustrated! This is what my box looks like...
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Last edited by kleen56; 11-28-2011 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kleen56
I have a Saginaw Manual steering box in my truck. It came with the truck when I purchased it. I recently took it in to have it gone through and checked for being worn because I had alot of play in the steering. The guys said it's out of a 64-70 Dodge truck Anyways, I check all the pitman, draglink and steering components all is tight. My steering has about 3-4 inches of play (about 10 and 2 on the wheel) before the steering initiates. I installed the new rebuilt box and although it seems smoother in turning, I still have the play. I removed the unit again and asked the guy to check it out again for adjustments and he said the box is properly adjusted. Thinking this guys an idiot, I tried to adjust the lock nut and screw on the side slightly to see if I could get some change, which really didn't do much. I'm wondering if the top nut with the lock ring which the steering column connects to needs adjustment. I loosened it by breaking the ring, but the nut and ring turn together. It's tough holding the nut because there isn't much meat to hold on to, and it's bigger than 1.5 inches. Without yanking the unit a 3rd time, Any suggestions on where to go at this point? Pretty frustrated! This is what my box looks like...
You might want to get under it and have a helper work the steering wheel back and forth as you watch to see where the slop actually is. If you determine it's in the box itself, there's not a whole lot you can do if the box is already a rebuilt unit except try another unit. Or use a smaller diameter steering wheel!

Below is a Jeep manual steering box adjustment procedure showing the worm bearing preload being done first, THEN the adjustment you were doing second. It's about half way down the page. The box is also a Saginaw. The exact specs might not be the same but the adjustment procedure is the same. You'll need a beam-type inch pound torque wrench. http://oljeep.com/gw/76_tsm/Section11.pdf
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:21 PM
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Cobalt, I've been messing with this for a while. I've checked the suspension and it appears tight and no slop anywhere. I've had the box out and even when turning the box, I turn the part the steering wheel connects to and there is quite a bit of movement before the output shaft even starts to move. The shop that rebuilds these claims it's partly due to the ratio which I believe is 1:24 on this unit and the fact it's an older model box (I don't recall the old trucks and cars having that much play?). That ratio has nothing to do with the play but has to do with the turning ratio and how many spins of the wheel to complete a turn. I'm already using a small 14 inch steering wheel and could maybe go to one of the slick chain type that are 8 inches . Perhaps it's the box itself... I don't know??? That's why I posted this question on here hoping someone has experience or thoughts on what to do.. If there is some adjustment or tightening the play, it would be nice. I've also done some research and found a few other website on adjusting boxes which was informative as the jeep one you posted. I'm concerned about leaving it the way it is because, even though it's drivable, it's unsafe. I can move the wheel back and forth before the turn starts even at highway speeds. I have to estimate when the turn engages whether its left or a right turn and compensate for the gap in the steering. A new box/ rebuilt box is about $200 and change. I just invested $150 in having this one gone through. Have to think about this one.

Last edited by kleen56; 11-28-2011 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:56 AM
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steering box

that box sure looks like a corvair box... that big nut is a locking nut for the adjustment cap. u might do a google and ck out the adj for a corvair box.. i have one on my bucket and its not hard... the thing i'd be sure about is the brass bushing on the wheel side.. turning the steering wh and look at the output shaft for up/down play.. the big nut should be snug not tight... adj while turning the wheel u'll feel it firm up..
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:33 PM
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Your right, the box does look very similar to the Corvair. I curious if the mounting bolt pattern is the same, and if the output shaft for the pitman arm is the same. I believe Saginaw made several boxes for GM... I tried to adjust the big nut on top and it's very tough to move. I broke the outer ring loose, but the big nut turns with it. I measured it and it's about 1 7/8" in size. I was able to tighten it slightly by retightening the outer ring. I noticed some difference just by that only. Looks like I'll have to pull the box out and try to adjust that. I was hoping for an easy adjust but we know that doesn't always happen.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:58 PM
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Could any of the Play be where the Steering Shaft connects to the Box shaft, Rag Joint?
Have you let the Rebuilder check the Truck out to see what He thinks? I'm with you something Internal isn't set right if all the other Linkages are tight.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:17 PM
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Try this: Disconnect the pitman link and work the pitman back and forth, looking to see how much the pitman moves in relation to how much the shaft rotates. Is there any play at all in the pitman where it fastens to the shaft?

If, when moving the pitman back and forth there is a slight knocking sound, adjustment is required to move the shaft closer in to the worm gear.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:12 AM
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box

a corvair box mounting area will be at a right angle to what u have.. but still the box looks like a vair.. that big nut is one of the adj u need to make.. IF u deside to pull it apart be aware tht there's a bunch of bearing in it on a sprial and kinda of pain to get them back in, but do able ofcourse... an idea for ya.. if u have a son/daughter around 7 or 8ish they can turn the wheel stop to stop and not have the power to really turn the wheel.. that way u can be under the car and see whaats going on..
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delawarebill
if u have a son/daughter around 7 or 8ish they can turn the wheel stop to stop and not have the power to really turn the wheel.. that way u can be under the car and see whaats going on..
LOL When I was building my Camaro I converter it to a manual steering. Had an issue w/some slop, but no helper. So I tied both ends of a piece of cord to the steering wheel at 12 and 6 o'clock. Then I took the other end under the front end w/me so I could watch the steering action by tugging on either side of the rope. Actually worked well for me.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:53 PM
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You might try this. You'll need a helper that can follow directions. Truck on flat ground, wheels straight. While you watch the pitman arm for movement under the vehicle have your helper slowly move the steering wheel gently back and forth without moving the pitman shaft. Make note of the amount of steering wheel movement before any of the pitman moves. Then have him gently move the wheel back and forth enough that the linkage loads and unloads. watch for movement at any component before it moves the part it is attached to. Any thing that moves and the connecting part doesn't, needs to be replaced. If the steering wheel moves a great distance without moving the pitman arm you have slop in the gear box. If the pitman moves as soon as you move the steering wheel, the box is good and your problem is in your steering linkage. You might have a combination of both. Very common. Any worn part shows up as slop in the steering wheel. Saying that I have found bad rebuilt Dodge boxes from both Napa and Dodge dealers.I remember one Dodge van I put three boxes on before I got a good one.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSedan64
Could any of the Play be where the Steering Shaft connects to the Box shaft, Rag Joint?
Have you let the Rebuilder check the Truck out to see what He thinks? I'm with you something Internal isn't set right if all the other Linkages are tight.
The rag joint was shot before I took the box in to get overhauled. I replace it with a new one. Everything from the steering is tight. As for the rebuilder, he only looks at it with the part removed from the vehicle. I basically took the box to him and let him do his work. I did take it again after installing it to recheck the adjustment because I had lots of play. He told me the adjustment was fine. Not sure what his definition of fine is?
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alittle1
Try this: Disconnect the pitman link and work the pitman back and forth, looking to see how much the pitman moves in relation to how much the shaft rotates. Is there any play at all in the pitman where it fastens to the shaft?

If, when moving the pitman back and forth there is a slight knocking sound, adjustment is required to move the shaft closer in to the worm gear.
I've checked that out and it appears to be fine. The pitman arm is tight on the shaft as well. I do hear a slight click sound when turning the wheel on the box.. Good point thanks.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
LOL When I was building my Camaro I converter it to a manual steering. Had an issue w/some slop, but no helper. So I tied both ends of a piece of cord to the steering wheel at 12 and 6 o'clock. Then I took the other end under the front end w/me so I could watch the steering action by tugging on either side of the rope. Actually worked well for me.
That should be placed under Hot tips #11... Boy, do I have a visual Actually, I was blessed with having twin boys who are 13 years old and can give me a hand (if I'm lucky they can fix it for me!). Right now, I'm trying find a socket or wrench to fit that adjustment nuts. I used a micrometer and is just slightly smaller than 1-7/8" Pretty big socket or wrench. Sears has them but they are like $40.00. I hate to use the channel lock method and I really need something strong to hold the adjustment nut while breaking the lock ring loose so I can adjust it. I have a strong feeling the problem is in that area. Heck, I've checked and replaced just about everything else. Thanks guys for the help
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kleen56
That should be placed under Hot tips #11... Boy, do I have a visual Actually, I was blessed with having twin boys who are 13 years old and can give me a hand (if I'm lucky they can fix it for me!). Right now, I'm trying find a socket or wrench to fit that adjustment nuts. I used a micrometer and is just slightly smaller than 1-7/8" Pretty big socket or wrench. Sears has them but they are like $40.00. I hate to use the channel lock method and I really need something strong to hold the adjustment nut while breaking the lock ring loose so I can adjust it. I have a strong feeling the problem is in that area. Heck, I've checked and replaced just about everything else. Thanks guys for the help
Twin 13 y/o boys! Blessed you are- w/maybe a headache or two thrown in for good measure, I'd imagine!!

Use PB Blaster first, then I wouldn't hesitate to use a big pair of channel locks to hold that big stamped steel lock nut. I have had to break those rings loose in the past by a sharp rap to loosen it w/a rounded-end chisel and hammer. Because the nut is already broken loose on yours, the nut would need to be held while the ring was hit to break it free.

OT- I sent a PM about 3 mo. ago, you ever see it?
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:23 AM
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HF has some cheap Jumbo wrench & socket sets. Good for something you rarely use.
http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-to...h-set-925.html
http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-to...set-40996.html
socket sizes http://manuals.harborfreight.com/man...0999/40996.pdf
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