To much play in steering wheel!!! Help

Tie rods, steering box, drag link, alignment.<br />
What tires fit, brands, sizes, beadlocks, etc.

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ctubbs78
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To much play in steering wheel!!! Help

Post by ctubbs78 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:15 am

I have a 68 Bronco and, to me, has alot of play in the steering wheel. And this makes it dangerous to drive sometimes. Is there a replacement kit or something to do to the steering box to fix this problem? Please Help

DirtDonk
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Post by DirtDonk » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:37 pm

Hey ctubb, yeah, there are a few directions you can go.

First though, I'd check to see just what's going on. Play can come from the box, but it can (and often does) come from the rest of the steering system too. You '68 has lots of room to wiggle, if it's all original stuff.
With the wheels on the ground, have a helper saw the steering wheel back and forth just enough to move the wheels a bit each way. While this is going on, you should be underneath the front end looking at all the linkages, from the input shaft "tulip" joint on the steering box, to the mounting bolt through the frame, to the upper draglink end at the pitman arm, to the lower end at the tie-rod, to the outer tie-rod ends too. And anything in-between.
Just as important, if not more so, the trackbar mounts there at the frame and the axle housing. Bushings wear out and bolts can come loose and egg out a hole. If the trackbar moves side to side at all, that will add play to the system and create a lot of wandering on the road.

If you see any play at all in a component, it needs either tightening or replacing.

How is your rig set up? What suspension? What size tires? What offset of the wheels? How much suspension lift (if any)? Manual steering still, or power steering upgraded? What other mods?
That info might help to diagnose issues. If it turns out to be you need a new steering box, you can either rebuild your existing one or upgrade to a stronger (and cooler) power steering setup using any one or three or four different steering boxes. And you can choose your speed too, with the stock being approx. 6 turns lock-to-lock, with options ranging from 4.5 turns, to 3.2 turns lock-to-lock. Really speeds up the action on a Bronco.

Good luck.

Paul
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM :mrgreen:

ctubbs78
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Post by ctubbs78 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:17 pm

Thanks for the tips. This is all I have done to the steering:
new tie rods ends
new adjustable drag link
5.5 inch suspension lift
7 degree c-bushings
35 inch tires
front end alignment

pretty much everything had been done new to the steering except messing with the manual steering box and the steering column. I figured the worm gear and inards of the box were wore out due to the fact the steering box and steering column are original. Also where can you buy a manual steering box rebuild kit?

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jack70
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To much play in steering wheel!!! Help

Post by jack70 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:05 pm

I would suggest finding a ps gear box and pump, rather than rebuilding the original. Make them much nicer to drive. When I did mine it was "why didn't I do this years ago".
Most people my age are grownups!
70 Half Cab
73 Stock Wgn
If Broncos were easy, J**p owners would drive them.

DirtDonk
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Post by DirtDonk » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:03 pm

x2
I loved my manual box and loved that I still have full steering ability when the engine would stall on the trail. Great setup.
Unfortunately, with more caster and larger tires, your steering truly becomes "armstrong" steering. Add to that an old tired manual box, and it's just getting worse.
Then I drove a modern Jeep with power steering through Moab and surrounding areas and thought "what the heck am I doing with manual steering still!"
Just set in my old ways I guess.

The real bottom line though, is that the stock manual box is really not designed to work well with 35" tires and the angles that 5.5 inches of lift applies to the linkage. It's just not strong enough. And that's not meaning your ability to steer, that's more in meaning it's more likely to break before it wears out the next time! And wearing out it will. More quickly even than original.

To your question though, I'm not really sure where to get a rebuild "kit" anymore. It's been so long, I don't think we even do them anymore, but you should still be able to get an exchange box from some of the Bronco vendors. Perhaps Tom's and Jeff's?
There are steering box rebuilding companies in most large cities however, so depending on where you live, you might find one right around the corner.

Paul
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM :mrgreen:

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