Originally Posted by tugboat95
What did you adjust? My rig has some play in it. It's not bad around town but I pulled for 7 hours last month...it got old. What do I need to look at?
First thing you have to do is a thorough inspection of your entire steering system.
I had a bunch of wandering going on when driving down the highway. I found a worn joint between then pitman arm and center link. I also found all the other tie rod ends to have ripped boots. I decided to replace them all. After the replacement there was zero play in the system between the steering gear and the wheels but there was still some play at the steering wheel. Upon inspection I found the issue was some slop inside the steering gear. I could move the steering wheel a bit and the pitman arm would not move. I could also hear a slight clunk when under the truck and the wheel was moved back and forth.
This was causing a little wandering on the highway that required constant correction.
After some research I found that the gears inside the steering gear get worn, mostly in the center when the wheels are straight. This causes the wandering if everything else is tight. I did some more reading and found out about the adjustment on the steering gear. You have to be careful though. If you take out too much slack you can bind the gears and not be able to turn the wheel. This can be very dangerous. You have to do the adjustment with the front wheels off the ground and test the steering full range, with the engine off. This will allow you to tell the system without any power assist. It should be pretty easy to find any binding under those conditions. Then take it for a test drive to confirm.
You do a small adjustment and test. I did 1/4 turns and tested each time. In the end the final adjustment was a full, turn of the screw.
Just do a Google search and youtube search for steering gear adjustment and you will get lots of links.