In Reply to: Re-building Steering Box posted by Mark B. Williams on November 24, 2009 at 13:10:50:
I don't have my sn list with me.. but that sound slike a late box.. look at where the sector arms come out.. if the plate around them is round.. it's the old style.. if it's onlong.. new style.
new style has better adjustment setup using studs.. old style you rotate the sector covers. in any case.. sounds like you have a bad upper thrust bearing or bearing and race.
you pull the tin, bat box and dash, pul the steering wheel unbolt the column top and lift off.. there is a bushing int he top that you -should replace-.. just drive it out from the inside and tap the new one intot he top of the column.. now.. the upper bearing rides onthe wormshaft and may be near completely gone.. if so remove the roller cage and then pull the draglinks off at the tie rod ends and slide the sector gears apart a bit to allow the ballnut and wormshaft to come out.. fish out al the old pieces and feel inthe bottom to make sur ethe lower race is ok.. also check the top race which is inthe base of the column top you removed.. many times the races can be reused if you have to.. bottom bearing should be retained on the bottom of the wormshaft with a thin metal clip.. you can carefully pry the retainer off and repalce the bearing if needed, and then slip her back in, retime the ballnut and sector gears and drop a new top bearing on and reassemble, then adjust backlash.. might have to adjust shims under column top.. shoot for almost no preload.. but no slop in the bearings.
fo-4 manual has an excelent section on re timing the gears.. if you can count.. you can retime them.. I reccomend jacking hte front end up to make this easier.
at this point you can refill the steering box with a NLGI00# grease instead of oil if your sector seals were leaking ( or do it right and repalce the seals then go back in with 85/140 gear oil. IMHO.. I prefer grease even on good seals.. in 62 ford put out a service bulleting referencing replacing gear oil with light grease in manual steering boxes to prevent lube leaks which lead to damaged thrust bearings.. like you are now repairing.
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