Hard steer question/issue

Joined
Aug 10, 2012
Messages
138
Reaction score
0
Location
Tn
2002 F250 4x4 with 33x12.5r20 tires. When driving the truck you have to non stop "steer" the truck. Meaning if you turn the wheel to go into a curve, you have to steer it back out of the curve. The wheel doesn't want to correct itself. I know it is only with the big tires because if i put the stocks back on it drives fine. Here is what I have done so far. Changed ball joints and tie rod ends, confirmed the hubs turn freely on there own with out tie rods connected, alignment, new pump that is modified to put out more pressure, new red head gear box. It is stiff but i can turn lock to lock while stopped in a parking lot. Is this just something I have to continue to live with or is it something I am missing? Anyone else living with this issue?

Thanks
 

psduser1

Active member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
3,815
Reaction score
20
Location
on the road
Caster needs to be adjusted.
I've got an excursion does the same thing. These trucks should be set -3* to -5 ish. Bigger tires exaggerate any kind of barely noticeable issue quickly.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2012
Messages
138
Reaction score
0
Location
Tn
Ok thanks, I’ll get back with the shop and talk to them. That would be awesome if that fixes it!
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2012
Messages
138
Reaction score
0
Location
Tn
Well the guy that actually did my alignment is out for a month for surgery, but is supposed to come back so it will be a while before I can talk to him. I went to another guy I have used in the past with no issues BUT he keeps wanting me to put a new gear box on the truck. After I got it through his head that it did it with the original box, and now still doing it with the new red head box AND only does it with the big tires he said he would have to do some checking and I get the vibe he doesn't want me to call him, he will call me......... :-(
 

FDB

New member
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Location
MO
Sounds to me iike your steering box is too tight. Remove the pittman arm or the whole box to adjust the preload with the bolt and lock nut on top. There should only be very very slight resistance when the box is turned across center. I think the spec. is something like 10 Inch pounds, but that is hard to measure.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2012
Messages
138
Reaction score
0
Location
Tn
Its a RedHead gear box (not that it matters), Per their instructions I backed it off a half turn already and didn't notice any change. Should I back it off a 1/4 turn at a time till I notice in improvement? Why does it work fine with factory tires but not the bigger tires? I struck out with the alignment shops so if this doesn't fix it I am just stuck with it. Thanks,
 

Tiha

Super Moderator
Super Mod
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
267
Reaction score
51
That is really weird that it only happens with bigger tires. I wonder what changes.

There is a spec for ball joint binding. You take the tie rod off, put a bolt in the spindle and turn the tire with a torque wrench. I can't remember I think it is like 80ft lbs. If it takes more than that, then change the ball joints. Less and you are good.
Has to be done with truck on the ground so ball joints are in their normal position.

In edit, found it.

TSB released for this condition that supercedes Broadcast Message #0236. Ford Is recommending that the truck be driven and inspected to determine if it has stiff steering and/or poor returnability after turns or a wander. Have the alignment checked and corrected if necessary. If aligning does not correct the condition, check the balljoints by performing a steering knuckle torque to turn test: With the wheels pointed straight ahead on an alignment rack turntables, remove the tie rod from the knuckle. Install a bolt and nut into the tie rod hole and tighten. With a click-type torque wrench set to 100 ft/lbs and installed on the bolt so the handle points straight forward, turn the wheel outward. If the wheel turns without the torque wrench cliking, then the turning torque is acceptable. If the wrench clicks before the wheel turns, replace the balljoints. There is a revised greaseable lower ball joint, P/N 1C3Z-3050-AB, but the upper should be replaced with the current part, F6TZ-3049-AA. When reassembling, torque the lower ball joint nut to 35 ft/lbs; torque the upper ball to 70 ft/lbs; advance the nut to the next slot to line up the cotter pin hole; retorque the lower ball joint nut to 140-160 ft/lbs. The the lower ball joint should be greased at each oil change or at 5000 mile intervals. TSB #01-3-2
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 10, 2012
Messages
138
Reaction score
0
Location
Tn
I know they turn freely when in the air but never knew about this procedure. Good to know, I will have to get with them and see if they can check this for me since I don't have those turn tables used on the alignment rack.
 

Tiha

Super Moderator
Super Mod
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
267
Reaction score
51
I know they turn freely when in the air but never knew about this procedure. Good to know, I will have to get with them and see if they can check this for me since I don't have those turn tables used on the alignment rack.
We always just did it on concrete. No fancy turn tables. It was usually pretty obvious.
 

DEEZUZ

NO PUKESTERS
Joined
Jun 30, 2011
Messages
6,837
Reaction score
185
Location
NWI
Its a RedHead gear box (not that it matters), Per their instructions I backed it off a half turn already and didn't notice any change. Should I back it off a 1/4 turn at a time till I notice in improvement? Why does it work fine with factory tires but not the bigger tires? I struck out with the alignment shops so if this doesn't fix it I am just stuck with it. Thanks,
Where are these instructions at? I too have a red head and want to get it a little tighter now that it's been on like 12 years
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2012
Messages
138
Reaction score
0
Location
Tn
Where are these instructions at? I too have a red head and want to get it a little tighter now that it's been on like 12 years
They told me what to do when I called them. My warranty had just ended when I called but they said they would still work with me if something was physically wrong with the gear box. They told be to turn it 1/4 turn at a time but not to exceed 1/2 turn total. I noticed it made the left to right a little looser as in the time between turning the wheel and the tires actually turning so I knew it wasn't the gear box and stopped with any more adjustments. I am hoping to have time to check the wheels turning with a torque wrench this week end and see what that tells me.
 

Latest posts

Members online

Top