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Steering box slop

Mikel

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Member Number
727
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So I bought a rebuilt Cardone steering box (yes, I know) for an XJ and it has 2" of slop (measured at the OD of the steering wheel), before the pitman arm starts moving. Is this typical of cheapo rebuilds? My 205K XJ still has not play in the steering wheel.
 
If you dont replace all the other steering parts, they'll refuse warranty...but yes, rebuilds are hit and miss. I've had decent experience with them, but have first hand knowledge of several stupid tax situations.
 
Yes, Most of the production line rebuilds just put seal kits in 'em and don't replace any worn hard parts, because they're not really available.
 
Did you check to see where the slip is coming from? If it's sector shaft backlash that's easily adjusted but if it's in the u joint or rag joint in the column then that's another story.
 
Thank you guys. The steering shaft joints are very tight and the entire front end has been rebuilt. I can move the steering shaft with my hand while I see that the pitman arm doesn't move.
 
If you adjust the backlash, just make sure you don't overdo it - a slightly sloppy box is annoying, a stuck box can be a news-worthy bad day.
 
Of the three I have bought over the years one of them was a POS on arrival, I made NAPA take it right back and get me another one, that one was fine.
 
If you steer the box either way, then check for slopwhen not centered and it is the same, adjust the box. If you steer, and the slop is not the same when turned, you got a shifty box.
 
Ah yes, nothing quite like bump steering corners on the highway with the steering wheel.

I always just thought that you were supposed to constantly steer left and right to go in a straight line down the road. Now I know that is not normal and I swerve in a vehicle with tight steering :homer:
 
readjust it correctly and move on. by correctly, I mean tighten the end where the steering shaft goes into first, then adjust the backlash on the top. your slop will probably be in the input shaft end. There was a good writeup on the other site, but photophukit screwed that up. get yourself a factory chevy service manual and it has all the details in it.
 
2 inches of play? My shitbox suburban has almost a quarter turn worth of slop, steering is as light as a feather.
 
readjust it correctly and move on. by correctly, I mean tighten the end where the steering shaft goes into first, then adjust the backlash on the top. your slop will probably be in the input shaft end. There was a good writeup on the other site, but photophukit screwed that up. get yourself a factory chevy service manual and it has all the details in it.

I have thought about doing an irate write up with fresh pics on how to go through a saginaw box. I see there interest?
 
I have thought about doing an irate write up with fresh pics on how to go through a saginaw box. I see there interest?

Sounds worthwhile to me, they aren't making new boxes for this old shit so it's gonna keep being an issue.
 
readjust it correctly and move on. by correctly, I mean tighten the end where the steering shaft goes into first, then adjust the backlash on the top. your slop will probably be in the input shaft end. There was a good writeup on the other site, but photophukit screwed that up. get yourself a factory chevy service manual and it has all the details in it.

Unless the Chinese kid putting it together dropped a ball or two when putting it back together. Or the piston and corkscrew aren’t a matched pair. Or the sector shaft and piston aren’t a matched pair. Theirs a few things that some junk rebuilds aren’t going to be adjusted out.
 
thats true. I always just rebuild my own steering box.
 
A new writeup would be great. I would but can't find time for anything lately.
 
I always just thought that you were supposed to constantly steer left and right to go in a straight line down the road. Now I know that is not normal and I swerve in a vehicle with tight steering :homer:

That's how I learned to drive after watching Navy Seals.
 
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