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RE: Steering wander
There seems to be alot of interest in this wandering phenomenon that I
referred to in a previous message. I had this problem since I bought the
vehicle new in '85. I was told by the dealership, when still under warranty,
it was caused by the size of the tires. This year, I finally traced the
problem by placing a vice grip on the steering shaft just inside the firewall
behind the brake pedal, then rotated the steering wheel. The play was between
the vice grip and the steering wheel. I had looked at the steering box, made
adjustments, replaced the steering shaft in the engine bay with a high
performance unit made of Stainless Steel.
The problem is two little nothing clips (they are u-shaped and Ford calls them
"anti rattle clips") that are inside the telescoping portion of the column.
You have to pull the column to get to these clips (not the whole column mind
you, just the shaft portion going through the tube bolted to the bottom of the
dash assemble). I got them from the Ford Dealer, he actually gave them to me
for free. Once you pull the column out, and separate the lower assemble from
the upper assembly, they become obvious. You will need a rubber mallet to
insert the upper over the lower housing once the new clips are installed. I
also added some epoxy for extra strength.
I hope this is clear. I found the whole process easier than it sounds, and
the improved steering is incredible! For those of you with shop manuals, the
exploded view clearly shows the clips.