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Need a torque wrench for Steering Box adjustment?

1024 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Guest
Like others on the board, I want to minimize the "highway wandering" in my Mustang. The shop manual calls for a torque wrench setting of 4-5 inch pounds when setting the pre-load on my '66. I haven't found an inch-pound Torque wrench that goes below 25 inch lbs. I have noticed several VMF'ers who've adjusted by feel. How risky / advisable is that process?
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If you have a worn out spot in the shaft and adjust it so the slop is removed from that point then you may get a tight spot in the steering when it incounters a non worn spot on the shaft. I have read where some people have adjusted the box to much and lost steering because it broke on them. Are all of the other steering components in good working order?
Yes, everything else seems fine.
The short answer is yes a torque wrench should be used. In actual practice you can manage it without. The pitman arm should/must be disconnected from the drag link so you can detect any critical binding in the box. Finesse is important because the adjuster forces the steering sector teeth down against the ball nut teeth to remove the slop. It is the force of overcoming that interference between the two sets of teeth that the torque wrench (or a calibrated elbow) will measure. And, 4 to 5 inch lbs of torque is hardly any resistance at all. Resist the temptation to 'crank' down on the adjuster to compensate for a badly worn high mileage box. It won't work and there is a real risk of binding/failure.
Take it in small increments at a time. mark where it is now and go from there.
Mine took about 1/8 of a turn on the screw to get the slop out.
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