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I have a 73 Crew Cab W200 and have a problem with bump steer. There is some play in the steering shaft, but there also seems to be some play in the steering gear. Has anyone replaced the steering shaft or steering gear for a 73? If so what did you use and do you have any costs or part numbers?
 

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Are you sure bump steer is the problem you are experiancing? Bump steer occurs because the steering linkages does not follow the suspension geometry. When you hit a bump in the road, the steering linkages will create steering input as the suspension cycles up and down. The problem can be cured by modifing the steering links to follow the movement of the suspension.

What you are explaining is not exactly bump steer although it's likely that you feel the steering at it's worse when you hit a bump. The steering box can be tightened, but as a warning, I don't really recommend this unless you know what you are doing as overtightning the box will damage it.

It sounds to me like you have a well worn steering system. The steering shaft has few parts that wear out, the likely culprit in the steering shaft is the rag joint. A rag joint is a very simple type of universal coupling. A rag joint is nothing more than a rubber disc, which over time will tear and wear out. You can replace the rubber, which should improve the steering, but for maximum relilability (Especially with trucks using a body lift) you could replace the rag joint with a universal joint. There is a How To on this subject. In my case I modified a semi steering shaft that uses a big slip joint.

You may also need to replace the tie rod ends. Even if they seem ok, they can be worn out and you wouldn't know it except that you have sloppy steering. Check over the steering system looking for loose parts. Have someone help by turning the steering left and right, while you look underneath. Look around the steering box for frame cracks.

Ed
 
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