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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm working on removing slack in the steering and have read lots of posts on the common issues. Here is what I've done so far.

Steering column is nice and tight. New borgeson steering shaft, new steering box, new drag link and new tie rod ends. After replacing these, slack was reduced by at least 90%. Now trying to find that last 10%. I checked the upper and lower ball joints and they're all tight. Checked the wheel bearings and they're tight. About the only thing left I think is the leaf spring bushings. They look to be in not too good of shape and probably need replacing no matter what.

So here is my question. I've read several posts about sagging leaf springs and I'm not sure if mine are still good or not. If they're sagging and I'm taking them off to replace the bushings, I might as well replace the springs at the same time.
 

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The stock 1/2 ton springs should be flat, if the are arching upward in the middle, they are worn out.  If you are trying to diagnose steering related issues, I would pull that steering stabilizer off.  All it does is hide problems, not solve them.
 

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agreed about stabilizer , your springs don't look too bad , seen much worse work ok . bushings help alot , I use OEM rubber type NOT urethane performance ones . You need to describe your "slack" in the steering , is this felt while driving , or how / when ? 
 

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why is your pitman arm not all the way on , you should have threads showing after the nut is put on and hardly any splines showing at the top , not a very good picture but you can still see what l mean

 

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Agreed, something isn't quire right there.



Good catch, Dodgeboys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the feedback. I just replaced the steering box with a new one and so far as I can tell the nut is tight on the pitman arm, but will check it again.

So assuming my leafs are not sagging, if the OEM rubber bushings in the leafs were worn could that introduce perceive slack ? I guess it's easy enough to replace them, but it's one of those while I'm there I could also replace the leafs with a small lift (2-1/2") and new shocks.

If I'm moving the steering wheel back and forth sitting still, i cannot see any slack in the rod ends whatsoever. It's only while driving that i can feel the slack, hard to describe, but sortof like having to correct a drift in one direction or another.
 

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yup , the steering box shaft has key on the splines for the pitman arm , IIRC , get those wrong and yeah it'll jamb on there but NOT go all the way on , THAT was a good "catch " , make use of it ...
your perceived steering looseness ... when all is good tight/right with the wear stuff in the steering and driving it darts or "look steers " the first thing I check is the TOE IN , too much OR too little will cause that , there is a "range" , each tire wheel combo will be slightly different as to the exact amount of toe IN you want , somewhere around 1/4 inch would be a starting point ... little bits matter , I'd guess that's what you feel as loose , it wants to wander .... DO check that arm....  bushings in leafs will make it smoother , some tighter cornering ... lift=can of worms beware of that ... new unsagged OEM spec springs ? different story ... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gotcha... Great points. Focus this weekend will be on that pitman arm first ! Then will order new bushings since springs seem to not be sagging much, else it will be new OEM springs since the smallest replacement lift is 2-1/2". I like the ride it has now and wouldnt want to change that.
 

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Darinm said:
If I'm moving the steering wheel back and forth sitting still, i cannot see any slack in the rod ends whatsoever. It's only while driving that i can feel the slack, hard to describe, but sortof like having to correct a drift in one direction or another.
Correctly set toe, and enough caster is how your truck gets down the road straight... steering box input is for changing the truck's direction of travel.
 

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I'm glad you brought this up, thank you. Something I need to address on my 87 soon, I'm thinking your history will make a great road map for me to follow!

Mike

Darinm said:
Hi all, I'm working on removing slack in the steering and have read lots of posts on the common issues. Here is what I've done so far...
 
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