Introduction

A loose steering box can be dangerous, especially when trying to stay in a lane on a windy highway. There are a number of components in the steering system that can wear, and cause play in the steering wheel. Before assuming its the steering box causing looseness, lie under the front of the car and have a friend move the wheel back and forth in the range of play. If the arm on the steering box does not move back and forth, then it is internal wear, so continue with the procedure.

Parts

No parts required.

Image 1/1: On the drivers side of the luggage compartment is a black seal.
  • Open the (front) hood of the car.

  • On the drivers side of the luggage compartment is a black seal.

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Image 1/1: Under the seal is the adjustment screw and locking nut.
  • Remove the black seal.

  • Under the seal is the adjustment screw and locking nut.

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Image 1/1: Loosen the Locking nut, so the set screw can be turned with a flat head screwdriver.
  • If the screw threads do not rise above the locking nut then STOP: The steering box is worn out, it is time to rebuild it, or replace it! Failure to do so could result in your steering system failing.

  • Loosen the Locking nut, so the set screw can be turned with a flat head screwdriver.

  • With the wheels straight and the steering wheel centered. Turn the lash adjustment screw clockwise until it stops, but don't force it any farther!

  • Making sure that the screw does not turn, carefully tighten the locking nut.

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Image 1/1: If the play is still too loose, then repeat steps 2 and 3.
  • Close the hood, drive around and check the steering wheel play.

  • If the play is still too loose, then repeat steps 2 and 3.

  • If the steering wheel does not return to center after making a turn then it is too tight. This can cause unnecessary wear and damage your steering box! Return to step 2, but instead of tightening the lash screw, loosen it a quarter turn at a time and recheck.

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Conclusion

Congratulations! Your steering box should now have a minimal amount of play!

2 other people completed this guide.

Noah

Member since: 10/03/2012

325 Reputation

5 Guides authored

Team

Cal Poly, Team 6-33, Regan Fall 2012 Member of Cal Poly, Team 6-33, Regan Fall 2012

CPSU-REGAN-F12S6G33

3 Members

6 Guides authored

2 Comments

I have over tighten the steering box. I have loosen the box all the way ,but it steel stick

larryboyd23 - Reply

This procedure skips several important steps, including setting the preload prior to adjusting the lash screw. Hint - you need a torque wrench to do it correctly. It's also advisable to check all the steering components, especially the pitman arm bushing, as the cause of steering play before blaming the steering box. I've seen several steering boxes ruined by over tightening the lash screw when the box wasn't even the problem to begin with.

Jim Thomas - Reply

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