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Old 02-25-2017, 05:50 AM   #1
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2014 F53 Steering Wheel Crooked...Fix?

I took my 2015 Jayco Precept 29UM (on the 2014 F53 5-speed 18K chassis) to a reputable truck alignment shop to get the chassis aligned since it was pulling to the right. The owner of the shop called to inform me that his workers got the motorhome aligned and it was tracking very well now. However, they were unable to remove the steering wheel to replace it into the centered position. He said it was the first time this has ever happened, but unfortunately he had no answers for me. He charged $360 and sent me off with the situation below.

He said he would have tried to call Ford, but he never can get any information out of them so he didn't bother. He told me the problem was "one way splines."

Has anybody else had this experience and have any suggestions? No Ford dealership in a 150 mile radius of me will touch my motorhome.

Thanks
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:27 AM   #2
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I would find a new alignment shop. They should not have to remove the steering wheel to get it straight. This done by adjusting the tie rods as part of the alignment.
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by georgew48 View Post
I would find a new alignment shop. They should not have to remove the steering wheel to get it straight. This done by adjusting the tie rods as part of the alignment.
The tie rods have no effect on a F53 solid axle steering wheel position. You need to adjust the drag link lenght.

The drag link runs from the pitnum arm ( on the steering box ) to the left front spindle. Unfortunately the drag link is not adjustable.

That leaves removing the actual steering wheel, the sector shaft from the wheel to the steering box, or the pitnim arm from the box.

All three places are splined connections. Some are keyed so they can only go on in one position but I would think that one is not.

That's probably what the shop is waiting to find out from Ford.
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:08 AM   #4
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I don't know if yours is like mine but had the same problem after alignment. The technical went to the steering box and took it loose there and re clocked it. Took him 5 minutes. And he got it very close to center.
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
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I would find a new alignment shop. They should not have to remove the steering wheel to get it straight. This done by adjusting the tie rods as part of the alignment.
2X
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:12 AM   #6
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Been discussed MANY times here.

From Ford, for the later F53 (2012 and up I think), on which the steering wheel can't be repositioned:

BCM 5818 F53 And F59 Steering Clear Vision Adjustment

Some F53 Motorhome and F59 Commercial chassis vehicles may exhibit steering system clear vision concerns. Clear vision concerns can be corrected by re-indexing the steering shaft to steering gear connection. Refer to the steering column shift Motorhome procedure workshop manual section 211-04 steering system. Other steering or suspension concern should be addressed using the workshop manual.
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:23 AM   #7
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steering wheel not centered.

Centering Steering Wheel

I tried some more searching combinations and found what appears to be the answer. Turns out that this shop, although in business for 30 years performing heavy truck alignments and occasional motorhome alignments, had never worked on a 2011+ F53 chassis.

I intend to take it back with the new information and get it fixed before my family Spring Break trip next month.

Now the alignment is spot on and totally amazing. If I can get the steering wheel straight, I will be very happy. I appreciate everyone here taking the time to help a guy who knows what he knows and that's it! (but always willing to learn more with humility)
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:26 AM   #8
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Steering joint at gearbox input

As documented several places on this and other forums, the antique nature of the steering component design does not allow steering wheel clocking adjustment like modern vehicles. The easiest way to clock the wheel is by jumping the splines at the input side of the steering gearbox input. There is a universal joint with a clamped spline. The clamp bolt must be removed, then the spline pushed up out of engagement, rotated, then pushed back down and reclamped.
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Old 02-25-2017, 03:35 PM   #9
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What bydnar said, the only place to center the steering wheel is the spline shaft out of the top of the steering box. For centering purposes, tie rods can't be adjusted, drag link can't be adjusted, steering wheel has centering spline so can't be adjusted. All those above giving opinions clearly have no experience with the F53.
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Old 02-25-2017, 04:34 PM   #10
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From my experience and several that have posted on these forums most shops charge between $100 to $200 for an F-53 alignment. As most have reported the only alignment angle that is usually adjusted is the toe. Which is fairly easy. The caster is also easy it's based on adding or removing shims. The camber is not usually adjusted because it is not recommended by Ford to cold bend the axles.

I sure hope they don't charge you to center the steering wheel. If they figure out how to do it they should be thankful that they finally learned.

I find it rather strange that they have done these for years and never figured out how to center the wheel by re-positioning the steering wheel. A quick look and one spots the disconnect at the gear box input. We covered that fact in a HS program on alignment. Any beginning student with any common sense should be able to look at the set up and figure it out.

I know, who am I to question a shop with 30+ years of experience?? Someone who worked at teaching kids to do these things. This is Alignment Steering & Suspension 101.

I got mine done and that included cold bending both sides of the axle for $156.
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Old 02-25-2017, 05:09 PM   #11
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make sure the front wheels are straight.

Look on the steering gearbox. Next to the grease fitting, item #9. Remove the splined arm. Straighten the steering wheel, then reinstall the splined arm.

While your under there, grease the 9 points on the front end (The one up near the splined arm is the one everyone misses.
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:05 PM   #12
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Look on the steering gearbox. Next to the grease fitting, item #9. Remove the splined arm. Straighten the steering wheel, then reinstall the splined arm.
That's not what the Ford instructions say...
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:21 PM   #13
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I imagine the picture below shows what I actually need to do. I was under there a few weeks ago greasing the zerks including the #9 one and found it very easy to sit upright in the wheel well next to it. I'm going to try to fix it myself tomorrow and I'll let everyone know how it goes.
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I imagine the picture below shows what I actually need to do. I was under there a few weeks ago greasing the zerks including the #9 one and found it very easy to sit upright in the wheel well next to it. I'm going to try to fix it myself tomorrow and I'll let everyone know how it goes.
Precisely what I was trying to describe. A perfect picture of the fix I did.

I did not attempt to do the pitman arm (the one on the gearbox's output shaft by zerk #9) since past experiences with a pitman arm required a puller. The input universal joint only requires a little pressure from a pry bar to get it moving. Don't forget to REMOVE the clamping bolt.
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