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Old 11-17-2014, 11:14 AM   #1
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Ford E450 Gearbox

I seem to have a lot of front steering wheel play on my 2008 C class E 450. So I had the tire center service mgr test drive it and he agreed. Then I had my rv service center check bushings and test drive it. They thought it needed major front end alignment or gearbox overhauled. I had it aligned in spring and ingall inserts added. Anyone ever tightened a gearbox on E450? Is it even adjustable? It has a front steering stablizer that was factory added-hellig, I think.
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:32 PM   #2
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I have had 3 e series fords. They all had play in them. I think it is a characteristic of the E series.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:59 PM   #3
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SuperDuty trucks and other 3/4 ton-1 ton trucks are hard on lower ball joints and tie rod ends. I know Ford suspension parts are cheap and very easy to replace. Tie rods also have an extra joint that can sometimes wear out. And the steering boxes also can be adjusted somewhat if the gears wear.

A dedicated alignment shop is often the best place to find technicians with the skill, experience and tools to work on SuperDuty trucks and other comparable truck chassis'.
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:14 AM   #4
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Bamaman you are so right about the ball joints. I had to replace them last year at 18,000 miles. Ford does not put zirk fittings on them and without lube, they wear out quickly! I carried it to a truck service center to check out what is going on. They have aligned it in the past. Don't know if some component is failing or needs realighnment. My regular service center checked bushings, and everything they could se while on lift without any clue other than gearbox or alighment. But they agreed it was sloppy with 2-3 inches of play.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:07 AM   #5
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As an A.S.E. certified suspension and steering specialist as well as Hunter Alignment certified, I have a hard time thinking alignment is causing steering play. A "dry park" check, which is basically someone moving the steering wheel back and forth while the weight is on the tires and suspension and someone watches the steering linkage and suspension for movement. The steering gear is checked easily this way, simply observe how much the the steering wheel is moved before the sector shaft (output) moves.The steering linkage should transmit the movement, with loose joints showing as one component moves without moving the one it's attached to. The gear box is adjustable for lash but if the sector shaft has side play, it should be replaced or re-built.
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Old 11-22-2014, 09:08 AM   #6
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The dry park check movement was basically what my repair person was doing after test driving it. It had approximately 3 inches of play while parked. That, plus test driving, is the reason he told me an alighment and suspension person needs to do more intensive follow-up. As a person very familiar with all types of rv's, he said he would not drive it personally with his family in it!
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Old 11-22-2014, 09:15 AM   #7
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Ken, he also recommended a newer steering stablizer such as yours.
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Old 11-22-2014, 11:23 AM   #8
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Increase caster. I know it doesn't change play when still, but going down the road you will enjoy driving. After market bushings that are adjustable is the answer but only if increased as all the articles recommend, not Ford specks. Search IRV2 for Ford CASTER adjustment. Many many posts. Than and only than will you enjoy driving your E-series.
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