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Old 08-24-2014, 11:24 PM   #1
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New steering gear box pulls to the right

I just replaced my steering gear box and now the coach pulls pretty hard to the right. If I turn the wheel to the right, it turns very easy. When I straighten the wheel back to center, it turn easy until I hit the center point and then it turns hard. Basically anything to the left of center is hard to turn and the wheel wants to straighten up. Right of center is fairly neutral.

But here is the important thing. Before replacing the box, the coach was fine. It had an ever so slight pull to the right, but you could let go of the wheel, and it would take more than a mile before it would actually drift right. Now, if you let go of the wheel, it is off the road in about 200 feet. There is definitely a different feel as soon as you cross center (or just before you cross center.

One more piece of info. When I first drove it, I had filled the pump, but had not refilled it after start up. I drove it around the block. It turned right fine, but it was all I could do to turn the wheel left (even when rolling). Once I got the pump filled, I can turn both ways, but past center it now pulls.

I think there is something screwy with the box, but I am curious if anyone knows these Saginaw boxes well enough to confirm that.
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:54 AM   #2
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Some P/S boxes the assist input needed to be adjusted, the boxes were in common use on Dodge chassis class Cs. Not sure if they were Saginaw.
I do remember what they looked like.
Do you have the old box , and could you post a picture?
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:50 AM   #3
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This looks like a common Saginaw box, however it is reverse rotation. Interesting because Revcon used a Dodge M200/300 or 3/4 ton 4WD box from the 70s. Your description does seem to fit the symptom. It really does act like a power assist problem. Have you ever done the adjustment? Is it difficult? The box is under new under warrenty, but in the past, I have had trouble getting a tight box from rebuild, so the fact that this one is tight makes me not want to give it up. This is a photo of the box.

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Old 08-25-2014, 11:44 AM   #4
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Ok, didn't have the issue with that particular box. It's not the one used on the B vans and cab & chassis. I'll look for a picture.
The test for the assist centering on the other box , was to observe the steering wheel on engine start up; if the wheel kicked either direction when the assist from the pump built. The valve on top of the needed to be centered to eliminate the problem.
As far as the box pictured, we always installed new boxes for that style; I've been retired for a number of years so can't say if new is still available.
JMHO: Contact the re-builder , with your problem , there may be an assist centering adjustment , but special tools could be required. Attempting any adjustment yourself , may void any warranty.
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:59 AM   #5
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Here's a picture of the box I was thinking of, couldn't find a picture the showed the bolts the held the valve, that required loosening to make the adjustment. Valve is on the left, lower, side in this photo, the nut and adjuster ( top left ) is for tightening the sector shaft play. This style of box was much easier to work with , as far as adjustments are concerned.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:55 PM   #6
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Thanks for the reply. It gives me some indication of what to go on. I can easily do the start up test. I may try to disconnect the link that goes to the pitman arm and see how it acts without the load of the steering. I tried shutting off the engine while coasting, but I was going too slow to know for sure. It did feel like the pull went away or at least became a lot less.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:29 PM   #7
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Just a quick update. I removed the link that goes to the pitman arm, so the box was free to turn. The box actually feels like they overtightened it. But anyway, once I started the engine, turning to the right spins free, but turning to the left has the same drag as it does with the engine off. So it seems like the assist in one direction isn't working. I'll call the tech line tomorrow and see what they have to say.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:29 PM   #8
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Talked to the tech line. They stated that the torsion bar inside is probably damaged. They claim that you can not turn the wheel unless the engine is running or it will damage the torsion arm. That seems a bit crazy, as if you engine ever dies, you could never steer the vehicle. My previous box, I had turned the wheel with the engine off, and never had a problem with it. Done that in several cars and never damaged anything. I would think if that was a real limitation, that people would be damaging their boxes in brand new cars.
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:42 PM   #9
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News to me too, 34 years at Chrysler and I never heard that particular tidbit; and I've cranked those boxes ; engine off; more times than I'd care to guesstimate.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:53 PM   #10
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Worked on all kinds of vehicles for 45 years and the only thing that occurred with turning the wheel when the engine wasn't running is some fluid spillage out of the resevoir.

Sounds like the valve in the box is messed up or not centered. If there isn't a blind spline to fix the position of the arm on the box the arm can be installed in the wrong spot.
With your last post though it sounds like a bad box to me. Send it back.
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