SAS steering box problem and failing heim - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 01-13-2008
n3elz's Avatar
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SAS steering box problem and failing heim

Well, the steering box I bought on eBay was junk. It was loose no matter how you adjusted it, and has a cracked sector shaft.

I got a rebuilt box and it's a world of difference. I've heard horror stories about rebuilt boxes that were looser than the one taken off but this one is good. It's a Federated/Cardone unit.

The beauty of it is that's its a 3.1 turn lock-to-lock box. The so called "quick ratio" box -- which I didn't know when I got it. My old box was the takes-forever-to-get-the wheels-turned 4 turn lock-to-lock version. Steering is much better.

However, when I was testing I heard a mild clunk from the front end. Turns out the heim joint I put on the track bar is already breaking down. Besides only being a 5/8" heim, it's an "economy" mild steel unit, metal to metal. I'm replacing it with a chromallow unit from Summit and see how that works.

I was warned by many here quite correctly that it wouldn't last. I knew that, but I really thought it would last longer than this, lol. I only put it on a few weeks or a month ago.

I also rebuilt my steering shaft using the slip-joint piece and u-joint from a Chevy Astro Van (the u-joint I'd already modified previously) and a used Borgeson u-joint. It's a lot more stable than the one I used before with this funky wierd Ford CV-style combination joint that has both slip and u-joint functions in one. The boot on that one tore and it was just looking like a mess. You can see the new shaft on the new box in the picture below.

Nice to have decent steering again. The ratio feels about the same as the rack and pinion had when the stock suspension was on. Much more pleasant.
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Old 01-13-2008
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: PUEBLO, CO
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glad you got it fixed, how much did you pay for the new box??

and as far as I know you used bushings through most of the suspension, why cheap out on the heim? just get some good ones and be over with it!!


BTW, you cant quote yourself in your own signature!! youre losin it old man!!!
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Old 01-13-2008
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I can too quote myself! Think about it now, what do old men do best? No, not pee in the middle of the night, I mean when they're awake? Tell the same story over and over, of course!

Well, by quoting myself, I save all that time and effort and can put it into telling a different story. Efficient use of my diminishing time!

I shortened the track bar to center the axle and though I'm building a custom bar later, I simply took the 1.1" diameter bar, cut off on end, and drilled it for 5/8-18 thread and put a male heim on it. Of course I did the usual thing where you buy something cheap and it ends up costing you (the steering box is a great example, lol) because it didn't have to last a long time -- I'm doing something better later.

Oh well -- live and don't learn. (Yes, I know that's not how it's supposed to go, but that seems to be the way I live it...)
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