Steering Box Adjustment?

Dealing with all subsystems specific to the diesel powered Datsun-Nissan 720 pickup trucks.

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moose60
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Steering Box Adjustment?

#1

Post by moose60 » 14 years ago

There seems to be excessive play in the steering gear box on my pickup. Is there any adjustment that can be made? I seem to dimly remember something like a gear lash adjustment on old Volkswagens, perhaps there is something similar. My truck is not equiped with power steering.
Thanks.

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asavage
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#2

Post by asavage » 14 years ago

Yeah, there's an adjustment. Usually, you don't want to play with it. It's primary purpose is for initial adjustment after assembly, not for wear compensation.

The sector gear is ground in a smaller radius than it actually swings. That means that to a very limited extent, the lash at the center of the swing can be reduced -- but only a very small amount.

Are you certain that the slop is at the box? It's much more common for the slop to be at the idler arm .

If the box is loose, go directly to finding a replacment box. They're cheap & plentiful, because they rarely go bad. And the gasser one interchanges too.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

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philip
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Re: Steering Box Adjustment?

#3

Post by philip » 14 years ago

moose60 wrote:There seems to be excessive play in the steering gear box on my pickup. Is there any adjustment that can be made? SNIP Thanks.
Picking up from Al's post previous, the "sector gear" adjustment found next to the oil filler plug on top of the steering gearbox cannot compensate for worm gear wear.

Before you monkey with this adjustment in an attempt to cut down a bit on steering slop, make SURE the percieved slop is:

A) Not due to a worn out pitman arm joint. This is the ball joint on the end of the arm linking the gearbox to the drag link.

B) Not due to a steering box that is moving on the frame it is bolted to.

C) Not due to loosened couplers between the steering wheel shaft and the gearbox.

D) You are not comparing to a power steering box.

You can reduce the amount of "center/straight, back/forth" play by moving slightly the sector adjuster screw. Since your gear box is well used, do NOT attempt to remove nearly all play from the center/straight position from a well used gearbox. If you do, the result will be additional steering effort when the steering is moved more than 3/4 turn from center/straight. When overadjusted, this additional turning effort will slow the steering returning to center on its own after a turn.

Make a small adjustment (say 1/8 turn) and secure the lock nut. Test the results. Do not overdue it in search of perfection.
-Philip
Passed 08May2008
My friend, you are missed . . .

1982 Datsun 720KC SD-22

"Im slow and I'm ahead of you"

moose60
Posts:168
Joined:14 years ago
Location:Seattle WA

#4

Post by moose60 » 14 years ago

Thanks guys, I'll have a look at the idler arm this weekend. I have already given it a cursory glance, but it looks like I may get a more accurate idea of it's condition with the front of the truck off of the ground.
Byron

82 Datsun 720 KC SD22

MPG Machine

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philip
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#5

Post by philip » 14 years ago

moose60 wrote:Thanks guys, I'll have a look at the idler arm this weekend. I have already given it a cursory glance, but it looks like I may get a more accurate idea of it's condition with the front of the truck off of the ground.
Need a big pry bar for checking the idler arm pivot play.

For the rest, leave the truck on the ground and then watch for abnormal movement in the steering pivots while a 2nd person rapidly rotates the steering back and forth through the center/straight position.
-Philip
Passed 08May2008
My friend, you are missed . . .

1982 Datsun 720KC SD-22

"Im slow and I'm ahead of you"

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