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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My truck has over 350,000 miles and I have completely rebuilt the front end and while doing that I installed the HD 2014 steering upgrade which fit well. The steering box is tight and so is the steering shaft which are both original. I have not had the wear others are having on the steering components as the ones I replaced were actual good. In any event I did have a loose lower steering column. I removed the column today as I was not sure where the slop column was coming from. Turns out it is between the shifter tube and outer tube and the lower steering bearing is fine. The lower shifter tube would move back and forth about .030" which also moves the steering shaft. The bushing that Rock Solid sells would not fix this as it replces the lower steering bearing. I ended up machining a Delrin bushing to install between the shifter tube and the outer tube. The inner shifter tube OD is 1.698" and the ID of the column tube is 2.070". I machined a stepped bushing to fit in this space which is a total of 0.400" wide with a 0.300 wide step down to fit in the gap and the OD of the outer flange is the same as the OD of the tube (2.185"). After machinging I split the bushing in two pieces with a narow blade then fit it between the tubes. I put one narrow layer of HD fibre tape around the Delrin flange to take up any small irregularities in the bushing and tube.
I used a hose clamp that I modified with a slight step (using an auto body pneumatic crimp tool) and placed the clamp around the bushing. The step in the clamp puts the two bushing haves in compression and also holds it from sliding out. The column is now tight but not too tight as the shifter still works fine with no additional force. I am not sure if this will help take up some of the steering slop but it wont hurt. I am also replacing the steering shaft (Dorman 425-264) and installing a new (not rebuilt) steering box from Rock auto ( BBB INDUSTRIES N5020128) just to make sure they are not adding to the slop. I should have it back on the road in a few days. I hope this helps someone else.
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