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Steering Adjustment

By Robert "Oly" Oeleis

    Goin' down the road, tryin' to loosen your load but the truck is wandering all over the place like a dope-addled water buffalo. Before you careen into something, you'd better make a ...

Saginaw Steering Sector Adjustment

    If you have a Saginaw recirculating ball-type steering, here are only two(2) adjustments to be made to this gear and the following procedure "must" be made step by step "in the order given."

1. Disconnect drag link from the pitman arm.

2. Loosen the sector shaft lock nut (it is located on the side of the steering box.) and turn the adjusting screw a few turns counter-clockwise. (This removes from the worm bearings the load imposed by close meshing of rack and sector teeth.) Turn the steering gear "gently" in one direction until stopped by gear, then turn it back one turn.

3. With a cheap spring scale, measure the pull on the rim of the steering wheel (hook the spring on one of the radial arms next to the outer part of steering wheel) which is required to keep the wheel in motion. This pull should be between one( 1) and one-and-a half (1-1/2) lbs. If the pull necessary to move the wheel does not lie between these measurements, then adjustment of the worm bearings as necessary.

4. To adjust worm bearings, loosen the worm shaft lock nut (it is at the opposite end of the steering box from the steering wheel shaft) and turn the worm bearing thrust screw until there is no perceptible end play in worm. Check pull on wheel rim, readjusting if necessary to obtain proper pull. Tighten lock nut and re-check pull, as it must lie between 1 an 1-1/2 lbs. after locknut is tightened.

5. After you have properly adjusted the worm and all mounting bolts are securely tightened, adjust cross shaft lash adjuster as follows:

6. First turn the wheel "gently from one stop to the other, carefully counting the number of turns. Then turn the wheel back half (half the number of turns) way to center position. Mark the steering wheel at the top or bottom in the center with a piece of tape.

7. Turn lash adjuster (it is inside the sector shaft lock nut) clockwise to take up all lash in gear teeth and tighten lock nut.

8. Check -- pull on wheel rim with spring scale as before; taking highest reading as wheel is turned through center position. Now, this should be between two (2) and two-and-one half (2-1/2) lbs.

9. Readjust, if necessary, to obtain proper pull. Tighten locknut and re-check pull, as it "must" lie between 2 and 2-1/2 lbs after lock nut is tightened.

10. Connect drag link to pitman arm.

11. Go have a "cool one"- (Editor's note: Oly, would this procedure be more fun if we made this step #1?) you have just successfully adjusted a Saginaw steering sector. I only hope you don't need to rebuild it. That would probably take me a day or two to write it correctly.

Robert Oeleis

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