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#548011 - 01/20/04 11:41 PM Replacing steering box on F250
pacem Offline

Registered: 10/16/03
Posts: 498
Loc: MD
1989 F250, 7.5L, 2WD, 85,000 miles

I noticed that there is a leak from the top of the steering box. I looked in the Factory Service Manual and it calls it Steering Box Input Shaft Seal . It is where the steering column connects to the steering box.

Questions -

I almost sure I need to remove the steering box to change this seal, right? If so, should I just go ahead and replace the steering box with a rebult unit? There are no irregulaties with steering. I imagine I could get more miles out of it, but if the repair is not trivial, it might be worthwhile to install another one.

I understand I need a pitman arm puller - I looked at a parts store and they had different sizes, what size do I need and how exactly do I use it? Some basic references would be great.

Once I remove the pitman arm, what else is there? Removing the 4 bolts holding the gear box and also the lines going in/out of it? It doesn't seem really hard, if I can figure out this pitman arm procedure.

#548012 - 01/21/04 01:01 AM Re: Replacing steering box on F250
TooManyWheels Offline

Registered: 02/21/03
Posts: 3706
Loc: Houston, Tex
I would be very surprised if you actually needed a Pitman arm puller, since the pitman fits on the output shaft, and your leaky seal is on the input shaft. I haven't taken a steering box apart in a while, but I know it is not a trivial procedure. However, there is a chance your seal is installed from the outside and can be replaced without taking the box apart.

If you take the box apart or replace it, the puller you will need is one which has a big enough opening to fit over the output shaft, and wide enough jaws to fit over the pitman arm, but small enough to still engage with it.

[ January 21, 2004, 05:07 PM: Message edited by: TooManyWheels ]

#548013 - 01/21/04 05:24 AM Re: Replacing steering box on F250
pacem Offline

Registered: 10/16/03
Posts: 498
Loc: MD
It seems easier to replace the seal once the gear box is off.

#548014 - 01/21/04 06:57 AM Re: Replacing steering box on F250
briarhopper Offline

Registered: 06/09/02
Posts: 37
Loc: South Bend, In.
When you replace the seal don't let the input shaft turn or it will come out to far and not go back in. That is on Chevrolets anyway. I imagine Fords are similar. On Chevrolets you don't have to remove the gearbox from the vehicle.

#548015 - 01/26/04 08:10 AM Re: Replacing steering box on F250
oilcan Offline

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 128
I don't want to spoil the party but you can add Lucas Automatic Trans Additive, and yes I know they make a Power Steering Additive, but use a/t additive.
I have an 86 F250 4x4 and mine started leaking out the pitman arm seal I started adding LUCAS A/T ADDITIVE in short time the leak was reduced to just a very small leak this lasted for five years until the box was completely wore out, this summer I finally installed a rebuilt box.

#548016 - 01/27/04 08:57 AM Re: Replacing steering box on F250
pacem Offline

Registered: 10/16/03
Posts: 498
Loc: MD
I might try it. What exactly does it do? Thickens the oil?

LucasAutomatic Trans Additive .

#548017 - 01/27/04 10:15 PM Re: Replacing steering box on F250
highmiles Offline

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 17
Loc: southern South Dakota
If you opt for mechanical repair (other than a sealer additive) I would definitely repair the one you have rather than go for a rebuilt, seeing as you only have 85,000 miles on the pickup. The seal kits are fairly inexpensive and probably only a couple hours labor at a shop. (if you don't want to mess with it yourself) I have a 88 F-150 4X4, I put in a sector seal kit at about 150,000 miles, maybe a year after that the power steering pump started leaking, I put in a container of Bars Leaks power steering sealer, it almost immediately stopped the leak. (still going strong at 192K) The results may be different with a sector leak. Maybe some others will reply with their results with a sector leak and sealer. There are always plenty of things that need fixing for which there is no possible fix in a bottle. The sealers usually swell the seal rather than thicken the fluid. Good luck with whatever you decide.

#548018 - 01/29/04 08:00 AM Re: Replacing steering box on F250
pacem Offline

Registered: 10/16/03
Posts: 498
Loc: MD
I will try to replace just the seal without removing the steering box. Go through the wheel well.

There are no problems with steering whatsoever.