How to Replace a Steering Box on a Ford Truckby Russell Wood
The steering box on a Ford F-150 is mounted on the frame. Its job is to convert the rotation of the steering column into linear motion that turns the steering linkage. The steering box uses hydraulic power to help turn the wheels. When the hydraulic seals and gears can wear down, the steering box will need to be replaced. Otherwise, steering will become increasingly difficult and possibly hazardous.
Park the Ford on a solid surface and apply the parking brake. Lift the front of the truck using the jack and put jack stands under the frame.
Locate the steering box, which is on the driver's side of the frame. Unbolt the bolt holding the Pitman arm to the steering box using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Install the Pitman arm puller onto the Pitman arm and tighten it down with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket until the Pitman arm pops off the steering box. Unbolt the steering column's intermediate shaft from the other side of the steering box with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket.
Remove the power steering lines running to the steering box with a line wrench. Unbolt the steering box from the frame with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket and an open-end wrench, then carefully pull it down and away from the frame. Lift the replacement steering box into the frame and bolt it into place with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket and an open-end wrench.
Reconnect the Pitman arm and the intermediate shaft to the steering box with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Reinstall the power steering lines to the steering box with a line wrench. Open the power steering fluid reservoir, which is on the engine, and fill it with the power steering fluid.
Start the Ford. Turn the steering wheel clockwise until it stops, then turn it counter clockwise until it stops. Repeat this turning process for 10 cycles, then lower the truck off the jack stands with the jack.
- "Chilton Ford Pick-Ups/Expedition/Navigator 1997-09 Repair Manual"; Eric Michael Mihalyi and Jay Storer; 2009
Things You'll Need
- Jack stands
- Pitman arm puller
- Line wrench set
- Open-end wrench set
- 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
- Power steering fluid
Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.