First you would need to check the steering linkages, control arms and wheel bearing for excessive play and rectify if any found. If the excessive play is only within the steering gear, adjustment can be made. Item #19 in diagram shows the locknut for the adjustment screw.
STEERING GEAR FREE PLAY
With front wheels in the straight-ahead position and steering wheel centered, turn steering wheel in both directions to determine amount of free play. Total free play should be 0.4" (10 mm).
If free play exceeds specification, loosen lock nut on top cover. See
Fig. 2. Turn adjustment screw until steering wheel free play is within specification. Tighten lock nut to 30 ft. Lbs. (41 N.M).
March, 29, 2011 AT 12:52 PM
I have a different opinion on this subject. The backlash adjustment in the steering box should only be used during initial setup and not to remove wear. The problem here is that when a box wears, the wear is concentrated in the straight ahead position something like a flat spot on the worm gear. If this play is adjusted out, it will leave the box too tight on turns. Once they are worn, the only solution for the problem is to replace the box. Messing with the adjustment can be dangerous to drive.
March, 29, 2011 AT 2:07 PM
After adjustment you need to test the turning. The procedures are as per shop manual.
March, 29, 2011 AT 2:15 PM
The instructions are correct for the situation in which they apply which would be setup of an un-worn steering box. Irregular wear in the box would change the conditions and the result of making that adjustment.
March, 29, 2011 AT 2:45 PM
Rack and pinion steering and worm and pinion steering gear boxes are different. For racjk and pinion steering the steering free play should never be adjusted in the straight ahead position.
For worm and pinion steering gear boxes, when steering is turned, you have more free play that the straight ahead position. If the straight ahead position freeplay is adjusted correctly, you cannot make the steering tight on turns.
After more than 30 years of workig on vehicles and countless repairs on steering gear boxes, I have yet to encounter any that turns tight after adjustment.
March, 29, 2011 AT 3:16 PM
In more that 40 years of doing this, I have seen it happen NUMEROUS times when mechanics made adjustments that shouldn't have been made. When all the play is adjusted out of the straight ahead position of a worn steering box, it will bind on turns and that is dangerous. That is the reason for this post.
You are entitled to post your opinion and I am entitled to post mine. This doesn't need to be a debate.