Intermediate steering shaft play/movement

  • 2001 FORD RANGER
  • 3.0L
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • 208,000 MILES
Especially in consideration of older, higher mileage vehicles, how much play/movement is normal and safe for there to be in an intermediate steering shaft?

Attached is a short video clip showing how much play there is in the shaft on my truck listed above and I just wanted to find out if this is normal/safe or if it is too much and a problem that should be addressed?

Also, while I'm sure the standard recommendation is to replace it, but how serious of an issue is a split in the rubber dust boot on this shaft? How urgent is replacement if even at all?

Do you
have the same problem?
Saturday, June 27th, 2020 AT 10:25 AM

1 Reply

That lateral play is not an issue. Where your issue with that shaft will come in is at the joints. You want to move it around and look at the joints at both ends (or at least feel for the movement on the joints cover by the boot).

If you have some movement there then you want to replace it. As for the boot being cracked or cut, you do want to replace it when it becomes an issue. Basically there will be dirt and debris that gets into the boot and cause the joint to get stiff or make noise. I would not worry about it until it does that. You can replace the boot as I am sure the boot is available however, if you are going to go to the trouble of taking it off, I would just wait until the shaft wears out and then just replace the entire thing. The shaft is not that expensive so to me, it is worth waiting.

Let me know if you have questions. Thanks
Was this
Saturday, June 27th, 2020 AT 6:21 PM

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