Looks like you are on your way towards replacement.......You will most certainly get the slop of the steering gear (Internally)
BUT...there are other factors that put slop into your system other than the gear itself.
You may also be experiencing "FRAME TWISTAGE" where the Steering Gear bolts on.
If you will have someone move the steering wheel back and forth (in the slop zone, or just a little more than the slop zone) You will be able to watch what is happening with all of your steering, WATCH:
1) Pitman arm shaft, for up and down and side to side "lost motion"............even a loose nut retaining the pitman arm, is slop and dangerous!
2) tie rod ends for movement (that should not be there)
3) Slack in the "U" joint in your Intermediate Shaft (toward firewall) and the "Coupler" on the steering gear end, may be worn out
4) Ball joint slop, a little harder to detect (alignment shop is a good place to find out if they are OK.
5) Frame twistage can be eliminated with a "Store Bought".....OR..... Homemade brace, Like mine pictured below (you will see the entire gear move left and right when you start turning your steering wheel hard either way, the frame is twisting!)
This is my new gear, "Zeroed Up" (centered) and ready to install....It is a "SAGINAW" like the original gear, the after-market one (Omix-Ada) I bought, did not last but 5 years....Yes, you must insure it is full of oil, when you install it, factory sends it with some "Builders Grease" inside, but you must top it off with gear oil!
This is 1-1/4 angle iron, tabbed up and bolted onto the gear, on this end
This is the other end, welded onto my "Front Towing Receiver" (you can do similar with attaching this end elsewhere)
You really must be on your toes looking for these problems,
Have a pal assist, or take it to an alignment shop
Steering is nothing to play around with, you or someone else could die, I SHORE 'NUFF WOULDN'T WANT IT TO BE ME!!!
Monday, October 25th, 2010 AT 9:17 AM