Steering column binds when leaving the wheel-centered position

Tiny
JONNYB1963
  • EXPERT
  • 2003 FORD EXPLORER
  • 4.6L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 258,000 MILES
For a while now I have been living with this problem where when going straight in my lane then needing to give a little left or right steering inputs, it would require a significant amount of force. I determined that the intermediate shaft was the the culprit and purchased a new shaft. I installed it this weekend and sure enough the upper U-joint was really frozen up. I test drove the vehicle and the steering is much better.

That said, the problem has not gone away completely. There is still a slight bind in the mid-wheel position. It happens both when turning to the right or left, but it feels to me that it takes a little more pressure to overcome it when turning left.

It is not the end of the world. Has anyone else found this problem after replacing the steering shaft?

I have a theory that perhaps the extended time I drove it while it was binding may have damaged the input shaft on the steering rack. Thoughts/ideas anyone?
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Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 AT 12:27 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Good afternoon.

Did you replace both u joints?

I enclosed a picture to be sure.

Roy
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Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 AT 1:45 PM
Tiny
JONNYB1963
  • EXPERT
Oh! Duh! I forgot about the tilt wheel! Guess that would need to have a knuckle as well. I will do that. Thanks Roy. I replaced only the lower shaft which contains three joints. One by itself, and the other is like a double carden joint. I will check the column inside the vehicle next.
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Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 AT 2:18 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Sounds like a good plan.

Roy
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Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 AT 2:19 PM

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