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Discussion Starter #1
Another boring question from a newbie.

I recently had a rebuilt steering box put into my 01 longbed. Most of the front end was also rebuilt at the time, ball joints, tie rods, track bar etc. including a factory ps. pump. I've only put about 2k on the rebuilt box and now its leaking at the pitman arm side.

The local dealer, who was doing some other work on it, claimed that the box was "sealed" As in they couldn't do anything but replace it for $800. Which considering the box is $270 at Mopar and the part is right their seems f'ing ridicules.

Anyway it looks to me that the box is connected to the P.S. pump, via a rubber hose. Am I right its leaking power steering fluid. If so I've heard of people putting Lucas Stop Leak into the PS Pump. Is this a bad idea? Will it affect my PS pump?

Also after having spent a mere $2700 on the front end the steering wheel is still as sloppy as a pontoon boat! The only part that wasn't factory replaced was the gear box. Whats the "over center adjustment" about and could this help my slop? BTW I have 285/16 BFG AT's on the truck.

Thanks for dealing with my ignorance one day hopefully I'll post something fun!
 

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Those crooks! The pitman shaft seal is not hard to replace once you get the arm off. Napa carries the seal kit for $45 or something. You will need a puller for the pitman arm, but it's not too hard once you have that. If you are not fairly experienced playing with this sort of thing, I would be tempted to pull the box, pop off the top, pull out the sector shaft (attached to the top plate) and push out the seal from the top. Not only will it more safely push out the seal without damage, it will also give you a look at the shaft for scratches/dings.

It does depend on which box you have, though. I don't know about the one where you can't see the seal from the bottom. But the one where you can see the seal behind the snapring, is pretty easy. I would also consider that the dipsquat that rebuilt it may have not set up the adjustments properly. If they couldn't put in a seal properly, it stands to reason. You can adjust all the slop out of the box by adjusting the input shaft nut, and the sector shaft nut on top of the box.

I would advise avoiding any addatives in the PS system for lack of knowledge. The PS also runs your power brakes, and that makes it something to not experiment with too much. Besides, liquid fixes don't generally work well on mechanical problems.

Something else to consider is that a lot of flex in the steering is from the frame flexing. Especially if you have a lift with a drop pitman arm and big tires. Mine's pretty sloppy, and so I have a "steering stabilizer" which really should be called a "steering brace" on order from geno's garage. It puts a pillow block bearing on the bottom of the sector shaft and braces it to a frame that attaches to the swaybar mounts. Supposed to work really well from what I hear, but it's not on yet. Still on backorder. :(

By the way, an AGR box is like $400 brand new, and has a bigger piston (3.25" vs 3") and dual roller bearings on the sector shaft instead of single. I would replace the snapring at the pitman shaft with a real snapring though.

And you should get greasy and get up there and make sure it's not a leaky fitting at the hose first. Could save a lot of hassle.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi,

Thanks for all the info. I got one more question if your game. I was playing around with the adjustment screw on top of the box today. Loosened the locknut and then turned the hex head about 1/4 turn. Then test drove it. Steering was MUCH tighter. BUT, when I crawled back underneath I noticed it was leaking more as well. So I grabbed the steering linkage and turned the linkage left to right and noticed that now there was play in the sector shaft at the Pitman. How did I create play in the sector shaft by adjusting that hex screw?
 
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