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92 Ranger steering box leak

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  • 92 Ranger steering box leak

    Hey I haven't started any new threads in this forum (probably because I don't own a 4x4) but thought I'd give this question a try. My girlfriend 2wd 92 Ranger puked out all its power steering fluid today. She dropped it off at my work and took my truck home. Thanks what husbands are for I guess. Anyway I cleared some room in the shop and rolled it in. Put a little fluid in it started the truck up and the fluid poured out the bottom of the steering gear box almost immediately. Looks like its coming out around the Pitman arm. I has just wondering if anybody can tell me If I can just change this seal or if I'd be better off getting a used unit at the wrecking yard. I've never taken one apart before and have no idea what sort of seal is in there. I'll have to drive the truck back to town tomorrow so I don't want to pull it apart tonight but the little woman is off for the following three days so I should be able to get parts of a replaced tomorrow and start into it. Any advise would be appreciated.
    Doug Arthurs
    Kent Bridge Ontario

  • #2
    The seals are replaceable. If you can get at it good enough you don't even have to take the box off the truck. Remove the pitman arm nut, then the arm. You will need a pitman arm puller. The seal has a snap ring and washer holding it in. Make sure the pitman shaft is not pitted or scored where the seal rides or your new seal will not work. If you can't dig the seal out you can put the nut back on a few threads and try starting the truck and use the fluid pressure to push it out. If you can't quite get at the box you can pivot it around to gain access or take it off. A rebuilt box is in the 2 to 3 hundred range.

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    • #3
      Thanks MR F. I knew that the seal SHOULD be replacable but sometimes they'd prefer to just sell you a whole new part. Access looks pretty good and I have a two arm puller. Hopefully I can get the pitman arm off with that. Guess I'll call around in the morning for a seal first. I like the idea of using the pressure from the system to push out the seal. Thansk for the tips. Exactly what I was looking for.
      Doug Arthurs
      Kent Bridge Ontario

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      • #4
        pitman arms are usually very hard to remove without a pitman puller. I have broken teeth off of regular snap on 2 jaw pullers so be carefull. You can clamp the jaws together with a c clamp to keep the jaws from spreading. The puller I use now cups the arm with a one piece forging (no jaws) and pushes with a big center bolt. Snap on is the best in pitman pullers. Get your 1/2 inch impact warmed up!

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        • #5
          I have changed the seals in F-250 boxes. You can get a kit that has the seals and other parts. If there is any slop in the gearbox, I would get a rebuilt unit. You really need to take the box out and take it apart to replace the seals. There is also one on the input shaft. A pitman arm puller is needed. I tighten it up and then start tapping around the the pitman with a hammer. Tap and tighten the puller. Sooner or later it will pop and come loose. If you do this have a shop manual as there are adjustments that must be done correctly.
          Last edited by Mike W; 03-21-2006, 04:59 AM.
          What do I know I am just an electronics technician.

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          • #6
            If you're using pressure to pop the seal ... be careful. You stand a pretty good chance of spraying fluid everywhere. I don't know about Fords, but my old Chevy was building (I'm told by the mechanic) near 800psi at the far ends.
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            • #7
              Thanks for all the advise. I checked and the pitman seal kit is $28 and in stock at the local NAPA. They don't have a pitman puller there so if I can't find one today I have to try with my two arm puller and see how it goes.
              Doug Arthurs
              Kent Bridge Ontario

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              • #8
                Originally posted by IRON TO ART
                Thanks for all the advise. I checked and the pitman seal kit is $28 and in stock at the local NAPA. They don't have a pitman puller there so if I can't find one today I have to try with my two arm puller and see how it goes.

                A trick I was taught (for tie rod ends, but apparently it works for any tapered shaft) is to apply the puller with a bit of force to it, and then whack the eye loop on the side with a 2lbs hammer. When I couldn't get a tie rod end loose by pounding on the end of a pickle fork, that trick (done by the knowing mechanic) popped her free in three swings.
                For off topic conversations, discussions, rants, or even a dirty joke or two, click here

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                • #9
                  the continuing saga

                  Well I picked up the seal kit today. Got home and went to work on the nut for the pitman arm. Banged away with the impact for half an hour. Then tried with a long johnson bar. Turned out it took a womans extra touch. I was pulling as hard as I could on the bar and the wife sat on the garage floor next to me and used her foot on the bar as well. I could feel the bar deflecting and new something was gonna give. Turned out it was the nut. Looks like the fitness club membership I gave her was a good investment. LOL.

                  Now here's where I'm at. I couldn't locate a pitman puller so I have my two arm puller locked on solid. I have a much pressure as I can get on it with a 5/8 wrench. No joy. I've tried beating on the forcing bolt with a hammer as well as the pitman arm but she doesn't want to let go. If I had an O/A setup I'd try some heat but I don't.
                  Doug Arthurs
                  Kent Bridge Ontario

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                  • #10
                    you will need a good 1/2 inch impact wrench on the puller, let it hammer. If you are changing only the bottom seal it is pretty easy, to do the rest of the box, yes you will have to remove the unit. The preload on the sector shaft will have to be reset if you take the top plate off.

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                    • #11
                      You really need a pitman arm puller. They are much stronger. I have tightened them with a 1/2" breaker bar as much as I wanted to go. I then started tapping with a hammer around the arm where it is around the sector shaft. Tap, tap, tap, tighten the breaker bar, tap some more. Sooner or later it will pop loose. I put them back on with grease on the splines.
                      What do I know I am just an electronics technician.

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                      • #12
                        I'm going to check around town today for a pitman puller. If I don't find one I'll order one and put this on hold until the weekend.
                        Doug Arthurs
                        Kent Bridge Ontario

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                        • #13
                          Wow. talk about pressure. I used the pitman arm puller tonight. Really didn't think I was going to get it off. I used the tips given here. Crank on the breaker bar tap with hammer. Repeat until your arms want to fall off. Finally I decided this was the last try. I put a short impact extension on the breaker bar for optimum positioning. Wedge my feet in place on the twin I-beam suspension and crank on the bar. WTF the bar turned, I thought oh well musta ripped the threads off the puller. I get my head around to veiw the damage and what do I see but the pitman arm has moved down the shaft.

                          Now the next step is to decide if I want to remove the steering box or just put new seals in from the bottom. There is however a couple seals and some spacers. I'm thinking I should really replace them properly. The only shop manual I have doesn't talk about repairing this just removal and installation. Does anyone know of somewhere I can get info on the preload for the sector shaft?
                          Doug Arthurs
                          Kent Bridge Ontario

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                          • #14
                            It may be time for a trip to the library . You want a motors or chilton master book as they cover detailed repair of components such as steering boxes which are often outsourced by the big manufacturers.
                            If You are this far into it it is pretty easy to remove it completely and inspect the frame and bolts for wear or cracking.

                            Steering boxes are pretty easy but clean the outside well and dismantle over a good clean catch pan because you may find a few loose ball bearings as you strip it down.
                            For reassembly just hold them in place with grease. Adjustment of thrust bearings will be procedured and specs will be given.
                            The sector gear is an egg shape high in the center and tapered from right to left as well. It is adjusted by centering the gear box and setting it up with the allen bolt that pushes the output shaft sideways until you just feel a "bump" as you turn through center. That is so the play can be totaly removed for straight ahead driving.yet never bind when cornering.
                            That is also why the steering wheel must be centered when driving straight ahead.
                            Good luck Terry

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                            • #15
                              I have heard of guys replacing the bottom seal without pulling the box apart but don't know how it was done without damage to the output shaft. On my F-250 boxes it was always the upper seal that leaked. These boxes have two seals on the output shaft. You should get a manual. They are easy to take apart and put back together if you follow the instructions. You should check the price for a rebuilt unit. They are usually reasonable, think a F-250 box was just over $100.
                              What do I know I am just an electronics technician.

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