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I dont know a whole lot about steering issues. When driving the dart the steering is VERY loose. I know older cars will sometimes seem to have a little more play in them then newer cars but its beyond that. I'm not sure what to blame it on. The whole front end is rebuilt, all new energy bushing, upper and lower balljoints are new as of like 2 months ago. I did notice that it looks like a seal is loose at the top of steering box. I can actually slide it up and down the column where it comes into the engine bay. Its a pronged metal piece with a rubber gasket underneath it. Maybe this is to attribute to the loose steering? If so what should i do to fix it? I havent had any experience with the steering box so i probably sound like an idiot but any help or pointers would be appreciated.
 

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nickhasmuscle said:
I dont know a whole lot about steering issues. When driving the dart the steering is VERY loose. I know older cars will sometimes seem to have a little more play in them then newer cars but its beyond that. I'm not sure what to blame it on. The whole front end is rebuilt, all new energy bushing, upper and lower balljoints are new as of like 2 months ago. I did notice that it looks like a seal is loose at the top of steering box. I can actually slide it up and down the column where it comes into the engine bay. Its a pronged metal piece with a rubber gasket underneath it. Maybe this is to attribute to the loose steering? If so what should i do to fix it? I havent had any experience with the steering box so i probably sound like an idiot but any help or pointers would be appreciated.
sounds like the coupler cover is loose but I doubt this is causing the loose steering. In rebuilding my steering column the only thing I see this as doing is holding the grease in the coupler after assembled. If the tabs are not broken off bend them in some and reattach to the couple.

The top of the gear has a stud with a lock nut on it. Steering load is set with this. As the gear wears it gets sloppy and gives a lot of play in the steering wheel and lets the car wonder.

In the 70's I worked for the Chrysler plant that made the Power steering gear. For a while it was my job to set the load on the gears. We used a torque wrench attached to the bottom of the sector shaft to set them on a stand.

Most all of my cars I have adjusted the preload to remove play from the steering.

You can loosen the lock nut holding the stud (allen wrench) and then tighten the stud about 1/4 turn and lock back down then check steering. This should take some play out. Check and repeat until most of the play is out. If it does not want to return to center when turning you have adjusted too far and need to back off a little.

You didn't say if power or manual steering, but the procedure is the same for either.
 
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