80-91 tilt column rebuild

david85

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Are you sure it's not simply the ignition switch knocked out of alignment?

If that checks out, have a closer look at the switch assembly. Sometimes the aluminum crimps that holds the switch together can come loose.
 

david85

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How friggin cool is that!?!? I've never seen that joint myself(maybe my 89 doesn't have one) but the fact that it's adjustable is so sweet. Love it.
Somebody sure spent a bit of time brainstorming this idea. At a first glance, one could say it's a terrible design, and ford was too cheap to install a conventional U-joint. Never the less, it seems to hold up just fine. And like just about everything else on an old Ford truck, you can adjust it, if you know how.
 

Rdnck84_03

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My guess would be that the ignition switch has gone bad. I haven't ever disassembled a switch to check out the internal workings but I would think that the ignition wire contact should be continuous from the beginning of the run position all the way to where the switch stops at the end of the start position.

With that said I don't think that switch adjustment could cause the issue since your able to hit the crank position.

James
 

tradergem

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A few years ago the crimps on my trucks ignition switch worked loose and the truck would sometimes start and sometimes not start so I replaced it. The new switch started doing the same thing just a few months later. I fixed it by drilling some holes through the crimp tabs and upper half of the switch to match some steel wire I made short pins out of. I then reassembled the switch and glued the pins into the crimp tabs to permanently hold everthing together and have not had a problem with the switch sense then.
 

Austin86250

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A few years ago the crimps on my trucks ignition switch worked loose and the truck would sometimes start and sometimes not start so I replaced it. The new switch started doing the same thing just a few months later. I fixed it by drilling some holes through the crimp tabs and upper half of the switch to match some steel wire I made short pins out of. I then reassembled the switch and glued the pins into the crimp tabs to permanently hold everthing together and have not had a problem with the switch sense then.
That was it a pin was coming out I zip-ties the hell out of it
 

franklin2

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I am very pleased to say it went very successfully wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it be
@david85 you should really make a right up about these steering columns you where extremely helpful
I guess I’m back off to the alignment shop for the second time in 2 weeks LOL the steering shafts and or wheels are keyed differently
Caution!. Do not let the alignment guy turn the tie rod ends to get your steering wheel back to level. You will regret it. The steering box is setup in it's gear mesh to be centered. It has a tighter gear mesh in the center for good road feel, and looser on either side for easier parking lot turning.

If you want to do it right, you should take the steering linkage loose, turn the steering wheel all the way one direction till it stops. Turn it all the way the other direction counting the turns. Divide that by two. Count from one end and put it in the center. That is where the box needs to be regardless of the steering linkage or the steering wheel.

Once you get it there, I would level the steering wheel. It has been said the steering wheel is keyed and will only go on one spot. I don't doubt that, but it doesn't seem this key is very positive and I have installed the steering wheel many different places on my 89. When I replaced the steering box, something was different, either the rag joint or something in the box, and after doing the above I had to move the steering wheel back to level. That also makes your turnsignal cancel work correctly.

Once you get the wheel level, then you know that is center. Then you can hook the steering linkage back up. If the wheel is not level going down the road, THEN you can take it to the alignment shop, and he can turn the tie rod ends to get the truck straight again, using the steering wheel as a reference. Have you ever seen a alignment guy pull the steering wheel and get all that straightened out first? They use it as a reference, whether you got it back right or not.
 

david85

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As far as I knew, there is no way to install the steering wheel any other way, unless it was forced on somehow.

There may be differences with with other setups, but when I had mine apart, there was no way to install the rotating parts any other way, where splines were involved. The Steering wheel had a pretty large flat machined on it to only install one way on the top of the shaft. Same for the coupling to the steering box input. If you're not careful, you can accidentally install the oval shaft connections 180 degrees apart.

Now, if you have a borgeson steering shaft, it will not have a flat machined at the steering box input shaft coupling, so you can use those splines to reclock the shaft. I tried a borgeson for a while and decided I didn't like it.

I do agree with doing the 4 turn lock to lock check, but I'd be surprised if something was that far out that you needed to reclock one of the spline shaft couplings. The tie rod ends actually have a lot of adjustment, relative to the rotation of the steering wheel. One or two hole turns will not affect the strength of the connection, but the difference on steering wheel alignment in the cab will be very large. This is true for TTB and monobeam setups.
 

franklin2

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The tie rod ends actually have a lot of adjustment, relative to the rotation of the steering wheel. One or two hole turns will not affect the strength of the connection, but the difference on steering wheel alignment in the cab will be very large. This is true for TTB and monobeam setups.
Don't do it. I do not know how wide that center spot is in the steering box, but I would be afraid to get off it going straight down the road, and then you have loose feeling steering. And then you tighten the box and you suddenly have this "hard spot" in the rotation of the wheel as you pass through the center of the box. The steering box should only be adjusted at the center of it's travel.

And I know it's a pain, but you have to take the steering linkage loose to find the center of the box. When the wheel stops during the rotation count, the steering stops will stop the box before the steering box bottoms out. That's actually by design. I had a vehicle once that was all messed up, and the vehicle would turn sharper one way than the other. In one direction the box was bottoming out internally. After years of being this way, it ruined the ball screw inside the box and that all had to be replaced.
 

david85

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Don't do it. I do not know how wide that center spot is in the steering box, but I would be afraid to get off it going straight down the road, and then you have loose feeling steering. And then you tighten the box and you suddenly have this "hard spot" in the rotation of the wheel as you pass through the center of the box. The steering box should only be adjusted at the center of it's travel.

And I know it's a pain, but you have to take the steering linkage loose to find the center of the box. When the wheel stops during the rotation count, the steering stops will stop the box before the steering box bottoms out. That's actually by design. I had a vehicle once that was all messed up, and the vehicle would turn sharper one way than the other. In one direction the box was bottoming out internally. After years of being this way, it ruined the ball screw inside the box and that all had to be replaced.
I'm not disagreeing with correctly finding the center of the steering box, but have my doubts that the shaft will can be that far off. If it is, it needs to be replaced. And in the case of my own truck I wouldn't want to force the splines on the steering shaft/wheel to fit somewhere it wasn't intended to go. But I'll again qualify this by saying there may be other steering wheels that are not keyed to the shaft like mine is.
 

franklin2

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I have heard others talking about the keyed shaft. Mine is a stock 1989 all original column and wheel. When my steering box was swapped(on vacation in Florida) the wheel ended up being more than 45 degrees off, more like 60 or a 3rd of a turn. I had just gotten an alignment before the big trip, so I knew that was good. I got it driving straight, pulled the wheel, leveled it by eye, and stuck it back on. Tightened the nut, everything has been good. Ignorance is bliss I guess.
 

david85

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It's not really Keyed, in the conventional sense. Instead, it has a flat machined on one side. It's not much deeper than the splines themselves.

You can see the flat machined part in the attached photo at the 2:45 O'clock position. You have to zoom in close to see it though. If I ever tear mine apart again, I'll take some better photos so it's clearer.
 

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