TechTales Blog

I get a lot of questions from people who are sick of how their Ford steers while the wheel is in the center. Usually you have to constantly correct the vehicle to maintain a straight line. A lot of slop and looseness develops when the steering wheel is in the center. 

One thing you do not want to do is tighten the adjustment screw on your gearbox. Tightening the steering gearbox on a Ford will get rid of some of the excessive clearance while the wheel is straight. The center of the worm drive is where most of the wear happens. That's where most of your driving occurs, that's where your wheel is when you hit those pot holes and bumps in the road. The problem is the other parts of the gear are not worn as much. Now after you tighten the gearbox, the clearance is insufficient while the wheel is turned.

This insufficient clearance causes excessive binding in the steering gear. When you turn the wheel, it will get harder to turn and you will lose some of all of your steering returnability. Now every time you turn, you have to pull the wheel back straight again with the same amount of effort it took to turn the wheel in the first place. Normally, the effect is easy and almost automatic because of the caster built into the alignment.

I've loaded a video up on YouTube showing this exact effect.... https://youtu.be/nkM029Spwtg

Had a truck roll in from an Independent shop the other day. It was a F150 with a 5.4L Triton engine. Apparently the techs changed the oil and upon restart, the truck no longer had any oil pressure. It ran fine, but sounded horrendous. Man, I wish a took a video of the truck before we tore it down. The sound it made would give you nightmares!

Being a Ford tech now for around 5 years, it's been awhile since I have had the pleasure of working on General Motors vehicles. After my run in with this 2.9L Chevy Colorado, er I mean 2.9L GMC Canyon, my brand loyalty has been a little bit more fortified. I have completely forgot what it was like working on such architectural wonders. I hope you can taste the sarcasm in my words. Come on, I'm sure your just dying to continue reading this story...

Your impatient.. please stand by...

tools oemtools harmonicbalancer

It seems I have always been on the quest to find the best 3 jaw puller that works on many Harmonic Balancers. No, really, I am not kidding. I always had a few laying around so I could try to make something work. I came across this one awhile ago for a good price. I was using it on F150 5.4L triton engines, of course that works the 4.6L as well. OEMtools 3 jaw harmonic balancer puller saved my day while working on a this GM. I highly recommend getting one in your tool box.

Recently, I am doing a timing chain replacement on a Chevy Colorado, wait, I mean GMC Canyon I4 2.8L in the garage for my brother. This little tool came in quite handy as it slipped right on and pulled that harmonic balancer off as well. It's a life saver really, none of my other pullers would do it because of the length of the crankshaft pulley bolt with integrated washer.

On most of the Fords, I remove the bolt, remove the washer, and reinstall the bolt. Since the washer is not removalable on this Canyon, I had to use the right tool for the job. Those multiple length pushrods were just the ticket I needed to get the job done. I've dedicated another post just to the madness of the 2.9L engine.

A customer recently showed up to the shop with a check engine light on his Taurus SHO. Very nice car by the way even with the 90K miles on it. He complained that it ran a bit rough for the last month or so, with diminishing fuel mileage and a glowing yellow light. Upon running the codes, we discovered he had a code that stated Bank 2 over-retarded. After checking the VCT error pids, I determined that Bank two did not respond to VCT commands and showed it was off by 33 degrees...

For those of you that haven't read part one, I'd suggest starting there. After moving on from the Timberland Pro shoes, I decided to give another big name a try. I picked up a pair of shoes from Catfootwear. If you are unfamiliar with them, that is Caterpillar branded shoes made by (i think) Wolverine.

I purchased the Caterpillar Argon CT. I really am not impressed right off the bat after wearing the Timberlands. They really don't have the level of comfort I am used to. Actually, I have a pair of Sketchers work shoes laying around the feel better on my feet. I'll give them a go around the house, but things aren't looking too well for them. I have to at least give them a try but I must keep them clean so I can return them if needed. FYI Amazon prices were about $25 less than the sale price I paid at Shoe Carnival.

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