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Timbo

Steering wheel free play annoyance / issue.

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This really more of an annoyance than an issue, though I suppose it could eventually turn into a problem. It's been a year since I noticed it and it hasn't worsened.

I've got some free-play/slop in the steering wheel of my 2010 Transit Connect.

Measured at the rim I get 3/4 of an inch.

This is not the sort of free play that would suggest a problem with the tie-rod ends, but an actual free movement of the steering wheel that has zero effect on changing the direction of travel.

​The engine doesn't have to be running. It is a free movement of the wheel resulting in no physical contact between the teeth on the rack and the pinion gear, or somewhere in-between.

I bought the van used from the "Ford Store" in Morgan Hill, Ca. and one of the things listed replaced was the steering system, though they couldn't tell me why (Hmmm).

Does anyone else have this issue? I've never tried turning the wheel on another TC. Maybe the all do this.

Edited by Timbo

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Just checked mine for you. No play at all. I can feel the resistance both ways.

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I found the problem.  There's a single bolt at the base of the steering shaft, hidden behind a white, plastic shield, that was loose, just as I expected.  

 

Not wanting to drop the rack and pinion system just to tighten the single bolt, I drilled a hole in the shield just large enough to get a socket on an extension through, and tighten the bolt.  

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That's great Thanks for the follow up!!

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Hi,

 

I just replaced my steering pump and rack myself. Put it back together and I now have steering play like you describe. Everything from the intermediate shaft down is tight. I'll have to start checking above. I can see where something would come loose when wrestling out the rack.   Where is this white colored guard you speak of? 

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Wife checked it and said it's always been that way. Maybe I never noticed it until I was looking for something? 

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The white, plastic piece is between the firewall and the steering box/rack.  You can see it if you look under the hood, but it takes a bit of looking.  

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