Sunday, June 12, 2011

Steering Adjustment and Other Stuff.

Brought the '60 down to my brother-in-law Bob's place so he could give me a hand with the steering adjustment.  Bob is longtime mechanic with a special affinity for pre-70s cars and he's forgotten more about old cars than I'll ever learn.

Take a look at the photo above. That small area in color shows the steering box.  On Bob's '62 Galaxie, the preload adjustment screw is on the top of the box, but on the '60 F100, that bolt on top is a filler cap for gear oil.  When we took that cap off, we found that there wasn't any oil in there, so we filled it up.

The adjustment screw was on the side of the box toward the engine, in a really tight spot.  We were able to get to it, though, with a 3/4-inch box wrench (to loosen the locknut) and an offset screwdriver (to turn the adjustment screw.)  It was a pain in the ass, but we managed to take quite a bit of play out of the steering.  That was the good news.  The bad news was that the gears in the steering box are showing a lot of wear.  I'll be able to keep adjusting them for awhile, but sooner or later I'm going to need to put in a new or rebuilt box.

While I was under the truck, I inspected the speedometer gear in the transmission. Good news and bad there, too. The gear is brand new and in perfect condition, but that just means that the problem with the speedometer is probably in the instrument cluster.  There's more work to be done there.

And the gas gauge isn't working because there's no voltage going to the sending unit in the tank. The wiring under the dash is a bird's nest of black wires, all bundled tightly up with plastic cable ties. Sometime this week I'm going to try to crawl under there, cut the cable ties, and trace out the wires to see exactly why some electrical things are working and some aren't.


  1. Goodnews/badnews on the steering gears. Did you check to see if the speedo cable is not frozen? Do you still have old fashioned JUNKyards in your area? We used to have dozens and dozens, but are now down to less than 15 that I know of...always good to take a stroll through one and note down what they have that "mates" with what you're looking for!.
    What is it with folks not using different colored wires?? I had that happen once as was a nightmare trying to trace blink and OOPS...where did that wire GO??
    Good luck and keep having "fun"!!

  2. The cable seems fine - I gave the gear a bit of a spin with my fingers and the needle in the cab bounced, so I know it's not frozen. I want to take it back out and put a power drill on the gear to see if I can get the needle on the speedometer to actually move for real and find out how many MPH my Craftsman Drill n Driver can go.

    I should have been more clear about the wires. Each of the wires is labeled in little white letters what it's for, every six inches or so. I was able to find the gas tank's wire pretty easy, but can't really see where it goes with everything else jammed up there.

  3. You're lucky then...mine were simply black labels no nuthin! If you can get the speedo needle to move when you rotate the gear...then I'm confused as to what the real problem might be. As far as I remember it's entirely mechanical and if the gear is spinning the needle should move...That's how they used to roll odometers back...with a drill. I can't think that you could get that gear in backwards could you??