Steering Gear Adjustments
Torque measurements should be checked with an inch-pound torque wrench before making adjustments. Two adjustments should be checked and set to specifications if necessary.
The first adjustment is the input shaft/worm gear thrust bearing preload. The term input shaft and worm shaft indicate the same part, just different names.
The second adjustment is the sector lash adjustment. Always use the manufacturer's recommended procedures and specifications. This adjustment removes any worm shaft axial end play while providing the least amount of resistance to the shaft's movement. This adjustment is measured using an inch-pound torque wrench.
The sector shaft lash adjustment is made after the worm shaft bearing preload adjustment. Turn the adjustment screw in and out of the gearbox's top plate. Look down over the fender at the top of the steering gear to find the plate. The manufacturer's procedure will typically center the stub shaft before adjusting the sector shaft.
Loosen the lock nut and turn the adjustment screw in to decrease the lash and remove any looseness in the wheel. This is a sensitive measurement, usually somewhere around 5-6 inch-pounds at the ends, and may increase to 10-12 inch-pounds in the center. Always check with the vehicle manufacturer's specifications before setting the lash.