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Old 02-28-2021, 05:56 PM   #1
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Squishy Steering

So when I got my van the steering was horrible, it was like driving the old comedic "school bus driving" of constantly moving the wheel back and forth to drive straight. I took it to a 4x4 shop and they replaced all the linkages, and ball joints, things got way better but not perfect.

I still have some bump steer, so I am looking to replace my steering stabilizer. Currently there is a Fox one on there. I couldnt find any part numbers on it. I contacted Quigley and they said the replacement for OEM is the Skyjacker SKY-7099. However I would like to just get the same Fox thats on there now.

So i searched the forums and folks talk about the Fox steering stabilizer but no one ever lists a part number. There was a link to the Sportsmobile Store for one but the SMB Store seems to be no more.

Lots of folks seem to recommend the Agile RIP kit, but my ride quality seems decent. I'm just looking for the Fox Steering Stabilizer but dont know the model number.

Also, anything else to potentially replace for squishy steering. The van doesnt seem to wander too much, I just seem to have put in a lot of input to the wheel for just a little input on the tires.

I drove about 5,000 miles last summer and survived, but would really love to get the steering firmed up and bump steer gone (or reduced with the new stabilizer).
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Old 02-28-2021, 07:55 PM   #2
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You might check the rag joint and slop in your steering column.
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Old 02-28-2021, 08:24 PM   #3
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Measure the extended and collapsed length of your current one and then call Fox
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Old 03-02-2021, 05:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Lilnuts2 View Post
You might check the rag joint and slop in your steering column.
I would second this.

While you are looking at the slop in the joints it may be time to adjust your steering box as well. Most people don't know its adjustable (within reason) and greatly helps.

When I bought my van I replaced most of the ball joints, tie rods, and like you it drove better. 15min adjusting the box, and it now drives much better than it ever did. Its no sports car, but its not scary anymore
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by spazegun2213 View Post
I would second this.

While you are looking at the slop in the joints it may be time to adjust your steering box as well. Most people don't know its adjustable (within reason) and greatly helps.

When I bought my van I replaced most of the ball joints, tie rods, and like you it drove better. 15min adjusting the box, and it now drives much better than it ever did. Its no sports car, but its not scary anymore
How does one adjust the steering box? Never done that before.

Also. I dug through all the paper work that came with my van when I bought it. And sure enough there was a part number for my stabilizer.

It's Fox 985-24-063
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:26 PM   #6
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How does one adjust the steering box? Never done that before.
Here is a video that shows how to do it. It took me ~45min with an adjustable wrench, and an allen key. I couldn't fit a box wrench on there because mine were to long. I ended up adjusting it twice because I didn't want to ruin anything. I drove it around after the first adjustment and noticed it was a little better. So I went back and did it again. I think mine needed 1/4 turn, but it had probably never been adjusted in its life. After that second adjustment I called it even not wanting to go to far.

Again YMMV, but tightening up the steering box made more difference than any other thing I did.

That said, given the age of my van ('99 w/ 155k) a rebuilt box from red head is on my list when the steering loosens up again.
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Old 03-03-2021, 04:29 PM   #7
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Tnmarm, I'm curious what you were driving before or drive now other than the van? The Ford Econoline we all love was designed in the 70's and hasn't been improved a whole lot. They all drive like pigs.
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Old 03-04-2021, 05:19 PM   #8
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spazegun: thanks for the info, i watched the video, but I may ask a shop to do it. Fear of breaking things is high.

86scotty: my daily drivers are an outback and an xterra. I knew the econoline wasnt going to be "normal" by any means. It drives a lot better than when i bought it. But was just looking for any last things to get it as close to "normal" as possible. It's death wobbling or unsafe to drive. I have put about 8k miles on it since getting it. It just always the first 15 minutes of driving on the interstate is scary as i get my van driving arms back lol.
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:27 PM   #9
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spazegun: thanks for the info, i watched the video, but I may ask a shop to do it. Fear of breaking things is high.
I feel yea, which is why I did it twice! I'm probably 2000 miles of driving after my adjustment and its fine.

In all honesty this is like suspension adjustment, if you mess it up, you'll know. EG, if you grossly over tighten in you'll start to skip teeth and you will 100% feel that... and thats very bad. If you slightly overtighten it, you'll reduce the life of the box because it will wear faster.

That said, everything I found on the internet said that they live ~150,000 miles and after that need to be rebuilt. So I figured I was working on borrowed time and when it loosens up again (due to wear, either normal or incurred by my adjustment) which it will, I'll have it rebuilt.

But these things aren't going to last forever. Given this is a weekend warrior another 10,000 miles could last me 6 months to a year.
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:24 PM   #10
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It just always the first 15 minutes of driving on the interstate is scary as i get my van driving arms back lol.
I think your van is in need of a little more investigation/work. It should drive better than what you are describing. My 2001 Quigley drives better than either my 1999 Dodge 2500 or 2001 Subaru Forester. At higher speeds it does seem to "float" just a little, but it tracks true and suffers no vibration or bump steer. It does have the Agile RIP, new control arms and tie rod ends. FWIW I think you should explore a bit further, because I think your van can be made to handle much better than your description.
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