Reader: I just picked up the July issue and was reading "Techline" when I came across the note from Lito Delacima concerning his "wandering" '03 F-350 Ford Super Duty longbed.
I have an '03 F-250 Super Duty shortbed that has exhibited the same problem since day one. I have owned the truck since new. The problem was so severe, the truck was borderline dangerous to drive. My trips to the dealership netted the same results Lito got, i.e., the factory alignment was within specs. Next, it was off to a chassis/frame specialist. In the end, he installed 1-degree negative bushings. This did help but did not cure the problem. Next, I loosened the lock nut on the steering box, ran the adjustment screw down to snug (three turns), then backed off one turn and set the lock nut. Again, an improvement-but not a cure.
Now, something new has started-a vibration felt in the steering wheel at road speeds when just moving the wheel off-center in either direction. I thought it might be the unit bearings, but there was still no movement when checked. I thought it might go away when I installed new tires, but it didn't. (The tires are just like the originals that came off, BFG Rugged Trails.) The truck is totally stock, with 50,000 miles on it with very light off-pavement use.
If anyone has encountered this and has made a successful repair/adjustment, please let me know.
Editor: Thanks for writing in. Let's see what our readers know about this.
Reader: We are about to start on a big (and very expensive) rebuild/retrofit project on an '81 Toyota FJ40. We expect it to take most of the summer. All the work is being done by Jon Lovallo at Mad Dog Service in Port Chester, New York.
We're installing a 383 stroker engine, five-speed tranny with overdrive, inside-and-out paint job, custom seating, and lots of other extras-we're going to make it into a daily driver. Would you have any interest in doing a story on it?
Editor: We're publishing your letter as an example of many that we receive each month on the same subject. As much as we'd like to help in this instance (and many others), due to our location and our work schedules, there's simply no way we can possibly cover reader buildups like yours. However, there's no reason why you (or a buddy) can't shoot some photos and write us a tech article. If it's polished enough, and we think there's sufficient reader interest, we just might publish it in the magazine-a lot of good freelancers got started that way. If nothing else, send us a snapshot when the buildup is done, along with some tech specs, and we'll run it in "Readers' Rigs" in the future. Deal?
In our recent survey of the "Top 10 Four-Wheeling Cities" (July '07), we neglected to include Desert Rat Truck Center among our list of 4x4 sources for Phoenix, Arizona. Our apologies to all for any inconvenience.
Also, in the August issue, we referenced ARB in our "Techline" column, and we erroneously listed the company's Web site address as arb-usa.com. Unfortunately, that address belongs to a company that removes roof fungus. The correct URL is www.arbusa.com. Our apologies for any confusion.