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Q: can you tighten the steering gearbox on a 97 dodge dakota on 1997 Dodge Dakota

i replaced all of the ball joints and tie rod ends and the steering knuckle u joint
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CAUTION: Steering gear must be adjusted in the proper order. If adjustments are not performed in order, gear damage and improper steering response may result.

NOTE: Adjusting the steering gear in the vehicle is not recommended. Remove gear from the vehicle and drain the fluid. Then mount gear in a vise to perform adjustments.

1.Remove adjuster plug locknut Loosening the Adjuster Plug
2.Rotate the stub shaft back and forth to drain the remaining fluid.
3.Turn the adjuster in with Spanner Wrench C-4381. Tighten the plug and thrust bearing in the housing until firmly bottomed in housing.
4.Place an index mark on the housing even with one of the holes in adjuster plug Alignment Marking On Housing
5.Measure back (counterclockwise) 13 mm (0.50 in) and mark housing Second Marking On Housing
6.Rotate adjustment cap back (counterclockwise) with spanner wrench until hole is aligned with the second mark Aligning To The Second Mark
7.Install and tighten locknut to 108 N·m (80 ft. lbs.) Be sure adjustment cap does not turn while tightening the locknut.

1.Rotate the stub shaft back and forth to drain the remaining fluid.
2.Rotate the stub shaft from stop to stop and count the number of turns.
3.Starting at either stop turn the stub shaft back 1/2 the total number of turns. This is the center of the gear travel Steering Gear Centered
4.Turn the pitman shaft adjuster screw back (COUNTERCLOCKWISE) until fully extended, then turn back in (CLOCKWISE) one full turn.
5.Place the torque wrench in the vertical position on the stub shaft. Rotate the wrench 45 degrees each side of the center and record the highest rotational torque on center Checking Over-center Rotation Torque
NOTE: The stub shaft must rotate smoothly without not sticking or binding.

6.The recorded bearing preload should be 0.7-1.7 N·m (6-15 in. lbs.) If the torque is outside this range, the gear should be readjusted.
7.If an adjustment is necessary, turn the pitman shaft adjuster screw to obtain the correct preload 0.7-1.7 N·m (6-15 in. lbs.)
NOTE: To increase the preload turn the screw CLOCKWISE.

8.Prevent the adjuster screw from turning while tightening adjuster lock nut. Tighten the adjuster lock nut to 49 N·m (36 ft. lbs.)
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