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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
This is my beloved 2003 Ford E150 1/2 ton, (5.4L V8, 98,000 miles).. and since day 1 I have been at war with a very sloppy steering wheel that squeaks. I have about 2 inches of unresponsive slop before the wheels respond.

This is the final part I need to replace after I've done all the front end.. but I CAN'T FIND THIS PART OR WHAT IT IS! Can someone please point me in the right direction? I would be SO SO thankful!!

I made a diagram here. I know that the joint is a U joint system that I believe is right here on Advance Auto Parts?
I believe this is what I've circled in Red.

The part I circled in Blue is my problem - is this a part of the joint assembly, or a separate part??

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It can be loosened with an Allen Wrench, and SEEMS to be seperate from the U joint "assembly" that's sold pretty much everywhere. This part also seems to be the culprit though, because you can see how loose it is around the top of the steering shaft.

(For context, this is directly above my brake peddle on the inside of the cab)

Does anyone know how I can get a new one of the parts circled in blue? Or is that a part of the joint assembly..? What IS that? it is a major problem, or a major part of it!! The top of the lower steering shaft isn't even remotely held tight enough by that thing, and it practically rotates within that metal cup for 2 inches before it engages...

Any help with identifying is so so so appreciated. How can I find this part to fix it?
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@Action Thank you so much. I found a diagram that better details my particular steering wheel since I have a tilt!
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The BLUE arrow points to the joint that is right above the mysterious metal "cap" that I previously circled in BLUE. It is right inside the cab of the van, and is seated upon the lower shaft that extends through the firewall and into the steering gear. The RED arrow points to where the metal cap sits relative to the steering system!

I hope this helps! I just can't find it anywhere. I called Ford, and he said it was a "lower coupler" joint, but that it was $250.00 and they've "never had to order it before" so I wanted to make sure before I order it that it would even be remotely correct. I asked Ford if it was a series of parts, but he just said it was a "coupler assembly" and that it didn't come apart? So I'm a little stumped. I tried to drop my lower shaft and take it apart to see if I could detach the metal "knuckle" but I couldn't get my lower shaft to work with me in time to drop off my steering gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That looks like the joint
Yes! It is my joint, but any idea if the blue "cap/knuckle" is a separate part from the joint? I legitimately can't find any even mention of it. Maybe it is just some sort of tightening system, but its very very loose. The part circled in blue isn't mentioned in any diagram and also doesn't seem to be sold.. any ideas? I thought about just replacing the joint and seeing if its possible to repair this piece..? I can't even figure out what its function would be since it seems like the lower steering shaft should have just connected right to the U joint system circled in red.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It is also possible the shaft was revised and no longer had the blue part
Maybe my best bet is to just purchase a replacement from Advance, and see if I can figure out what the purpose of it is while replacing it. If I do figure out what was going on with the blue part, I will post any explanations here in a different thread for anyone else. This is a Club Wagon XLT, so it is a bit.. different in some weird ways than other standard E150 vans.

I really appreciate the help looking, if anyone else has any ideas or suggestions please let me know
 
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