Oh yea..here we go. I've changed 5 steering boxes, the rubber coupling that connects the steering to the steering box, disassembled the steering wheel (found looseness in the steering wheel fit and fixed that...don't ask how and that was 60k miles ago), I've changed every part in the steering and linkage, all bushings, and really did not find anything wrong. The steering is still loose. You can feel the resistance in the wheel (slightly) but you have to move the wheel an inch or so to get any appreciable steering input (enough to alter the direction of the truck).
I was thinking of checking the pressure of the power steering pump or just replacing it, I've done that once in 18 years. The steering wheel does not come back to center quickly when you release it, in fact, it sticks. I've loosened the adjustment on the steering box and it didn't change anything.
I'm wondering if it can be a front end alignment issue, I've had it check but not to address any difficult steering. The front end is in alignment it doesn't pull either way and the tires are wearing OK.
I have noted that the rear axles move side to side a bit....enough to concern me (but that was over 100K miles ago) and my account for some instability with the front steering which is my concern. Keeping the truck pointed in the right direction is important.
Anyway if anyone has had issues with something like this I'd appreciate some input. I once mused that I could take a steering box off a Ranger while someone stopped at a red light.
I have a great deal of experience with this truck, owning it 18 years and 400K miles. It's been in the shop once and they didn't fix it.
Stay tuned I have other issues with this truck and others.