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steering gear lubrication

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I know this will come as a shock, but I found a contradiction in the owner's manual for our 2002 Knight. I was doing an annual lube job, and the lubrication chart shows a grease fitting on the steering gear box. I looked and felt around as best I could, but could not find one on our Sheppard steering gear box. Pursuing the manual further, I found this statement in the Steering Gear paragraph of the Chassis Information chapter: "The M-100 series Sheppard steering gear requires no maintenance."

I also found and downloaded the Sheppard steering gear manual, and could find no mention of lubrication. I can only conclude it is lubricated by the power steering fluid, although I have to wonder about the apparent gear oil drain and fill plugs (see photo).

Any thoughts?


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Just had to rebuild my Sheppard steering gear box. Had a fellow rebuild my box. He has rebuilt them for more than ten years.

Watched him rebuild mine and others. Don't see any reason to grease the box. The ATF used through the high pressure hoses should provide plenty of lubrication. Do grease the u-joint at the steering coupler and also the Pitman arm bearing.

I also asked about the TRW steering box being a better unit. He said steering play is a function of the rebuild and installation. If the Sheppard is rebuilt properly it will be fine. He also said that tie rod bearings must be good and to check them.

We also learned that replacing the tie rod assemblies is actually cheaper and saves labor. Those old bearings will not come out of the shaft without damage. Truck shops should have new ones.

Parking the RV for extended periods drys out the steering box seals with resultant leaks.

Damn that steering box is heavy but all good now.


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