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hi, I have noticed a lot of ford trucks -esp. the 4wd's having some play in the steering .
I would at least jack up the front and check the tie rod ends and the ball joints .but check the wheels to see if there is any play when you move them side to side and up and down .
If you grip the tires at a 9 and 3 clock position and also, at a 12 and six position and try to move the tires
If you have no movement then I would say that the play is in the power steering box.
when you jack it up ,place jack stands under the lower control arm and let the truck rest on those ,
that takes away the weight of the vehicle on the ball joints and then grip the tire at the 12 and six clock position and see if there is any play in the ball joints .
if everything seems tight then then play will be in the steering box and that will be safe for a trip ,such as you are taking ...jazzmaster ..