my steering box is super loose. the previous owner said that it need aligning but it is clearly not that because at times it is aligned perfectly and others i have the wheel turned almost 45 degrees when i am going straight. considering i have a pretty big 4x4 that is hard enough to drive and park i would like to address this issue soon. by using the search i was able to see that this is a pretty common problem on our trucks.
from what i read it looks like the above way is the best way to go about this. how many of you have done this and vouch for it? i will probably also replace the ball joints because they are pretty warn (wheels are starting to torque out a bit when at a stand still)
is this pretty much a sure fix for my issue? or is there other parts that may be the problem. i had her over at the mechanics to fix something else and he was pretty sure it was the steering gear just from driving it into the shop
i just dont want to end up replacing a bunch of parts that were fine to begin with. i am used to the old cars where suspensions were much simpler!
thanks for any input
Steering boxes/gears do wear out. The other weak link in the front suspension of your generation truck is the track bar and bushings. I bet they need to be replaced as well.
I don't know anything about the gearboxes wearing out, however, in my humble opinion, the character that designed the track rod stabilization system on these trucks wasted all the money momma and pa spent on his education. I spent around $1k on track rods on my 2 Rams before I came across a super little invention that I truly wish I could take credit for. If you put dodge track rod into ebay's search, you should be able to find a rebuild kit on there for about $65-75. This is a terrific, long lasting slop-adjustable end assembly for the sloppy drivers side of that rod, it also works on tie rod ends.(economical fix for the long rod when worn out. VERY well thought out and if you have a grinder or die grinder, Its about a 20 minute less expensive permanent fix for a sloppy overworked undersized rod end. I was quite apprehensive when I bought my first one, but when it arrived, I was extremely impressed. That kit is american ingenuity at its best. Both of my trucks wiggle their noses like bunny rabbits when the vehicle is not in motion when you turn the steering to and fro, due to the weak design up front, but I don't notice that while driving with a good track rod, and I've also had to change the long tie rod and the drivers side tie rod end on both trucks, word to the wise, if you need to change them, count threads, and in this salted down region where I live, unscrewing the ends requires an oxy/acytl torch, for heating. The kit does not come with a nut or cotter pin, so you'd be wise to get new ones, take the kit with ya for thread comparisons for the castellated nut. I may be way off base, but most of my troubles have been related to that drivers end of the track rod. Good luck!!
You said your truck is lifted so the first thing i would check is the track bar and the drop bracket. The drop bracket for the track bar is notorious for coming loose. Pluas like they said the drivers side of the track wares out pretty quick. Have someone turn the wheel of the truck while you watch these components and you will probably see massive movement in the one or both. I know the drop bracket on mine came loose 3 times before I tightened it on for the last time, I welded it on the next day.
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