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02ramsport 10-02-2011 11:03 AM

truck drives like a boat
I have a 2002 ram sport 4x4 and it has started driving like a boat at low speed. when i get to highway speeds it wonders all over the place and a slight wind from a passing car makes it worse. on the freeway i have to follow behind a semi to keep it in one lane. i recently replaced the ball joints shocks and upper arm bushings and got an alignment. but it did not solve the problem. any ideas would help.

charlieb 10-02-2011 11:21 AM

this usually happens when rear is too heavily loaded(front end rides high) this might be long shot but if rear breaks are dragging can cause somewhat of that probly way off but easy to check that.

02ramsport 10-02-2011 11:26 AM

charlieb thanks but I had the rear end replaced and new brakes installed and the problem does get worse when loaded so I have taken any extra weight out of the truck to include the spare tire and my truck box. it help but only a very little.

could it be the leaf spring bushings in the rear end along with steering components like tie rod ends or rack and pinion going bad? i want to fix it but not spend my paycheck chasing it. thanks for any help or ideas

sonocativo 10-02-2011 11:48 AM

Do you have play in the steering wheel? I did and Just fixed mine as it did the same. There is a nut 16mm on top of the steering gear box with a 3/16 allen screw in the center. Loosen the nut and snug the allen screw...depending on how much wear is in the gears it could be 1/2 turn, a full turn or more. snug it and start the truck and wiggle the steering wheel, when all the play is gone you got it, then just tighten the nut back and youre done. I have almost 275K on my truck so I had alot of adjustments to do, Trucker86 is doing his as well.

charlieb 10-02-2011 01:21 PM

yeah you have to lean toward a front end problem since you have new tie rod and ball joints somehow steering gear(rack and pinion)must have play somewhere lift her up and try to figure where the play is.the steering gear(rack) is easy to replace i did mine in my driveway in 2 hours.rebuilt units are sold as 1 piece and are cheap 200.00 around here in ontario canada.usually when the rack goes it leaks oil (atf+4)if all else fails have a mechanic give an estimate for work needed.still have shops around here that gives free written estimates then decide whether or not to do work yourself.good luck

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