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  #1  
Old 03-31-2011, 01:03 AM
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Default Steering just feels off

I double posted this on another site in hope for figuring this out.

Ever since I got new tires and redid a lot of stuff on my truck, and getting an alignment after it all, my steering just feels "off" more then it did before with worn parts that I replaced.

Here is some info on my truck, bought a 06 sport with 4x4 used last Sept of 2010, front outer edges of tires were badly coupled on the outsides evenly on either side. Drove it for 10k miles then redid all of the below at 10k and I did maintenance periodically over those 10k miles. got a lifetime alignment at Firestone for $180. Bought brand new tires from Discount tire company for $1200. Redid my alignment right after. It didn't really change but I wanted to make sure. Then I installed new outer tie rod ends with MOOG brand parts, bilstein hd shocks and struts, hell-wig anti sway bar, and then I have Firestone redo the alignment. Alignment paid for itself the third time.

However, my steering still feels Off. I don't know what it is. I am leaning towards my rack and pinnion. Here is why.

My brand new front tires seem to have very minor coupling on the far outer side walls. It is very minor but it is happening on both sides exactly the same.

My steering feels funky when turning, and there is play in the steering shaft where it enters the rack and pinion. Not much, but for sure is slightly moving in the rack and pinion. Sometimes I hear a loud "POP" from the steering wheel. Its pretty noticeable but not a big issue. Nothing happens when it pops. Only happens when turning. When steering in 4x4 it doesnt really turn smooth, its like the right front wheel has something wrong with it. Axle joint is something that comes to my mind, for my 06' its called a CV joint I believe.? I couldn't do a U turn in 4x4 with out some major vibration from the right front tire and it steered really bad.

Would buying a completely new rack and pinion be my best bet? My inner tie rods if needed to be replaced cost $80. But a new rack costs $250-300 shipped. I wouldn't mind buying a new rack, as I know how vehicles work, they just get worn and can be fixed.

Remember, there is play on the section that enters the rack and pinion when i grab and try to turn the steering shaft from withing the engine bay. It is very small, either 1mm or 1/2mm of play

When turning my wheel all the way to the left in the drive way, and returning it to the middle, the right side tire isn't exactly straight. Its off by a few mm but is very minor.

My steering fluid is brand new, changed it out a few weeks ago, it was sort of low and needed to be changed. So thats not an issue. Inspected my ball joints upon installation of struts, seemed fine.

Is this something I could rebuild cheapy, I would get all the parts for the rack and pinion and then buy new inner tie rods rather then buying a complete unit.
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Last edited by sullivan; 03-31-2011 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:18 AM
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THe popping could also be an intermediage shaft. I would expect it to steer poorly in 4x4 while trying to make a u-turn, so I'm not sure this means anything. If you're sure it's a steering gear problem, then get a reman unit. I'd also like to see a copy of the post alignment printout.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:35 AM
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You don't mention how many miles is on the truck other than the 10k you put on it. What are the total miles on it now?
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:13 AM
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Like Ram Tech said, that intermediate shaft could very well produce some of those symptoms like the pop or making the steering feel "off", even binding. But I don't think it would explain the cupping on the tires. Still, I'd check that shaft (its cheaper than a rack).
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamTech View Post
THe popping could also be an intermediage shaft. I would expect it to steer poorly in 4x4 while trying to make a u-turn, so I'm not sure this means anything. If you're sure it's a steering gear problem, then get a reman unit. I'd also like to see a copy of the post alignment printout.
I have had it aligned 3 times the past 2 months. I will post up the spec sheets when I can scan them for you. I don't think its a steering "gear" exactly, but if my symptoms result to a steering gear I dont know.

Ill get the print out to you. Current miles 102,700. Brakes 8000 miles ago. Tires 2k miles ago.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:29 PM
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Here is an alignment spec sheet, this one is right after I installed new outer tie rods and right before I purchased brand new tires.

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Old 04-06-2011, 07:56 PM
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Hey guys, I still need some help. I think my main issue is that I feel my steering wheel is turned more to the left then center a lot during my driving. How can this be fixed? My alignment currently is on spec.
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