DODGE RAM FORUM banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I was looking for some suggestions to fix the steering wander before I go shelling out big bucks for more new parts or to have an expert look at it. Dont get me wrong I don't mind buying new parts, I just want to buy the right ones.

I have already replaced the upper and lower ball joints, the steering box, and inner tie-rod end.

Mostly, I am trying to get the truck ready to sell, the job I needed it for has gone away and I start back to college soon and will be commuting roughly 80 miles per day and working less, so I kind of need something comfortable with good mpg. Hate to see my 4x4 Cummins go, but it happens. So if anybody has been able to see a Dodge with the wander, that would be nice to know also.

Any advice would be much appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I did. But I only had a front end alignment done. I hear that the 4wheel alighments are much better however I do not think that crabbing with the front and rear wheels out of align would cause what I am experiencing. Its a sort of looseness in the steering, as if the wheels are turning without the input of the steering wheel. Of course, this sounds like steering box failure, but the box has been replaced twice. I have heard that the outer tie rod ends could be the culprit but I have also heard this wander is near impossible to remove using dodge parts. Thus, I was considering swapping steering components with a f-250 or chevy 2500, I haven't looked, but I reckon I could make them work and ya know hybrids are popular right now! lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Pitman arm thats my problem did you check that? You would think when the alignment was done they would have said what was bad.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,787 Posts
how far can you turn the steering wheel before the tires begin to move?

if it is more than 2-3 inches, read up on that particular steering box, to see if it can be fine tuned

older Chevys have 2 adjusters, you had to back off the course adjustment nut, then back off the course adjustment slightly, then adjust the fine adjustment nut, then the course adjustment, then tighten the adjustment nut
it took some playing with to get it just right

read this:
http://autorepair.about.com/library/a/1f/bl952f.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
IF it's a fresh steering box i'd suggest that procedure but only turn in the adjuster 1/8th
turn to compare the way it steers. If it helped to get the steering under control or to the point you can accept it, you will know you have located the issue.. then adjust it another 1/8th turn... sneak up on the excess play (the box may not be the problem).

Good synthetic PS fluid is a must..

pc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
777 Posts
One thing I would do first is get underneath and have some one crank the steering wheel while observing the ball joint on the track bar at the frame and your tie rod ends. You can also pry against them with a proper tool and if anything moves it should be replaced.
You can also check the ball joints in a similar fashion.
A shot steering stabilizer can contribute to wander. Sway bar bushings, if rotted out, and do the same
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
They make a steering box stabilizer for the dodges because of its inherent steering problems mine has one installed from the P.O. I've seen them on line. LMC,ebay. When I bought my truck it needed new tires after installation I thought I had some play so I started checking things out turns out the tire dealer had my tires under inflated and there was alot of side wall play aired up and problem went mostly away I am thinking about polyurethane bushings and a dual steering stabilizer to make it 100%
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I'm going through the same thing with my 98 4x4, i just got the truck to steer right but when I put my travel trailer on the truck it wonders all over the road. I'm at the end of my rope, I have replaced everything in the front end and still the same thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
All front end parts are goood, replaced both wheel bearing, all ball joints, the steering connections are good to the Pitman arm. There is an adjustment screw on top of the steering box, will adjustment mimimize the play?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I'm going through the same thing with my 98 4x4, i just got the truck to steer right but when I put my travel trailer on the truck it wonders all over the road. I'm at the end of my rope, I have replaced everything in the front end and still the same thing.
Is the front lifted from the trailer pushing down the rear that would definitely do it
 

·
Registered
99 2500 Cummins ISB QC LB 4X4 Auto Light Driftwood
Joined
·
7 Posts
Hopeful by now coyote has sold his truck (thread started 07/2011). Anyhow, for those who might be looking at this, what I've found that helps reduce the steering wander or the dreaded "death wobble" on 4X4s are;
-Steering Box Stabilizer/Brace - this is a bolt on that attaches to the frame rails, provides a support bearing at the steering box sector shaft. Effective especially if you have larger than stock front tires. Over time the steering box will weaken (small bearing on bottom of shaft) and cause play. This stabilizer helps by adding/returning support to reduce/eliminate the play. Available thru many aftermarket sources.

-Steering Column Lower Bushing - As with other components that wear over time (and since the stock one wasn't too good anyway) the bottom of the steering column relative to the actual shaft gets play and in that will wobble a bit. This little bit becomes increased in the steering but isn't typically considered. Not available everywhere but this is where you can find one rocksolidramtrucksteering.com – We developed a simple, effective solution.

-Steering Box - The stock boxes are OK and usually last quite a while. However, once again, with larger than stock tires it too will wear out quicker than anticipated. Should you decide to try to "adjust play out" by the screw and nut on top of the box, I strongly recommend that you take a look at the Factory Service Manual beforehand. You'll find that to properly adjust the "lash" the box needs to be removed from the chassis and the correct adjustment/setting of the lash involves way more than I thought...more than as in the olden days where you could "tweak" the screw and nut on top of the box. In fact just tweaking the screw and nut a bit can damage the box. Best bet, in my opinion, if the box has sector shaft play, is leaking, or otherwise on the way out - replace it. Yea, not cheap for sure, but consider this should you decide to replace it - why replace weak design with the same? PSC SG852K3 - BIG BORE XD Steering Gearbox for 1994-2002 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 4X4 has designed what they call the "Big Bore XD Gearbox". Their box is huge compared to the stock unit due to the larger top and bottom bearings and will outlast any OEM rebuilt or new steering gear. Take a look and see - for a stock rebuilt unit you could pay upwards of $500-600 and have to send your old one as a core. For the extra $ (695) for the PSC box you're better off - do it once and do it correctly - right. Oh, they want your old box as a core either, what's that tell you?

-Upper and Lower Control Arms - Yep the rubber bushings wear out and you guessed it, much quicker especially with larger than stock tires. Look into new OEM upper and lower, don't forget new hardware as I know they're rusted inside the stock arm bushings and most times you'll need to cut them off to get the arms off. Don't even think about getting new bushings and replacing them in the old (pressed metal) arms. Once again, why spend $ replacing weak design? I highly recommend considering tubular upper and lower arms, which have zerk fittings to grease the non-rubber bushings. You'll still need to consider new hardware. I went with "Top Gunz Customs" units. Not the most fancy ones for sure but are well made and cost effective. Compare the cost (was like $210 when I got mine) to factory replacements.

Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
A friend recently purchased an 03 1500 and I took it for a ride. The play in the steering is considerable, like 10 and 2 o'clock! It also seems to pull to the right. She told me the guy who sold it to her recently replaced the "power steering box". The check engine like remains on because the "control sensor behind the box is bad and wasn't worth the $600 to turn the light off". After reading the posts in here, it seems to be a common problem. I personally did not enjoy driving the vehicle as you really have to pay attention just to drive straight. I believe a lift package was added as well as larger tires. After reading this post, i was wondering if the new "box" may need adjusting, but in an 03 is it the type you have to remove to adjust? It also could be tie rods, bushing, etc, etc, as I have no other history. I'd like to help but really don't know where to start, any suggestions. I am mechanically inclined and can figure most things out once I get an idea of where to start, so any input would be greatly appreciated!
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top