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F350 Steering issue

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by redneck farmer, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. redneck farmer

    redneck farmer Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    I have a 04 F-350 4x4 and have been having a steering problem, issue with the truck pulling hard one way then the other at times. The problem doesn't happen all the time and the steering is fine. I noticed it happening at first coming off corners te steering wheel while driving didn't want to come back to straight and the truck would pull hard to that side. A quick jerk of the wheel in the opposite direction and it would be fine. I brought it to a garage who I trust (they work on our fleet vehicles) and they said all the ball joints, tie rod ends, drag arm all seem fine. The greased the hell out of everything and for 2 weeks the problems seemed to go away. Over the past 3 days I have had problems while driving the truck feels like it is walking/pulling to one side then there almost feels like a shift in something in the front end and it pulls the other way. Again this isn't happening all the time. Someone said the axle joints could be bad does anyone know how to check them? Any other thoughts on the cause?
  2. Bigfoot Brent

    Bigfoot Brent Senior Member
    Messages: 202

    I've worked on a F350 before that had these symptoms and it was the u-joints in the front axle that were the problem. Jack up the front axle and place on stands then with the steering column unlocked grab on to one of the tires and try to turn it. You could also try to rotate the steering wheel with the engine off so you don't have power assist, just manual steering. If you cant turn the wheels side to side they will be seized, Also check the steering stabilizer shock. I dented mine on a rock years ago and screwed up the valving inside of it causing some steering pull/wander. Hope this helps!
  3. vegaman04

    vegaman04 Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    Buddies truck was having the same issue. Thought it was the steering damper, he replaced that, then started thinking brakes and did those too. Ended up being the U-joints.
  4. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I'm having the same problem right now w/ my '03. I've replaced all steering from wheel to wheel & up to the pitman arm. I had the truck aligned at NTB and they told me everything was in the green. It was ok for a few days before the wheels started intermittently wandering on me, but usually only after a hard turn or hitting a good bump. I've since replaced the steering damper, it seemed find for several days but it's again as bad as it's ever been.

    Right now I was aiming toward replacing the gear box, hadn't even thought of it being the u-joints because mine are less than two years old...sounds possible though. My Napa parts buddy told me to flush the pump w/ some sea foam & add a JB grease product additive (that he swears by), to help tighten things up. As bad as this thing has gotten, I'm very reluctant to think that will solve anything at this point.

    Good luck & keep us posted.
  5. drp

    drp Senior Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 170

    Most likely front axle u-joints. Done mine twice now and both times it acted like that.

    SHAWZER PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,122

    i agree axle u-joints,replaced mine with greasable u-joints. :drinkup:
  7. PlowboyVT

    PlowboyVT Member
    from VT
    Messages: 66

    Are the hubs unlocked? If the hubs are unlocked I don't think it could be the axle u-joints. I had this happen on my 99 450 and my 06 350. The 450 was a sticking caliper, the 350 was a bad ball joint. The ball joint was not loose, it was dry as a bone.
    Replaced ball joint with greasable ones. Why doesn't ford use greasable ball and axle joints??????
  8. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    Just got done throwing more parts on mine & I'm pretty sure I've gotten the main issue resolved. After putting the truck up on stands, I just kept rotating the wheels back and forth while my buddy was exploring underneath. At different turning points the axle was jumping and binding up, making a loud popping noise. After pulling the lock out hub off the opposite side, the whole assembly fell out in pieces....replaced both wheel hubs w/ Timken bearings & Warn lock out hubs & now it's a tight as a (fill in the blank). All and all a pretty good day after finding skeletal corps remains in the ceiling of a century home we were gutting this morning. Now just waiting to here back from the homicide detectives and the coroners office.:dizzy:
  9. doyles

    doyles Member
    Messages: 95

    whats it matter. most people wont grease parts even if they can.
  10. view_sonic

    view_sonic Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    There is a chance that the steering box got set up too tight from the factory.I have gotten the gear box too tight on older rigs and they would not recenter until loosened some.Just a guess. Good Luck
  11. Tony350

    Tony350 Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    From what you are explaining I would think it may be the u joints as well. it happened on my 07 350, I thought it may be the gear box as it felt jumpy. It is under warranty and I brought it on and it was u joints. Believe it or not the mechanic explained to me it is usually more noticeable in 2wd than in 4wd. He said because with the hubs are locked and as the tire turns it will straighten the u joint on the half shaft as it spins round. When in 2wd, when the u joint sticks it holds the axle shaft crooked until you turn the other way. That is how it was explained to me. It made sense as it never did it while I was plowing. (I am usually in 4wd when plowing)