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Steering issue

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by emeraldgreen, Nov 10, 2004.

  1. emeraldgreen

    emeraldgreen Member
    Messages: 64

    Hey Guys,

    I have a concern with the steering on my '01' 2500 4wd. I have had it for 3 months now, and it seems as though the steering is somewhat loose, and the truck is all over the road if you don't use constant motion on the steering wheel. I am wondering if anyone else has had this problem or may have a suggestion?
    I bought an extended warranty and had the dealer check it, but they claim it is fine. My '00' 1500 doesn't have the same problem.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Bob
     
  2. POWER WAGON

    POWER WAGON Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Bob check the drag ling.(goes from pitman arm to steering knuckle)
     
  3. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    Bob: This is weird , I have a similar issue with my 2000 Ram 2500. I wouldn't say it's "all over the road" but you definitely have to steer more than you'd think you should. And, I used to have a '99 1500, which like yours did not do that. The "dead spot" in the center of the steering wheel you get used to having when you're going straight doesn't seem to be there in my truck. I had thought it was just a characteristic of the 2500, heavier suspension, bumpier ride. I would not say the steering or the front end seems loose at all. But it sounds like we have similar issues. I never considered the drag link, I'll talk to my mechanic and I'll let you know how I make out in a few days. If you find out anything more, please do the same. Thanks. :waving:
     
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    My suggestion would be to:
    1. Check the air pressure in your tires
    2. Have the caster/camber (toe in and toe out) and tracking checked. This will also show up in irregular tire wear pattern.
    3. Have the "play" in your steering wheel checked. If excessive, that brings up it's whole set of problems.
    4. Finally, check the frame. I hate to say it, but this problem is really a symptom of a vehicle that has been in an accident. (You might actually want to do this second). I'd also suggest having a good shop check this. Frame straightening machines do a good job and can be hard to detect, but the effects are more difficult to correct.

    I had this on my '96 1500. Wound up getting a steering box. Just not sure the "new, used" one they got me "to save you money" was any better.

    All this is assuming there are no "overload" issues.
     
  5. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Somewhere around 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 I would throw in.... Check your steering shaft joints for play (between the steering wheel and gearbox). If worn, replace it with a Borgeson unit.
     
  6. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    Are you running tires in front with an aggressive tread? All terrains/ Muds will on some vehicles cause this.
     
  7. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    You may be on to something there Dave!
    At least I hope you are because that would be an answer to this that makes sense and is also zero cost :D
    I have TOYO's (put on new by the dealer, I had no choice so don't flame me if it was my choice I'd have put on Cooper's!) and they're the truck tires with a VERY aggressive mud/snow tread.
    Thanks Dave, I'll ask about this down the shop as well.
     
  8. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    Toyo are good tires. It's not the company but simply too much tread for asphalt. I find this to be true on trucks that have very light to the touch steering to start with, or say a 3/4 ton with small engine. ( no weight over front) I venture to guess it steers better with the plow on? Get me?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2004
  9. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,572

    I had the same problem on my 01, 2500 , so i took it to the dealer to get it fixed and they told me that it was fine ( still in specs) My response was bull sh-t, the drag link is bad fix it. SO I told them to put a new one on and i'll pay for it my self (the warranty should have covered it) then when i went to pick it up they tell me that they'll cover the cost of repair?? So I guess that you have to call there bluff to get them to honer there warranty witch is hard for me to say about dodge because it's always been (mopar or no car) or (truck)around here! Just remember if you can't doge it ram it!!
     
  10. 00 Ram

    00 Ram Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    Have you checked the "track bar"? this is a common issue on all dodges (4x4's) from 94 on up. its a faulty design. I don't understand why they haven't issued a recall. its so TOTALLY a design flaw, and a safety issue. anyway, there's lots of discussion about it on "dodgetrucks.org". I had the problem, and opted for a solution known as "lukes link", which is a gizmo that reinforces the knuckle-like joint that holds the track bar to the axle. Dodge dealer's solution: replace the whole trackbar ($300 part!!), even though there's nothing wrong with this long piece of steel; the problem is in the joint, which can wear and then allows this stabilizer to flop around. the result is really sloppy steering.
     
  11. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    00 Ram:

    I'll add your input to what I discuss with the boys down at the shop tomorrow. Thanks for the input. From one 00 Ram to another. :waving:
     
  12. emeraldgreen

    emeraldgreen Member
    Messages: 64

    Wow, thanks for all the input guys. I'll be checking on some of these issues soon, although I claim not to be a mechanic, I can certainly research these helpful hints.
    I know it's not an issue with tire pressure, or tire tread. I just replaced the Crap Wranglers that came on the truck, they had very little tread. I put on some Nitto Terra Grapplers, very nice, but not too aggressive. I can't believe the stock tire calls for a 245, c'mon, there's so much wheel well left it looks ridiculous. I replaced with 285's, and it look nice.
    Anyhow, thanks again for the ideas, I'll keep you posted.

    Bob
     
  13. 00 Ram

    00 Ram Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    here's a link about the link:

    http://www.lukeslink.com/

    If you google "dodge steering problems", you'll fing oodles of not very encouraging information about these issues. :(
     
  14. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    bob
    there could be a number of things but more than likely is is just that the steering sector is loose which is not a big deal, with the truck not running moove the wheel back and forth with little amount of presure on the steering wheel and there should be 'bout 1/2 to 1 inch of movement if there is more than that there could be only bout 1 thing, on top of the steering sector (gearbox bolted to frame) there should be a 3/4 inch nut with a set screw in it loosen the nut and with a flat screwdriver tighten the screw a little over finger tight and then hold the screw and tighten the nut if that don't fix it there could be a drag link bad but you should be able to determine where the slop is coming from it may take 2 people but diagnosing should only take 'bout 2min ricky@iland.net
     
  15. North Country

    North Country Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    emeraldgreen - We all have the same problem. It is a combination of many things - the track bar ends , steering box, tie rod ends all over the place.

    The 'Over Center' adjustment that powerjoke suggested can be tricky, if you over tighten the screw the steering can become very sticky and the wheel will not return to center on it's own which is dangerous.

    I believe it is recommended by Dodge that you turn the screw no more than a half turn. If that does not solve it they recommend the Pre-load adjustment.

    I asked my dealer and they admit the problem but will not touch it. I was told to get a new gear box to solve the problem, absolutely no concern on their part. I think Dodge has already switched the 1500's to rack and pinion, but the 3/4 and 1 tons are still using the faulty gear box.

    Makes you want to run out and buy another Dodge doesn't it!? Anyway, I am frustrated as Hell and I guess I will just deal with it and never buy another.... - michael
     
  16. emeraldgreen

    emeraldgreen Member
    Messages: 64

    Thanks for all of the help guys.
    Powerjoke and Northcountry, the 'over center' adjustment corrected my problem. I was about to post and ask what exactly it was, and what happens if you adjust too far, but Northcountry's post explained all of that.
    Thanks again for all the help
    Bob
     
  17. NU-Plowr

    NU-Plowr Member
    Messages: 36

    Emerald,

    Was the adjustment difficult of requireing more than one person? I have the same issue with my 00 Dodge 2500...but....in addition to that. When I turn to where the wheel stops I'm getting a real bad rubbing/grinding noise, left or right. :cry: Other than that, the V10 is runnin strong.
     
  18. emeraldgreen

    emeraldgreen Member
    Messages: 64

    Nu-Plowr,

    The adjustment was not difficult to do alone, but it is a bit hard to get both hands in place to work. I just backed the nut off, and then held the nut with wrench, and adjusted the screw. As I said, not really hard, just a tight work area. I laid under the front, and worked up from there.
    The set screw is an allen screw, at least on mine. Just as North Country stated, don't adjust too far. I made a minor adjustment, and then drove it a little, and made another adjustment. Once you have everything in place, you can be under the truck and finished in less than 20 minutes.
    Sorry I can't offer any help on the grinding issue. If no one replies within this post, maybe create a new one.
    Good luck,
    Bob
     
  19. Ramit2

    Ramit2 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

     
  20. treeguy

    treeguy Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    I agree with most of what has been said. I would make sure the ball joints, trac bar stearing stabilizer etc are all OK. There is also a problem with the caster settings on these trucks, I guess even though they are within manufactures specs it still could be a problem, I think 4-6 degrees is good. I would ask that they set it at this range, and not to go by the manu. recomendations.