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Yet another with loose steering

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by bcf, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. bcf

    bcf Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    I just relaced my steering shaft witha Borgenson one, and a small bit of the looseness went away, but I noticed two things while I was inder the truck. First, there is play in the gear box itself, as the top gear truns before the bottom does. Also, the tie rod ends themselves move a little before the tires turn. I contribute this last one to the fact that I have 305/70/16 on. But I'm not sure if the gearbox should move like that. It is a NAPA box, replacd this past May or June. Would the adjustment on the top help, or is this thing returnable under NAPA's warranty? I appreciate any help. Thanks.
     
  2. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,540

    O.K. you do need to replace the worn tie-rod-ends.
    The gear box sector can be adjusted, hold the center as you loosen the jam nut then tighten the sector just a little, you should feel a little drag or it getting just a little harder to turn. and that should get rid of the free play.
    now test drive, if you tightened it to much the steering will stick, or bind, it will no longer want to return to center after you make a turn. re adjust and test drive. You will not have to turn it much 1/2 turn at most.
    If that does not work, take it back to napa and get a new one.. Good luck..
     
  3. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Yes defniatly replace the tie rods- get TRW's if you can- they are lifetime Moog (same company) are not as good and were dropping the lifetime.

    The sector shaft in the box can be adjusted, but should not need to be- I would check the warranty from Napa and replace it. The service manual has adjustment info as does Dodgeram.org (or pavementsucks.com)- read the factory procedure from the book or that sight before trying it- it's not something to do on a whim, or with out complete reference as it can have dramatic results if not done properly.

    Dodges are known for leaking sector shaft seals (pitman arm) and wearing the sector shaft lower bushing (again pitman arm)- most rebuilds for steering gear are worse than the factory box it seems, but the cost is alot less. DSS makes a steering stabilizer that eliminates the bushing wear, it's like $170. You will need to modify it for mounting with a plow, which is why I don't have one on mine yet, but it's going to be done this coming summer for sure. If the play is excessive and in the gearlash the box wasn't rebuilt correctly IMO, if the play is wobble in the pitman arm the bushings are gone. there will always be some play in the gear lash in the steering box
     
  4. bcf

    bcf Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    It's definately in the gearbox inself;when I replaced the steering shaft I could turn the top gear easily. I adjusted the original box before, so that shouldn't be a problem. But the right outer tie rod and left innner one were replaced at the same time as the gearbox. Would the go that quick. Are those Luke Link's worth getting for the tie rod ends. Thanks.
     
  5. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,540

    Did you take a look to see if they are loose? The tie-rod-ends that is.
     
  6. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Well, depending on how you use the truck- I have 1 TRW that has worn out since I installed all the front tie rods summer 04, I greese them as regularly as I can- that's key. More stress from taller and wider tires can be a factor, as can off road use or driver abuse.

    I have a Lukes link on my Track bar- it's relativly easy to install, but requires a more frequent greeseing schedule because it doesn't seal the joint completely. It also has to be adjusted as the joint wears and requires grinding the back cover and joint housing for installation. It's a great emergancy repair item to keep at the shop, and a low cost track bar repair (needs adjustment every 6 months-8 months), but if you have a warranty on the ends you replaced get new ones under the warranty- you'll be happier.