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Steering issue

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by killed300ex, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. killed300ex

    killed300ex Senior Member
    Messages: 293

    Just bought a dodge ram 2500 its a 97 has a body lift on it. The problem comes in the steering. I have heard of the track bar issues so thats were i started, didnt take care of my problem so i then replaced the steering stabalizer. Ok her is what it is doing it wants to pull to the left when it hits a bump its not near as bad as it was when i bought it but its definitly still there. Also the steering wheel has alot more play in it that my other 95 dodge ram 2500. Not sure were to go next any opinions.
  2. Ole JIM

    Ole JIM Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    killed300ex--Go to the internet--Dodge Trucks-look for ez-board--Dodge Site! & once your ON look UP a guy named ez-Op--hes the site owner & not hard to Find! Dodge has a steering plate Adaptor $20.00 bucks as I recall? site gives a photo & part number!--try IT & Let me know? how you make out??--Ole JIM--
  3. Firebrands

    Firebrands Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    The adapter plate referred to above is for pre '94 Rams. I too have some of the similar steering issues. I'm thinking about just going through the front end and replacing all the wear parts.
  4. treeguy

    treeguy Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Maybe have the alignment checked and the shocks. Loose steering problem could be in the steering box. I think it uses a reciprocating ball (I think that is what it is called), anyways if there is wear in the ball bearings or the worm gear this would certainly give you loose steering.
  5. rtm038

    rtm038 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 231

    The 1994 to 2002 Dodge Rams (except the 2002 1500s) are known for having steering problems. Some trucks of this era tend to "wander" down the road. Aside from ta good alignment, there are many products out that there that can be installed to help reduce the "wandering".

    First: Track bar
    Problem: The stock Dodge track bars are junk....period. One of the main deficiencies of the design is the use of a ball joint to connect the bar to drivers side frame mount. It seems that the weight of the truck and axle assembly places a lot of stress on the joint and causes it to wear quickly. Another problem area is also on the drivers side of the bar and that is the bend in the bar. Again the weight of the truck and axle assembly causes the bar to flex at the this bend. If the bar is able to bend, and the ball joint is worn out, it changes the side location of the axle in relation to the rest of the truck, which will cause the truck to wander.
    Fix: Do a search for a product called the "DT Track Bar". It is around $250, but it is a solid unit and replaces the factory mounting hardware. I installed one on a 2001 2500 I had and it made a huge difference. I think the company also offers boxed radius arms for the front (see comment about the radius arms below).

    Steering box:
    Problem: The Saginaw boxes Dodge used in those years tend to wear out quick. You can adjust them, but only so much. While the newest versions used in the new HD trucks are better, their longevity is still a potential issue- I had to replace the box on my 2004 3500 HD about 6 months ago (11K on the truck). When I brought it in to be looked at, the service manager said "No problem, we'll so it while you wait. We replace them all the time. Even the new trucks."
    Fix: Search the web and see if there are any aftermarket boxes out there(ARG makes one I think) or break down and buy a new one. Try to avoid the "adjustment" route for it usually doesn't work and if you adjust the box too much, it'll probably do more harm then good.

    Radius arms:
    Problem: In my opinion, the stamped steel radius arms used to locate the front axle assembly are not strong enough to keep the axle centered. As I said previously, if the front axle is allowed to move side to side, the truck will wander down the road.
    Fix: The new HD Rams (2003 to present) use fully-boxed radius arms which are much stronger and they should be direct bolt-in for the 1994-2002 trucks. This is something you might want to consider.

    In the past few years, I've owned a 1997 Ram 2500, a 2001 Ram 2500, 2003 Ram 3500HD and a 2004 Ram 3500HD. When I was looking at buying my 2003, I had read numerous publications, all claiming that Dodge finally got it right and the common wandering was a thing of the past. So the first thing I looked at was the front end. Well, everything I've listed above was included in the front suspension revision for 2003 and I can tell you that it all works. My 2003 and 2004 drive straight as an arrow down the road.

    Good luck
  6. danno

    danno Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    Also a common problem is also the steering shaft. The steering coupler develops play and reflects in the steering wheel. Borgeson universal Co. makes a steering shaft with precion needle bearing u-joints. Price- 255.00.
    Their at www.borgeson.com
    Another fix that people are having luck with is the DSS Stabilizer bracket. It is a easy bolt on install that braces the steering box to eliminate sector play at the box. The price is 150.00. at www.solidsteel.ca/DSS.htm.

    As you can see, there are ALOT of weak spots Dodge created to spend our money on. If it wasn`t for the best lookin truck out there, I wouldn`t have bought one. :nod:
  7. BigDaddyT

    BigDaddyT Junior Member
    from Alaska
    Messages: 13

    Be wary. Some wanders are incurable.
  8. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    I just had a wheel bearing replaced on my 2000 4x4 3500. Haven't gotten to drive the truck yet, but the shop claims it should fix the pulling problems. He said the bearing was bone dry and can act like a caliper hanging up causing the pull. You also might want to make sure you don't have a brake caliper hanging up if you have already addressed the front end. Good luck.