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Steering wheel shimmy/wobble ?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by drivewaydoctor, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. Ok here is the deal. I have a 2003 Dodge Ram quad cab 4x4 and because we have too many vehicles here I've been driving it over the street curb to park on my lawn.

    Well all of a sudden I noticed when pulling away an scraping noise like as if the brake pads are rubbing on a part of the rotor of a tire. It was not a grinding noise at all. More of a scraping noise.

    Then soon after I started getting a shimmy in the steering wheel. I tried taking it into a parking lot and doing figure 8s with the wheel cranked all the way and I dont hear or feel any problem at all. There is no play in the steering shaft to the power steering gear box.

    I've recently put a new front differential, two new front drive shafts and new wheel hub bearing assembly on the truck. I also put a new transfer case on it at the beginning of the summer.

    I've had people suggest tie rod issue but I'm thinking maybe a bent rotor because of the driving over the curb and the scraping noise.

    What do you all think?

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,602

    Backing plate (dust shield) rubbing on the inside of the rotor. Pull off a wheel and have a peak. Might of got a stick or debris jammed in there causing the noise.
  3. no lead

    no lead PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,308

    you have a bent backing plate.
  4. Bent backing plate?

    More details please bud...
  5. But would that cause the wobble?

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,602

    Missed the wobble part. Wobble to me means a siezed front axle universal. They will seem fine but they are binding the whole front end up. I've had them go within 9 months of replacement. Does the steering wheel feel tight to turn once in a while??
  7. Green Grass

    Green Grass PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,577

    steering stabilizer will cause a wobble. he is talking about the rotor backing plates touching the rotors.
  8. Moonlighter

    Moonlighter Senior Member
    Messages: 643

    It's either the backing plate or you kicked a rear pad off center and or busted the little clip behind the rear pad to hold it into the caliper sounds like what it is to me by the noise.
  9. tim weidman

    tim weidman Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    wobble could be a broken cord in tire. look for waviness in the sidewall inside and outside on all tires. going over curbs could do that. agree with the others as far as scraping goes.
  10. I replaced the tires two days ago

    When I say wobble what I mean is the steering wheel turns back and forth a little while driving.

    Let me give a little more details... When I drive it up over the curb I'm not coming at it straight on. One tire goes over the curb at a time...

    Could the wobble be a simple alignment issue because of this?

    I'm really hoping its not front end damage.
  11. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    That's my first guess. Tire wear will show those symptoms, so if you were getting un-even wear on the old set, then that's the smoking gun.

    And quit hopping curbs. Even if it wasn't the cause, it's still more wear and tear in the long run.

  12. JBMiller616

    JBMiller616 Senior Member
    Messages: 267


    OP if one or both of the front wheels are toed in or out even a little bit it's going to cause tire wear issues (cupping/flat spots) and cause the truck to wander. For example, if both of the front wheels are toed out a half a degree basically you have both front wheels wanting to go in different directions. After a short period of time flat spots develop and vibrations start.
  13. Thanks for the input guys!
  14. Just an update.

    Took truck to mechanic. Broken ball joint and tie rod on passenger wheel. Also tires were deformed.

    Replaced tires, ball joint and tie rod. Couldnt find anything else loose in front end. Still a slight wobble and vibration.

    I'm at a loss.
  15. kevlars

    kevlars Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    How's the track bar? I had to replace mine on my 2002 2500. Then had to replace it again 6 months later. Second one I put on was a Moog. It is still going strong. Much heavier duty than stock.

  16. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,779

    I had a boss whose '92 dogde did the same thing. Lots of checking and experimenting for about 2 years untill one day he notices the steering box was a little loose. Tightened it up and voila problem solved.. Hope this helps.
  17. kevlars

    kevlars Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    I thought, though I may be wrong, that a loose steering box would cause the truck to wander, not really shimmy or vibration.

    How do you tighten up the steering box?

  18. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,779

  19. kevlars

    kevlars Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    But, then you have to deal with the IFS!! I like the solid axles. I won't have to deal with it much longer, I just bought an F250 with a 7.3 PSD. I hope I don't miss the Cummins, though!!

  20. Krrz350

    Krrz350 Member
    Messages: 93

    Steering stabilizer.

    Might not be a bad idea to swap wheels front to back first.