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Old 12-19-2010, 09:33 AM
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steering wheel locks up

2000, 4x4, F-350, 240k miles: This problem started about a month ago. The truck would have a severe sticking spot in the steering while trying to turn right. After that the steering wheel would jerk left to right back and forth back and forth not staying on center. I replaced to steering gear box with no fix. I removed the steering stabilizer and still had the same problem. The issue has gotten more severe, I limped home under 20mph with the wheel bouncing left right left right etc....
Could the original front axle u-joints be binding? There is now issue while making a turn only while driving straight.
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Old 12-19-2010, 10:16 AM
BareBones BareBones is offline
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Steering is different between the gas engines versus diesel. Which are you, diesel?
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Old 12-19-2010, 10:43 AM
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Sorry, 7.3 diesel....I have the front wheels off the ground, spinning the right tire with the manual hubs locked in I can see the steering linkage shift left right left right as the tire spins. Also the **** on the locking hub doesn't lined up with the dot on the edge indicating when the hubs are locked. I think the locking hub assembly took a crap and may be causing the problem. I already checked the ball joints and all seemed good. What do you think?
thnx
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:18 PM
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Since I'm answering my own questions I'll update.
I removed the right side locking hub assembly and found the plastic ring that goe's around the small bearing broke into three pieces. There was dry grease and debri in there too. I believe this is causing the lock mechanism to partialy engage causing the steering wheel to pull left right left right. The drivers side looked good, grease was clean and all teeth on the gears engaged smoothly. I'm going to test drive the truck without the locking hubs in place to determine I have eliminated to faulty part.

Any recomendations for replacing the manual locking hubs with quality hubs?
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Old 12-19-2010, 02:38 PM
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Update, test drive was good. No steering wheel pulling left and right. I got a price quote of $160 for a pair of locking hubs made by Mile Marker, anybody have experience with there products? I would post some pics of the broken locking hub but I don't have permission. Could save somebody alot of head scratching if they experience the same steering problems I did.
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:25 PM
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Congratulations. Too bad nobody was around during the day but most prob would not have guessed that anyway.
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Old 12-19-2010, 05:18 PM
sonicblue2003 sonicblue2003 is offline
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If I were you I would still inspect the U joints... I've had that problem before and it was the U joint causing the problem.
The same symptoms that you explained.. uncontrollable wobble and back and forth steering wheel.
That would also destroy your Locking hub as the shaft will try and oscillate inside the hub.
Unfortunately you have to pull everything apart, as I just did today, to check and service this.
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Old 12-19-2010, 05:24 PM
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I agree. The U-joints can freeze up intermitently. The shot hub was probably a symptom, not the cause. I can drive in 2wd with my hubs locked in with no issues at all.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:38 AM
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My second guess was the front axle u-joints (after I replaced the gear box). When I was inspecting the front I didn't notice any play in the front axle u-joints. Do I need to pull the axles to check them? I replaced the inner axle seals last summer so it should all come apart again easy enough if I do.

The weather is supposed to be nice here in Ft Worth today high 70's, it would be a good day for the job.

Thnx for all the input.
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:03 AM
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based on what i've read in here so far (sorry on lunch at work, and when I get home i want to break computers so I haven't been very thorough lately) sounds like you've isolated the locking problem. When mine did that my wheel bearing was trashed where the axle passes thru it, and it FUBAR'd itself. When my steering locked it was because the axle shimmied a bit a the u-joint was no longer on the turning axis... that caused some minor problems lol


Anyhow, as for the manual lockers, I got a set of used Warns off ebay for like $60... they're lifetime warranty and the Warn people are pretty good about not asking for reciepts... do it up! you'll love them... except if you have ESOF and are used to it, ya might get kinda pissed getting out to lock them hubs in as needed... especially when they're buried in the snowbank you accidentally just stuck yourself in.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:41 PM
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Well, I decide to spend the sunny day outside and pulled the drivers side axle. The u-joint moved freely in all directions. I pulled the pass. side axle and played with the u-joint and what do ya know, that baby was locked up tighter than your prom date!
Now I'm typing this update waiting for the wife to come back with her car so I can get some parts.
Thnx to all who chimed in, I'm glad I went ahead and pulled the axles/u-joints.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Y2K1TON View Post
Well, I decide to spend the sunny day outside and pulled the drivers side axle. The u-joint moved freely in all directions. I pulled the pass. side axle and played with the u-joint and what do ya know, that baby was locked up tighter than your prom date!
Now I'm typing this update waiting for the wife to come back with her car so I can get some parts.
Thnx to all who chimed in, I'm glad I went ahead and pulled the axles/u-joints.
This would be a good time to replace them pesky axle seals as well. I have no idea why but mine just started squeaking real bad when in 4x4, i'm guessing either the axle seal took a digger or my u-joint is in a similar condition to yours
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:59 PM
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