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  #1  
Old 06-02-2011, 06:26 AM
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Wheel Bearing and Hard To Turn

Anyone know if you have a wheel bearing going south can it make the car hard to turn one direction. I dont really have any humming like a wheel bearing does. But i feel a little resistance every now and then when turning the steering right. I have sprayed the steering shaft joints and i can see that they are moving free like they should. And i have a less than 2 yr old steering rack. My truck has 103k miles on the original (to my knowledge) bearings. i didnt know if sometimes a wheel bearing could cause a hard to turn in one direction feel.

Thanks!
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:48 PM
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Turning

If you're saying the effort to turn the steering wheel is harder in one direction than the other, I don't see how that wheel bearings would be a likely culprit.

Power steering pump, check valve or rack, ball joints binding, bad tie rod ends - those would be my first guesses. If my assumption of your description is correct, with it parked, turn it on and try turning the wheel both directions - same issue? Try jacking the front end so the wheels are off the ground, try it again with engine off - same results (understanding it will take alot more effort with the engine off)? How about with the engine on?

Any chance you're low on power steering fluid? I doubt it's the belt slipping cause I'd think you'd hear that or it would be more difficult in both directions.

I'd get the grease gun out and grease every zerk you can find. Also check the tie rids for binding, ball joints - check them based on the repair manual instructions.

If it's something like a tie rod end or ball joint, you want to find and correct that before something bad happens.

Update - just thought of one more thing: hub locking or cv joint going bad? I would think you'd feel and hear it more but who knows?
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:28 PM
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Thanks, when in park and turn the wheel back and forth its fine. Seems to do it when im going around a slight bend, left or right (noticed that tonigh) and the slight turn left of right is a little stiff. But if i turn it a little more it seems to loosen up. Ill have to check some stuff this weekend.
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:40 AM
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Hard turning

So it's doing it in either direction? In that case I'd lean more towards the PS pump or steering gear as the first areas of attention. That still includes the belt and fluid level. It's possible it could still be tierod ends or ball joints, but not near as likely IMHO.

Good luck.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:52 AM
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Its full of fluid. Maybe the belt is slipping. Now last night i did pull off the steering shaft with the two u joints in it and worked them around and sprayed them down with pb blaster to clean it out and free it up, then some wd-40 so lubricate it. It didnt feel bound up. i did bang it around a bit to knock anything loose. Then when driving to work this morning, i didnt notice any feeling of hard to turn. This reallly seems inconsistant. Some times it does it, sometimes it doesnt, sometimes its when i turn left, sometimes right, sometimes both, when the car is hot or cold.

Im going to pull the wheels off tonight and check things.

But i do want to mention that the steering rack is under 2 yrs old, which included the steering gear as well. Not to say that it couldnt go bad, but i would hope not. So i guess im down to the pump or a joint somewhere. Or maybe it was some junk in the steering shaft joints that just needed knocked out.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:48 PM
Greg B Greg B is offline
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A weak pump would make steering effort a little harder than normal. If effort to turn decreases as RPM or speed increases, I'd suspect pump. I have an 88 5.0L Mustang that acts that way. As soon as rpm increases, steering effort returns to normal. Since it's a show car and only gets driven on and off the trailer now, I haven't worried much about it. It has 96,000 miles on it. The next time I have the accessories off of the engine for detailing I'll replace the pump.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:01 PM
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Ill keep and eye on it. If the pump was weak wouldnt you think it would happen all the time? This is intermittant, and didnt happen at all this morning.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:19 PM
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Is it temperature sensitive? Does it seem to happen more when the engine is warm? As the fluid temp increases, the pump heats up and expands thus increasing clearances. As clearances increase, pressure will decrease some. When the engine revs some the increase in volume compensates for the lower pressure.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:23 PM
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No, it doesnt seem to be temp sensative either, i cant find anything consistant in when it does it. Maybe its just the way my tires are worn that is making it feel like that. I am due for a rotation.
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Old 06-03-2011, 04:09 PM
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The same happened to my truck randomly, before one of the lines going to my pump fell. The bearing in the steering column could also cause this.
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:02 PM
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Try a rotation and see if that helps. It's possible that the tires could be the cause.
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:06 PM
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I rotated my tires last night, popped off the tie rod ends and ball joints and everything is smooth without any play, and i worked the steering around while the front was jacked up and never felt any hangups or anything out of the ordinary. I drove it around this morning, didnt notice anything. Maybe it was all in my head, or was the tires needing rotated. Who knows, ill keep and eye on it. Thanks guys
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:17 PM
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I bet you it the steering shaft joints. Spraying mine did nothing. I knew one was bad and hoped that would loosen it up for a couple weeks. It did not help. Tried several types of lube. It will probably take a while to get bad enough to be obnoxious. At first mine seemed to come and go. I checked all the things you did and decided to drive it until it broke for real so I could find the problem easier. At least it's an easy fix. Belt slipping would be most noticeable when parked not moving. More squeal and effort due to high traction and low RPM. Tie rods and ball joints would probably make a crack or pop noise when steering with it parked. CV joints would make clicking noise when turning at slow speeds like parking. Good luck.
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:30 AM
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So i decided to tackle the power steering pump yesterday. That was a waste of a day. I got the pump, it all looked good, got the pulley puller. Got the pulley off, got the lines disconnected. Went to take the 3 mounting bolts out, and this is where it all went down hill. Two bolts came out real easy and nice. The top front bolt snapped half way down the bolt. So that was gut wrenching. So i pulled the old one out. Noticed there are standoff spacers on the old pump, so i took those off so i can put them on the new one......They didnt fit..... So i ended up putting the old pump back on, using only 2 mounting bolts cause one snapped, got to the point where i needed to put the pulley back on and my pulley installation tool is too long and i couldnt get it in between the pump and the fan shroud. So i thought ill just take the fan off and the shroud.......I couldnt get the fan off......So i ended up using the cutoff wheel to cut a notch in the fan shroud so i could get the tool in. Got the tool in and got the pulley back on. All of this took about 6 hours of fiddeling.

So i have to take my truck in the for the recall and inspection this week anyway, so i told them to put a new pump on, and told them about the snapped mounting bolt.

As far as the bolt goes, there is a good 2" of bolt sticking out of the engine, the should be able to double nut it to back it out, or weld something to it to turn it out. I didnt want to try it.

So after all of that, and a wasted Sunday, im right back where i was before. I dont know what the deal is with replacement parts for this truck. Anything that ive got at a parts store doesnt fit. Ive had to get several parts from a parts store and everytime they dont fit, so i go get them from ford and they fit.

Oh......but the good news i did put a new belt on, and that went ok! lol

And when i had that all apart i did take the steering shaft out again and cleaned it up again and lubed it pretty good.
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:46 AM
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Just found this post. My truck was doing the same thing for a while. Then it started making a noise that sounded as if I were driving on a rumble strip on the highway at speed.

Right wheel bearing had some play in it, and solved all the problems. VERY easy job, just did it this weekend. Turns great in drive and reverse, and both in 4wheel.

Mine would feel as if the wheel would just stop as you were slowly turning. Scary feeling. But the wheel bearing fixed it.
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:46 AM
 
 
 
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