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Steering Wander/sloppiness...

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Old 03-06-2010, 10:17 PM
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Steering Wander/sloppiness...

OK guys,i know search is my friend,but you guys are too....LOL. My truck with 199000 on the clock,drives awful while on the highway,lets say,you have to kinda"float" the steering wheel back and forth(usually very little)to keep it straight in your lane,ok,when your floating the wheel one way to keep it tracking in the lane,and you have to float it the other way,you go a little and there is no response,you go a little more and it veers back that direction,not violently but not very comfortable to drive either.While turning it one direction and you hit a sorta hard spot and you have to put a little more pressure to get past it,then its like it goes too far.I noticed it more while on our trip to Daytona this week pulling a trailer,but you dont have to be pulling to feel it.....thoughts...?
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:24 PM
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Phil have you tried the cheap and easy adjustment yet. I have done it on 2 SD and it really helps.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:33 PM
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Check the pitman arm and make sure it's tight. Also the drag link and tie rod ends. ball joints could also be suspect.

In regards to the steering box adjustment, meh, I don't reccomend it. It works great if the problem is in the steering box gear lash. If it isn't, you end up with a truck that wanders and is more difficult to correct beacuse the box is too tight. I know from experience and it sucks.

I had this problem three years ago and it turned out to be a worn pitman arm and bad tie rod ends.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:34 PM
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Whats that Eddie?It's something thats either just starting,or something thats been progressively getting worse,we've just started noticing it within the last couple of weeks.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:36 PM
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Very true Scott if some thing else is worn out this adjustment will make it drive worse.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:38 PM
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By the way guys,i am searching as we speak,i was just wondering if anyone had figured a more than likely cause/fix.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:47 PM
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Another thought is it doesn't wobble or get worse with bumps/potholes.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:49 PM
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When mine did that I just needed a 1/4 turn on the steering box to fix it. Of course it took me over 300,000 miles to develop slop in the box so I'd suggest you check the stuff Scott mentioned first.
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:02 PM
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Again,maybe i wasn't clear before,it's like it has a burr or something,while turning,you can feel it get to a certain point that it tightens up,you have to put a little more turning pressure to it,then it kinda falls over/past this"burr" and gets loose again.Only it's not just while turning,it's while driving straight/just trying to keep it in your lane.
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:08 PM
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What is the simptoms of pitman arm wear? It's amasing how you get used to the way your truck drives and don't notice a thing, but when I went in for a check of my starter engaging problem the local diesel guy said "looks like is time for a pitman arm" WTF? What can wear out? And it looks like something one can easily change out , but why?
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:37 PM
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Ball joints for me. Replaced mine and it helped alot. There is still a slight play in the wheel but what I have read thats normal for these trucks.
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bc2sv View Post
What is the simptoms of pitman arm wear? It's amasing how you get used to the way your truck drives and don't notice a thing, but when I went in for a check of my starter engaging problem the local diesel guy said "looks like is time for a pitman arm" WTF? What can wear out? And it looks like something one can easily change out , but why?
The hole in the pitman arm can wear and over time it becomes wallowed out. This translates into sloppy steering that can be mistaken for excessive lash in the steering gear.

Been there too....ha ha.
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:34 PM
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Thanks for the info... my BS meter goes up every time I get a suggestion like this. Any way you know of to actually know if this fix is needed?
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas Outlaw View Post
The hole in the pitman arm can wear and over time it becomes wallowed out. This translates into sloppy steering that can be mistaken for excessive lash in the steering gear.

Been there too....ha ha.
Man Scott, thats good, woulda never guessed.. I constantly have to adjust the steering in mine, was going to tighten up a smidge in the gear box first but now this got me wondering, subscribing Phil...
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:03 AM
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i had very minor "wandering" when I first got my truck, and since i eventually plan on lifting it and throwin bigger tires on it just went ahead of got a dual steering stabilizer set up. Put it on and no more wandering...not sure if this is a cure but it definitely made a noticible difference for me, and i'm only running 285/75/16's
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