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Old 09-15-2010, 07:22 PM
jmcinerney89 jmcinerney89 is offline
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97 F150 Steering Loose/Wanders

Long time reader, first time poster. My 97 F150 steering is all over the place. Have recently replaced ball joints upper/lower, front coils and shocks. When driving down the road there is a lot of play in wheel and it feels loose, ie: when you turn the wheel it doesn't immediately respond. There is no center return and it wanders from side to side. I have had an alignment done, but it doesn't help. Any ideas/advice would be great. Thanks in advance...
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:02 PM
jgeese jgeese is offline
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Take it back to the alignment shop and ask them to check it out. Most likely you have other steering components damaged or worn...
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:06 PM
Podaso Podaso is offline
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How long ago did you replace the ball joints? I just had mine done a few months ago and I'm hearing all sorts of sounds and having all sorts of problems now. Keep us updated.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:40 AM
projectSHO89 projectSHO89 is offline
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Checking for looseness in steering isn't rocket science.

For every input motion, there should be an output motion. Verify there is no slop in the shafts from the steering wheel to the steering gear. Check the Pitman arm on the output of the steering gear for motion when the input shaft is turned. Check the small ball-joint where the Pitman arm connects to the drag link and again where the drag link connects to the other tie rod. Check the tie rod end ball joints where they connect to each knuckle. Check the ball joints again for movement regardless of how new they might be.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:31 PM
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DJPRacer58 DJPRacer58 is offline
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my tie rod ends are only a year old and are shot already.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJPRacer58 View Post
my tie rod ends are only a year old and are shot already.
You must be working them pretty hard. They shouldn't be shot after 1 year.
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:48 PM
Podaso Podaso is offline
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I took the truck in to the shop that did my ball joints, pitman arm, adn idler arm. The guy that replaced the stuff rode with me and heard the sound. Then he couldn't reproduce it while looking at it. So he told me everything looked fine, to wait until it's worse so it's easier to pinpoint.

I'm getting the brakes checked tomorrow at the brake shop. The more I think about it, it might be a hanging up caliper. My brakes smell burnt after driving on the freeway home from work. By the time I get home, the popping is worse as I pull into the driveway. I took apart the brakes (that I just replaced the rotors and pads in June) and observed the top parts of the pads broken off. They're under warranty but I'll hopefully be enlightened from the brake shop as to why they're like that.

...Crossing my fingers it's the calipers, because I've been told everything else suspension wise looks fine.
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:43 PM
jmcinerney89 jmcinerney89 is offline
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The ball joints were replaced about a year ago, but I have only put about 6,000 or 7,000 miles on them. The truck is only used to go back and forth to work which is only 20 miles round trip. Maybe a trip to the depot and back. That's about it for the truck, not used hard at all.

Now I am getting a squeak from the front end while driving down the road. It's pretty bad, but I have noticed that its not as bad when the wheels are turned or turning.

I haven't had the time to get it back to the shop yet to have them recheck the steering, but when I do I will post.

Thanks again for all the advice......
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Old 09-19-2010, 06:43 PM
Podaso Podaso is offline
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Been to 3 different shops now for an opinion and received the same answer all 3 times...The sound is not normal, but wait until it's worse/more consistent so it can be pinpointed. One guy did mention some rust on the torsion bar keys, so he sprayed them, but to no avail. I guess I'm dealing with the popping until it gets worse. I can't figure out why it only does it when the wheels are turned and applying brakes. I'm stumped.
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:18 PM
jmcinerney89 jmcinerney89 is offline
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Mine is sqeaks more than popping and its getting pretty loud and really annoying. Nothing like letting everyone know you're coming down the road. I was figuring something in the suspension, but I can't really figure out where it is coming from exactly. Starting to tick me off.....
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:29 PM
Podaso Podaso is offline
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Bearings, axles, torsion bars, tie rod ends? Is your 4 wheel drive or 2?
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:53 PM
jackstrr jackstrr is offline
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Check out your lower steering shaft U joint. Theres a giant roll pin that gets loose in the hole. had to replace the steering shaft. you cant miss it it about 6" - 8" from the steering box.
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2010, 10:43 AM
green 1969 f100 green 1969 f100 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Podaso View Post
I took the truck in to the shop that did my ball joints, pitman arm, adn idler arm. The guy that replaced the stuff rode with me and heard the sound. Then he couldn't reproduce it while looking at it. So he told me everything looked fine, to wait until it's worse so it's easier to pinpoint.

I'm getting the brakes checked tomorrow at the brake shop. The more I think about it, it might be a hanging up caliper. My brakes smell burnt after driving on the freeway home from work. By the time I get home, the popping is worse as I pull into the driveway. I took apart the brakes (that I just replaced the rotors and pads in June) and observed the top parts of the pads broken off. They're under warranty but I'll hopefully be enlightened from the brake shop as to why they're like that.

...Crossing my fingers it's the calipers, because I've been told everything else suspension wise looks fine.
Please be sure the brake technician cleans and lubricates with caliper grease the area where the pads mount and the caliper contact points. I learned the hard way that calipers and pads must float to work properly.
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  #14  
Old 09-20-2010, 11:31 AM
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cowboy_up_07 cowboy_up_07 is offline
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My 92 4x4 F-150 was all over the place too I replaced the ball joints wheel joints tie rods bearings hubs coil springs gear box, replaced everything. Still was all over the place. Three different shops couldn’t find it either. It turned out to be the front tires. The belts weren’t broke or anything but I had to new tires put on the back and the shop didn’t rotate the back tires to the front correctly and they were worn and out of whack just right to make the truck wander all over the place and to feel like it was very loose. Hope this helps you.
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:06 AM
Podaso Podaso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green 1969 f100 View Post
I learned the hard way that calipers and pads must float to work properly.
What happened?
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:06 AM
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