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  #1  
Old 03-24-2009, 08:51 AM
billblack billblack is offline
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Default 1999 Ram 1500 4X4 Steering Wander

I have just purchase a 99 extended cab short bed 1500 4X4 5 speed with a 318.

Everything is great except that it has an irritating steering wander. It is perceived on my end as excessive play in the steering. Whether this is the cause or not I don't know. Going down the highway, I "herd" it rather than steer it.

The truck just passed pa inspection so the ball joints, tie rods, bushings etc.... are in good shape.

What should I look at? I'm new to these trucks.
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2009, 09:45 AM
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Track Bar.
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  #3  
Old 03-24-2009, 10:22 AM
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Default Track bar

Is a common steering wander contributor. The busshings wear and let the axle shift left and right.
There are aftermarket bars that correct the problem permanently. Just dial up Dodge pickup track bar on google and you'll find sources.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:55 AM
billblack billblack is offline
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Thanks for the reply.

Is a track bar something I can do in the driveway? I'm a decent mechanic and have done just about everything else on the front end of a car. First Dodge truck though.

I read that there is an adjustment I can do to the steering box which seems pretty straight forward.

Is there a chance that adjusting the steering box will fix my problem?

If I look at the track bar while a partner saws the wheel, will I see it move or slop around if it is worn?

Thanks again and I appreciate you experience.

Regards,

Bill
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:58 AM
TK TK is offline
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How much play in your wheel?

They are famous for the bushing going out on the exit side of the box.

My truck, a plow truck, has gone through three boxes in 220,000 miles.
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2009, 12:06 PM
billblack billblack is offline
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Driving down the highway I can move the wheel from 11 to 1 with no change in direction. Not sure whether or not that is considered excessive for these trucks.

Over lunch I went out and had my office mate saw the wheel back and forth while I went underneath: the track bar move up and down on its ball joint by about 3/16 of an inch. It is very very noticeable play.

I'm guessing it's shot, yes?

My plan is to do the track bar first and go from there.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:19 PM
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This TSB covers steering box adjustment and the track bar. Read the last paragraph before you do anything.

http://dodgeram.info/tsb/1997/19-10-97.htm
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  #8  
Old 03-24-2009, 06:05 PM
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Track bar.......

And replace it soon, it gets hard to stop straight!
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:28 AM
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Default Aftermarket

Track bars have hard bearings in place of the rubber bushings on the stock type. It is an easy fix at home.
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:53 PM
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ehostler ehostler is offline
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The track bar will cause wander. A dead steering stabilizer will also cause wander.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:20 AM
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Default Good point, Ed

The stabilizer is there to soften shock input from rough terrain, pot holes etc. In fact, they can really kill steering boxes if they are worn out. They last about as long as wheel shocks.
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  #12  
Old 03-27-2009, 10:12 AM
billblack billblack is offline
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Hey thanks everybody. Track bar it is. I'll get into it this weekend.

Regards,

Bill
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