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I always here people talking about how the front ends of dodges are always bad. What goes bad in them, when will you know gene they neeed to be replaced, and how can you check everything to make sure it is good? Also, I need a new power steering pump, any suggestions?

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Posted (edited)

Mostly it's because of poor design.  The steering box is not supported well enough and the Y-steering rack is a bad design too.  The track bar design leaves alot to be desired as well.  The steering rack can be upgraded to the 4th gen T-steering design and the steering box can be better supported by an aftermarket brace that attaches to each frame rail through the pitman arm shaft of the steering box.  It's a good idea to replace the track bar with aftermarket design also while you're at it.  Otherwise it's just ball joints and unit bearings.

 

To check for any wear (or play) in the steering rack and track bar, jack up the front wheels and put your hands at 9 and 3 (relative to clock) and work wheel back and forth.  If you have movement look to see what is moving and you have found your wear.  To check ball joints and/or unit bearings put your hands at 12 and 6 and do the same.  Bad unit bearings can usually be heard/felt while driving too. 

Edited by Bullet

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Posted (edited)

i upgraded to a 3rd gen inverted t steering and a box brace.  the box is worn but all the other stuff tightened things up well. just bad design with some weak components

 

plus who the hell puts a weak a$$ balljoint on the frame side of the tracbar on a pickup truck...  that is the biggest issue, a 3rg gen adjustable trackbar with 3rd gen frame adapter is needed to fix that issue....

Edited by CUMMINSDIESELPWR

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Bullet said:

Mostly it's because of poor design.  The steering box is not supported well enough and the Y-steering rack is a bad design too.  The track bar design leaves alot to be desired as well.  The steering rack can be upgraded to the 4th gen T-steering design and the steering box can be better supported by an aftermarket brace that attaches to each frame rail through the pitman arm shaft of the steering box.  It's a good idea to replace the track bar with aftermarket design also while you're at it.  Otherwise it's just ball joints and unit bearings.

 

To check for any wear (or play) in the steering rack and track bar, jack up the front wheels and put your hands at 9 and 3 (relative to clock) and work wheel back and forth.  If you have movement look to see what is moving and you have found your wear.  To check ball joints and/or unit bearings put your hands at 12 and 6 and do the same.  Bad unit bearings can usually be heard/felt while driving too. 

I respectfully disagree with your method of checking for loose a d damaged front end parts. If you jack it up they’re is no load on the components and likely you will not see the bad parts. The truck must be on the ground IMO. @Kane4sythe Turn the key switch on so your steering won’t lock and have someone rock the wheel as hard and slow as possible while you lay under the front and inspect each component for visable unwanted movement. This is how myself and the professional mechanics I work with find loose components. If your gear box has slack I suggest a Blue Top or Redhead box for a good tight replacement. I haven’t done the t style upgrade so I can’t speak for that but it also sounds like a worthwhile upgrade. A frame brace is necessary if you don’t have one I suggest investing in one immediately I think you’ll be surprised how much it helps. Hope this helps. 

 

On on a side note honestly these front ends hold up fairly well for the weight and the torque of the might Cummins Turbo Diesel. 

Edited by Marcus2000monster
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6 minutes ago, Marcus2000monster said:

I respectfully disagree with your method of checking for loose a d damaged front end parts. If you jack it up they’re is no load on the components and likely you will not see the bad parts. The truck must be on the ground IMO. @Kane4sythe Turn the key switch on so your steering won’t lock and have someone rock the wheel as hard and slow as possible while you lay under the front and inspect each component for visable unwanted movement. This is how myself and the professional mechanics I work with find loose components. If your gear box has slack I suggest a Blue Top or Redhead box for a good tight replacement. I haven’t done the t style upgrade so I can’t speak for that but it also sounds like a worthwhile upgrade. A frame brace is necessary if you don’t have one I suggest investing in one immediately I think you’ll be surprised how much it helps. Hope this helps. 

 

On on a side note honestly these front ends hold up fairly well for the weight and the torque of the might Cummins Turbo Diesel. 

No worries...that's what makes these forums work is different opinions on ways to do things.  We'll have to agree to disagree.  There is plenty of resistance to show you what you are looking for with the wheel off the ground and don't have to kill yourself trying to move a tire on the ground.  I don't have a shop full of mechanics to assist anytime I need it...I'm a one man show.  It's a one man job with the wheel off the ground.  Same applies for checking play in ball joints.  My opinion here is work smart, not hard. 

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2 minutes ago, Bullet said:

No worries...that's what makes these forums work is different opinions on ways to do things.  We'll have to agree to disagree.  There is plenty of resistance to show you what you are looking for with the wheel off the ground and don't have to kill yourself trying to move a tire on the ground.  I don't have a shop full of mechanics to assist anytime I need it...I'm a one man show.  It's a one man job with the wheel off the ground.  Same applies for checking play in ball joints.  My opinion here is work smart, not hard. 

Well then we will let it be! And just clarify to you and @Kane4sythe I didn’t mean to check ball joints are wheel bearings on the ground. Just steering linkage and steering gear. Work smart not hard is my boss’ favorite motto! To me working smarter is not pulling out a jack and stands. Instead I grab a creeper and a fellow employee.... Not arguing just sharing my method. Both will work! 

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I do it by jacking up front and checking ball joints, then for steering parts on the ground like @Marcus2000monster said and have someone move the steering for ya to investigate. I highly recommend Dodgeoffroad for front end parts! I have the entire front end and love it. 

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Bullet, I disagree on a minor point.  Its not poor design.  The design is pretty standard across many manufacturers and platforms (4 link panhard bar control...  that is nascar, all real drag racers etc).  The problem was implementation.  The parts aren't beefy enough to put up with a lot of miles or even better the miles AND what we ask them to do.  There was very little margin for error.  (I really think the design and implementation was fine for the weight of  the v8 gasser, but the engineers got over-ruled by management to upgrade for the cummins....  can't prove it yet, but I can see it pretty well in my mind.)

 

We seem to carry an extra 400-500 lbs or more than the gassers all directly over the front axle.  A second problem is our replacement parts are made by companies shaving more pennies than the OEM was in the original design.  (I really think this is where most of us start complaining....  Its not that I had to replace the part at 100,000 plus miles, it that I had to replace it AGAIN in another10,000 to 20,000.  For some reason, the aftermarket suppliers don't realize (or don't want to acknowledge), I will gladly pay twice as much for a part that will last me another 10years.    

 

HTH

 

Hag

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Haggar said:

 

 

1 hour ago, Haggar said:

Bullet, I disagree on a minor point.  Its not poor design.  The design is pretty standard across many manufacturers and platforms (4 link panhard bar control...  that is nascar, all real drag racers etc).  The problem was implementation.  The parts aren't beefy enough to put up with a lot of miles or even better the miles AND what we ask them to do.  There was very little margin for error.  (I really think the design and implementation was fine for the weight of  the v8 gasser, but the engineers got over-ruled by management to upgrade for the cummins....  can't prove it yet, but I can see it pretty well in my mind.)

 

We seem to carry an extra 400-500 lbs or more than the gassers all directly over the front axle.  A second problem is our replacement parts are made by companies shaving more pennies than the OEM was in the original design.  (I really think this is where most of us start complaining....  Its not that I had to replace the part at 100,000 plus miles, it that I had to replace it AGAIN in another10,000 to 20,000.  For some reason, the aftermarket suppliers don't realize (or don't want to acknowledge), I will gladly pay twice as much for a part that will last me another 10years.    

 

HTH

 

Hag

I completely agree with you that the parts not beefy enough for our trucks and that the 4-link/panhard bar is a great design.  It's the Y-steering rack combined with the poorly supported steering box where the poor design lies.

 

Like most I have had to address the short comings of our ends.  Everything I replaced, which is everything replaceable, has been beefed up from a strength (thickness) and design aspect how it should have been done in the first place.  I even drilled and tapped for grease zerts in my new steering rack, went to repackable bearings and lockable hubs, beefy long control arms, steering box support, and XRF ball joints as extra efforts.  Everything up front is now serviceable/greasables and stout.  I don't expect to ever have another issue up front. 

Edited by Bullet

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Mine has had the wanders since day one and I put a sreering brace on mine many years ago. The difference was minimal at most. 2 years ago it got damaged and I had to remove it. Could not really tell it was gone. So for me I don't  think I will get another one. Might try the T steering at the next front end rebuild. Still riding on the MOOG stuff I put on it about 220k back.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, dripley said:

Mine has had the wanders since day one and I put a sreering brace on mine many years ago. The difference was minimal at most. 2 years ago it got damaged and I had to remove it. Could not really tell it was gone. So for me I don't  think I will get another one. Might try the T steering at the next front end rebuild. Still riding on the MOOG stuff I put on it about 220k back.

Seems I have heard that moog parts have went downhill lately and probably since you bought your stuff? 

Edited by Marcus2000monster

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42 minutes ago, Marcus2000monster said:

Seems I have heard that moog parts have went downhill lately and probably since you bought your stuff? 

Most likely. Got mine right befor FM bought MOOG. I did put another MOOG track bar on a couple years back. Seems to be holding well so far at around 50k. We will see.

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Okay, wow lots of issues. Let me ask this, if I was to take it to an average shop and tell them to go through and do everything, what kind of price am I looking at?

18 hours ago, Stanley said:

Dodgeoffroad for front end parts! I have the entire front end and love it. 

How much did the entire front end cost?

19 hours ago, Marcus2000monster said:

and inspect each component for visable unwanted movemen

What will this unwanted movement look like?

18 hours ago, Stanley said:

and checking ball joints, then for steering parts on the ground like

So what will these bad ball joints look like?

6 hours ago, Bullet said:

Everything I replaced, which is everything replac

So what is everything you replaced?

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33 minutes ago, Kane4sythe said:

So what is everything you replaced?

4th gen steering rack w/grease zerts, steering box support bracket, drop pitman arm, XRF ball joints, huge Timken bearings, bigger 35 spline lockable hubs, axle u-joints, front driveshaft u-joints, bigger 35 spline outer axle shafts, adjustable long control arms and brackets, adjustable track bar and bracket, steering stabilizer, coil springs, shocks, and shock towers.

 

That's just the front driveline, steering and front suspension upgrades. 

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On 3/21/2019 at 3:29 PM, Kane4sythe said:

I always here people talking about how the front ends of dodges are always bad. What goes bad in them, when will you know gene they neeed to be replaced, and how can you check everything to make sure it is good? Also, I need a new power steering pump, any suggestions?

 

I stay strictly stock and managed to get 150k to 350k from all the front end parts. My tie rod ends held up the best at 350k miles, my factory ball joints last over 180k miles. The track bar at 150k miles. Unit bearings over 150k miles. 

 

The key factor in seeing things last... DO NOT put on bigger wheels and tires! I've been under stock size for most of the life of my truck. Went from 265's to 235's and extended the life of everything. Now dropped the 235's and went an inch shorter with 245's. Now keeping the transmission and driveline happier!

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The price will be panty dropping unfortunately. I suggest research and doing it yourself. A shop to rebuild the front would likely be in the 4000$ realm. I can’t really explain what it will look like but if they’re is play I think you will be able to tell it. You will feel the bad ball joints not see. My method of ball joint testing is jack up one side at a time and stick a pry bar or similar under the tire and jock it up and down. You will be able to tell if they’re bad I think. You may even hear a clunk if they’re real bad. 

@Mopar1973Man Is right. I strongly suggest stock size tires and wheels. I just went from 285 to 245 and I hope my front end enjoys that and responds with longer lasting parts. If you wanted to you could have a shop do the diagnosis of worn parts and you could do the repairs yourself. 

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3 hours ago, Bullet said:

rings, bigger 35 spline lockable hubs, axle u-joints, front driveshaft u-joints, bigger 35 spline outer axle shafts, adjustable long control arms and brackets, adjustable track bar and bracket, steering stabilizer, coil springs, shocks, and shock towers.

 

That's just the front driveline, steering and front suspension upgrades. 

Thank you. So would you say that this setup is pretty “bullet prooof” then?

2 hours ago, Mopar1973Man said:

The key factor in seeing things last... DO NOT put on bigger wheels and tires! I've been under stock size for most of the life of my truck. Went from 265's to 235's and extended the life of everything. Now dropped the 235's and went an inch shorter with 245's. Now keeping the transmission and driveline happier

So is there anyway that you can have bigger wheels and tires on it safely and comfortably? I was thinking of going pretty big after I have all of the mechanics straightened out 

2 hours ago, Marcus2000monster said:

ut if they’re is play I think you will be able to tell it. You will feel the bad ball joints not see. My

So if I don’t mind a little bit of play is that bad for the truck?

2 hours ago, Marcus2000monster said:

nd responds with longer lasting parts. If you wanted to you could have a shop do the diagnosis of worn parts and you could do the repairs yourself. 

If I want bigger wheels and tires though, is there stronger parts I can go with? My whole plans with this truck were to slowly build it up into something that includes some pretty big wheels and tires 

Alright, so do you guys see that in the first pic? How Did this even happen and what should I do?

5A29E50F-AC77-483A-8823-6A98D9406130.png

A5945929-B9E6-4003-8D7C-366DEE94EB3F.png

EE109C7F-6298-4E46-83F4-58612889C61D.png

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, Kane4sythe said:

Thank you. So would you say that this setup is pretty “bullet prooof” then?

I believe so...that was the idea behind all the work and expense anyways.  My truck is just a play toy and only pulls a Bullet which is a very light boat.  It is not a daily driver.  It has been cut in half, shortened and welded back together and is lifted with oversized tires and lots of power.  And like Mopar1973Man said those kinds of enhancements will shorten the life of many stock components.  Hence I bulletproofed/upgraded pretty much everything everywhere.  It was expensive but I have saved alot by doing all the work myself.  If you are keeping your truck stock then they are pretty reliable and somewhat economical with the exception of a few weak points...and parts are fairly cheap as well.  Where you can save the most money is doing any work yourself. 

20180820_190801.jpg.773758cd784db72894b4b508ecddf4ac.jpg

Edited by Bullet

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The bolt broke and is still in the hole or worked loose a fell out. Hope you have a lot of spare cash especially if you farm it all out. If this is going to be your daily driver, work your way up slowly.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, dripley said:

The bolt broke and is still in the hole or worked loose a fell out.

So is this something serious that’s needs to be immediately fixed? And I don’t have a lot of extra cash. It’s just something that I plan on slowly building up overtime.

Edited by Kane4sythe

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1 minute ago, Marcus2000monster said:

Yes it is

Is it more complex than just screwing the bracket back on?

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This is a sway bar bushing. This could cause the sway bar to fall off and the axle to move around how it wants under the truck. 

A liitle play is not going to hurt anything it just a pain to steer. Potentially it could cause deaths if something fell off and th truck drove itself off the road. 

1 minute ago, Kane4sythe said:

Is it more complex than just screwing the bracket back on?

See if the bolt is broken or just fell off?

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2 minutes ago, Marcus2000monster said:

if the bolt is broken or just fell off?

I’ll have to look at it in the morning, but I think it fell out 

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Just now, Kane4sythe said:

So is this something serious that’s needs to be immediately fixed?

It's your tortion bar or anti-sway bar.  Keeps the truck from swaying to one side during a turn or evasive maneuver.  So I would address it as soon as you can from a safety standpoint.  You can completely remove the entire bar and drive it until you fix it to keep it from hanging down and possibly causing other issues.  I have driven my truck without one before.  The truck just felt top heavy and not as sure footed and the suspension felt softer.  Not as safe feeling but could be driven carefully if you had to. 

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