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Took my truck in for an alignment and they told me they had a problem with the tie rod flopping back and forth when the steering wheel is turned. I also have a sort of “dead spot” in my steering while driving where the steering wheel turns a couple inches but nothing happens. 

 

I have what I think is called the “T” style steering system. The tie rod goes across from knuckle to knuckle and the drag link attaches to the tie rod. Maybe the HD style?? 

 

Anyways what can I do about the tie rod rolling? All the steering parts are fairly new and not worn. 

 

 

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They supposed to roll some so it has give when things flex, you can adjust it by loosening conector coupling and rotate tierods to where they don't travel as much when you tighten up the coupling. I usually set them parallel to each other. Dead spot is ether track bar or gear box. You can adjust the gear box a little see if it helps. Track bar is best to check with truck running and have someone turn wheel back and forth few hours and go look at both ends.

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Posted (edited)

The track bar is DOR style mount with a straight bar and Heim joints. There’s no play whatsoever. Gear box is pretty new and has steering brace there isn’t any visible play there either. The play is from the whole tie rod bar rolling up and down as the wheels turn. I wouldn’t describe it as play or slop in the steering. Also I already adjusted the steering gear. The steering is tight and responsive in a turn and then there will just be a “dead spot” in the turn which is when the tie rod flops. I can lay under the truck and flip the whole tie rod back and forth with one hand and it’s all new parts. The alignment shop said “there is something wrong with the steering geometry, we can’t align it properly, the tie rods flops up and down when the steering wheel is moved through it’s range” 

 

If I adjust the tie rods ends won’t that put my toe out? I’m not really sure I understand what you mean...

Edited by skyhigh4by

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30 minutes ago, skyhigh4by said:

If I adjust the tie rods ends won’t that put my toe out? I’m not really sure I understand what you mean...

Yes it will change alignment  (toe) but if you twist one tierod clockwise and other counterclockwise all the way then back off just a little, then rotate connecting collar to get toe set then snug bolts on collar. This will limit the amount they twist.

What brand of tierod did you use

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Posted (edited)

So you mean take the ends off and turn the ends right into the adjusting sleeve and then just turn the sleeve to lengthen it back out? 

 

All the steering stuff is Napa brand 

This video shows what I’m experiencing. Not my truck but same problem.

 

Edited by skyhigh4by

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7 minutes ago, Evan said:

I'd put these in. They're from the offroad world.  One on each side. To kee pl everything from rolling 

 

https://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/catalog/R1768.html

I was considering buying those or making some myself. I just want to see what people have to say braise surely it has to be somewhat of a common problem. Dodge really dropped the ball when it comes to steering among other things haha 

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When it comes to suspension steering stuff stepping into offroad road world gives good results for me. Pirate, coloradok5, and I'm sure other offroad based forums would be good for gathering info

 

I have not tried the cure yet on my truck but mine isnt near as bad as In that video.  But my jeep is and has a mini copy of the second gen steering. The cure helped it alot. Though it just sits in the driveway 

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2 minutes ago, Evan said:

When it comes to suspension steering stuff stepping into offroad road world gives good results for me. Pirate, coloradok5, and I'm sure other offroad based forums would be good for gathering info

 

I have not tried the cure yet on my truck but mine isnt near as bad as In that video.  But my jeep is and has a mini copy of the second gen steering. The cure helped it alot. Though it just sits in the driveway 

I feel the same about the 4x4 world I actually come from a world of built square body chevys (hydro assist crossover highsteer ftw)so I’m quite familiar with those sites. I was thinking maybe there was some specific reason this was happening or maybe some dodge specific part that would help this out. With some extra searching I’ve done and by what you say I will just make something like you suggested to prevent the tie rod from rolling. 

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8 hours ago, skyhigh4by said:

So you mean take the ends off and turn the ends right into the adjusting sleeve and then just turn the sleeve to lengthen it back out? 

No, loosen up the sleeve, rotate the long tie rod(pass side) one way and short  (driver) the opposite direction, then keeping them in that position adjust sleeve for alignment, snug it up. Tie-Tire rod will only rotate so far, you're not taking them out of the sockets from spindles, you're just taking some of that slop out by twisting it to begin with. 

But I like that other idea with plastic shims. I have a Mopar T style steering, it doesn't do that but it's not that old either. If it ever does I will be putting them plastic things in. 

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Glad I stayed with the Y steering less headache and still going tight. 

 

10 hours ago, skyhigh4by said:

All the steering stuff is Napa brand 

Did you take it to the alignment shop to be aligned?

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3 minutes ago, Mopar1973Man said:

Glad I stayed with the Y steering less headache and still going tight. 

 

Did you take it to the alignment shop to be aligned?

Yea I took it in for alignment just a few days ago because I replaced the control arm bushings and steering parts. They said they got it as close as they could but with the tie rod rocking back and forth they couldn’t get it completely straight 

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1 minute ago, skyhigh4by said:

They said they got it as close as they could but with the tie rod rocking back and forth they couldn’t get it completely straight

 

That is a huge problem if alignment shop can't get it straight. I really have a hard time thinking you are going to get much farther. Being all the parts between the steering box and the wheels are on ball joints there is always going to be some rocking.

 

Not to mention there was a recall for the T steering parts I know NAPA was one of the recall names. 

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I agree. They said they got it pretty good but with the roll in the tie rod will never be quite right. This is actually the second set of Napa joints. They replaced them under warranty (5yr/100000km) I only got about 10k/8months out of the first set. I would switch brands but new free parts are hard to pass up even if I do have to replace them more often. 

 

I will I’ll try the spacers out and see how that feels. If that doesn’t atleast make it somewhat better then I will have to start exploring other options for steering systems I guess

  • Like 1

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Gotta look back at people like myself and ask how do I do it? Still running all the stock parts. Tie rods lasted 350k miles before giving up. Ball joints are last over 200k now. Steering box over 300k miles. Brakes are over 200k miles. No steering box brace either. 

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Just now, Mopar1973Man said:

Gotta look back at people like myself and ask how do I do it? Still running all the stock parts. Tie rods lasted 350k miles before giving up. Ball joints are last over 200k now. Steering box over 300k miles. Brakes are over 200k miles. No steering box brace either. 

Yea it’s amazing. My truck only has 120k miles on it and basically everything has been replaced atleast once. 

 

We have rough winding roads where I live but still that shouldn’t shorten life span of parts that much. 

 

Around my area anyways dodge trucks have a very bad reputation for eating front end parts but I feel like that’s just a wide spread known thing 

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3 minutes ago, Mopar1973Man said:

Now I've got to ask what size tire are you running? This is the point at which either make or break the front ends. 

 

Currently 285/70/17 BUT those have only been on for the last 12k. Before that was 235/85/16

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That adds a bunch of strain on the tie rods that's for sure. 285's and up just gets worse. Common problem out here too the ranchers love using 285's and larger for floatation on mud but sure kills the front suspension and steering parts quickly. 

 

Only solution is either to beef up everything and rebuild the geometry correctly for the new tires. Or come back down to smaller width tire to reduce the strain on the tie rods. With larger tires, you should never attempt to turn the steering wheel without rolling. Being the face of the tire resist pivoting more so this action just forces the steering box to push a wide face tire to pivot where it's sitting. The mere fact there is over 4,400 pound of weight on the front axle and wider the tire more resistance to pivot.

Being I drive a lot of back country road and have to turn around a lot. Narrower tires pivot easier on the steering parts with less straining. 

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UPDATE

 

I made a spacer to go between the TRE and knuckles out of poly bushings I had lying around. They look very similar to what is being sold as “the cure”. I removed the grease boots and put the spacers in place of the boots. I only have very limited testing but so far I’m very impressed. The steering feels tighter and much more responsive to wheel input. I will try to update again with some more long term results. I’m not sure how long the poly will last in there but I guess we will find out. 

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Just get out the tape and set toe and go. Make the steering wheel centered to.

 

Theres only castor and toe adjustments and its super easy to do yourself. . Then chalk the tire tread drive straight on a paved rd and see if there's any abnormal weat pattern. 

Also chalk tires to set air pressure and get 100% of tread on the rd

 Or close.

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Still, I would suggest going to an alignment shop. Just that extra degree will not show up on wear patterns but might impact steering performance and increase wear speed slightly but nothing noticeable.

 

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This is ridiculous.  If adding spacers on the tie rod tightens things up, there is your problem.  Find out what isn't fitting and why.  The vid looked like there was also slop in the connection to the pitman arm.  Do a proper fix not some rigged, untested piece of crap.  These are old trucks with old technology.  They need to be repaired and not hacked. 

 

"It looks like (whatever)" is not the same as "it's engineered, tested and improved".  Do you really want to take the increased chance of wrapping the truck around a tree or bouncing off another person or car for the price of new parts?  If so, please stay off the road.  I don't want to take the chance of you damaging my truck or person.

Edited by Junkman

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Generally I completely agree about fixing something to the way it was intended from the factory but the problem I’ve found through research about this is that it was common to be a problem right from the get go due to the poor design. I also feel that dodge engineers couldn’t design a half decent suspension/steering system to save their lives. 

 

All of the the parts in my steering system are new and it still does this to a minor degree. The particular video posted above is a VERY severe example of what was going on with my truck and I’m sure to be that bad some parts are in fact worn out, improperly installed, or have some other factor contributing to the problem. 

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