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Another Track Bar Question

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New to the forum, been doing a lot of reading since I bought a dead 98.5 cab chassis with an 11 foot service bed. Got her running soon enough and have most of the bugs worked out of her but I am troubled by a wobble - shimmy at about 64 to 68 MPH. Have replaced most all front end components (ball joints steering box - way bad, and a couple of the steering link joints link joints) as well as the the track bar twice. It is from Autozone. The first one I threw on a few weeks ago and didn't think anymore about it, had other know bad parts to replace. All said and done everything I've found to be bad has been replaced, some obvious, some checked with a dial indicator and jig. So.... this shimmy - wobble will not go away, got back in under the truck again to see the track bar moving vertically in the ball stud, more than obvious, 1/4" or more. Pull the track bar out, feels tight, but taking a set of channel locks an pressing down on the ball stud it appears to be spring loaded. Sent my boy off to get another one, he brings me back one that appears to spring loaded also, not as much available compression though, maybe 1/8" or a little more. My question to the forum is: Am i wrong in thinking that this ball joint should in no way, shape, or form, have any play what so ever or am I missing something?

Thanks, I'll update my sig now.

--- Update to the previous post...

Toe, 1.5*

Caster 3.5*,3.4*

Thinking might be control arm bushings, look good, no slop while prying? Thoughts?

--- Update to the previous post...

Whoops, .15* toe, not 1.5* WOW!

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Check your tires to see if you have a broken belt. If so, it will look like a lump in tire. I had this happen to me and it was about that speed. Also, have the tires rebalanced as one of them may have become out of round.Others will chime in.

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Looked at several track bars, TRW, Napa, Oreilly house brand, Advance house brand, and a new Moog. The Moog appeared to be a new style of ball joint, it had a small tag in with the castle nut and cotter pin that read:"The stud torque on this track bar has been increased. This increase is a direct result of an improvement in socket design, which has increased part performance and longevity."You could only move the stud with the aid of a wrench. The rest of them could be moved by hand and could be compressed on the ball stud anywhere from 1/8" to 3/8" - all junk.Put the bar on and made a big difference in steering play over a new Duralast with the compressible ball stud. Still didn't fix the wobble - shimmy at ~62-67 mph though it did make it less noticeable. I still have both tie rods ends and the steering link to drag link joint that could be changed although there is no >.005" play in any of them. Of course you have the shocks, steering stabilizer, sway bay ends.........seems there is no end to the 'could be this'.Probably should leave well enough alone. It rides good, drives good, especially for a straight axle truck, except for the shimmy, which seems to be road surface dependent also. Could also be the A/T tires on the front, I hate 'em but thats the way I got it and their almost new.

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I dont know if you know this but a dss stabilizer is not the shock connected to the steering arm. It ties the front end together with the steering box and that helps death wobble you have at 60 mph.

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Yeah I know what your talking about. It basically acts a bearing point for the junk bearing in the saginaw steering gear. I have a new one on this truck and it was sloppy out of the box, not terrible but noticeable. I probably have 1 to 2 inches of deadband at the steering wheel, and this shimmy is no where near a death wobble, more annoying than anything. I can see where one of these would help some of the wonder or sloppy steering issues.

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My track bar decided to give out again not to long ago. I wouldn't refer to it as a shimmy. A good sign the track bar is dead is that the truck will begin to get looser and looser steering. There will be very noticeable amounts of corrections needed to keep it straight and also one minute it will pull to the right then the left depending on the road surface. I was also getting wear on the inside and outside of the tire, presumably from the axle moving left and right.Then comes the kicker. I actually went thousands of miles with my track bar in this condition before the worst started. While driving, more so at higher speeds, if I hit a bump the truck would shake violently. It seemed like the dash was going to come apart, seats where going to unbolt themselves, and windows were going to shatter.This was WITH a Moog bar. I went and got another bar which proved to be a dud. The ball stud was dead with-in a few hundred miles and I was back to death wobbling. However they have a lifetime warranty so I threw another in under warranty. So far I have logged almost 1k and the wobble has not returned. As far as the ball stud, I don't notice any in and out play now with the new bar. The bad bars showed significant amounts. I am sure I could measure some play if I cracked out the dial and base. It is just not visibly apparent.Like stodg73 said I would definitely inspect tires. I have two bad tires right now out of 6. The sidewalls look like someone strapped tires chains on tighter than humanly possible and left them for 3 years. I have to go back to the tire shop and get two more tires when they get them in.If the vibration, wobble is truly road speed dependent then I would start looking at items such as cross joints, wheel bearings, driveshafts, etc.

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I read so much about Dodge front end problems. it seems that there is just no end to it. My dodge isn't bad yet but I want to fix it before it gets dangerious. Tell me what products are the best fix and who sells the.Thanks, Kerley

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