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recentering steering wheel?


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So its been busy this weekend...ball joints Friday and Saturday. First time I've ever done them, wasn't horrible once I figured it out, but having to take the hubs apart to get to them was a PITA!!!! I want to know if a 2001 outer knuckle will fit on a 96 axle....Then, the Redhead steering box showed up on Saturday. I really didn't want to jump right back into it after dealing with ball joints for about 15 hours total, Friday and Saturday, but since losing my brakes and steering due to vacuum has become a daily occurrence, I dove into it today. Replaced the steering gearbox, rebuilt the vacuum pump (twice, since I put a seal in wrong the first time, replaced the lower steering pump, and added the Dodge steering brace. I also, while driving in the top bolt on the gearbox with the impact, ran the tip of the bolt into the fitting on my low pressure line...which was pinched between the bolt and the gearbox.:banghead: luckily, Advanced had a low pressure line with the right sized fitting...don't know what vehicle it was supposed to go to, bit I can tell you it wasn't for a 96 Dodge Ram 3500!:lmao: So, now the steering is tight, super responsive-I'm gonna have to get used to driving a truck that actually steers when I turn the wheel! That all being said, my steering wheel is still off to the right...and its bugging the crap out of me! What's the best way to adjust that? Drag link, or other?

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That all being said, my steering wheel is still off to the right...and its bugging the crap out of me! What's the best way to adjust that? Drag link, or other?

Yes. There is a adjustment on the drag link for center your steering wheel. Make only 1/2 turn adjustments and check. You'll be surprised at how fast that alter the center placement.
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Yes. There is a adjustment on the drag link for center your steering wheel. Make only 1/2 turn adjustments and check. You'll be surprised at how fast that alter the center placement.

After ea. adjustment you have to keep driving the truck down a straight road to get it exact. Took me about 4 tries to get it real good.
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Dennhop I Did all the steering, stabilizer brace & track bar, then HD tie rod &drag link kit, then Redhead box & rebuilt vac pump. If you feel lucky you can take the PS pump back off without dinger the seal up & pull the valve on outlet Ln & put a slot in the key of valve. Will give you increased psi for one finger turning power!!! Now the fun part I knew my 1998 3500 4x4 outer stub shaft king nuts were frozen on, so took it to Axel shop with 02 stubs & bearings!!!! It WILL NOT WORK, the 02 hub bearing will pull the stub shaft in to deep, U joints hit back of knuckle!! So I went from a $1800 job to a $3400 for a u conn kit lock out hubs.. O I did get new ball Js out of them. All said I have a front end that will out last me I hope. On the hub bearing, stub shaft, SAVE your self lots Of $$$$, go with a 98 ford dana 60 front knuckle assembly. This will give you lock out & serviceable bearings.. Best of luck to your next upgrade, Dave

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Dennhop I Did all the steering, stabilizer brace & track bar, then HD tie rod &drag link kit, then Redhead box & rebuilt vac pump. If you feel lucky you can take the PS pump back off without dinger the seal up & pull the valve on outlet Ln & put a slot in the key of valve. Will give you increased psi for one finger turning power!!! Now the fun part I knew my 1998 3500 4x4 outer stub shaft king nuts were frozen on, so took it to Axel shop with 02 stubs & bearings!!!! It WILL NOT WORK, the 02 hub bearing will pull the stub shaft in to deep, U joints hit back of knuckle!! So I went from a $1800 job to a $3400 for a u conn kit lock out hubs.. O I did get new ball Js out of them. All said I have a front end that will out last me I hope. On the hub bearing, stub shaft, SAVE your self lots Of $$$$, go with a 98 ford dana 60 front knuckle assembly. This will give you lock out & serviceable bearings.. Best of luck to your next upgrade, Dave

I'll have to do some more fine tuning on the drag link, but I got it a bit better...went a little too far to the left, so I'll have to bring it back, but it's pouring outside, and the truck doesn't fit all the way into the garage, so that will wait for a different day! RD, I'm currently running the EMS Offroad manual lockouts, so that's not an issue anymore...I was more hoping I could throw a 2001/02 outer knuckle on, so I can run my brakes in front of the hub, as opposed to behind-that way, next time I do this, I can slide the rotor off, and then unbolt the hubs from the knuckle and remove them and the axles as one assembly, without having to take them apart.
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Yes. There is a adjustment on the drag link for center your steering wheel. Make only 1/2 turn adjustments and check. You'll be surprised at how fast that alter the center placement.

Could you give a little more info on this. I would like to center the wheel better. Does it change the alinement?
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Could you give a little more info on this. I would like to center the wheel better. Does it change the alinement?

The adjustment Mike it talking about will not change any of the alignment IF you have the heavy duty steering on your truck. The heavy duty is distinguished by the tie rod going from wheel to wheel and a drag link bolting to it about a foot or so from the right wheel. The drag link can be made longer or shorter to straighten the steering wheel. If you have the standard duty steering you will need to adjust both tie rods to center the wheel and you can screw up your toe in adjustment if you are not careful.
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im wanting to go with red head steering as well, how do you like the stronger power assist?

I'm loving the new steering, but I honestly can't say what part fixed the issue...my PS fluid came out dark brown, and I've known for a while it was bad, just was trying to replace everything at once. It definitely improved the steering-it's a ton easier to turn, and with the new gearbox, it tightened everything up significantly. What used to take me 4-6 inches of wheel turn to stay straight on the road, now takes an inch or so, and I find myself oversteering a lot, until I can get used to the truck handling like a car again! The vacuum issues with my brakes has definitely gotten better, but I think my issue now is my idle is too low...unfortunantly, until I figure out whats wrong with my CPS, I'm going to have a hard time adjusting it, as my tach isn't working yet. That being said, between the new balljoints, steering brace, and all new steering components, it drives like a new truck! Now I just need to redo the back brakes, which I'm not looking forward too, and get the trailer plugs wired back up-I've been putting that off consistently!
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Tight steering in a RAM?

I wouldn't know how to drive it. :lmao:

In all seriousness, great deal. This is something I need to work on I am starting with a 3rd gen trackbar and going from there. I think most of my front end components are still good.

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The vacuum issues with my brakes has definitely gotten better, but I think my issue now is my idle is too low...unfortunantly, until I figure out whats wrong with my CPS, I'm going to have a hard time adjusting it, as my tach isn't working yet.

Question: Vacuum issues and brakes? Was the 96 not hydroboost?
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Tight steering in a RAM?

I wouldn't know how to drive it. :lmao:

In all seriousness, great deal. This is something I need to work on I am starting with a 3rd gen trackbar and going from there. I think most of my front end components are still good.

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Question: Vacuum issues and brakes? Was the 96 not hydroboost?

Nope. IIRC, hydroboost started in 97. I've thought about swapping out to it..I think all I need is a different powersteering pump, and the booster, and I"ve got everything else to swap, but it's a lot of work, and I really don't have the time or money to do it right now.
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I'm loving the new steering, but I honestly can't say what part fixed the issue...my PS fluid came out dark brown, and I've known for a while it was bad, just was trying to replace everything at once. It definitely improved the steering-it's a ton easier to turn, and with the new gearbox, it tightened everything up significantly. What used to take me 4-6 inches of wheel turn to stay straight on the road, now takes an inch or so, and I find myself oversteering a lot, until I can get used to the truck handling like a car again! The vacuum issues with my brakes has definitely gotten better, but I think my issue now is my idle is too low...unfortunantly, until I figure out whats wrong with my CPS, I'm going to have a hard time adjusting it, as my tach isn't working yet. That being said, between the new balljoints, steering brace, and all new steering components, it drives like a new truck! Now I just need to redo the back brakes, which I'm not looking forward too, and get the trailer plugs wired back up-I've been putting that off consistently!

Power Steering fluid should be changed every 30K miles or every 36 months. Dark brown is a bad sign that the fluid was totally burnt and the lubricity was gone this most likely part of your failure not to mention the oversize tires leveraging against it. Remember P/S system has no filters so once debris starts floating through the system it gets worse exponentially till something fails.

Tight steering in a RAM? I wouldn't know how to drive it. :lmao: In all seriousness, great deal. This is something I need to work on I am starting with a 3rd gen trackbar and going from there. I think most of my front end components are still good. Question: Vacuum issues and brakes? Was the 96 not hydroboost?

Still got tight steering here with all factory equpiment. The only thing changed was ball joints, wheel bearings, and track bar. I have no idea what its like to have sloppy loose steering and have to modify so much to get back to tight steering...:whistle:
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Still got tight steering here with all factory equpiment. The only thing changed was ball joints, wheel bearings, and track bar. I have no idea what its like to have sloppy loose steering and have to modify so much to get back to tight steering...:whistle:

Point taken, but I haven't had a good track record with OEM track bars. I should look at the other items, but haven't yet.
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The adjustment Mike it talking about will not change any of the alignment IF you have the heavy duty steering on your truck. The heavy duty is distinguished by the tie rod going from wheel to wheel and a drag link bolting to it about a foot or so from the right wheel. The drag link can be made longer or shorter to straighten the steering wheel. If you have the standard duty steering you will need to adjust both tie rods to center the wheel and you can screw up your toe in adjustment if you are not careful.

Thank you. Just got back in town. Mine is the HD as described. Will try sometime this week. Again thanks.
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That makes yours a whole bunch easier to do! One thing to keep in mind is to go easy on the adjustment. You probably only want to turn the collar about a quarter turn at a time. Yes it is a PITA and you may need to adjust it a couple of times, but once you first adjust it and take it for a test drive you will see what I mean.

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