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OMG! Truck suddenly lurches to right


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Holy Crap!  Scared the **** outta me!  Not just once but several times...  when you're not expecting it.  Yeah, our camping trip week.  I left wife setting up the tents!  I had a big dose of yellow pine pollen & seasonal allergy response...  an immune response.  Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune disease.  So my symptoms are increased right now.  I'm not well enough to camp. 

 

I was planning to commute to camp...  day tripping for me...   towing my landscape trailer each day with my big scooter on it...  so I can really get around camp...  especially hauling a cannon...   

To salvage the vaca, I am borrowing the inlaws F word Explorer.  I will need the truck to pack up camp but that's a single round trip, not 5 trips. 

 

I can't get the Dodge into the shop until wife is home for transport.  I expect a tie rod end or something has sh*t the bed.      

Edited by Mopar1973Man
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How you getting the trailer back home Russ?

 

Do you think it is a braking related issue, or strictly steering? Scary either way when it happens, especially with a load in tow.

 

Hope ya get to feelin better soon, and good luck with the truck.

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This is the 16' landscape trailer, not the little one I've been working on.  Thank goodness it wasn't the 30' camper in tow.   I brought the trailer home, empty.  Will need to make another round trip next Wednesday.  I cut the speed to 50 & it gave less of a jolt.  The lug nuts are tight & no sign of bearing issues...  was not braking though seemed to happen most often just when backing off from climbing a hill.  Weight shift?  I'll have the wheel & brake shop check the brakes aren't dragging after the winter of rare use.  I can see wear on that tire, not present on the rest of the set. 

 

The inlaws have successfully towed this trailer with their Explorer before so I can day trip to camp with my big Wrangler outdoor scooter...  (still a light load).  My scooter can haul one of my swivel cannons in a wagon to the demo area.  So I can salvage that part of my vaca.  

 

All it's going to cost me is an extra tank of gas in the Explorer (as a thankyou).           

Edited by flagmanruss
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I'm waiting on a call back from Shop.  Most of my use is either local, between trips...  (low speed) or long haul, running heavy with camper on.  This camper has always been a bear to keep tracking...   The reason I keep going back to a tie rod is I think the shop said it was getting loose but not bad enough to replace.  I think it is NOW!   I wonder how long it's been going South?   With the short miles I've run in recent years...  might have been the trouble all along.      

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I vote on the  brake  being culprit.    a  bearing or  nuts  being loose  would  be  noisy  first, giving  at least  a  few  seconds  warning!

 

when it lurched to the side,   did it  jerk the wheel out of your hand?   (brake, bearing)    or      held  steady?  (tie rod) 

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Don't know if I'm much help here, but tie rod ends are easy to replace aren't they? With a puller or pickle fork, you could do that in camp?

Check your large U-bolts are tight on rear differential too...diff. could be shifting when accelerating.

With ignition to on position, truck not started, get under front end and have wife run the steering wheel radically left to right as many times as you can. You can spot a clunk or loose connections that way too.

Edited by JAG1
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I know you said it seems normal, but it sounds like a right front wheel bearing failure to me. It could also be a loose tie rod end and the tire is being pulled by the road surface, but sounds more like a dragging wheel bearing.

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With my Multiple Sclerosis, I'm unable to get under the truck. 

I thank you for the ideas...  I am going to be sure everything we think of gets checked.  I am concerned about possible brake drag on a little used truck as I had this before...  so that inspection is on my list.  I think this shop is pretty good though I wish they were more aggressive about somethings (trying to save customer's money) but sometimes that costs more in the long run.  They gave me a free second alignment in my Cirrus when a second different parts failure in a few months put it back on the alignment rack. 

I have seem worn out tie rod ends on heavy equipment walk all over...  at walking speed, it doesn't much matter.

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Generally a tie rod won't make the truck jerk either direction. Normally they just wander quite a bit. Far as brakes, if a brake was dragging then it would be a steady pull the direction the brake is dragging, plus it would be noticeable by smell if it was that bad.I am thinking it is either wheel bearings or something in the front axle on the right side between the CAD and wheel.

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Day tripped with V8 Explorer (gas hog)...   16' landscape type trailer was more than I wanted to tow any distance with it.  Used it to retrieved the wife from rendezvous camp on the closing day...  in light rain...  So she spent yesterday drying (real) canvas before it could mildew.  ($1500 worth of tents) 

 

The Dodge has been parked for the duration.  

If it is the track bar, I want to do the 3rd gen track bar upgrade.   Does the upgrade use the same tie rod ends or would they need to be replaced to upgrade?   

I'm seeing the track bar as ~$500 upgrade.   I don't use the truck much...  I use occasionally just to keep it going, but the reason for owning a real truck is to HAUL HEAVY.  I need it to be 100%.  As good or better than new.  WE know the 01 track bars were weak & prone to failure.  Should I just do a complete overhaul...  I'd save by only doing the alignment once!   

Edited by flagmanruss
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I am putting off the trip to the Front End Shop until my 3rd Gen Track Bar Conversion gets here.  I have too much at stake here.  Since I have to pay to get it fixed, I'm going to do it all at once...  with instructions to make it new condition or better.  Trying to stretch it out, has messed me up.    

Edited by flagmanruss
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I know you are looking at the front end but I would be curious to know if there is a issue with a rear leaf spring or worn out bushing in the shackle.  I only mention this due to the fact that you say the jolt occurs when you have a power/drive line shift IE letting off the gas after climbing a hill... unless I missed something either way best of luck

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I am going to have my shop go over the complete suspension/steering.  My attitude at this point is the truck needs to be 100% or better than new so I can have confidence to make plans.  I'm waiting for the kit so am keeping the truck parked at home.    

I do thank you for your thoughts...  adding to the inspection list. 

Edited by flagmanruss
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I had wife drive the truck when we dropped it off to the shop that's to do the work...  while I followed...  took her to dinner as a reward.  The heat was getting to me & the AC in the truck needs repair too...  works good in the Cirrus.  :)   

I've not followed my truck recently & noted a lot of slop in lane position & the front was usually to the left of the rear track...  except for once.  She got the same lurch treatment!  So it wasn't just me.  It should be easy to find if it's that bad! 

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That sounds a lot like the rear axle is moving around. I had a car do that to me and everybody thought I was nuts until it happened to my brother. Then it was determined that the frame was rusted out and allowing the rear axle to shift. That was pretty much the end of that car.....

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There's extra wear on the Right Front tire...  I suspect a bad Tie Rod End on the RF.  I have asked for a complete underbody inspection.  There may be more problems.  I previously had new springs seats fabricated & installed on the front axle (OEM spring seat cups were rusted out).   It could be a rear problem or a front track bar or ???   It's worth rebuilding...   only 60K miles.   

Edited by flagmanruss
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my right front on the dually wears  real fast too,  Plus our   well pounded/grooved  asphalt roads  make  for a  white knuckle ride..  but  I know it's  past due for  ball joints...  

 

your recent   spring perch  replacement  might  be a clue:    somebody didn't  get  something   tight enough during reassembly??     Just  about  every possible  cause  has been   suggested  on this thread..  Can't wait to   hear   what is  found!

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