NEED HELP: Steering problems - FordTough.ca - Home of Canadian Ford Truck Enthusiasts
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Steering problems

Hey Everyone my first post, Great Site and forum.
I am having a serious steering problem with my 03 F250 SD 6.0 D 4x4.
The steering has a mind of its own. At certain times while driving it will not hold center, it will snap/wander to the left and when I correct, it will snap to the right. If you were following behind me you would think I am drunk. Anyone have a problem like this? I have replaced all tie rods, new ps pump, tried two differnent new/rebuilt steering boxes. It still comes back.
Could it be something in the column? The wheel bearings and Ball joint are in good shape.
I would like to hear from anyone Any ideas/experience you have had with this problem.
Cheers
Rob
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 08:54 PM
 
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Hey Rob, welcome to Ford Tough. The only thing that comes to mind that you have not tried is tires & alignment. The column could be sloppy I guess but I would think that you would feel that all the time. Other than that, it sounds like you have tackled all of the usual suspects. BTW, head over to the new member intro area and formally introduce yourself with a couple of pics of your ride. We do love pics on this site
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick reply! I will head to the new member area and will try to dig up some pictures of my SD
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 09:23 PM
 
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What phil said is the first thing that comes to mind as well, get an alignment done and you might need to replace your tires depending on how badly worn they are


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 11:51 PM
 
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There is one other thing to look at not mentioned. Check your front axle u-joints. If they are seized, they could be hanging up when you turn. Jack the truck up with the hubs engaged. Spin the tire while moving the steering from right to left and check for binding.

2001 F350 CC SWB 6spd....currently getting a complete 'makeover'. Stay tuned.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-23-2009, 12:57 PM
 
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You say that the ball joints are fine...what do you mean by that? If you're just checking for "play" it may be that they are in the seizing up mode and there is no play yet. Good way to test for this is jack up front end, take tire off and disconnect tie rod at knuckle. Then swing knuckle back and forth to see how free ball joints actually are...it should swing with very little effort. If the ball joints are still original, then they may be due for replacement. Originals don't last long as they can't be greased, so I would suggest when and if you replace them, put in greaseable ones. I would even replace the front axle u-joints with greaseable ones while your "in there". Should last a long time after that if greased once in a while.


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-23-2009, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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When I say the ball joints are seem to be fine they show no play or noise. They were replaced by Ford under warranty about 40K. When I replaced the Tie rods and drag links everything is smooth and tight with the ball joints. I put the front end on axel stands and used a long pry bar to try find the movement. I have not ruled out the front U joints I will look at them tomorrow night. I did spin them by hand reaching behind the knuckle and they seem to be smooth....who knows ??? The problem seems to be hydraulic...frustrating as all $%@&..really weird oscillation. Tonight I attached a hand vacuum pump to the power steering reseviour and raised and started the truck, cycling the steering. A procedure listed by Ford the get all the air out. I'll let you know how it works.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-23-2009, 11:37 PM
 
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is it snapping back and forth on smooth roads or on bumpy ones? Mine was doing that on bumpy roads, turned out the steering stabilizer was shot.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-25-2009, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Turns out my problem is seized passenger side U joint. Thanks for putting me on to that idea Loosewheel and thanks to everyone for the advice. I got everything apart tonight after work, can't pivot the axle on one plane, won't move. Also destroyed the autolocking hub. Where can I buy those? I don't know much about Dana front axles, so maybe this is normal, there is no outboard bearing in the axle housing??? Just a worn out rubber seal on the flange end of the long axle shaft. There is a lot of rust on the insde of the axle tube from water getting behind the seal....another worry...time to cahnge axle lube again.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 12:46 AM
 
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That worn out seal on the outer axle tube is no big deal. It's more of a dust boot. Most guys that see them hanging there, simply pull them off as new ones don't even last long. The diff seals are on the inside (outside the carrier bearings) and these are the seals that keep the oil in the diff. So, unless you see oil coming out the end of the axle tubes, there is nothing to worry about. Sounds like you might want to invest in a Chilton manual, so you can see how stuff works, how to fix it and it gives you all the torque values when putting stuff back together.


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The Project - '90 Ford Bronco 4x4
The wife's - '11 Ford Escape
For every minute you are away from work...you can add two minutes to your life!
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