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Youngbuck

98 Dodge Ram 1500

9 posts in this topic

I have a 98 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4, the problem I am seeming to have is that when steering going down the road and when I steer it over corrects itself. It almost seems like either the tie rod ends or ball joints are bad. I put the front end up on stands the other day and checked them all and they are tight. Does any one else have any ideas what could be the problem?

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It could be the steering gear!

If I remember correctly, this model year steering gear can be adjusted if it is not shot.

It still could be a drag link, pitman arm or something in the front end.

I do not recall the procedure on how to adjust the steering gear, but maybe someone knows.

If it does apply to the model year, I can do some digging and find out. Unless someone knows one here.

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There is a nut on top of the gear, with a allen head sticking through the middle. Loosen the nut and either loosen or tighten depending on what you want it to do. Its been a while but I don't think it takes much turning to adjust so be careful and test the vehicle's turning lock to lock with it in the air. If its over tightened it can cause the wheel to jamb up during mid turn.

That being said I would say that I would rather replace the gear with a rebuilt one rather than mess with adjusting it assuming that is the problem. It does sound like a messed up gear to me but go through the front end with a fine tooth comb. There is lots of joints in there that could bind up.

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Before I would tear into anything I'd go get a basic front end alignment. Over-correcting and darting are most often a symptom of front wheels toed in or toed out too much. Once you know the alignment is ok, then you can start with the more involved things.

Steering gear adjustments are not something to experiment with if you have never done it. You may end up damaging a perfectly good gear, and they are not cheap.......

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Mac is right. Could be an align. issue also.

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Did it just start all of a sudden or has it been getting worse over time?

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I just picked this truck up this summer for hunting and hauling the kids 4wheelers and cycles and it has done it since I got it. Now that I had to park my car for the winter so I drive it everyday now. I use to work at a tire shop doing alignments and all the fun things that go along with it 12 years ago so I when I purchased it I figured it was a bad tie rod end and those are easy to replace. But I figured wrong.

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A worn track bar can cause the "wandering" on this vehicle!

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Have the alignment shop look at it. It shouldn't cost much. If steering ear is bad there are few solutions before spending a lot of money.

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