Steering hard to turn/stiff... Doesn't self center??? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:14 AM
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Steering hard to turn/stiff... Doesn't self center???

A problem has arisen within the past week. For some reason, my truck's steering feels unusually stiff and isn't returning to center very easily. It's an '05 F350 with 147k on it - Has been just fine until now.

I checked the power steering level and when the engine is warm, the level on the dipstick is showing about 5/8" of fluid on it. It is right where it says "Full Cold". Am I low on fluid? I didn't see a "full warm" notation on it.

I checked the steering shaft and everything feels fine; The stabilizer is still there.

Any ideas? It is a lot of effort to turn the wheel and when going around a turn, you can almost let go of the wheel 1/2 way through and the truck will continue to track the curve... very odd... The wheel doesn't return to center when driving... You have to do it manually.

HELP!
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:19 AM
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check your ball joints
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:26 AM
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And your u-joints on the end of the axle. If it feels like it pulls one way, and you try to correct it, and it pulls the other way..take a close look at those u-joints.
If you are going to dig into balljoints, I recommend replacing the u-joints, since they are easily accessible at that point, and it would really suck to have to take it all back apart a few weeks later when they fail. There are seals (o-rings) that you should replace each time you disassemble the front end.
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:10 AM
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Thanks, I assume I can check for ball joint play by jacking the front up and letting the wheel hang then seeing if it has up/down/angle play? EDIT I jacked up the front axle and let the wheels hang - They both seemed just fine; no play at all in the ball joints... is there another way to test 'em?

I just got done watching this video:


It doesn't look too hard, I assume the pass side axle removal is basically the same? I realize it'll be longer, but aside from that, no difference?

One last question, does it make sense that this problem has just manifested itself within the past few days/week? I figured this type of problem would be something that you noticed over a period of time.

Last edited by Dante04SRT; 08-28-2011 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:07 PM
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Sounds like a steering stabilizer to me.
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:29 PM
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Nope, I'm with NYC as that's exactly what mine was doing.
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Term3 View Post
Nope, I'm with NYC as that's exactly what mine was doing.
mine too , stiff u-joints. No zerk fitting . Jack up the front ,both tires off the ground and turn the wheel all the way to the right. Rotate wheel and you'll see the stiffness , turn wheels the other way . No need to replace ball joints if you don't have to.
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:14 PM
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We took the truck into a shop today for some diagnostic checking of the front suspension. They couldn't find anything wrong. Two techs looked at it and both were pointing to the steering box as the possible problem (But since it's sealed they couldn't say 100%) - They said that everything under the truck has been replaced at some point and everything was tight.

I just can't see how this problem wasn't there one day and was the next... Literally.

As for ball joints... that was the first thing the shop checked too. They said they were fine (I did too from yesterday's checking). How could they get THAT stiff overnight? We drove MAYBE 30 miles one day (no problem, no anomaly) and the next day the truck exhibits this problem.....?
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:26 PM
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Did they really check out the u-joint and ball joints real good as it seems strange that it is not one or both of these that's causing the problem. Just because everything feels tight does not mean something isn't starting to seize up. Mine was also fine one day and not the next.
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:41 PM
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My wife took the truck into the shop so I didn't get to talk to them - However, I did give her some prerequisites for them to check, including ball joints. If ball joints are failing, shouldn't the simple grabbing-the-tire method tell you? Again, this is literally an overnight appearing problem.
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