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Old 07-11-2011, 06:40 PM
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Wandering?

I have a problem with my stock, late 99 250's steering. On the highway it wanders all over the place. It's hard to keep it going straight, like I'm always over-compensating. I'm sure to some people on the road it looks like I'm drunk. Thanks for any help in the right direction.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:52 PM
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Hi jse51599,

How long has it been since you've had you tie rods checked? My father has a 2000 F350 Crewcab 4X4 similar to your truck. He had complained of a similar problem. When we removed the tie rod ends, we found they were pretty loose. You can't always tell just by looking. Try removing one of the tie rods and checking for slop. You may also need ball joints or maybe a steering box adjustment.

FYI: I work for Advance Auto Parts as a retail manager. Get Moog parts, don't put cheap stuff into your steering!
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirZoltun View Post
Hi jse51599,

How long has it been since you've had you tie rods checked? My father has a 2000 F350 Crewcab 4X4 similar to your truck. He had complained of a similar problem. When we removed the tie rod ends, we found they were pretty loose. You can't always tell just by looking. Try removing one of the tie rods and checking for slop. You may also need ball joints or maybe a steering box adjustment.

FYI: I work for Advance Auto Parts as a retail manager. Get Moog parts, don't put cheap stuff into your steering!
Have not had them checked yet, I was hoping someone had a similar problem so I could maybe avoid a trip to the shop. I was looking thru the posts on here and someone else mentioned the center drag link.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jse51599 View Post
Have not had them checked yet, I was hoping someone had a similar problem so I could maybe avoid a trip to the shop. I was looking thru the posts on here and someone else mentioned the center drag link.
Also, when I bought the truck in Dec of 2010, the previous owner said they replaced the ball joints. I'm not too knowledgeable in the steering dept., so if I take the rods off, what type of 'play' am I looking for? Thanks for the reply, and welcome to the forum.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:45 PM
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In my experience, if you take off the tie rod end and the stud (the piece going into the spindle) shakes freely, its worn out. The center link is often called an inner tie rod end and can cause the same symptoms. The center link was worn out on my 99 2WD and caused the steering to be very sloppy.

The same tie rod test applies to the center link, if the tie rod end that connects to your pitman arm (steering box arm) is loose and shakes freely, it is bad. It is under more strain than most of the parts on your steering system.

No reason you have to go to a shop. Measure your toe (distance between front of tires front and back of tires) so you can reset it without going to the alignment shop. Then seperate the tie rods with a tie rod splitter and a hammer (go to your local auto parts store, they should offer a rental tool) and inspect. If they have Ford marks on them, I would go ahead and replace them for safety's sake. Plan on a few hours of downtime.
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirZoltun View Post
In my experience, if you take off the tie rod end and the stud (the piece going into the spindle) shakes freely, its worn out. The center link is often called an inner tie rod end and can cause the same symptoms. The center link was worn out on my 99 2WD and caused the steering to be very sloppy.

The same tie rod test applies to the center link, if the tie rod end that connects to your pitman arm (steering box arm) is loose and shakes freely, it is bad. It is under more strain than most of the parts on your steering system.

No reason you have to go to a shop. Measure your toe (distance between front of tires front and back of tires) so you can reset it without going to the alignment shop. Then seperate the tie rods with a tie rod splitter and a hammer (go to your local auto parts store, they should offer a rental tool) and inspect. If they have Ford marks on them, I would go ahead and replace them for safety's sake. Plan on a few hours of downtime.
Thanks for the reply, it's making more sense now. I'll have to wait for a free night or weekend to check it. I will probably get an alignment anyway since the steering isn't that straight on the highway. Who knows how long its since one was done. If I have anymore questions I'll let you know.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:18 PM
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I would like to know what you find out on this. My 2000 F250 has the same symptoms, mine tracks straight but once it starts to drift it feels like the smallest correction is too much. I'm somewhat used to it now so when I drive my wifes van I'm all over the road because I'm used to fighting the heavy steering of my truck. The previous owners of my truck said they replaced the steering box and rebuilt the front end but something still isn't right.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:39 PM
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More then likely tie rod or drag link ends but do you have much bump steer?
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:32 AM
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Mine does bump steer some and it doesn't wander back and forth it will just start to drift one direction or the other. There is absoluting no rattling in the front end that would suggest worn parts, when driving you can hold light pressure on the steering wheel when you feel the truck starting to drift off course and eventually it will turn hard in the direction of the pressure. It's hard to explain other than to say the steering feels extremely heavy but at a given point it reacts and goes overboard. It seems to be the same regardless of the direction of the drift. Compare it to driving on a road with a huge hump in the middle, it takes a lot of turn to get to the top of the hump but will dive hard once you get overcenter. Is anyone else confused yet?

Last edited by Marine77; 07-24-2011 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:41 AM
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jse51599

Sorry if I hijacked your post, I got on here to ask the same question and hoped we could both benefit from this thread.

JR
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