Help me figure out why my truck's steering wanders so bad... - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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  #1  
Old 12-23-2011, 06:16 AM
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Help me figure out why my truck's steering wanders so bad...

I'm experiencing very tiring wander on my '05 F350 4x4. The truck is 100% stock aside from a 2.5" level kit. YES, it wandered before the kit, so it's not the kit causing the problem.

We bought the truck about 20,000 miles ago and have experienced the problem the entire time. I have replaced the steering box (OEM from Ford) and the drag link (OEM). The truck has been aligned since installing the 2.5" level kit.

The truck continues to wander side to side - It doesn't pull stronger one way or the other, it just feels like there is a dead spot in the steering. To keep the truck in a straight line requires CONSTANT adjustment. It is very fatiguing. Driving at highway speeds with more than 3 lanes wide is very hard and we are fighting the wheel constantly.

I have checked:

Ball joints
Sway Bar Bushings
Shocks
Steering box (replaced)
Drag link (replaced)
Steering Stabilizer (replaced)
Tire Balancing
Alignment

Again, the truck is stock aside from the level kit.

I'm really not sure what to look at next. The bushings LOOK okay, but could a bushing really be causing my problem (trailing arms or track bar bushings?).

What could be causing the wandering? I've GOT to fix it - I refuse to believe this is just how these trucks are. My wife's family has had them for years (3 were 05+ models) and we've never seem wandering like this. It's so bad it's unsafe.

HELP!

Last edited by Dante04SRT; 12-23-2011 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:26 AM
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I have a similar problem and I think that mine is related to my track bar ball joint being bad. I also have pretty bad bump steer and all my suspension components are tight. Have you checked your track bar ball joint?
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Eye View Post
I have a similar problem and I think that mine is related to my track bar ball joint being bad. I also have pretty bad bump steer and all my suspension components are tight. Have you checked your track bar ball joint?
When I put the level kit on I dropped the track bar upper bolt and was able to check the motion on the ball joint - It didn't feel odd, but then again, I don't really know what I should've looked for.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:10 AM
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Have you laid on the ground under the front and had someone turn the steering wheel to see if there's any play between what the steering wheel does and what the steering components do?

What about tires? Have you had the same tires the whole time? What pressure you running them at? I mention tires because I've read some people's tires have felt 'squishy' and some of their steering issues went away when they either changed the air pressure they were running or changed tires.

These are only suggestions....maybe something to think about. Good luck.

Last edited by SuperCrutyPS; 12-23-2011 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:35 AM
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Did you correct for a lack of Castor from the lift? castor shims or 4 link arms are needed.
A dead spot in your steering box cannot be fixed without a new box..
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT Performance, Inc. View Post
Did you correct for a lack of Castor from the lift? castor shims or 4 link arms are needed.
A dead spot in your steering box cannot be fixed without a new box..
The OP says he replaced the Steering box. Hope he got a good one.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT Performance, Inc. View Post
Did you correct for a lack of Castor from the lift? castor shims or 4 link arms are needed.
A dead spot in your steering box cannot be fixed without a new box..
I haven't correct anything castor-wise since the lift. As mentioned, the problem is exactly the same now as before the lift.

As for the steering box, yes, it has been replaced. I replaced it with an OEM box from Ford. Interestingly enough, the previous box was a RedHead box that failed internally.

I doubt the wandering problem is related to the steering box simply because the problem existed with the old RedHead box and the new OEM box.

??????????????
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:21 AM
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Check the toe in..make sure both sides are in.....check castor, Ford specs suck 0-2.5*..get as much as you can..4.5* if possible.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:53 AM
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I agree, I bet it was aligned to 0 total toe... The tech probably thought he was doing you a favor by increasing tire life and fuel economy. However these trucks need to have some total toe in or they run pretty squirmy on center. I'd bet that adding some total toe (within the spec) would take care of your problem. I know it did on mine.

If that didn't work, I'd say bad ball joint. I know you said you checked them, but you probably checked them for slop. The ball joints on these trucks have been known to get very stiff and can develop memory steer symptoms as the joints bind. Just food for thought.

Good luck!
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  #10  
Old 12-23-2011, 05:30 PM
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The above 2 posts are right on the money. If you have any toe out the truck will tend to dart one way or the other easily. The same will happen without enough caster. The factory spec for caster stinks. You really need about 5*-5.5* but you can only get that with a 4 link. I have a 4 link with 5.5* of caster and a touch of toe in. It is stable and tracks true on any road surface or speed.
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