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Old August 28th, 2007, 04:56 PM   #1
GreaseMonkey
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Binding sensation?

Through the steering wheel and sometimes on the brake pedal, I can feel a binding sensation on my truck ('01 Ram 4x4) when I turn the wheel and is more evident when turning slowly. You can hear it too.

Upper and lower balljoints have been replaced. Trackbar and front axle u-joints were done about 20,000 miles ago. The rest of the front suspension looks great.

The only thing I can think of is the u-joints in the steering shaft. If I grab the steering shaft I can wiggle it a little bit.

It's very hard to reproduce the sound exactly when you want to which is making this a bitch to diagnose.

Anyone else have this issue or know where else to look?
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Old August 29th, 2007, 06:52 AM   #2
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when my steering box was on the way out I noticed major play in the sector shaft and it was popping sorta like what you described. The pitman would move about .5 of an inch and the shaft would just deflect... the box was the culprit. New box, and a DSS to brace the thing and it was fixed.
grab an assistant and check it out!
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Old August 29th, 2007, 07:36 AM   #3
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Strangely I have started to notice the same thing on my 2001.

I was thinking it was just axle u-joints or hubs (120000 miles and still origional hubs).
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Old August 29th, 2007, 10:49 AM   #4
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Strangely I have started to notice the same thing on my 2001.

I was thinking it was just axle u-joints or hubs (120000 miles and still origional hubs).
Let me know if you get it checked out and what the cause was. I'm personally probably going to wait until something breaks, until I get annoyed enough by it, or when I leave the piss poor college student life.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #5
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My steering shaft u-joint puked in my truck last fall. No binding, but lots of slop.

I got a junk yard shaft for 30 bucks and fixed the problem.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 12:25 PM   #6
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Old August 29th, 2007, 04:41 PM   #7
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Is it "Full time" 4 wheel drive? My 79 does that (avatar).
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Old August 29th, 2007, 07:35 PM   #8
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Is it "Full time" 4 wheel drive? My 79 does that (avatar).
No, only part-time. The wheel doesn't jerk at all, I just feel a clicking through the steering wheel and brake pedal.

Your '79 Chevy has full-time 4WD???
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Old August 29th, 2007, 07:40 PM   #9
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make sure everything's well lubed i cant count how many times ive found noises/binds cured by just greasing joints.. if its sealed use a needle and peirce the boot
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Old August 29th, 2007, 07:45 PM   #10
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make sure everything's well lubed i cant count how many times ive found noises/binds cured by just greasing joints.. if its sealed use a needle and peirce the boot
Did that already. At least on the ones with fittings on them. I may do it on the rest.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 08:22 PM   #11
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No, only part-time. The wheel doesn't jerk at all, I just feel a clicking through the steering wheel and brake pedal.

Your '79 Chevy has full-time 4WD???
Yes, I put lockout hubs on the front to reduce the friction for highway driving. It originally came with solid hubs. When they are locked, I get wheelhop on a turn. Now that I am dropping a 454 into it, I doubt I will be doing much highway driving, so I will go back to solid hubs.

If you are just getting a clicking, I would guess that a U-Joint must be going bad. Have you tried to lift one side and see how much play you have before there is friction? Listen for a click noise?

There should also be some type of retainer keeping the shaft in (ie. axle bearing). If that is wearing out and the shaft is shifting, you will have some mis-alignment causing that sound.

Last edited by Smiley23; August 29th, 2007 at 08:26 PM.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 09:06 PM   #12
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Yes, I put lockout hubs on the front to reduce the friction for highway driving. It originally came with solid hubs. When they are locked, I get wheelhop on a turn. Now that I am dropping a 454 into it, I doubt I will be doing much highway driving, so I will go back to solid hubs.

If you are just getting a clicking, I would guess that a U-Joint must be going bad. Have you tried to lift one side and see how much play you have before there is friction? Listen for a click noise?

There should also be some type of retainer keeping the shaft in (ie. axle bearing). If that is wearing out and the shaft is shifting, you will have some mis-alignment causing that sound.
Gotcha. Big blocks are nice.

I doubt it's the U-joint because it's a completely different sound then when those went bad before.

I haven't really had a chance to lift it up. I may be able to this weekend.

I drove it today, and it barely did it. It's almost as if it seems to do it more when it's hot outside. I don't know why, unless it's directly related to the power steering fluid getting hot.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 08:20 AM   #13
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Same problem on my '94. Turned out to be the steering shaft from the firewall to the box. Replaced it with a OEM. Afterward I found a couple of places that sell aftermarket replacements that may be better. Including borgensen (sp). It's a common Dodge issue.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 09:57 AM   #14
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Same problem on my '94. Turned out to be the steering shaft from the firewall to the box. Replaced it with a OEM. Afterward I found a couple of places that sell aftermarket replacements that may be better. Including borgensen (sp). It's a common Dodge issue.
How much of a PITA are they to replace?
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Old August 31st, 2007, 10:04 AM   #15
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I just found instructions for installing the Borgeson (fawkin' expensive!) shaft. Seems relatively easy, besides having to do some contortionist type shit to get to the two bolts holding it in.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 10:36 AM   #16
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Yeah, those steering shafts are crap fromt he factory. My 2000 worse out one bad in 40k miles (3/4 ton), my 96 also needs one, along with a new track bar...
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Old August 31st, 2007, 12:01 PM   #17
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Yeah, those steering shafts are crap fromt he factory. My 2000 worse out one bad in 40k miles (3/4 ton), my 96 also needs one, along with a new track bar...
I absolutely love my Dodge, but in the last couple months it has cost me $700 in maintenance, and now I need to throw a steering shaft in there. Great.

I was highly suspecting the shaft, I just wanted to know if anyone else had the same problem. If I grabbed the thing it would move a good 1/16 to an 1/8 of an inch at the slip joint.
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