Mechanics

DODGE RAM STEERING PROBLEM

1998 Dodge Ram • 17,800 miles

We replaced the pitman arm from a 98 chevy truck, to a 98 dodge ram truck. No one now wants to align the front end.
why?
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Mclaurinl
December 31, 2012.




Wrong part knowingly fitted to car, if it fails or the car is in an accident, they can be charged with allowing an unauthorised modification, I would not touch it either, fit the correct part now.
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Mhpautos
Dec 31, 2012.
Thank you, having problems finding the part. Told it wouldn't matter. It was my husbands, he has passed and I want to sell. I am tring to get the problem fixed. See I was treated like a stupied woman (fell right into it didn't i) thanks again. Will keep tring.
Lisa

Tiny
Mclaurinl
Dec 31, 2012.
Mhpautos is right about liability issues but there's more to the story. First of all, the truck doesn't need to be realigned if only the pitman arm was replaced. That will only affect the orientation of the steering wheel, nothing with the wheels. Dodge has two steering linkage adjustments. One is for "total toe", and that hasn't changed. The other is for centering the steering wheel. I always had very bad luck centering the steering wheel on the alignment computer so I just took a 15mm wrench and a pliers on the test drive and tweaked it during a couple of stops.

Secondly, too many people replace the pitman arm in a misguided attempt at solving a steering wander problem. Unless you actually see movement between the ball and socket, (the two parts of the pitman arm), it is always caused by the track bar. It was a VERY common problem but hard to diagnose if you never saw it before. The sure-fire way is to watch the ball and socket where the track bar attaches to the frame on the driver's side. Have a helper turn the steering wheel rapidly back and forth from the 10: 00 to the 2: 00 o'clock position. This is easiest with the engine running. If you see any up and down movement between those parts, replace the track bar. Chrysler allowed.080" of movement but I've had dozens with less than.020" play and a new bar solved the wandering complaint. I measured that play with a dial indicator for a demonstration for my students, but basically, if you can see any movement, replace the bar.

Caradiodoc
Jan 1, 2013.

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