1997 Dodge Ram

Tiny
GLAS0233
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 DODGE RAM
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 131,000 MILES
Hi I just had my steering sector replaced and they told me that I need my track bar replaced as well because they say it was loose. Now when I am driving slow or stopped, and I try and turn, it is either impossible to turn my wheel or when I do it fights it really bad. I was wondering if you think this is due to my track bar being loose or could my power steering pump be bad? Thanks!
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Monday, April 19th, 2010 AT 2:23 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi glas0233. Welcome to the forum. The track bar is not causing the hard steering. To tell if it is caused by the pump, just increase engine speed a little. If the power assist comes back, suspect a worn pump.

Not sure what they did to "replace" the sector shaft. Usually the bushing in the steering gearbox gets hammered out and allows the shaft to move sideways. That causes steering wander at first. When it moves far enough, it moves away from the seal and you'll have a leak. If the hard steering started right after the gearbox was worked on, I'd suspect it before the pump.

Also had two pumps that developed broken shafts. There was no noise and no leakage, just no power assist at all. The pulley could be pulled away from the pump real easily.

When the track bar is worn it will cause a miserable steering wander. The only way I found to detect the problem was to watch the ball and socket while a helper turns the steering wheel rapidly back and forth a little less than a quarter turn. If you see the socket move UP AND DOWN, (not sideways as logic would suggest), the bar should be replaced. Chrysler's spec. For warranty purposes was.080" as measured with a dial indicator. They never got that bad. Of those I measured, the worst had only.020" of movement but the new part solved the customer's complaint. That movement allows the front axle to move sideways while the steering linkage does not. Since the relationship between the two of them changes, the wheels turn causing the wander. This was a REAL common problem. Some of the parts stores stores have an improved "problem solver" replacement part, and it might have a lifetime warranty.

Caradiodoc
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Monday, April 19th, 2010 AT 3:19 PM
Tiny
GLAS0233
  • MEMBER
Ok thanks alot for your help!
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Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 AT 7:58 AM
Tiny
2CARPROS LINSEY
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Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 AT 12:00 PM

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