Is it neccessary to modify the steering after putting in a 4" Liftkit and bigger tires? Now pitman arm steering system has big wearout? Is there a special pitman arm for lifted trucks? Does it help to use steering stabilizers? Thank you ver much! Carl
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Have the tires straight, lock or secure the steering wheel so it doesn't move. Remove the hoses and steering linkage from the box. Raise the front and remove the drivers tire. Remove the linkage from the pitman arm at the bottom of the box. Use a large hammer to break the linkage free from the arm, don't hit the threads. You will see 3 or 4 large bolts going threw the frame, remove them to drop the box. You will need a pitman arm removal tool to get the arm off the box. You can rent them from the parts store. New boxes come centered, so install the box first, then put the pitman arm on, matching it to the linkage.
First off, depending on how big your tires are above stock, you will always have play. You should check everything from upper and lower ball joints, tie-rods, idler arm, pitman arm to make sure these are all solid and working properly with no defects and that you have the correct geometry on your steering linkage for whatever size liftkit and tires you may have. Then you could check or upgrade to a stiffer steering stabilizer shock.
The rgag link is part of the steering. It's the long bar that runs between the tires. It has the tie rods connected to them. The idler arm and pitman arm are also connected to it. The idler is the arm that is mounted to the frame and the pitman is the arm that is mounted to the gear box.
The easiest way to troubleshoot it would be to jack up the front end and put jack stands under the front axle. Have a friend grab one of the front tires and wiggle pretty hard. (Make sure steering wheel is locked). To check the ball joints have them push/pull on the top and bottom of the tire and see if there is any movement between the spindle and ball joint. If not, check the tie rods next. (have them push in on one side of the tire, pull out on the other, not top and bottom this time). While they are doing this, lay under it the tie rod ends. If there is no movement (slop), check the drag link for play. If those check out, look at where the drag link mounts to the pitman arm on the steering box to see if the top link is shot or if the pitman arm is bad.
If all of this checks out ok, have your front tires checked. Tires that are out of balance can wobble pretty good as well.
Could be more worn steering parts such as the pitman or idler arm. IIRC, the 98 Ram has a steering gear box, and not rack and pinion steering like newer models.
If the issue is not up front under the hood, you could also have a worn intermediate (sometimes called a sector shaft) . This shaft goes between the steering column and the gear box or rack and pinion.
Sounds like worn out steering parts.
Jack up the front end of the truck. Move each front tire side to side and look at the steering linkages.
Normally, when you turn the tire on one side, the tire on the othe side should move at the same time.
It's the best way to find out what steering components are worn out.
Are the tie rod ends tight? Is the trac bar (frame end) tight? The steering boxes on these trucks require more input that a 1/2 ton truck or a car. How is the alignment? The caster on these should be set to about 5 degrees, the original specs allow a lot of wandering.
Do you mean pitman arm. Yes neons steer with the front wheels. All production Neons have Rack and Pinion steering. If it is a pitman arm that is an older steering system found on older cars and large trucks and bigger SUV's.