Question about 1997 Dodge Dakota

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A light bang after a right hand turn

After making a right hand turn and the steering wheel returns to original position, you hear a light bang as if something was binding up

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  • Dodge Master
  • 6,982 Answers

Could be internal steering rack wear or a loose rack bushing...also could be a tie rod end...have it checked or take a look yourself by having someone turn the wheel back and forth while you watch.you can see all except the rack internals.

Posted on Jun 21, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Turn signal stays on


On a steering wheel are 2 pins. These pins turn the signals off as the wheel returns from making a left or right hand turn. They reset the blinker mechanism by bumping the blinker arm and pushing the arm back to the center position. You can sometimes see these little pins that reset the blinker if you look between the steering wheel and the steering wheel column. There is a little gap where the steering wheel is enabled to turn with out rubbing the column. You will also see a circular copper plate in there where the horn makes electrical contact by a little flat tension arm and rubs the copper surface as the wheel spins in either direction.
To repair a damage blinker pin, the steering wheel most likely has to be pulled off and the pin repaired and steering wheel returned back onto the column. Not a big job at all, just more of a pain then anything. Some steering wheels are on pretty tight on their splines and a puller may be needed. If the pins are still intact in the back of the steering wheel, then the blinker mechanism has a problem and is not be triggered to return to center by the pins.

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The steering column wheel has 2 pins pushed into the back side of it and as you turn the steering wheel making a turn, the pins slide over the humps of the blinker signal. As you return the wheel back to center to drive straight, these pins then hit the humps in the turn signal and push the turn signal back to the original position. It sounds like one of these pins fell out or broke off. You need to pull steering wheel and check to see if these pins are still inserted on the back side of the steering wheel.

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How to install a new steering gear box on a 1998 Grand Marques?


Removal & Installation

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. Remove the stone shield.
  3. Tag the pressure and return lines so they may be reassembled in their original positions.
  4. Disconnect the pressure and return lines from the steering gear. Plug the lines and ports in the gear to prevent the entry of dirt.
  5. Remove the clamp bolts retaining the flexible coupling to the steering gear.
  6. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  7. Remove the nut from the sector shaft.
  8. Remove the pitman arm from the sector shaft with a suitable pitman arm removal tool. Remove the tool from the pitman arm.
  1. Support the steering gear and remove the steering gear retaining bolts.
  2. Work the gear free of the flex coupling and remove the gear.
  3. If the flex coupling did not come off with the gear, lift it off the shaft.
To install:
  1. Turn the steering wheel to the straight-ahead position

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During installation, position the steering gear input shaft as shown on 1992-98 vehicles

  1. Center the steering gear input shaft with the indexing flat facing downward on 1989-91 vehicles. On 1992-98 vehicles, center the steering gear input shaft with the centerline of the 2 indexing flats at 4 o'clock.
  2. Slide the steering gear input shaft into the flex coupling and into place on the frame side rail. Install the retaining bolts and tighten to 50-65 ft. lbs. (68-88 Nm).
  3. Make sure the wheels are in the straight-ahead position. Install the pitman arm on the sector shaft and install the lockwasher and nut. Tighten the nut to 233-250 ft. lbs. (316-338 Nm).
  4. Move the flex coupling into place on the steering gear input shaft. Install the retaining bolt and tighten to 20-30 ft. lbs. (27-41 Nm).
  5. Connect the pressure and return lines to the steering gear and tighten the lines. Fill the reservoir and turn the steering wheel from stop-to-stop to distribute the fluid. Check the fluid level and add fluid, if necessary.
  6. Start the engine and turn the steering wheel from left to right.
  7. Check for leaks.
  8. Install the stone shield.

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Very dull steering feel, wheel stays turned even as i slowly rev


Camber and caster settings are off. Have 4 wheel alignment done by a good shop and save your nice tires. Out of alignment will make steering feel heavy and wear tires fast!

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The steering wheel will need to be removed and inspected. Most likely the switch is bad and will need to be replaced. Only an inspection will determine what actually broke or fell apart

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Key will not turn


This is a very simple and inexpensive fix. If you look at your steering wheel on the underneath right side of your ignition you will see a small hole small enough for the tip of a pen to fit in. Place a harder object into that hole and push up. This will release the whole ignition from the console. Go to an auto body parts store ( i.e. Auto zone, Napa) and get a new one. This new one will come with a new key also and your old key will not work. Replace the ignition switch into the same whole and make sure you hear it click into place. Then turn your ignition with your new key and your car should start.

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