Question about 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 4WD

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Steering still has play after replacing all components

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  • Anonymous Jan 14, 2009

    My 1998 dodge dakota has major slop between the steering box and the steering wheel.

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Adjust your steering box and Or Replace it.. If you want a junkyard box you can look for something from a mid 90's 3/4 ton chevy. Same box except it lasts a lot longer in the chevy's IFS compared to dodges Straight Axle (less load on the steering gear shaft).

Posted on Feb 25, 2009

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Ckeck your gear box,its probbly worn.

Posted on Jul 29, 2008

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Could be loose lugs/ not torqued to spec. , bad wheel bearing, bad ball joint(s), bad steering arm joint, bad rack and pinion power steering unit, or other steering components. Check lugs first, loosen and retighten while slightly jacked up to take some pressure off of the wheel use a torque wrench set to 100 ft lbs. Then raise wheel about and inch off the floor, use a crowbar to pry up on the wheel several times while observing your ball joints for excessive movement. Very much play at all, replace ball joints, works better to replace them as a pair, top and bottom. If OK, raise wheel a bit further, and grab the top and bottom of the wheel and push/pull in and out to check for play in the wheel bearing. Pretty much any play, replace wheel bearing. If ok, do the same with a side to side motion while observing the steering control arm. Look for play. Play in the joint, replace joint. Play in other steering components, replace suspect component. That's about all the stuff could make the wheel wobble unless the rim itself is bent.

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An effective way to check for play in the steering linkage or rack-and-pinion mechanism is by the dry-park test. With the full weight of the vehicle on the front wheels, have someone move the steering wheel from side to side while you examine the steering system for looseness. Start your inspection at the steering column shaft and work your way to the tie-rod ends. Ensure that the movement of one component causes an equal amount of movement of the adjoining component.

Watch for ball studs that wiggle in their sockets. With a rack-and-pinion steering system, squeeze the rubber boots and feel the inner tie rod to detect wear. If the tie rod moves sideways in relation to the rack, the socket is worn and should be replaced.

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You should have a qualified mechanic inspect your vehicle and replace the damaged components. You may also need an alignment after as well.

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