Truck "wanders" on the highway - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 09-23-2009, 01:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Truck "wanders" on the highway

My truck really seems to "wander" on the highway......I really feel like I'm constantly correcting the steering to keep it in a straight line.

I recently replaced the tires, ball joints, and got an alignment.

20K ago I got new front shocks, (Blisteins) and replaced most of the other front end components. (pitman arms, etc) Rear shocks are the originals.

It seems to happen the most on rougher pavement. If I hit a patch of bumpy highway, the truck seems to go all over the place.

Any ideas?
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Probably your steering box. They get sloppy over time.
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have been down that road as well. Like you I replaced my tires and balljoints. This helped some. I then replaced the front shocks for Bilsteins. This help more. Due to availability issues, I had to wait a couple months for my rear bilsteins to arrive. During that time I too experienced the rear end skitter when hitting large bumps. As soon as I added the rear shocks, that ceased to be a problem.

My steering is still a touch loose but with 220k on a 99psd, it is as good as its going to get without a new stearing box. It is however a whole lot better than it used to be before I changed everything out.

I noticed your from Kansas... I though all your roads are straight out there. You shouldn't have to steer much anyhow!
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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tire pressure can cause this too. If I air up past 55 unloaded i get some good wander over bumps
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Old 09-23-2009, 10:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Was it a Toe and Go Alignment or a Full one including Camber/Caster?
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randallp84 View Post
Probably your steering box. They get sloppy over time.
I actually tried this a few weeks ago, but I found that the tighter steering made it worse. I was under the impression that you wanted SOME slop on the larger trucks. When I tightened it a quarter turn, the input seemed to sudden and actually made it harder to control the truck.

Is steering really what is causing my problem? I thought it would be something else with my suspension or other front end components. I hit a large bump last night and man......the truck just went all over the road. Could it be because I didn't replace the rear shocks? Could my "new" front shocks be worn already?

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Was it a Toe and Go Alignment or a Full one including Camber/Caster?
Full alignment. I can post the before/after when I get home

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tire pressure can cause this too. If I air up past 55 unloaded i get some good wander over bumps
I'll double check the pressure, but I believe its set at 50 front/70 rear as stated in the door jam.

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I have been down that road as well. Like you I replaced my tires and balljoints. This helped some. I then replaced the front shocks for Bilsteins. This help more. Due to availability issues, I had to wait a couple months for my rear bilsteins to arrive. During that time I too experienced the rear end skitter when hitting large bumps. As soon as I added the rear shocks, that ceased to be a problem.

My steering is still a touch loose but with 220k on a 99psd, it is as good as its going to get without a new stearing box. It is however a whole lot better than it used to be before I changed everything out.

I noticed your from Kansas... I though all your roads are straight out there. You shouldn't have to steer much anyhow!
LOL most of our roads are straight.....and actually when I'm going through a curve its no problem at all......its actually when I'm going in a straight line. The truck seems to wander from side to side and when I hit a bump.....man......look out!

I believe the movement is all coming from the front, but I could be wrong. Could my OEM rear shocks be the problem?

I've also heard that the MOOG ball joints I used could be the culprit as well as they are "too stiff". But I was under the impression that MOOG was top of the line when it came to steering components.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I used the MOOG ball joint on my front end. I found they helped my steering... Of course if you saw the old ball joints, you would realize it couldn't have gotten much worse.

My ball joints, front shock and new rubber took care of most of my wandering problems. I did however still experience trouble when I would hit a large bump. The arse end of the truck would take a nice side ways bounce and you had to make some quick adjustment to keep her straight. Rail road tracks where great for doing this... I found that after I installed new bilstein rear shocks this rarely ever happens. The new rear shocks helped with this rear end wandering quite a bit.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Check the drag link. They get a little sloppy too....... I did mine a little while back and it helped a lot.....
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Drag link would explain front axle wondering as compared to body movement.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Drag link would explain front axle wondering as compared to body movement.
I'm not sure that I'm following you - can you elaborate on what front axle wandering is vs body movement?

Also.....I'll show my ignorance. How does one inspect a drag link?
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I think he means to check the track bar to see if it is loose or has a bad bolt/bushing.

could also be a loose steering box.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I think he means to check the track bar to see if it is loose or has a bad bolt/bushing.

could also be a loose steering box.
Ok, I'm stupid. What is a track bar? Anybody got a pic?

I just pushed on my fender, and the truck bounced up and down two or three times. Would that mean that my shocks have gone bad?
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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70 unloaded in the rear will cause bounce and directional instability. Thats a "at" load PSI recommendation.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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What should it be unloaded?
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Old 09-25-2009, 05:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I run about 50 - 55 psi all the way around. 99% of the time unloaded.
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