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Discussion Starter #1
Been battling this problem for some time. But put on a new ford steering gearbox but still have same wandering issues. I have had it to two different places to inspect the front end for worn ball joints or tie rod ends. Everyone says things look good. Alignment checks out ok too.

Any other things to look at?

Recommended tire pressure for 285/70/17 motto terra grapplers load range E

Shocks have 100k so they may be done

It just wanders around in the lane

Thanks for the suggestions

Todd
 

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Do you have steering stabilizers? If so how old or miles on them? What air pressure are you running? I have dual stabilizers.. I run 55psi up front and 50psi in the back when empty... The back I raise up when loaded...
 

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The unfortunate truth is these solid axle leaf spring trucks wander. I have had 3 of them 99,01,02 and each one did the same, I have several friends who have had these as well. It is inherent in the design.

Of course having all the front end components correct, and shocks fairly new and steering stabilizer correct will help. Tire type and pressure has an effect as well as one poster said. You can mitigate some of the issue, and I understand the Red Head Steering gear is very precise and helps. My 01 in sig with 150 has the wander.

When Ford went to the coil spring design in 05 the driving feedback and correction was much better.

I was riding to a cattle show with my buddy in his 2012 Chevy 3500 Dmax. He traded a 03 F350 for this ride. We talked about how much better the on road driving experience is with the Chevy. Is it as tough as the Ford? likely not, but on a long trip the constant on center wander is tiring. You don't notice it when younger, but once north of age 50 it adds up over 6 -8 hours...

Just my 0.02

Coolhand
 

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I had a BAD wandering problem with my old truck, I was able to keep it in the lane but it would stay true until the slightest bump then randomly go in a random direction that I had to stay on my toes for.

Turned out to be the hubs, I had a 4x4 and the hubs had worn pretty bad to the point where my mechanic said he was surprised I didn't lose my tire driving down the road. If you go for new hubs, spring for the warns, you can grease them and if you treat them right they could last the life of your truck.

Don't automatically assume it's this though, this would be a worst case scenario. Our trucks just wander, it's just what fords do.
 

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My truck does not wander..... I can say this for sure, I can remove both hands from the wheel and it holds the lane with no wandering or correction needed... One of the biggest mistakes people make with these trucks is putting load range D tires on them.. Load Range D on a heavy truck just does not cut it.... They call for load range E for a reason... One steering stabilizer just does not cut it.... Two on one side looks weird and really is not that effective... One on each side helps greatly... Tire width and rim width that are not square to each other plays a huge effect... Basic shocks dont help much... Not having everything greased...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, since I never had stabilizers and it drove real nice for 215k miles, I am going to rule out stabilizers. Maybe they improve the quality over stock, but I know no different. If the ball joints, tie rod ends, and drag link are good, I am going to have to rule out mechanical. The hubs are probably 20k old and they are new ESOF hubs. I don't think it is bearing because I don't hear anything, but I have to admit I haven't jacked it up to check.

Biggest concern is safety. When I have to make a quick motion, the vehicle feels like it is rolling on the sidewalls of the tires. that is the best way to describe it. It just has a very slow response and when it does react.....hold on! You just have to be aware of what is going on!

This mainly started with the Nitto Terra Grapplers. Junk tires! Never had this problem with Michelins with 85k miles!

I guess I am going to price shocks. They have 100k on the Monroe Reflex shocks. Other than that, i am going to drive the crazy thing and HOLD ON!

Thanks for the advise and experieces guys!
 

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You may need to tighten the new steering box. They are set pretty loose from factory. This is where I would start. It worked for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Got it fixed yesterday! There were 2 issues....shocks were starting to leak and there was a little wear in the tie rod end connected to the pitman arm.

Alignment was still perfect even after 110k miles and the ball joints were tight too! Amazing for that many miles!

We replaced the shocks with new Monroe Reflex units and the tie rod end. Drives like a new truck! The shop said that it wasn't worn bad and they probably wouldn't worry about it, but I really think that was the main culprit!

Just wanted to post my results and thank everyone for their advise.

todd
 
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