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Steering wheel oscilates left & right

1701 Views 13 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  FJK1
99 F250 4X4, 160 K miles

As the title says, the steering wheel can oscilate left & right while going straight ahead. If you hold on to the wheel, you can still feel it. What tends to start this off is a left turn. Right turns tend to stop the oscillation. I'm thinking this is a hydraulic problem, but I am open to any suggestions. Also noteworthy, with vehicle stopped, turning the wheels left you can feel a bind or hard to turn point; turning wheels right with vehicle stopped is normal through steering travel.

Any help out there?
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Yes, I should admit I have a siezed u-joint on the RH passanger side. Do you think this would be causing my symptoms, even if the hubs are unlocked?
Thanks guys. The reason I didn't mention the siezed u-joint at first is that I did not want to lead the discussion that way, I wanted all of your fresh thoughts on the subject. I spoke to a really good independent shop that specializes in PSD, & they raised the u-joint issue as well. These guys come highly recommended. The u-joint issue would have to be fixed regardless. Due to recent health issues, I'm going to let those guys do the repairs. They have the proper tooling for installing those shaft seals.

What amazes me is that left turns initiate this problem, but not all the time.


Good explaination, but my tired old brain might not be able to think the whole thing through. Would that mean the u-joint, although not driven in 2wd, would still have to rotate through some means, to get the siezed plane in some position to create the problem? If so, what or how does the u-joint rotate. I think you have more brain power on this subject than I do.
Thanks, FJK
No, I'm not driving in 4WD. Manual hubs are unlocked, I'm in 2wd when this is occurring.
Excellent explaination. I'm sure this helps everyone that reads this post understand what is happening. For me "So as you drive the front axle shaft still spins, although freely as there is still some friction to cause it to spin." explains why it happens sometimes and not at other times.

Thanks, FJK
Replacing the u-joints on both axles solved the problem. The ball joints were replaced as well, but I believe the steering oscillation was a u-joint isssue.

Thanks all, FJK
1 - 7 of 14 Posts
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