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Teenage Road Hazard
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ive got a 2002 2WD auto 5.9L 1500. its my first car(truck). it steers very loose, and whenever it is turned on by my remote start ONLY, i get a click every 3-4 seconds. it usuaally goes away after driving for a minute or two.

is this the same problem?
 

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I just installed this bushing and let me tell you, this is one of the best things that I have done to this truck. I wish I would have done it 9 years ago. My steering doesn't wander, I have no play in the steering wheel, its tight now. Before I had 3-4 inches of play. I don't have that annoying clunk when articulating and turning off road. This is a must for any Dodge ram owner, you won't be dissapointed.
 

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Also my post office didn't tell me that it came in, so I contacted David at perma shield, and his customer service was excellent. Something you don't see these days. He was willing to send out another bushing to me at no extra charge. But my post office had the package in the back room for 2 weeks and neglected to tell about it, even when I ask. Just saying that this a product thats money well spent.
 

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No clunk yet. Sloppy, but no clunk. Of course I just change a lot of stuff out last year with the drop.
 

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2nd gen dodge

i'm new to this site forum, and already i've found some interesting discussions. this one really caught my attention. my 1995 dodge is doing the same thing, plus alot of play in the steering. i would be interested in some more info. on building one of these or getting one from somebody.

1995 dodge 2500 ext. cab 4wd
5.9 12v
manual w/ southbend clutch
bhaf filter
5" exhaust to 6" stacks

2007 dodge 2500 mega cab 4wd
smarty programmer
kn air intake
mbrp 5" straight to a 7" ss tip
 

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Tracker81
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74 Posts
I was at work today and was curious about the steering shaft and looked into the dorman book and noticed that they have a OE solution part for the second generation rams its supposed to stop the clunking sound that our trucks make from the shaft costed 101.00 dollars
 

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I've got an 02 2500 with steering issues but not really whats been posted here. I have a creaking sound coming from the upper column (interior) of truck. Its like it creeks, squeaks and whinces anytime you either put downward or sideways pressure on column, ie getting in and out of truck. Column was replaced early on for same issue, now its back again. Is this the clunk, or dead steering response that this thread is all about?
 

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Older, but no wiser.
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989 Posts
Stop pulling yourself into the truck by the steering wheel. I got in the habbit of stepping up and then sitting down. Most folks just grab the wheel and slide in. That causes the bearings in the tilt wheel to wear out and also the side bolster of the seat gets beat up.
You will need to replace the bearings in the colom, but get this kit to save the lower part of the colom too. Money well spent from a great supplier.
 

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RamVanMan
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594 Posts
Discussion Starter · #229 ·
Hi guys:

I was trying to stay in sync with the posts here. I wasn't getting notifications for some reason.

Truckdriver79: If you're talking about lubeing our steering column bushing, try to do it before installation. If installed you can sometimes coax the bushing back out, even using a small 'drywall' screw up into the edge of the bushing, then pull down on it with pliers. Grease the ID (NOT the OD) - also make sure the inner steering shaft over which it fits is free of rust & scale. If you already installed the metal retainer washer, it will need to be carefully cut away - small dremel tool will do it nicely. Then grease as stated. You can also squirt some lighter lubes in behind the retainer wash while a helper turns the wheel simultaneously.

Grantman31: Glad to hear our kit addressed your problem - now the truck is fun & safer to drive - very cool !

Snowpusher: Sounds like you've found the play location - a bad steering box will do it every time. Just a thought: once you replace it, consider installing a 'Darin's steering stabilizer bracket' - used to be offered by www.solidsteel.ca. I have one & love it. It supports the lower end of your steering box shaft with an 'outrigger' bearing, which is part of the larger bracket that fits under the anti-sway bar mount bolts. It will prevent to much force from wearing out your box prematurely. Highly recommened. Plus, it can only help increase steering precision. The bomb, for sure.

To the other fellows: our kit does two main things:

1) restores & improves precision to the entire steering column by removing the stock - loose fitting - low precision OEM bushing assy with our tighter, more precision Delrin bushing, total color pic instructions included, eliminates guesswork. Two main benefits:

1) Any 'mystery' noise like a rattling, clunking or knocking that is heard from the steering wheel, as if it is a speaker aiming the sound at you, (and perhaps felt in the pedals, too) is likely originating from this loose lower column bushing. It manifests over rough pavement, pavement joints & driveways entries.

2) Steering Play is reduced, by virtue of the tighter tolerances - now the column shaft is turning perfectly 'true' - not making an 'oval' shaped movement - thus less steering play is immediatley noted in most cases.

Caveat (exception): Some Rams have multiple worn items that all add up to horrible amounts of play, (say, tie rod ends, drag link joints, steering box & intermediate steering shaft - not to mention suspension ills that can also mimic steering woes), so to think that this one kit, alone, will be 'the bomb' on a every truck it's installed on, is simply not realistic.

However, it can be one more solid step towards a Ram truck that steers with significantly above average precision.

Because this lower column bushing weakness is hidden inside the lower column, it's not on the 'usual list of suspects' when troubleshooting, and is therfore overlooked.

A lot of guys have replaced all the 'normal' wear items and are baffled at the continued existence of steering play - that last half to full inch of play on either side of 'center'.

Our Rock Solid Ram Steering Fix is usually the end of that issue.

At Your Service,

David B.
www.RockSolidRamTruckSteering.com
 

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RamVanMan
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594 Posts
Discussion Starter · #230 · (Edited)
More thoughts on column noise / play Fix

Just read the more recent posts.

Great news on the successful installs. Thanks for writing with your results.

Glad to know our kit worked for you guys.

Another thing occured to me:

The gent who advised not using the steering wheel as a 'pull me up' point was correct, it can be hard on the column. If overdone, it could probably even cause breakage - depending upon how hard you pull, your weight, etc.

But I was gonna say that when I first worked out this fix, it was the first thing I noted: on my manual trans 97 4wd, I pulled myself in and said:

"Wow, that felt WAY more solid than before. The bit of flex felt at the wheel when pulling oneself into the drivers seat was pretty much gone by 90 %."

Whiteowl, this might be your issue with the creaking noises.

You can grab the spring on the end of the column, that encircles the shaft (just above the u-joint of the intermediate steering shaft), and try to wiggled the spring back & forth - rocking the truck slightly.

Any looseness at this spring - which is pushing up on the bad bearing assy inside the column - is a problem our 'Rock Solid Ram Truck Steering' kit will tighten up.

If there is a change in the noise heard in the truck after doing this, you have likely located the source, by wiggling you have temporarily 'reset' the spring tension, causing the noise to change or go away, albeit temporarily.

(This is but a simple test. Most likely, a bit of driving will probably allow things to settle & noise will recurr as before, but at least you will have either discovered this to be the source of noise & play, or eliminated it from consideration.)

The only 'other' source of column noise I'm aware of is this:

On auto trans trucks, there are upper plastic retainer tabs -(they hold the rotating part of the column shifter tube in alignment with the outer tube) that may be worn or broken - that may also be the cause of your squeeking.

Usually these upper column platic tabs are only an issue after a crash has caused column compression or if you blammed real hard on the lower end of the column, which would be hard to do.

At Your Service,

David B.
www.RockSolidRamTruckSteering.com
 

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02 Ram 1500 4X4 Quad Cab
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Hey David B, I have a 02 1500 4X4 Ram. I notice my rattle more when going over small potholes or bumps, or especially gravel driveways. I was assuming this was maybe a shock issue. Do you think this is coming from the steering column? I haven't had a chance to do your test by wiggling the spring at the end of the column, but wanted to get your thoughts. Thanks in advance.
 

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Ramdog02 said:
Hey David B, I have a 02 1500 4X4 Ram. I notice my rattle more when going over small potholes or bumps, or especially gravel driveways. I was assuming this was maybe a shock issue. Do you think this is coming from the steering column? I haven't had a chance to do your test by wiggling the spring at the end of the column, but wanted to get your thoughts. Thanks in advance.
It may be hard for him to tell you where your rattle is coming from. Do you feel it through the steering wheels and/or pedals, or is it just a sound? Can you hear it in the cab or just resonating from outside? What type of rattle is it? Does it sound metallic, vibratory, or like a "popping" noise? What side of the truck, front or back, do you hear it from? More info please :)
 

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02 Ram 1500 4X4 Quad Cab
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14 Posts
Grantman31 said:
It may be hard for him to tell you where your rattle is coming from. Do you feel it through the steering wheels and/or pedals, or is it just a sound? Can you hear it in the cab or just resonating from outside? What type of rattle is it? Does it sound metallic, vibratory, or like a "popping" noise? What side of the truck, front or back, do you hear it from? More info please :)
I don't really feel it through the pedals, but to tell you the truth, when I hear the noise, I am so concentrated on it that I'm not paying attention to the pedals. It sounds like a metallic rattle. It also sounds like it is coming from the passenger side front tire, which is why I don't think this is the same issue. Thanks for the response!
 

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I have a 1996 5.2 ext cab long box 2wd that exhibits the classic 'drunk' steering of the rams. However I have just came in from inspecting the spring on the column near the firewall and it has no play whatsoever, everything seems tight. I'm surprised as my truck has 335000kms (210 000 miles) on it. The intermediary shaft though has a significant amount of 'slop' in it where it slides into the lower shaft (the one connecting to the gear box). I have tried tightening to gear box just short of where it starts binding and does not return to center and experienced only a marginal improvement. I'm convinced my problem lies in the steering shaft as the my front end components do not show any excessive wear and the truck actually holds a line quite well when the steering is 'actively' engaged, like when rounding a corner on the hwy at 70mph. But when attempting to drive straight, staying in my lane takes considerable effort. I read in one of the RAM FAQ's about an individual inserting nylon zip ties where the intermediary shaft goes into the lower shaft to take up this slop. Anyone else try this with any success?
 

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Ramdog02 said:
I don't really feel it through the pedals, but to tell you the truth, when I hear the noise, I am so concentrated on it that I'm not paying attention to the pedals. It sounds like a metallic rattle. It also sounds like it is coming from the passenger side front tire, which is why I don't think this is the same issue. Thanks for the response!
Personally, that to me sounds like your catalytic converter rattling. Get under the truck, and tap it with a rubber mallet and see if you can hear it rattling. Have you noticed any lack of power or decreased gas mileage lately?

Another thing that it could be, but it's not from the same area, is the skid plate/heat shield under the gas tank. It lines up with a little peg that bolts down and mine came loose and rattled whenever I hit a bump, closed the door, etc.
 

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RamVanMan
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594 Posts
Discussion Starter · #236 ·
The noise that originates from the steering column is louder with the windows up (quiet cab) and is 'telegraphed' up at the driver, as if the steering wheel is acting as a 'speaker'.

When very pronounced, over rough pavement, it can frequently also be felt in the pedals - not surprising when you consider the pedals are very close to the lower end of the column, both mounted to the firewall.

So, if you close your windows, and the sound becomes more distant, it's likely 'undercarriage' noises - loose shock bolt, suspension part, catalytic converter rattle, etc.

I liked that idea about using the zip tie to shim up the loose joint on the worn intermediate shaft. It probably immediaely improves the slop factor, but in time will wear away.

I agree with your assessment of your steering, how you described it in the corner actively engaged, sounds like a worn intermediate (telescoping, joins column end to steering box) steering shaft. A worn shaft usually doesn't make any noises that I'm aware of - so if you have slop, but not rattling, clunking or the like, it's probably that.

Worn shafts are so common that our instructions tell how to check it so you can be sure to fix or address it when employing our Ram Steering Fix.

Good thing Dodge gets a fairly moderate $ 160 for the new one. Which by the way, don't waste $$$ on the Borgeson unit - the OEM Dodge one is fine and won't bind up like the Borgeson - which runs about double the OEM unit.

Just my $.02 on these thoughts.

FYI: Our Steering Fix is here: www.RockSolidRamTruckSteering.com

Best regards to all,

David B.
 

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clunk

94 ram 2500 v8 4x4 long bed 135,000

I would like to see what you have figured out. I just bought this truck yesterday, and the clunking in the front end is driving me nuts. Just jacked it up and looked for loose parts, couldn't find any.
 

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RamVanMan
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Discussion Starter · #239 ·
Hey Brian maui - best bet is to read as much of this long thread as you can, start at the beginning and you'll get the picture as the discussion develops. Quite a few clarifications & qualifications to help you discern if you're hearing suspension noises or if it REALLY is your steering column, which our kit solves.

So you don't spend a penny or hour you don't have to, fixing what's not broke.

smokin mirror...glad to know you think it's a good value !

We try to keep simple things simple. I just balked when Dodge asked me to shell out $ 900 for a new column when only one part was slightly worn !


David B.

www.RockSolidRamTruckSteering.com
 

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TOMDAYTON
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mine sounds like gears

Mine just started a noise when turning at slow speed. Gets much worse when I put it in 4 wheel drive. Figured it was left U-joint. Waiting for warm up to really check it out. Could this be the chunk you guys are talking about?
100,000 mi. 97 1500 4x4. Sounds a lot like loose gear mesh. also makes no difference left or right turn. Maybe little louder left turn.
 
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