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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, new member here but have been a power wagon owner since 2006. One thing I noticed tonight after backing into the driveway, I tried to turn the steering wheel all the way over to the left and got about one to one and a half complete turns before it got very difficult to turn. The best way to describe it is when I hit that spot where it was very difficult it was like I had the wheel cranked over all the way to the left.

I did check the fluid and it good but it's in need of being changed. Could this possibly be a steering box, power steering or maybe a u-joint issue?
 

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Welcome to DT!

Do a search on the PS pump and you'll see that some models have had problems.
 

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Sounds like the box is starting to fail. Russ had the same thing and it turned out to be the box. There is a history of the gear tooth fracturing or even breaking in the box causing it to make it difficult to turn. I would have it fixed soon before you loose control of your steering. Redhead steering boxes resovled some of the issues that are prone to happen in the stock boxes.

And welcome!! Post some pics of your PW if you like!
 

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Mine has been "failing" for three months now. Last week I almost crashed into a semi because it completely locked up on me. Not driving it until it gets fixed. Be careful. I like the thought of upgrading to that PSC box. Gotta work some overtime for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Morning guys and thanks for all the welcomes!

Thanks for all the info! One thing I did notice and not sure if it makes a difference here is when the truck is sitting is when I noticed the issue but when it's driving then there are not any problems with the steering. The power steering pump is not howling either.

Also this morning when I was letting the truck warm up I tried cranking the wheel all the way over to the left again and when I hit that spot it was like the power steering was gone and could barely move it. But when I let go of the wheel and started to let the clutch out and moving it turned all the way over with no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I too like the idea of the PSE box also but man could this of gone out at any worse of a time right before the holidays.
 

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I would inspect the front end for something loose/broken also. The part about it working fine while moving might be a clue something else is happening.

Welcome to the forum.
What state /country are you in?
 

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Yes,
When you front axle u-joints start to seize up you can encounter the same effects.

Try driving in tight circles both left and right in a parking lot. If you can feel some pulsing in the steering wheel you more than likely have u-joint issues.

Another way is to jack the truck up with the steering cranked all the way to one side and see if you can spin the wheel freely or if it against has a pulising feel to it or if it is difficult to turn at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the info! I will try driving in a tight circle tonight and if I don't notice anything will jack it up tomorrow.

One thing that slipped my mind. A few months back I was making a hard right hand turn into a parking space here at work and with the window down I heard what sounded to be a crackling noise coming from the left front wheel. Later that day I jacked it up to check for any play in the ujoint but did not see or feel anything so I'm wondering if the joint is starting to seize up.
 

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Look for any play at all in the outer hub bearings. If there is, they're going bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I did find some play when I grabbed the tire at 12 and 6. Wasn't a whole lot but I could move it a small amount. Unfortunately I was by myself and could not have another set of eyes under there to look at it to see where the play was coming from. Would not surprise me since the truck is almost at 108k and still running on the original front end.
 

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Thanks for the info! I will try driving in a tight circle tonight and if I don't notice anything will jack it up tomorrow.

One thing that slipped my mind. A few months back I was making a hard right hand turn into a parking space here at work and with the window down I heard what sounded to be a crackling noise coming from the left front wheel. Later that day I jacked it up to check for any play in the ujoint but did not see or feel anything so I'm wondering if the joint is starting to seize up.
Tie rod end? This has been an issue while making tight turns at low speeds for some.

Oh, and Welcome To the Madness! Do you have an '05 or '06?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I went out and checked it this morning cold compared to last time when I checked it hot and it is right around the add mark. I will stop and grab some ATF and top it off but I wouldn't think that would be the issue.
 

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I'm assuming you don't see mechanical/blocking issues. You may or may not be correct about the fluid but the more I think about it the more it sounds like your steering system doesn't have enough fluid to work with. if you have a friend cycle the steering wheel slowly you will see that the fluid rises and falls. If at any time the system takes in air instead of fluid you could have some rough spots turning the wheel. After putting in some atf I would check fluid again after driving a little bit to see if level went down again. You may work out a bubble in the system and level will go back down. Steering systems seem to be pretty good about working the air bubbles out themselves, but if that doesn't help you may consider burping your steering system just in case. It is my understanding that the best way to burp the system is to have the front wheels off the ground, turn key without starting (to keep steering wheel unlocked), have a friend turn steering wheel slowly from side to side (lock to lock if possible) until the system seems to get most of air out. fluid level often surges up just before a bubble comes out. if the level gets too low in the resevoir have your buddy stop a moment and put a little more atf in but not too much. hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wanted to give everyone an update here. I topped off the power steering fluid and did not notice any difference even after working the steering wheel from lock to lock. One thing I did notice this weekened is when I was parked off of pavement, on soft dirt, I had no problems turning the steering wheel from lock to lock but the minute I pulled out onto pavement the problem returned. Does this sound like the power steering pumping is begining to go out?
 

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Sounds like the pump to me, my 03 had that issue and one day it just blew up literally. My 06 has been just like you describe for about 20,000 miles, mostly because of big tires I am sure. I think some of these pumps are just weak.
 
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