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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > 2010 ram 3500 steering upgrade?

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aarondeere

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Posted: 09/08/21 04:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wondering if there are any upgrades I could do to get a tighter steering feel and a more "on center" driving. Truck has 130k and is due for some ball joints which should help but anything else out there I should be considering. Thanks.


Aaron
2010 Dodge 3500
2012 Voltage 3600 Epic


mudfuel07

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Posted: 09/08/21 05:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

New stabilizer? I think there is a steering box upgrade as well that helps to strengthen the setup and tightens the steering up as well.


2020 Ram 3500 6.7 CTD 4x4 Big Horn
2020 Puma by Palomino 32RBFQ for the kids!

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 09/08/21 12:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First, before replacing ball joints, how do you know they are in need of replacement? I only say this because I believe a good deal of the replacements sold are due to being "out of spec" for play, but in reality are perfectly serviceable and not causing any other issues.
IE, if camber is not bad and truck doesn't eat tires, ball joints can be "out of spec" and be just fine. And they would have to be pretty bad to make is drive wiggly.

What are your steering specs (from an alignment)?
Caster of less than approx +4.5 deg will contribute to "wandering" steering".
Any toe out at all will have a similar feel, as will play in the steering box.

Yes there are products like the steering box brace that helps tighten up the paly in the sector shaft (bearings/bushings?). Moreso its to make the steering box last longer, but supposed to help it feel tighter as well.
Other causes, any play in the rod ends, pittman or drag link ends?
Is the steering stabilizer still charged?

If all those things are tight, and alignment is good, then it likely is a worn steering box. Not uncommon on these trucks. A good private shop could check and adjust the lash (likely) to tighten up the steering box and gain some more miles out of it.
I'm not smart enough about steering boxes, but know that adjusting the lash may effect other things like how smooth or how well it returns to center and it's not a "permanent fix."

I'd start with the easy stuff, check for any paly in the steering components. 2 person test
1 turning wheel, 1 inspecting each point for play.

If the steering shaft and sector shaft (in and out of the steering box don't have excessive play, then check the other wear areas (rods/pittman/draglink).
If none of those have noticeable play, then alignment check.

Issue is, 130k miles, could be just a smidge of several things and do you want to replace several components to have a bit better steering feel?


2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29

lenr

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Posted: 09/08/21 12:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some tires have better on center than others. Red-Head steering gear box. Ram fixed the weak support problem, but if that was after 2010, then there are after market braces that can be added to the steering gear. I'd find an independant alignment shop with a good local reputation.

aarondeere

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Posted: 09/08/21 04:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ball joints are per my mechanics recommendation. Ill take these suggestions and look into them. Thanks

Grit dog

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Posted: 09/09/21 02:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You bet!
Our 07, took it for an alignment at maybe 70k miles. First thing shop did was call me…”need new ball joints!”
Ok, what’s the camber on the wheels? Oh 0.00”? Yeah, keep your parts on the shelf please.
Classic up sell.

Fisherman

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Posted: 09/09/21 04:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I had my ball joints inspected at the dealer, their sloppy specs are far too loose. The local truck mechanic just laughed and said, sure they don't want to replace them under warranty. When he did mine, one almost fell apart. No more death wobble after that.

mudfuel07

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Posted: 09/10/21 10:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had ball joints done on mine at 65k. Didn't even know that they were bad, went to the dealership for an alignment and they told me about it. It was covered under warranty.

Grit dog

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Posted: 09/10/21 11:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mudfuel07 wrote:

I had ball joints done on mine at 65k. Didn't even know that they were bad,


That's my point, they may not have been. Parts replacers vs mechanics and up-sell artists diagnose alot of things that "need to be replaced."

I should have stuck with a profession where the clientele is largley uninformed regarding the services they need. Waaay easier to make a profit than working for "experts" clients!

mudfuel07

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Posted: 09/13/21 08:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

mudfuel07 wrote:

I had ball joints done on mine at 65k. Didn't even know that they were bad,


That's my point, they may not have been. Parts replacers vs mechanics and up-sell artists diagnose alot of things that "need to be replaced."

I should have stuck with a profession where the clientele is largley uninformed regarding the services they need. Waaay easier to make a profit than working for "experts" clients!

They actually were, the shop that had put my tires on thought it was wheel bearings. Dealership found out it was ball joints. While not an expert, I do all my own work and maintenance that's not covered under warranty.

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