2013 Ram 2500 Unresponsive Steering

Boruch Owner Ohio Posted   Latest   Edited  
Unsolved
Chassis
2013 Ram 2500 SLT 5.7L (T EZC) 6-spd (66RFE) — 3C6LR5BT2DG540370
Steering Is Unresponsive

Good afternoon DN! I have a client with a repeat complaint of unresponsive steering. We replaced the steering gear about 6 months ago and he still had the complaint. After checking out the truck again, we found that there was a lot of play in the steering gear. Of course we checked all the other steering linkage components (replaced 11,000 miles ago) and there was no play from the gear box to the wheels. We then swapped out the the remanufactured gear with one from Red-Head Steering Gears as they are known to have the tightest gears available. It was noticeably tighter right out of the box and resolved the majority of my client's concern, however, he is still having some wandering in the steering especial at higher speeds and with a trailer. The attached video that he sent us is at 55 mph without a trailer. We found the smallest amount of play in the upper intermediate shaft u-joint but it doesn't really seem to be enough to cause any major concern. I'd like to draw on the experience of all your guys out there and see if you can help me with this one. 

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Jon Owner/Technician
California
Jon
 

I would get it on the alignment rack and see what all my angles were at.

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Boruch Owner
Ohio
Boruch
 

The alignment is good. We just put a new gearbox in and all angles were good with no fluctuations.

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Jon Owner/Technician
California
Jon
 

SAI and IA were both good?

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hello Boruch, more to consider…. Three questions: First, does the truck appear to sit square on all 4 corners and not drooping on one side of the rear? Correct wheel opening height is important. Second was the thrust line reading at or near zero. I have seen the thrust be off and it will cause a vehicle to feel like it is being pushed out of the straight travel path. Third, was the…

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Boruch Owner
Ohio
Boruch
 

Glenn, I am sorry for the delayed response. The truck was not at the shop when I posted so I am having it come back in. I will check this when it comes in.

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Ric Owner
Texas
Ric
 

As a matter of interest, what tires is he running?

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Boruch Owner
Ohio
Boruch
 

I will check.

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hello Boruch, The play shown is classic of a worn intermediate column shaft or U-Joint on the column shaft. Dodge had a service campaign for this issue years ago, it was not a recall. With the truck parked, take the lower dash panel off and carefully watch the movement as the steering wheel is slowly rocked/turned side to side. focus near the column base and the U-Joint area.

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Boruch Owner
Ohio
Boruch
 

Thank you Glenn, we did that and I actually had a technician hold the lower section while I moved the wheel and the upper section. There was a few degrees of movement before the other tech had to resist me. It wasn’t excessive like I’ve seen in other cases. I imagine that it gets multiplied throughout the whole steering linkage. I was looking for some confirmation from other techs before we went…

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Boruch, Sounds like the nylon slip joint in the steering column is going bad. Those should be very tight and only meant to collapse in the event of severe collision. It may not resolve all of your problem, but it will sure improve the “lost feeling” in the steering wheel. Getting a used lower column shaft would be a 50/50 chance of getting a less worn one so I recommend new if it can be…

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Kevin Technician
Alberta
Kevin
 

Check for lower caster reading if the lower eccentric have been shifted so the lower part is move toward the back. Also check that both eccentric are at the same location, they can't be opposite to each other. And like Glen said, check for track bar bushing. I usually get 1 guy to shake it hard with the truck running. You can always have the bolt being loose, which may not show up with just a…

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Boruch Owner
Ohio
Boruch
 

Glenn, I will check this as well when the truck comes back in. I'm expecting it tomorrow so that's why I've gone back in to see everyone's advice. I will post more information as I have it.

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