wandering ford


Old 03-05-04, 07:05 PM
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wandering ford

i have a 1987 ford e-150 conversion van. problem is front end wander. was told that the sway bar needs replacing. does this require tie rods and such to need replacing also? van runs smooth and and doesnt pull but i do have excess play in the steering. thanks
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Old 03-05-04, 09:53 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320
A sway bar, or anti-sway bar, (same thing), usually has "end links"-not nearly as complex or expensive as tie rod ends
If a sway bar fails it must be broken
Possibly it or the end links or the bushing straps holding it up have rusted out
You hit a pothole and bammo-a bent or broke bar
It's very easy for a DIY'r to check, very obvious if you know what to look for (a tubular bar connected from one side of the wheel suspension to the other, with long bolts with washers and rubber bushings at each end)
Raise the front on ramps or jackstands and check it out
If you need a new sway bar, you should be able to tell
PS if you need new end links, and I hate to say this, consider a non-Ford source (NAPA etc.)
(My local Ford dealer tried to charge me 12X what NAPA wanted for end links and bushings)
Also: front end wander means with no steering input the vehicle "wanders"
Excessive play in the steering means you turn the wheel a little and it turns, maybe a little, maybe a lot, maybe it goes the other way
Old 03-06-04, 01:26 AM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,531
Good advise from slickshift about the sway bar.

Thats not going to cause play in the wheel. You have to have some one turn the wheel back and forth just using the "play" in the wheel.

While you look underneath as to whats moving or has slop in it.

It could be looseness in the Steering box, Pitman arm, tie rods or King pins.

I'd look close at the long tie rod that comes off the steering box, also the shorter one that comes off the long one.
Old 03-06-04, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Canton Ohio
Posts: 1,397
The long tie rod (drag link) goes bad on those. Good place to start.
Old 03-06-04, 07:15 PM
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thanks for the help guys...ill let ya know what i find

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