1988 Dakota Steering problem

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Old 01-25-07, 02:56 PM
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1988 Dakota Steering problem

I have excessive play in my steering. When the truck is parked and I turn the pitman arm. it is stiff with little play. However when I start the truck and move the pitman arm, it jumps and has excessive play. The main problem is going down the expressway and it jumps to right or left especially on ramps. Is this safe to drive? What could this possibly be? THX
 
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Old 01-25-07, 03:21 PM
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Dakota/Durango have several frt end issues (The wife drives an 01 Durango) First, jack the frt end up one wheel at a time from under the lower control arm and check to see if there's play in the ball joints, specifically the upper. There was a recall on them but I'm not sure of the years involved........Then check the steering linkage side to side play noting any looseness in tie rod ends Idler arm Pitman arm or center link.........And just because.........Take a look at the steering coupler from the column to steering box (commonly called the "rag joint").....If everything is tight at THAT point and you STILL have a problem, condemn the steering box
 
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Old 01-25-07, 04:26 PM
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this truck has a steering gear i dont know if it has a steering box it is a 5 speed manual, (dont know if it matters) I can tell what is loose since I looked at it again. The column consists of two shafts. ( these resemble drive shafts just smaller) This Shaft attaches to a steering gear. This is where the excessive play begins. I wonder if the steering gear needs changed.
 
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