Repost 1988 Dakota Steering

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Old 01-26-07, 07:30 PM
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Talking Repost 1988 Dakota Steering

I am reposting this because I reffered to some of the parts by their wrong name. Maybe this will help someone else to help me. I believe I have this narrowed down to two possibilities. When the truck is turned off, I can turn the steering shaft and it seems very stiff with little play. However, when I start the vehicle, and turn the steering shaft, it jumps several inches in each direction, having excess play and slop in the steering. While driving it jumps from left to right for a few inches as if there is no contact with the internal steering components. This truck has power steering. The steering system is reffered to as a manual rack and pinion. There isn't fluid leaking that I am aware of. I was wondering if there is a bushing or fitting on the steering gear (where the shaft meets the gear ) that could be worn? Other guesses I have are 1. Rack n pinion system needs replaced or 2. Steering knuckle needs to be replaced. Any info will help. Save my work truck.
 
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Old 01-27-07, 07:38 AM
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It's likely the rack and pinion. Have someone move the steering wheel while you watch or hold the shaft from under the hood. That would tell if you have a bad steering knuckle.

However, from what you've described, think in terms of the rack/pinion assembly.

Hope this helps,

Bob
 
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Old 01-27-07, 11:17 AM
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there is lots of possible causes for steering slop would start at the wheels by jacking each front wheel up and wiggling side to side if excessive play is found its probably from a tie rod. then move on to checking the steering shaft and gear box for excessive play to find out where its coming from.
 
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Old 01-27-07, 07:04 PM
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The excessive play seems to be in the steering gear. I wonder if the gear can be changed or if this is all one piece ( rack -n - pin)?
 
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Old 01-27-07, 07:56 PM
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some have an adjustment nut on top that you can try to adjust or you can buy a remanufactured unit.
rack and pinion is commonly used in cars and even some vans and suvs instead of a steering gear box.
 
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Old 01-28-07, 06:52 AM
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I have an 01 Durango and it's rack and pinion................88???? May be box?????........Not sure........But I'd jack each wheel up and check for looseness in the bearings and the ball joints as well as the tie rod ends and other steering linkage...........Dodge had a problem with the ball joints and my (wifes) truck is now warranteed for 100K miles on certain suspension parts.
 
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Old 01-31-07, 01:05 PM
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UPDATE= It turns out that the rack n pinion and gear box need replaced. A job that I would attempt if it weren't 10 degrees here. So I decided it wasn't DYIable. Its in the shop. Thanks for the replies.
 
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