Much difference with steering stabilizer?

1983idi

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Looking for any feedback on people who have added steering stabilizers to their tow vehicles. I only pull a light (5,000 lbs when loaded) trailer but I find myself fighting to stay in my lane when the roads get really bumpy. Was thinking maybe a steering stabilizer would help but wanted feedback before doing it.

I've got a 3/4 ton RWD with the TTB garbage on the front end.
 

WAID

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What condition is the front end in? Steering stabilizers get thrown on an awful lot to bandaid wornout front end components. I'm not convinced a well maintained TTB is bad, but the decades old ones on these trucks are all due for some service if they haven't been. That said if you are RWD you technically have a TIB, though those are just simpler as far as I know.
 

Cubey

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You might try putting sway control on the trailer, if it's cheaper/easier. When pulling a 27ft camper trailer with my F250, I could tell the difference between having it on or not. It was a cheap sway control from Harbor Freight. It wasn't weight distribution, just sway control. It helped keep the truck going straight better even with a worn out steering gearbox.
 

1983idi

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What condition is the front end in? Steering stabilizers get thrown on an awful lot to bandaid wornout front end components. I'm not convinced a well maintained TTB is bad, but the decades old ones on these trucks are all due for some service if they haven't been. That said if you are RWD you technically have a TIB, though those are just simpler as far as I know.

The front end is kept up on maintenance. When I bought the truck it has really really bad bump steer and I tore the whole dang front end apart trying to figure it out. New Control arm bushings, replaced the steering box with an expensive ass red head one, replaced the drag link, and still had the darn issue..... turned out the rag joint was shot. Replace that and it was a new rig, but unfortunately new ones are only good for about a month or two until they loosen up. Not as bad as originally but still bad enough to make towing no fun. Before someone recommends the 300 dollar borgeson steering shaft I don't have that kind of money to dump into this POS. If there's a solution that eliminates the rag joint I would be thrilled to know about it but not a 300 dollar one.
 

tradergem

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You might try shimming the play out of the slip joint of your steering shaft first until you can afford a Borgeson. There is a YouTube that shows how to do it.
 

u2slow

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Does your truck squat much with that trailer? Or heave up and down with the road bumps?

Single or tandem axle trailer? Are you running overload springs or an equalizing hitch?
 

frankenwrench

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Lol. I have the same rig, replaced all the above mentioned parts, and got the same results. To directly answer the question you asked, I did try the double steering dampener approach. No avail. Shim the steering shaft my friend. All the difference in the world in my experience.
 

Old Goat

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I guess by your handle you have an 83.
I have an 86, same set up, RWD, 4-spd
3:5 Diff etc...

When we bought it, it wondered all over the road.
Wanted to go left and right at the same time...LOL
Put her in a shop, they changed the wheel bearings
and the Rotors that were wore down past spects, with
pads and calipers and alignment.
Made a huge difference.

Was still having the problem and a couple years later
had the whole front end rebuilt.
All the Bushings, Tie Rods, drag Link, King pins,
steering Box, Springs and Shocks.
Was like a new truck.

Later I noticed she would pull like being on a rutted
road. Was told if I put the stock size tire on it, it would
probably go away. I was running 265/85 16, and stock
is 235/85 16. threw in a set and drives great. Probably
put on 50K miles or so since then.

When you buy and old 25 - 30 year old truck you`r
going to have to dump some money in them to replace
some of the wore out bullet proof parts.

I don`t know how some you guys can run some of
these tires that are a foot wide and not have problems.


Goat.
 
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Black dawg

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The front end is kept up on maintenance. When I bought the truck it has really really bad bump steer and I tore the whole dang front end apart trying to figure it out. New Control arm bushings, replaced the steering box with an expensive ass red head one, replaced the drag link, and still had the darn issue..... turned out the rag joint was shot. Replace that and it was a new rig, but unfortunately new ones are only good for about a month or two until they loosen up. Not as bad as originally but still bad enough to make towing no fun. Before someone recommends the 300 dollar borgeson steering shaft I don't have that kind of money to dump into this POS. If there's a solution that eliminates the rag joint I would be thrilled to know about it but not a 300 dollar one.


If the rag joint is loose already.....replace it? I have replaced many, and they last just fine.

Do you have a picture of your truck and trailer loaded? I would bet this has more to do with weight distribution than your pos truck.
 

1983idi

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If the rag joint is loose already.....replace it? I have replaced many, and they last just fine.

Do you have a picture of your truck and trailer loaded? I would bet this has more to do with weight distribution than your pos truck.

This post made me think of this when it gets wiggly:


The tow video above has more to do with weight distribution, than steering stabilizer.

@Cubey comment reminded me



I appreciate the advise on weight distribution and thinking it's the trailer but I have it loaded properly. The trailer never sways. I have a car trailer loaded with a racecar which is very light in the rear so even if I load the car toward the back of the trailer I still have a lot of tongue weight. The issue stems from something being loose in the steering. I checked out the shaft and there is no shaft play. The only spot I can see play is in the rag joint which slightly compresses when the wheel is turned.

I'm not trying to make anyone mad calling it a POS truck. Just been frustrated with trying to figure this out. I love the truck overall except for this issue and how darn loud it is to ride in when towing on the highway it has really been great. 14-16mpg towing and has plenty of power to boot. With the exception of big blocks/V10 trucks it will pretty much out tow any gasser truck from the 90's and early 2000's and it was built almost 40 years ago.
 

Greenie

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The Borgeson steering shaft made all the difference on my '93 4WD
 

frankenwrench

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I appreciate the advise on weight distribution and thinking it's the trailer but I have it loaded properly. The trailer never sways. I have a car trailer loaded with a racecar which is very light in the rear so even if I load the car toward the back of the trailer I still have a lot of tongue weight. The issue stems from something being loose in the steering. I checked out the shaft and there is no shaft play. The only spot I can see play is in the rag joint which slightly compresses when the wheel is turned.

I'm not trying to make anyone mad calling it a POS truck. Just been frustrated with trying to figure this out. I love the truck overall except for this issue and how darn loud it is to ride in when towing on the highway it has really been great. 14-16mpg towing and has plenty of power to boot. With the exception of big blocks/V10 trucks it will pretty much out tow any gasser truck from the 90's and early 2000's and it was built almost 40 years ago.
If the rag joint was replaced recently with everything else, and it's the only slack your able to find, you may have just gotten a bad part. Then again, the rag joints in my opinion were a bad design. I read your posts and am aware that you don't want to replace the steering shaft for the cost. I understand that as it seems overpriced. But at the same time that may be your answer weather it's wanted or not. Especially being that everything else has been ruled out. I do not intend to anger/irritate you. I do not know you to do so. But I had the same idea a few years ago with the steering dampeners and bought the kit and it made no difference in the amount of slop in the wheel or the traveling the truck had. The turning feels firmer like what you would expect in a newer vehicle, but no change in slop.
 

1983idi

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If the rag joint was replaced recently with everything else, and it's the only slack your able to find, you may have just gotten a bad part. Then again, the rag joints in my opinion were a bad design. I read your posts and am aware that you don't want to replace the steering shaft for the cost. I understand that as it seems overpriced. But at the same time that may be your answer weather it's wanted or not. Especially being that everything else has been ruled out. I do not intend to anger/irritate you. I do not know you to do so. But I had the same idea a few years ago with the steering dampeners and bought the kit and it made no difference in the amount of slop in the wheel or the traveling the truck had. The turning feels firmer like what you would expect in a newer vehicle, but no change in slop.

I appreciate the reply. You're advice is not irritating at all. I have ordered a new rag joint in hopes this one was just not a good one that I got. I really appreciate the feedback on the steering stabilizer. Exactly the advise and response I was looking for so you've save me from spending money on something that wouldn't have worked. Thank You!

I also ordered a new drag link because I found that there looked like there was some play at the joint where it connects to the pitman arm. Bought a TRW brand that was made in the USA. Unfortunately tho the joint is tight and the old one was loose. When I have my wife sit in the truck and rock the wheel back and forth the pitman arm moves slightly before the drag link starts to move. Maybe this is normal as there has to be a lot of force pushing sideways on a joint that wants to rotate in it's socket rather than pushing the shaft sideways. I'm sure when driving there is probably less "slop" since not as much force is required to turn a rolling tire. Wondering if anyone else has noticed this tho?
 
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