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Steering Fun

Discussion in '6.9L IH & 7.3L IDI Diesels' started by BrianX128, May 14, 2019.

  1. BrianX128

    BrianX128 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    So now that I got the tdi, the IDI's have been seeing a little less daily driving (although when it rains I've been driving the 6.9 and it rains almost every day here so not that much less) and the other day I had something happen before I've never had happen ever in any vehicle and I'm super confused. This is on my 85 F350 4x4.

    I was pulling out of a intersection and at the stop sign as you pull out you were facing downhill pretty steep. As I turned left and shifted into third gear, the truck started pulling pretty hard to the right quick enough that if you let off the steering wheel it would have took you off of the road. I just held it at center and it didn't seem like it wanted to let up, so I "jerked" it to the left and then it started to want to go that way but not quite as strong and I was trying to think what could this be? And as soon as that thought came into my head, the issue just went away entirely.

    The truck just had it's annual PA safety inspection where wheel bearings, excessive axle play, and tie rods and the like our checked over. Nothing seems awkward on the truck looking at the front end. It just was aligned a year ago when I got new tires. I did hit a deer on that side of the truck but all it did was dent the bumper pretty good (got a new one) and now I have only had this happen twice in over 3000 miles. Both times turning left.

    What am I missing here? steering box isn't falling out, steering shafts are still bolted in good. Tiny play but nothing weird. Lug nuts still tight. I don't notice any u joints that look unhappy and there are no vibrations or noises at all. I jacked the whole front end up and tried to wrestle both tires around in any direction to feel play and there is nothing.. I had wondered if a brake caliper was sticking the first time it happened and then it didn't happen again for two months until the other day when this happened. I tried pressing the brakes and it stopped evenly so I tried the turning left thing. It's not just sloppy steering play though the truck doesn't have sloppy steering at all and it feels like it's bad alignment pull, but the fact that it can go away for a month and not do it makes me think it's something else.

    So confused.
     
  2. Thewespaul

    Thewespaul Supporting Vendor Supporting Member

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    Binding ball joint maybe? I would just get under and start moving things around till you find something that doesn’t act right. Something wasn’t happy
     
    chillman88 likes this.
  3. BrianX128

    BrianX128 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The worst part of this is during the TDI purchase I forgot about this issue and turned left at that turn in the IDI the other day and had forgotten about this happening for a month and the truck was fine. Hasn't happened for 1200 ish miles.. Just forgot to post on here about it and look at it. I looked at my U joints in the front axle and they aren't new but they looked ok. No play or anything, I guess one could be seized but I put the truck in neutral and 4x4 and jacked the front end up with the hubs engaged and spun the tires and it just feels normal. Even so when I have the truck in 2wd with the axle hubs disengaged the u joints wouldn't be spinning so.. I guess I need to look again under there and maybe have someone turn the wheel back and forth while I'm under the truck or something.
     
  4. Garbage_Mechan

    Garbage_Mechan Garbage Mechanic

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    One thing to think about is a sticking spool valve in the steering box. It is a rotary hydraulic valve that directs the pressure and flow from the power steering pump to the “ cylinder” in the box. I have had about 3 cases of it over the years. One on my old 72 ranch truck I have never fixed. It does it every day just once. One good jerk of the wheel and it is unstuck. Not for an on road vehicle. If you would like to discuss with a steering box builder call my buddy Mark at Straight Line Steering in San Jose Ca.
     
  5. chillman88

    chillman88 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    That was my first thought as well. Worth checking. Have they been greased recently?
     
  6. subway

    subway be nice to the admin :D

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    while others suggestions are good and worth checking in know i had an issue like this in my Jeep. i could not figure it out for a while but i it would randomly hang on my steering. i found out when i dug into my axle for other reasons the u-joints in the knuckles were binding when they aligned a certain way. replaced them and back to smooth turning.
     

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