2nd Gen Ram Tech1994-2001 Rams: This section is for TECHNICAL discussions only, that involve the 1994 through 2001 Rams. For any non-tech discussions, please direct your attention to the "General discussion/NON-tech" sub sections.
I just wanted to follow up with a problem that has plagued my truck and apparently lots of others for quite some time. I have a 1999 2500 QC 4x4. After a year of replacing parts and messing with different things I think I finally fixed it! The truck has wandered around from one side of the road to the other since I bought it. After looking thru some posts here I could see there was a problem.
I started by replacing the ball joints(they needed it anyway). No better.
Track bar. No better.
Second alignment. No better.
New PSC Steering gear. NO better(ouch-that hurt the wallet)
Solid Steel Steering stabilizer brace. No better.(Looks way cool though!)
New Rancho Steering stabilizer. No better.
Went back to the stock size tires with a heavier 12 ply construction. Better, but still not good enough.
Replaced Front Control Arms with arms from a 2005 Ram . Not just for the fact that they are off the new Ram, but because I happen to have some laying around and they are the same demension and the my stock ones. And they are a tubular design, which would appear to be stronger. I bought the Energy Suspension Bushing kit for the old arms, but after knocking out the old bushings, realized that I was given the WRONG part #! So, I was stuck with my truck on jackstands. I decided to try the new arms just to get my truck mobile.
This is the best my truck has EVER driven! And I have only swapped the lower arms so far. I ran out of time to do the tops. Can't wait to see what its like with all four.
Anyway, it looks like the worn bushings were the problem the whole time! Hope this helps someone else going thru the same problem. Let me know if you have any questions. After 12 months and several hundred dollars I think and hope I got it.
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so was it the bushings that were just bad and should replaced? or were the control arms themselves just outta wack?
i think i might go ahead and inspect bushing and replace them. thats alot cheaper than control arms and it cant hurt anything
1997 1500 4x4 5.9, flowmaster 40 turn down, rebuilt tranny and Transfer case, 2.5in lift, Ranch Hand Grill Guard, new springs and AAL, Bilstein. round air filter. Cooper Discoverer AT/3 265/75/16
The bushings were very worn and cracked. Very soft and seemed too plyable. I actually had a set of Energy Susp. bushings, but were apparently the wrong part # because when I put them in the arms wouldnt slide back up into the bracket. I alsos had access to the newer style arms that I put on so it worked out. I also noticed that the sleeves inside the bushings on the stock units were very elongated and worn. The new style arm also has a smaller diameter rubber bushing than the original. So, I think, that it would flex even less.
your bushing fix will make it feel like the front axle is locked to the frame. I put in urethane ones onmy last truck and it wa awesome. same thing for the jeep grand cherokee I had (front & rear). the thing that will also help your steering wander is adding more caster to the alignment and setting the toe correctly... on my current truck, the front end is shot (did alot of 4wheeling & beating on it this past summer)... and it still tracks straight as an arrow. Earlier this year I installed an adjustable tracbar from thurenfab and had to do my own toe adjustment on it. it was a piece of cake, time consuming but easy. I had slight cupping on the insides of the tires and I also had some wander. took landscaping string and tied it to my jackstands and stretched it across both tires so I could tell how far the fronts were away from the back (toe setting) and then dialed it in. now with the worn front end, it still tracks straight (no caster adjustment) and I have no wander at all...