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.
so the day after christmas was 'work on the truck day'. steering wheel had a lot of play in it - about 2 inches of turn. i adjusted the play out and it drives a lot better. here's how...
spray the top of the steering box with a little brake cleaner to clean the dirt off.
work on the truck from underneath. key turned on one notch to unlock the steering wheel, but truck not running. wheels on ground.
use a 16 mm wrench and a 4.5 mm hex wrench (i think, if not 4.5, then 5.0)
insert the hex wrench into the center of the adjusting screw and point it towards the front of the truck.
hold the hex wrench and loosen the locknut.
have wife, g/f. wiggle steering wheel, or else get up and down a lot.
tighten hex wrench about 1/4 turn at a time to take up the play. i turned mine about 3/4 turn to take up 2 inches of play in the wheel.
hold hex wrench and tighten locknut.
you're done, take it for a test drive.
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01 1500 Reg Cab 4wd 5.2 auto 3.55 285/75/16 steps tow hooks sc3815 180 3923 trans cooler filter posilok powertrax (removed) timbren britebox pioneer head rockford amp speaker cobra cb firestick hughes plenum water pump timing chain oil pump rear main hub bearings brakes shocks cracked dash cad bushings seals ujoints trackbar tcase Robert Griffin Trans
RE: adjusted steering box - removed play in steering
Thanks so much. Mine had gotten to the point where I felt like I was gonna get pulled over for DUI. The truck would go to the left and to the right on the interstate. Did this after seeing it. I wish I would haver known about this earlier. Thanks
99 Ram 1500 Sport Quad-Cab
The adjustment nut is not under the steering box, it's on top. I tightened my '98 up about a month ago and it helped a LOT. Personally, turning the wheels back and forth while not moving did not reveal any "hard spots" but I still overtightened by about a 1/4 turn. Total amount I ended up turning the set screw was about 1 1/2 turns (lefty loosy righty tighty). I had to take it for a drive first to realize it was too tight the first time. I wouldn't call it memory, I would simply call it fighting against whatever you try to do. It doesn't want to turn, it doesn't want to go straight, it doesn't want to return to center on it's own. No "hard spots" though.
I think the DYI meant you end up having to be under the truck to do it. I don't see how I could have done it from up top. Too long of a reach to try to get the nut loose. It's easiest to lay on your back or on a creeper looking up. I used a regular box wrench (forget exactly what size, but I think it was 15, 16, or 17mm), and I used a regular allen wrench (forget the size on that one too, but I think it was around 5mm). FYI--the allen head was full of gunk when I did this procedure to mine. I had to take a much smaller allen wrench (a paper clip would be fine too) and dig the crap out of there before the allen wrench would actually fit. It was pretty much packed full of crud.
So will doing this adjustment help me if my steering is extremely tight turning right and normal going left?
I'm willing to bet your steering stabilizer shock is bent.... I bent mine mudding one day bad enough that it wouldn't turn to the right at all, but would still turn left. pull it off and see if that fixes the problem