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steering wheel locks up going down the road

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Old 09-11-2017, 08:41 PM
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Question steering wheel locks up going down the road

my 88 dakota has had an issue with not locking the steering wheel when I turn it off and take the keys. Recently the steering wheel will lock when I am driving down the road. Most often when I turn left. What is causing this. It is pretty scarey..
 
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by songboat View Post
my 88 dakota has had an issue with not locking the steering wheel when I turn it off and take the keys. Recently the steering wheel will lock when I am driving down the road. Most often when I turn left. What is causing this. It is pretty scarey..
Geesh, I don't know, but don't drive that sucker....I couldn't imagine that happening, especially in any kind of traffic.
 
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:02 PM
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I had one cause for it to lock up on me as I was driving, and one that could have.

1) The pot metal in the tilt mechanism broke on my 1988; my column guy was able to replace it with another Saginaw set.

2) My lower U-joint was going bad on my intermediate column; there's a write up here on my replacing it.

I'd check both; see if it's the intermediate shaft locking up or not. If it's the column itself, you can swap with a non-tilt column (and if yours is non-tilt, then 1) doesn't apply!) or see if someone where you live can rebuild your current column. Note: Switches are all different tilt and non-tilt, so if you're going in that far, I'd replace the ignition switch, the lock cylinder, the dimmer switch, and the turn signal/hazard switch with new ones. But your choice.

As to the intermediate shaft and one of the U-joints going bad; well, again, a pair of 3/4-36 spline x 3/4 DD U-joints and a 12" length of 3/4DD shaft will fix you right up!

RwP
 
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:41 PM
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Mine does not have a tilt steering wheel. Thanks for all the advice. Could it be only the U joint?
 

Last edited by songboat; 09-11-2017 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by songboat View Post
Mine does not have a tilt steering wheel. Thanks for all the advice. Could it be only the U joint?
It could be; easiest would be to duplicate it by having someone inside move the wheel while you watch outside and make sure the U-joints aren't binding or popping around any.

Or see where it IS binding and catching at.

Now, if you mean it locks just like the ignition switch is supposed to lock it, that again may need a column rebuild, and or replacement from the boneyard.

It may be instructive to check out what the factory service manual has about the steering column and the linkages, too.

RwP
 
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:05 PM
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waiting for assistant to turn the wheel as I observe now. I have several manuals on this truck. one for the engine one for the truck. Kind of an odd setup. thanks again. It is kind of like the steering lock with the key of but this truck stopped locking the wheel when the key is turned off a while back. It does not feel like it is in the ignition, but will get back with you as to the results of a visual.
 
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Old 09-12-2017, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by songboat View Post
waiting for assistant to turn the wheel as I observe now. I have several manuals on this truck. one for the engine one for the truck. Kind of an odd setup. thanks again. It is kind of like the steering lock with the key of but this truck stopped locking the wheel when the key is turned off a while back. It does not feel like it is in the ignition, but will get back with you as to the results of a visual.
You only need one manual...the factory one....the rest you can throw in the trash or start a nice bonfire...they're generally worthless.
 
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