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steering issues - pump or steering gear on 99 ram


Old 01-20-2011, 11:36 AM
DM6156 is offline
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Default steering issues - pump or steering gear on 99 ram

I have a 99 ram 1500 4x4 that I encountered a steering problem. On a couple of occasions while driving the truck (on same night) I heard a strange noise while turning (not necessairly at full lock). In searching I found that this is a fairly common issue on 99 rams with the steering gear (honking noise). After parking it a couple days and not driving it, I went to drive it (back out of the driveway) and it was very difficult to steer. I pulled back into the driveway and found it was almost impossible to turn left or right. It didn't matter if i was trying to barely turn or turn full lock.

On another note, I recently had tires put on and the shop said they could not (would not) align it since the tie rod ends where bad. I checked them out myself and there is no movement left to right (wheel to wheel) but there is up and down (ground to truck). I had to drive the truck a few times (needed to haul some things). No more than 200 miles have been put on it since the tires were installed.

I was planning on replacing all of the front steering components (pitman arm, dampner, inner, outter, drag link, etc) I purchased truck used and it had alot of grass/dirt stuck under where it has been off road and i had no history of the vehicle (purchased from elderly woman whose husband passed away). i haven't been able to install the new steering components with the weather and lack of time yet.

my question is how can i tell the difference between bad steering gear and bad steering pump? I have plenty of power steering fluid.

thanks in advance

Dan M
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:17 PM
BamaRam97 is offline
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Location: Alabama
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Sounds like you may need to start with new power steering lines. If it is hard to turn that means either 1) There isn't enough fluid or 2) the fluid isn't moving where it needs to be. I say start cheap and see what it does before replacing all your steering components. If you are going to replace the components don't for get about the track bar end. That thing wears fast on our trucks and will give you the "Death Wobble/Shake"
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:53 PM
DM6156 is offline
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Thanks, I will check out the lines. I wasn't sure what a bad steering box feels like.

Thanks for the reminder about the death wobble. The classics never die!

I'm still planning on replacing the steering components, cheap insurance.


- Dan M
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:08 PM
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Anyone know if its possible for the steering stabilizer to seize up by any chance? If it is, that might be part of your problem. I know I bent mine one time and couldn't steer to the right at all until I took it off on the side of the road... Might not be the issue, but it wouldn't hurt to unhook it and see before throwin down $$$ for steering pump etc.....

just a wild shot in the dark
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:13 PM
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Hmm Not sure on this one I know I went threw 4 pumps before I found one that half way works... Its still hard to steer I have replaced all ends and links other then steering box and stablizer... When its cold have to be a WSM to turn it.. Good luck let me know if ya find a fix
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:41 AM
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I had a suspicion that it was the steering gear based on everything I read about the "honking noise". I did manage to get out and poke around a bit under the hood and under the vechicle this weekend.

The power steering pump still has plenty of fluid, no leaks.
power pump lines all seem ok.
The pulley seems to be working fine, no issues with the belts slipping.
no visible damage to any steering componets.

I'm going to go ahead and replace the steering gear while i'm replacing the rest of the steering components (see original post).

Can anyone recommend a good replacement? My local advance sells reman units as does the few websites I normally order auto parts from. I usually do for cost, but wonderig if it's better to go new in this case.

I spoke to manager at my local advance (he just happened to be working there) and he thinks it's steering gear too. If I go that route, I will pull old unit and return when I order new one since i dont like paying core charges and it will be a couple weeks before I get time on weekend to swap it all out.

- Dan M
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:50 AM
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Dont buy a reman steering gear. Most of them are worn out and they go in and replace the seals and clean it up, not adressing the problems with the gears inside.

Here are a few companies who make good steering steering boxes:
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:17 PM
malissamiss is offline
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Default Need help!!! 99 dodge steering & brake issues

Steering & brakes quit in driveway on a 99 Dodge Ram 3500. Replaced steering pump first, didnt help. Then replaced vacuum pump, hydroboost, blew out all lines, flushed system, still no good. Was advised from local shop that it had to be the steering pump, so took other back & replaced again! Still nothing. Changed power gear box. I am now up to 1000 & still no fix. Truck cant be driven to shop, tow bill would be 350 as its a welding truck that weighs 11,000 pounds. Power steering has no foam, fluid not moving, no pressure or fluid out of high pressure line. Im at a major loss as to what it could be!! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:23 PM
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if the pump isn't pumping, that is definitely a problem. Did they maybe give you the wrong pump?
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:14 PM
bduals420 is offline
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I just had the same problem... All looks good good underneath but would not turn right in a section then if I really got on it it it would... I almost crashed it was really weird..
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