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Hard steering in 4wd

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Old 07-13-2019, 06:28 PM
RAM_rumbler
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Default Hard steering in 4wd

Hey all I am having some steering troubles with my pretty much stock 2000 Ram 1500 sport 5.9

After putting the truck into 4wd, the steering gets awful stiff. I am not new to 4wd and this isn't your normal 4wd stiffness. There are times when the wheel gets impossible to turn. Feels like something is binding or the power steering quits.

I tried some things to see what was up and found that power steering fluid was coming out of the tightened cap when trying to turn when it was stiff. Also there was a ticking noise coming from the power steering pump and sometimes a screeching noise. Underneath I can't see anything wrong with any of the steering parts, just fluid splattered on them which I assume came from the leaking pump cap. Another interesting thing is that it stays for a bit after going back to 2wd. I spun the wheels to make sure it wasn't just still in 4wd yet.

Thanks in advance, would love to figure this out.
 
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:02 PM
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Does it feel stiff when standing still in 4wd ? My WAG would be your front differential is locked up for some reason which makes it extremely hard to turn. In 2wd with the axle disconnect you wouldn't notice the diff is not working.
 
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DerTruck View Post
Does it feel stiff when standing still in 4wd ? My WAG would be your front differential is locked up for some reason which makes it extremely hard to turn. In 2wd with the axle disconnect you wouldn't notice the diff is not working.
Yes it feels stiff when standing still. I am able to drive it though, and the stiffness is not constant which made me think it wasn't the differential. Do you know what a good way to test if it was?

Thanks for the reply
 
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:18 AM
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If there's "kibble" moving around in the differential it might change the feel in the steering. Try putting the truck in 4wd and jack up both front wheels. When turning one wheel the other side should turn the opposite way smoothly and without being notchy or making weird noises.
 
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:59 AM
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What surface are you engaging the 4 wheel drive? Doing so on hard surface such as assault or concrete can bind things and damage the transfer case. It should only be used on non solid surfaces such as dirt mud snow etc...
 
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:44 PM
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Yep just on soft ground
 

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