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boomer
Dodge Dakota
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9/14/2007
13:54:50

Subject: another front end problem
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Main problem is that my trucks pulls to the right....a while ago I replaced all balljoints, endlinks, swaybar bushings, tie-rods, and shocks. naturally I went and got an alignment. they said that they couldn't get the caster in spec but it shouldnt matter much. anyway it was fine, till a couple days later when I was backing into a parking spot at work. when I turned and backed I heard a pop and didn't worry bout it much till I drove it later. When driving home it pulled to the right, which it wasn't doing before I parked so I've been trying to find out what it is. I took it back to the shop where they did they alignment and they said it looked fine. one kid actually said one of my ball joints was bad, but I just replaced them so I doubt that was it. i've heard control arm bushings before? any ideas?? thanks guys



Problem Child
GenIII
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9/14/2007
19:40:01

RE: another front end problem
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Did you replace the balljoints? If so did you torque em? Maybe over torqued and one broke? Just guessing.



dakota49
Dodge Dakota
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9/14/2007
21:39:59

RE: another front end problem
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Boomer, I doubt if you broke a ball joint, if you did you wouldn't be able to drive the truck, well not very far anyway. I think the best way to find if there is a problem would be to jack up the front end on both sides and check everything in and around the front end. I would also take off both front tires as well. Then have someone turn the wheel from lock to lock and check to see if anything is loose, or broken.
While the steering wheel is being turned look for anything that moves for looseness, and try to shake the parts as the wheels are being turned to see if anything seems out of whack.
One of the things that bothers me in a case like this is sometimes a shop will look at it and say, gee, we don't know how to fix this so they say there's nothing wrong and send the customer on their way. While you you the front end in the air, measure the distence between the tires front and rear (of the front tires. the best way to measure is while the truck is on the ground measure from the center of the tire on the ground to the center of the wheel spendel then use the same measurement to the front of the tire and the rear of the tire. So when you get it in the air you should have about 1/16 of an inch more at the rear than at the front.
Other than that, I can't think of any thing else to suggest.
Good Luck
Dakota49
88 3.9 4X4 5 speed



boomer
Dodge Dakota
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9/16/2007
09:22:02

RE: another front end problem
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thanks for the info guys. I'll try measuring and see what I get. thanks again



sport02
Dodge Dakota
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9/16/2007
22:10:00

RE: another front end problem
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boomer, who did your alignment? I had pepboys and the dealer both tell me the alignment was in spec. when i took my truck to a frame shop they said yeah it may have been in spec but you're allowed to be out of slightly out of spec and still technically be "in spec". for me, the little bit it was off made all the diff. in the world and a good alignment shop should be able to adjust right on.



boomer
Dodge Dakota
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9/17/2007
06:53:47

RE: another front end problem
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belle tire was the mastermind. some of them kids are probably 17-18 workin there. so maybe that wasnt the best place my truck has seen. my buddy worked there but he worked sales, so at least I got a discount...which when I think about it is retarded if they didn't do the job right..my cousin works at a pep boys, and a bunch of idiots work at his side. I might take it to him if he does the alignment, or at least I can be back there when they do it and he can tell me whats goin on and I can watch them catastraphize my truck. (lol, don't think thats a word but it sounded good dammit)



boomer
Dodge Dakota
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11/08/2007
22:14:42

RE: another front end problem
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long time since i've updated..anyway, I found out what the problem was..idiots! but why they are idiots is because they did not tighten up the control arm bolts enough that they loosen to do an alignment! so if you ever have this problem after an alignment, now you know what it could be.



sport02
Dodge Dakota
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11/09/2007
00:06:27

RE: another front end problem
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i still have trouble with mine. i'm pretty sure my rack is going bad though and have had that suspicion confirmed by two mechanics. for me, one day my steering feels fine then the next day it's tight! it all seems to get thrown off after backing up and turning sharp to the stops or going forward and turning to the stops.

also another thing that concerns me is when my steering wheel is turned and i get out and look at the front wheels, it appears that the drivers side wheel is turned more than the passenger side. just had it aligned last month at a very reputable body shop and the guy says he's got it right on the nose. personally i think maybe the inner tie rod ends and at worse the rack like i said.

i've replaced power steering pump, power steering lines, outer tie rod ends, shocks, belt.

boomer, it's really funny but your truck was exactly like mine was doing, same thing with the caster, same thing with popping when backing up. I yelled up a storm at pep boys cause i had it there 3 times and everytime they had a different story and yet all 3 times not once was any bolt ever moved from it's rusty location or tie rod end moved as well. they refunded all my money and said don't come back cause they can't fix it! i take it to a "good" alignment place and not one problem doing the alignment. the guy did say the dakota's are very touchy and have a lot more adjustments that are able to make compared to other cars. Only thing i would ever consider pep boys for again would be tires.

but i know the guy that aligned my truck recently made sure that he tightened all bolts.



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