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sport02
Dodge Dakota
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10/13/2007
03:12:52

Subject: tight steering
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ok, i'm out of ideas here. some may have read my other posts on my tight steering problem. i still continue to have this problem even after replacing power steering pump, power steering lines, flushing multiple times, bleeding multiple times, 3 front end alignments, new tie rod ends, new shocks, new serpentine, new pulley for pump, dealer checked ball joints and bushings and said they were ok. honestly i wish the truck would blow up!!

only thing it CAN be is the rack and i just refused to believe it was that at only 78,000 miles on it but apparently so. it is just so tight up there you've got to keep both hands on the steering wheel almost all the time, there's no let off or softness to the feeling of the steering wheel. i can't see any air bubbles or foaming at all in the power steering reservoir and the fluid is as clear as it was when i poured it from the bottle, honest!!!

only other thing to try would be to draw a vac on the steering system and see what happens. i don't have a vac tool or the adapter for the power steering cap and don't feel like getting ripped off at the dealer by paying a half hour labor for a 3 minute job.



Kenkura
Dodge Dakota
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10/13/2007
13:05:58

RE: tight steering
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Hope this helps its out of my Mopar Street Truck Book, in the steering ssection diagnosis.

Binding And Sticking
1. Low Fluid Pressure
2. Tire PRessure
3. Steering components (balljoin/tierod)
4. loose belt
5. low pump pressure
6. colunm shaft coupler binding
7. steering gear worn

Insuff. Asst. or poor return to center
Hard Turning or momentary increase in turning effort
1. tire pressure
2. low fluid pressure
3. loose belt
4. low pump pressure
5. internal gear leak

Steering wheel does not return to center
1. tire pressure
2. wheel alignment
3. Lack of lubrication
4. high friction in steering gear

Loose steering and vehicle lead
excessive play
1. worn or loose steering components
2. worn or loose wheel bearings
3. steering gear mounting
4. gear out of adjustment
5. worn or loose steering coupler

Vehicle pulls or leads to one side
1. tire pressure
2. radial tire lead
3. brakes dragging
4. wheel alignment

also any noises you hear from the system can help identify what the cause may be the book has a section on that aswell but its a bit longer, but hopefully that info helps since you've replaced everything else its basically down to a steering shaft problem or rack and pinion problem



sport02
Dodge Dakota
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10/14/2007
02:27:58

RE: tight steering
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you know come to think of it, i have this clunking sound in my steering column. mostly when i go over bumps. it's definately in the column. i tried that recall thing. i read up on it and printed it out and took the top cover off the steering column but the bolts are further down under the dash somewhere. the recall i printed out said under the cover and it's not. not sure what year they were referring to.

pump is new, even swapped it out for another. it makes groaning noises but not real loud unless you rev the motor high. no air in lines.

if the rack itself were going bad would it cause additional stress on the pump? my parents have a dirt drive way and kind of rutty. when i go down it the steering is all over the place. the steering wheel jerks to whichever side the rut is on and that's not even going 5mph.

It's sounds more likely that theres something inside the rack causing the problem, probly the seals or something. like i said i replaced the tie rod ends and upper ball joints were replaced under recall and cant get any play out of the lowers. i do think my bushings are a little worn but don't see how that would affect the physical effort being put into the steering.

the last thing i'm wondering is the tires. i keep the pressure at 32psi. they are still factory tires and have about 4/32 tread left. i put snow's on every year so it really saved the life of the factory tires but they are starting to show their age with some dry rot on the sidewalls and a little in the tread. they are worn a little unevenly with about 5/32 on the inside and 4/32 on the outsides. i think also that dismounting and mounting them every year may have also deteriorated the condition of the tires. this is just my opinion but sounds logical. still not convinced that would affect steering effort though. i'm getting new tires probly after i get 2007's tax return and then in the spring probly a rack and pinion. it's gonna have to wait till then.

what would be an internal gear leak? would that be in the rack? i don't leak fluid anywhere, must be all contained whatever is going on!



Kenkura
Dodge Dakota
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10/16/2007
14:50:24

RE: tight steering
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It is from what I hear possible to have an internal fluid leak inside the rack and pinion itself which would not lead to any visible signs of a fluid leak (i.e. a puddle of fluid) seems like there could be maybe 3 things, tire pressure 32psi sounds a bit low for a pickup on stock tires obviously thats the easyest thing to try and costs nothing nextup its a toss between steering colunm or your rack and oddly enough its probably cheaper to swap out the rack over the colunm but ofcourse if you change them both to new and its still messed up you got some crazy demons in your truck



sport02
Dodge Dakota
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10/17/2007
02:18:36

RE: tight steering
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the tires are the sport package 255/65r15's. i thought 32psi was the average pressure for most tires. the label inside door recommends 35psi front and rear. not sure 3lbs would change what i'm experiencing. it's worth a shot though

yeah im thinking rack is cheaper and much easier. i have heard of internal leaks as well in the rack. could this be causing bump steering too? i have a lot of that. just had it aligned after new outer tie rod ends. i didn't replace the inners because if i'm going to get a new rack it comes with them. out of all my problems, the bump steering is the worst.



headstamp
Dodge Dakota
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3/17/2008
20:40:46

RE: tight steering
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Try spraying the lower steering column u-joint near the rack input shaft with a good penetrating lube like Sea Foam Deep Creep.

This cured the binding on mine. Bind-Free-Bind problem went away. Chrysler should have booted these joints to keep water out of them.

It may take a couple applications. Mine took two to fully free up.



cjperotti
Dodge Dakota
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3/17/2008
22:17:34

RE: tight steering
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A friend of mine bought a Dakota that had real hard steering. It turned out be seized ball joints. We had to pry the rubber of each one and spray WD40 and work them loose then gease them.



dakotaissue
Dodge Dakota
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8/21/2012
16:32:34

RE: tight steering
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I can see the above messages are old, but I have just started having the same problem with my 2007 Dodge Dakota. As I was driving home a week ago, I took a shortcut through a muddy dirt road. It was really bumpy but nothing worse than I've driven on before. A minute later as I was pulling into my driveway, the power steering quit. Just quit.
That evening, I added a little power steering fluid to the reservoir but didn't drive it until two days later. It was fine. Two days after that, the power steering went out again. Yesterday, I took it to the Dodge dealership for repair, and as the mechanic was moving it the power steering kicked back in.
He has not been able to find anything wrong with it, and I'd prefer not to pay for parts until I know what part needs to be replace.
Can anyone advise?




Sailor
Dodge Dakota
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8/31/2012
19:36:31

RE: tight steering
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I took a shortcut through a muddy dirt road.

We have paved streets now!





Dennis Perry
Dodge Dakota
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10/25/2014
08:41:19

RE: tight steering
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My steering is tight but no noise coming from pump. Hate
replacing good parts. Where else should i look, and how do i
check it?



ChrisBakowski
Dodge Dakota
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10/29/2014
19:30:50

RE: tight steering
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Your lug nuts are to tight.



AandP
Dodge Dakota
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11/01/2014
15:07:08

RE: tight steering
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There are u-joints in the steering column. Eventually they dry up and get very stiff OR they may get really loose.

Changing the intermediate shaft is the fix.



Dave Humphrey
Dodge Dakota
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6/11/2015
20:54:58

RE: tight steering
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I have a 2007 Dodge Dakota Quad cab 4x4.i had problems with squeaking in the front end.Was told it was the ball joints seized or the intermediate shaft.within one month the steering became very stiff.Machanic says shaft is about a 400.00 part.What should a guy try first.



AandP
Dodge Dakota
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6/11/2015
21:29:57

RE: tight steering
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It's probably more than one problem.

The squeaking can be bushings or the ball joints.

The stiff steering is likely the intermediate shaft. Put some penetrating oil on the u-joints. It should loosen it up - temporarily.



Richard
Dodge Dakota
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6/18/2017
21:13:22

RE: tight steering
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My 2010 Dakota super tight choppy steering and a backyard mechanic found it to be the two u joints on the steering column. They did not have grease fittings so he sprayed them down with grease and problem was solved.



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