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Ford F-Series Steering Problems

I have a 2004 F250 Supper Duty Crew Cab 4X4 with 92,950 miles. When I Turn the wheel half to full turn , either direction I hear a clunking noise in front end. It happens for a while then goes away for a while. I had it to the dealer 5 times since I got it and they hear it, put it on lift can not find anything, nothing loose, rubbing, nothing. Let it down from lift drive it and it is gone. Had it to a garrage and they can not find nothing. Dealer even said they lossened the front and retightened everything again but still happens.
When it does it it does for a while then stops for a while then back again. Happens whether I use 4X4 or not. Has anyone had this issue or know anything about it?


  • How about the Cab mounting bolts? The bolts on my crew cab long bed weren't torqued fully tight. Used to get alll sorts of weird creaking noises, especially on low speed turns. Didn't matter whether it was in 4x2 or 4x4. Once they were tightened to spec all the noises stopped.

    If not the cab bolts, how about the snubbers in between the leaves of the front springs?. Those have a habit of wearing out and then the springs rub together and make weird noises. You can check it by drowning the ends of the springs wth some silcone lube (Don't get it on the tires.) If things quiet down until the first rain storm or a deep puddle, then it's probably the springs. I think Ford sells replacement spring inserts.
  • my stering wheel moves from side to side when braking, I had the brake rotors and calipers just done, yet the problem persists, any ideas
  • Hello, Take a look at the drag link when the steering wheel is being turned, I have seen the drag link twist harshly and clunk and this happened in a half turn on the wheel
  • First try rotating tires. If a tire is out of balance or has a bad band this will cause this. If you have more than 80 or 90 thousand on a ford truck a good bet is bad tie rod ends or ball joints. Jack up front tire and with tire on truck try shaking tire. If you have movement back and forth tie rods are bad. Take pry bar and lift up on tire while checking ball joints. If movement ball joints are bad
  • shloop69shloop69 Posts: 1
    must u remove the shifting rod that goes from the trns to the stearing column arm 2 replace the column? or can u slide it thru the firewall attached ? HELP
  • stemostemo Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 f250 crew cab short box diesel. The problem has been going on for over 3 years and no one can fix it. The truck floats to the left then to right going down the highway. I drove it last night for about 300 miles and my shoulders and neck are sore. At high speeds it isn't safe. I had it alined, new tires, ball joints checked, one replaced the other they said not yet. New sway linkage. Also, replaced the small shock in front. My thoughts, could it be in the steering gear box? Too loose, not enough lube, wore out? Is the power steering some how related to the brake boost? It has 112000 miles on it. The mech. keeps saying thats the way these trucks drive get use to it. Well I owned it from new and it drove great before.
    Thanks for any ideas
  • stemostemo Posts: 2
    I have an 2001 that does the samething. The dealer says the lock outs are good, but they must be sticking. I am going to change mine soon. It sounds like the u-joint in the axle drive to me. Hows your steering? Mine floats from side to side. Hoping for an answer soon.
  • rocker6rocker6 Posts: 1
    2000 F-250 7.3L 4x4 SD long bed. While in 4x4: While turning in either direction the front end wobbles and skips. I can watch the front tires do this and feel it in the steering. If I disengage the gears (about 10 mph) the truck will slow down quickly while in a turn and does it wobble! To get in 4x4 drive I have to turn the hubs. I do not know what to do. Any help would be appreciated.
  • My steering is all over the road @ times. Steering box, pump & 1 hose was replaced. Still having problems @ times going all over the road. What can it be? Ball joints, tie rods , idler arm are good. Thanks randy :mad:
  • yes i have a 06 f250 the top track bar bolt is not the right diameter i just got done putting a 7/8 bolt in mine the factory only puts a 20mm in them and there is a lot slop in it it really needs like a 13/16 but couldnt find one. but that should fix the problem it fixed mine
  • I have had the same experience, several times in fact, especially after putting on new tires. I have found that different makes and models of tires have different sidewall characteristics. Bringing the new tires up to the truck manufacturer's recommended psi had no affect on the phenomonon. Bringing the tires up to 5 psi LESS than the maximum recommended by the tire maufacturer had the best results.
    The truck could finally hold a straight line on the highway. Easy to try, anyway.
    Good Luck!
  • mtpeasmtpeas Posts: 1
    I have also experienced this problem. I'm told it can be a "Stack ?" combination type of problem in that multiple loose or worn front end components can cumulatively cause the situation. Front end specialist deem that individual linkages are within specifications. However, culmulatively combined these create a mushy, slow response, constant drive attention type of condition. Worn Stabilizer linkage/ends, loose Track Bar mounts, Loose Steering Box adjustment, worn drag link, etc., can all play a "cumulative" part in this difficult to diagnose situation. I am taking mine to a know good specialist for an overall diagnosis.

    I have also heard that due to the V8 design of the 7.3 turbo dsl engines, they begin heating and wear out at roughly 150k miles, has anyone else experienced or heard this situation?
  • mike123mike123 Posts: 10
    I have a 2006 f-250 diesel it just started. the steering locks up when i turn from left to right or right to left not all the time just once in a while. it just started a month ago ball joints are good belt fine power steering fluid fine. any body know what would cause this
  • dorkbobstdorkbobst Posts: 1
    I also have the same problem with my 05 F550 6.0 4x4 . When I make right turns there is like a dead or flat spot in the steering . It just turned 23,000 mi and of course out of warrante. As always the dealers say I am the only one having ths problem and they don't know anything about it!!! Also the water leak that dumps water on you after a rain and the truck is sitting is the pinch welds above the doors under the weather stripping, they are so poorly sealed they leak thus sending water down the door pillars and of course RUST soon after that...
  • fixitgalfixitgal Posts: 1
    I have the same problem on my 2001 F250 Super Duty Diesel 7.3. I also had it aligned, replaced the ball joints and a steering link at a specialized truck shop. The problem was worse. They told me there was nothing else they could do and to go drive it in a parking lot around and circles until the steering corrected itself! So I took it to the dealer and they said the other place didn't press the ball joints in all the way and that they were binding so they replace them again. Now it is back to the way it was before I took it to the first place for repair. The dealer said they could not help me, they had done everything they could. Like yours, my problem has been ongoing for 3 years, so I don't drive it very much. It is a real safety issue.
    I am thinking about writing to Ford or a consumer protection group.

    Has anyone found a solution?

    Thanks. :sick:
  • I too have the same problem 2000 F250 4x4 Super Duty Diesel 7.3 just started at 210,000 miles. I replaced the steering link and adjusted the steering gear box. Neither worked. From my research I'm finding it's most likely the steering gear box! Since I have a Rancho steering stabilizer I'm going to try and exchange under warranty just to eleminate. Pleace lets update each other if someone finds a fix..
  • Have a 2000 F 250 that has become hazardous to drive! Have had upper and lower ball joints, inner and outer tie rod ends, new tires, new bilstein shocks...front end alignment done twice....can't keep the darn thing on the road. Supposed to take it in on Monday the 21st to have new power steering box.....anyone figured this out yet? I hauled horses some 600 miles the one day and fought the truck the whole time. It feels like suddenly a "little gremlin" jumps in and grabs the steering wheel and tries to take it from me! Has anyone tried beefing up the rubber on each end of front leaf springs? Does this rubber break down over time? Truck has 115,000 miles on it, I just purchased truck with 110,000 on it.
  • Has anyone heard of or experenced this problem. It happens when traveling at any highway speed. You hit a bump or pothole in the road, the truck suddenly pulls or jumps to the left and front end starts shaking so bad if you do not have a tight grip on the wheel, you almost lose control of the truck.
    Any ideas
    JC :confuse:
  • wdhytewdhyte Posts: 92
    I had an old VW back in the 70s that would do the exact same thing. Was the steering damper which is nothing more than a horizontal shock absorber (long and skinny one actually) that mounts between the steering and the wheels. Not sure what they're using these days but its gotta have something similar in function. In the VW, all would be fine unless I hit a good bump or a pothole or whatever and it would begin the oscillation in the front end and get worse and worse until I almost came to a stop...then it would be fine again until the next good bump.
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,496
    In Dodge parlance, that's referred to as "Death Wobble". A few things to check:
    - tire balance
    - shocks
    - steering stabilizer
    - ball joints
    One of those 4 items is likely out of spec.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

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