Durango Steering

mnyoungmnyoung Member Posts: 5
edited April 2014 in Dodge
I have a 2000 Dodge Durango with 5.9L, full-time 4WD, and a limited slip rear differential.
A couple of months ago, my wife was in a serious collision with it. Fortuneately, no one was hurt and the truck has since been fixed. But, since that time, I've had two problems with the truck.
The first and more serious problem is that the truck wants to go out of control after hitting a bump, or series of bumps. Especially if the bumps tend toward one side, or are at an angle. Railroad tracks that aren't perpendicular to the road are a prime example.
I talked to two mechanics who called this problem bump steer and attributed it to the shocks. Then, I took the truck back to the shop that repaired it. They didn't feel the shocks were damaged and checked the wheel alignment at various stages of suspension compression. They said everything is straight and true, and even gave me the printout of the alignment specs. Their suggestion was that we are just not used to a Full time 4x4 and that it is normal.
I don't believe it is normal. We drove the truck for over a year prior to the accident and never experienced this problem. We also had a different full time 4x4 for 4 years before that.

Has anyone else experienced this or a similar problem with a Durango, or any other full time 4x4 truck or SUV?
Could it be bad shocks?
Or a combination of the Full time 4x4 and limited Slip Rear differential?
Any other ideas?

The second problem is that the air conditioner will intermittently not work until we get going about 60mph, and then it works fine after that.


  • trippdoggtrippdogg Member Posts: 19
    that when on bends, my Durango does jump around a little bit, but nothing uncontrollable, I always firgured because I too the curve too fast...
  • carnut30carnut30 Member Posts: 51
  • carnut30carnut30 Member Posts: 51
    give in to those who failed to repair your Durango. Write down what has happened and send copies to the repair shop and your insurance co. with return receipts. That way, neither can deny that they were notified. Do this ASAP so you are within the warranty period for the repair. The ins. co. will know that they have NOT paid out all they are going to for this repair.
    So far as what is wrong, I do not know. With a 1978 Cadillac convertible that had the same problem, each end was shown to be in perfect alignment, but following that car on the road, it was obvious that the frame was bent.
  • mnyoungmnyoung Member Posts: 5
    Thanks Trippdogg and Carnut30.
    I've already let the shop know, and I'll talk to my insurance company next week. I also plan to have my wife drive it and follow for a while to see if it tracks sideways. I've seen cars and trucks do that and always hoped it would never be me.
  • oldharryoldharry Member Posts: 413
    An easy way to check tracking is to find a level, empty parking lot and dump a bucket of water across an open area. Drive through the wet spot from far enough back to be sure you are going straight. Stop before the tires are dry, look at how the tracks of the front and rear line up. If there is a problem, take pictures from several angles. Insurance companies love photographic evidence.

    Also look under your front end, the centerlink of the steering should be level between the idler arm and pitman arm, and the tie rods, (inner, outer, and sleeve) about the same length on each side. If the left set of tie rods is more than an inch shorter or longer than the right, they may have compensated for not properly straightening the frame.

  • mnyoungmnyoung Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for the tips. I tried tracking through a wet spot. The tracks were on top of one another. I guess thats a good sign.

    Tomorrow, I'm dropping it off at a dealer to have both issues adressed.
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