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Power steering

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by CDL, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. CDL

    CDL

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    I've got a 2004 Dodge Dakota 4.7 V8 and the power steering has been acting funny lately. It acts like it's going out sometimes and other times its fine. I think the belt may be slipping on the pump pulley. When I watch the tensioner, I can see it moving back and forth a little bit. I'm pretty sure it has an auto-tensioner on it. Has anybody had this happen to them? How hard is it to change/tighten the tensioner? I can't see anyway of tightening it up.
     
  2. CDL

    CDL

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    Oops. I put this in the wrong place. Not sure how to move it to The Lounge. Can somebody let me know how to do that?
     

  3. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    you can't move threads,but it's done.
     
  4. Any other conditions to help us figure it out ; mileage, hot or cold, idle or higher rev's, etc.. Have you checked both the level and condition of the P/S fluid ........ sounds like it could be aeration.
     
  5. CDL

    CDL

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    It's got just under 67k. Seems to happen both hot and cold. Doesn't seem to matter what the revs are, although it does seem to get worse when accelerating or decelerating. Fluid level is good. How do I check for aeration?
     
  6. CDL

    CDL

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    BUMP...any ideas?
     
  7. The belt tentioners are spring loaded and cant be adj. Just make sure they are not stuck and move freely. Shouldnt be loose neither. Tough to get air in the pump being it is mounted in the res. It might might pay to jack up the front and make sure there is no binding in the steering. Move wheels left to right manually. No hard spots noticed then start it with the wheels just touching the ground and work with the steering wheel left too right. If no tight spots the pump is bad. Not sure if the Dakota uses a gear box or rack but the steering box wont show signs of binding or tight spots but a rack will. Usually a box is good if it dont leak! The surpentine belt tentioner is going too jump around a bit. More so on throttle up. If it acts like it jump all the time then remove the belt and rotate the pump by hand. Hell Chevy pump used too run with the shaft broke and you wouldnt know it till you removed the belt and the pulley fell out.
     
  8. Have you ever found the problem, because I have a 04 dakota 4x4 with the same exact problem although it is getting better with the weather warming up. It was almost unusable in the winter months. I did some research on the net and the 04 seems to be the only one having the hard steering issues. Many dealers are replacing pumps and racks and still steer hard.
    It seems that the lower steering shaft u joint is rusting and binding causing hard steering and erratic movements especially in a turn. I soaked mine with penetrating oil a few times and it did help so I'm gonna replace the whole shaft. It doesn't look like it's gonna be too tough, just 2 bolts to remove and cost about 125 dollars.
     
  9. CDL

    CDL

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    No I never did find the problem, but it did go away. I think it went away in January and even during the last cold snap I didn't have any issues. I never looked at the U-joint. I'll have to check that out the next time I've got it up to change the oil. Thanks for the tip.
     
  10. The problem most likely is a burr on the worm gear. When you drove it in the winter when it was cold it ground the burr down and made it function correctly. I would put money on it!
     
  11. You don't have to get under the truck, just look at the steering shaft coming out of the column to the steering rack. It is wide open and easy to spot and rusted like mine I'm sure. Dousing it with pentrating oil can't hurt. The bottom one with a severe bend is the one causing problems. I like this truck and I'm glad it steers like it used to again!
     
  12. hardwaterfan

    hardwaterfan Twinsburg, OH (NE OH, northern edge of Summit Co.)

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    im glad you got it figured out. good job.
     
  13. Seaturd

    Seaturd Catcher of Fish

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    It is definitely the u-joint. It happened to my 97, my son's '04 and also my '04. Penetrating oil will help for a while, replacement is a fairly easy operation.