Bumpy ride and wheel bearing? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 03-15-2012
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Bumpy ride and wheel bearing?

In my quest to improve the ranger, I have reached the point where a large scale overhaul may be eminent. In the last year I have : replaced all four shocks,plugs and wires, cleaned throttle body/maf sensor, greased driveshaft, replaced air filter/fuel filter, new rotors pads shoes etc, and just recently put on brand new rims and tires.
Which brings me to my bumpy ride problem.
Truck drives like a dream, smooth shifts and no vibration at all until about 93mph when my engine cuts off. But recently my steering wheel has been bumping back and forth on pot holes and road transitions. It's like the front wheels are loose but they aren't, Feels like a warped rotor but it's doesn't happen when braking.
There is no noise though, no clunking or popping around turns.

My wheel bearings are oem and have 110k on them, and someone said to start there, but they aren't screeching or grinding? I was gonna start with ball joints and tie rods, but none of the boots are torn and they all have been replaced within the last 50k.
So what do y'all say? Where should I start burning my money?

Ps tires are 235s at 35psi on 3.5 back spacing 15in rims
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Old 03-15-2012
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Jack it up on the control arm and try move the wheel up down, side to side. if there is no movement anyways your wheel bearings are good.
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Old 03-15-2012
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I'll try that, I read that's how you check ball joints as well. What's bothering me is that there aren't any weird noises to warn me they are are going bad. do you know how long wheel bearings usually last? 110k seems a bit excessive to me, especially after what I've put this truck through.
Also, is blue paint on the ends of the wheels studs an indicator that the hubs/bearings are factory parts?
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Old 03-15-2012
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Ive seen wheel bearings go a lot longer then that. they usually get really loud growl sorta. but if ther going you'll see it when you check that. feel how smooth it rolls too when its in the air. i dont know about the paint but my 07' has the same paint and i know its all factory stuff.
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Old 03-15-2012
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Nice I got worried reading threads on here from people who have to change them every 30k. Maybe I got good ones. So I guess the term for my problem is bump steer, like when I hit a bump or pothole, my steering wheel wants to go one way or another, the path of least resistance. Idk if this is a wheel bearing problem, though....i thought new shocks would fix this, but no cigar. Anyone else's ranger do this?
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Old 03-16-2012
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Sounds like your allinement is off. you usually can get your tires ballenced for free, if you take them back to where you bought your tires. and you can see how much a allinment is. And I would get your shocks checked or check them your self. That will help the ride. But I really bet its your allinment.
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Old 03-16-2012
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and its not blue paint its thread locker. comes in different colors
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Old 03-16-2012
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on potholes your steering wheel is turning? thats bump steer, nothing to worry about. my truck does it, its just the wheel pulling the steering rack in a direction when hitting a bump. there is nothing wrong with your truck. new tires and rims will greatly affect how much you notice it.
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Old 03-16-2012
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Originally Posted by thef9est1 View Post
Sounds like your allinement is off. you usually can get your tires ballenced for free, if you take them back to where you bought your tires. and you can see how much a allinment is. And I would get your shocks checked or check them your self. That will help the ride. But I really bet its your allinment.
I was thinking about doing this very thing, just didn't want to waste $ if its not off. I wasn't sure if the alignment was off because my truck doesn't pull or anything and the steering wheel is completley straight when driving. It has been almost two years since i had an alignment done, so i sure hope it's something that simple! I guess the only way to tell is to spend the money and get er done. Maybe I'll switch out my tie rods ends first so I get my money's worth.
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Old 03-16-2012
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Originally Posted by 06RangerXLT View Post
on potholes your steering wheel is turning? thats bump steer, nothing to worry about. my truck does it, its just the wheel pulling the steering rack in a direction when hitting a bump. there is nothing wrong with your truck. new tires and rims will greatly affect how much you notice it.
That makes me feel better, it happens on other things besides potholes too. There is a 50mph road near my house where the water company just put in a pipe under the road and patched it up. They did a **** job though and it's like a trench crossing the road. Well my truck hates driving over it and my wheel shimmies back and forth while back end kinda jumps around, it sucks. Took a Honda crv over it and it bumps around but none of the jumping/steering wheel shake that my truck has.

Ps does anyone know how to take autospell off an iPad? I just took me ten fing minutes to spell crv, Steve jobs had obviously never worked on cars.
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Old 03-16-2012
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ok, im trying to understand why your taking it to a shop.

theres no noise, the truck doesnt pull, the steering wheel is straight.

your complaints is the steering wheel moves over bumps. THIS IS NORMAL! you have new shocks and different rims and tires then before, obviously its going to be a different (or bumpy) ride then before!

why everybody here is telling you to take it in to get ball joints, wheel bearings, tie rods and alignment is beyond me. my truck does this with every bump, transition or curb. bump steer is very, very, very common on rack and pinion speering, and theres nothing wrong with it.

a 235 tire is gonna be stiffer then your OEM tires, making the ride rougher.


PLEASE dont waste your money or time hunting down a problem that doesnt exist. i cant believe anyone on here is telling you it needs work because you have bumpsteer. if you really wanna get rid of it, put a steering dampener on it and call it a day!!!
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Old 03-16-2012
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Well you've sold me, mostly cuz I don't have the dough to spend anyways. Lol I Have slowly been weeding out the undesirable characterstics in my truck and this bump steer was one of them. I noticed your sig says your lifted. Did your truck bump steer before you put the lift on ? I've read that lifted trucks have problems with this. Also have you tried to put a steering dampener on a ranger ?

The 235s that came on my truck are stock size, though the 3.5 backpacking wasn't.
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Old 03-16-2012
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yes i had it before my truck was lifted. it got worse with the lift and no sway bar. but in all honesty i dont mind it. i like feeling when the tires are binding on something while on a trail.

your rims can play a big role in bumpsteer, but as long as it drives straight, theres no vibration and no noise, you've got nothing that needs worrying.
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Old 03-16-2012
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uh oh

Thanks for answering all my questions man, appreciate the response. I think i just found a problem, or something that is contributing to my loose steering.These are obviously my outer tie-rod ends, and as the pics show i can move them by hand through the full range of motion! My truck isnt jacked up, its parked on the ground on a slight incline. This has to be an indication that they are bad, right?




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