Replaced Ball Joins/Steering Control Arm, but problem still exists? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 02-07-2012
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Replaced Ball Joins/Steering Control Arm, but problem still exists?

I got a 99 Ranger XLT about 4 weeks ago, and it's been running fine with the exception of a knocking noise whenever I go over bumps. I can feel whatever is hitting hit the bottom of my truck, along with a somewhat loud knock. I was told this was the ball joints by a local suspension shop, so I got them replaced along with the steering control arm, but the problem still exists, along with a side effect: the steering wheel now has a LOT of play. I'm talking 4-5 inches either way. It used to be extremely tight. I had the steering aligned after I replaced the parts, and it's still the same. The steering itself seems fine once I get through the 'play area'.

Does anyone have any suggestions for either of these problems? As far as I know, everything is tightened properly.
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Old 02-07-2012
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sounds like the rack and pinion has gone or the powersteering pump failed?
check for powersteering fluid leaks-with the very high amount of pressure, leaks are common

and for the noise-i would of suspected the sway bar links, tie rods, or shock mounts . does it only make a noise when you turn or go over bumps?
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Old 02-07-2012
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Tie-rods. Check your Power steering fluid. Do you hear a really loud whine when you turn the wheel to lock?
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Old 02-07-2012
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Bushings are shot maybe?
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Old 02-07-2012
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Something else possibly hitting it and making that noise, not connected to suspension or steering? Loose spare, gas tank strap broke, missing exhaust hangers... Is it an audible noise or a more of a"clunky" vibration?
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Old 02-07-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris03 View Post
sounds like the rack and pinion has gone or the powersteering pump failed?
check for powersteering fluid leaks-with the very high amount of pressure, leaks are common

and for the noise-i would of suspected the sway bar links, tie rods, or shock mounts . does it only make a noise when you turn or go over bumps?
uhhh. There's not really a noise when I turn as much as when I go over bumps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StxDangerRanger View Post
Tie-rods. Check your Power steering fluid. Do you hear a really loud whine when you turn the wheel to lock?
Turning the wheel while the car is off in order to lock doesn't make a noise at all.
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Originally Posted by paganwars View Post
Something else possibly hitting it and making that noise, not connected to suspension or steering? Loose spare, gas tank strap broke, missing exhaust hangers... Is it an audible noise or a more of a"clunky" vibration?
Audible noise, and I can feel something hitting the floor boards of my car.

I really think I did something wrong. The steering was perfectly fine before I took it in to have the joints changed.
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Old 02-07-2012
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That's a lot of play in it. Surprising the Alignment shop didn't mention something. Have an assistant turn the wheel in the free play area and inspect to see what is moving...or not moving.
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Old 02-07-2012
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Originally Posted by rolsmojave3 View Post
That's a lot of play in it. Surprising the Alignment shop didn't mention something. Have an assistant turn the wheel in the free play area and inspect to see what is moving...or not moving.
I'll try that tomorrow.. I think I should be fine driving to school tomorrow. Like I said, there's no pull to the wheel itself. It's kind of odd.
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Old 02-07-2012
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Not while your truck is off.
Turn your wheel until it doesn't turn anymore while the truck is on.
If it whines a lot, your power steering pump may be bad. it might be hard to turn.
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Old 02-07-2012
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had this happen after I replaced my rack. May not be the same knock but its something to check. When I would turn it would almost SNAP and POP and the entire truck could feel it loudly.

Get under the front end, with a BFwrench and try to tighten the two bolts that hold down the rack. When mine were slightly loose i could turn my wheel 90degrees without the wheels moving (scary). So thats something to check as well.

otherwise follow what others have said
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Old 02-07-2012
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Originally Posted by StxDangerRanger View Post
Not while your truck is off.
Turn your wheel until it doesn't turn anymore while the truck is on.
If it whines a lot, your power steering pump may be bad. it might be hard to turn.
I had a feeling that's what you meant. It makes that noise when it's at the very end, like you said. It's no louder than any other car I've driven though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rangerrunner11 View Post
had this happen after I replaced my rack. May not be the same knock but its something to check. When I would turn it would almost SNAP and POP and the entire truck could feel it loudly.

Get under the front end, with a BFwrench and try to tighten the two bolts that hold down the rack. When mine were slightly loose i could turn my wheel 90degrees without the wheels moving (scary). So thats something to check as well.

otherwise follow what others have said
I'll try that tomorrow afternoon and let you know. Thanks!
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Old 02-08-2012
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Originally Posted by timwolf1 View Post
I'll try that tomorrow afternoon and let you know. Thanks!
Problem occurs on older trucks when the bushings inside the rack wear out, they used to take up space, but are no longer there, and thus room is created and bolts seem to loosen, just a 1/4 turn will do wonders if thats the problem. just pull the truck in straight, turn it off, lock the wheel straight forward and tighten, assuming this turns out to be the issue.
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