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Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 10-06-2010
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Alignment question

My truck had been pulling to the left for several months but I kept putting off getting an alignment. It was tithe point that while on the freeway, if I took my hands off the wheel, I'd be in the next lane in a matter of a couple seconds. Anyway, I got new tires a coue months ago and decided that was a good time to get the alignment. I took it to Firestone and got it done for $49.99. It was good for like two days and then it was back to pulling tithe left again. Any thoughts? Could some part of the suspension be loose or worn and be causing this?
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Old 10-06-2010
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yes that what it sounds like...how many miles are on your truck
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Old 10-06-2010
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I just hit 60k last week.
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Old 10-06-2010
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yea something isnt right in your LF suspension...might be dealer time
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Old 10-06-2010
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Great...
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Old 10-08-2010
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check your tierods quick before going to the dealer if it that they are easy to do and just bring it back to firestone and say why didnt u see this was bad and make them do it over for free

most good shop will redo work within a cuple of week if something was mist at the time u went to them
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Old 10-09-2010
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I know little to nothing about tie rods. What is it I'm looking for?
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Old 10-09-2010
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jack the front of your truck up and i think moving your tire up and down checks for tierod wear...it might be side to side not sure though
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Old 10-10-2010
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Side to side checks tie rod wear, you can also feel tie rod wear in the steering wheel as "free play" meaing if you move your steering wheel small amounts like an inch or two at highway speeds your front wheels wont respond. If your tire tilts up and down when your truck is jacked up that means your ball joints are shot.
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Old 10-11-2010
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u dont need to jack up to check tie rods
crowl under the truck and hold the joint in your hand and have somebody wiggle the steering wheel lightly if u feel play in the joint its bad
jacking the truck up changes the way the tie rod sits and can give u a false good reading
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Old 10-19-2010
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Ok, last night I finally got around to jacking up the front end. I didn't have a second person available to move the steering wheel while I held onto the tie rod from below like 0ranger99 suggested. Anywho, on the driver's side, I could very slightly move the both up and down, as well as left to right. When I say slightly, I mean it maybe moved a max of 2-3mm. The passenger side move as slight, if not less, from left to right. It would not move at all up and down. Does this make my situation any easier to diagnose?
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Old 10-19-2010
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dont jack it up, just grab the tie rod and see if it has any play in it. also are your t-bars cranked?
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Old 10-19-2010
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My suspension, including t-bars, are 100% stock configuration.

As far as checking for play in the tie rod, when I try to move it, am I supposed to try to move it up/down, left/right, or try to twist/rotate it?

Last edited by Tribefan; 10-20-2010 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 10-19-2010
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when u had it jacked up the tierods had play not much but some right ?
if so you can stop there - they are bad
you shouldnt be able to move them side to side or up and down at all
the twist or rotate is ok that tells you the joint is ok and not frozen but if you have any play like it sound like you do you need to replace them
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Old 10-20-2010
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Great. Can't wait to see how much that'll cost. When replacing tie rods, is that one of those things where if you're going to do one side, you should really do both sides? Or is it "ok" to do just one side?
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  #16  
Old 10-20-2010
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i say do both sides at one time so if you didnt do one and then a few weeks later the other side were to go bad after u only had to pay to do 1 aliment its not the time to put the tie rods in that expensive its the time they want to do an aliment thats like 80 + bucks
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