Something feels loose in the steering system - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 09-15-2010
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Something feels loose in the steering system

Hey guys,

Something feels loose in my suspension. My first guess was the ball joints but I'd like to get a second opinion.
Specs on my Ranger:
2004 2 WD with coil springs.
I can feel that that everything is not tight because when I hit a the slightest imperfection in the road(even a newly paved road with a little dip in it) something shakes a little in the steering system.
It kinda feels like the rack-and-pinion unit or the front stabilizer bar is loose but I know that's pretty unlikely. (???)
The truck is only 6 years old and it it has 69K miles on the odometer. It's never been in a major wreck and it has never been driven on rough terrain, so is it possible that the balljoints are wore out this early? I know there's other parts of the steering system that could be loose like the steering knuckle, upper control arm ect ... but I'm pretty clueless at this point. Would it be pointless to get under the truck and start shaking parts to see if they're loose?

Thanks,

Brian
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Old 09-15-2010
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Old 09-15-2010
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Last time I commented on a similar thread I pissed a bunch of people off for some reason, but...

We can only guess. It could be any number of things (ball joints, tie rod ends, wheel bearings, control arm bushings, steering rack mounts, loose lugnuts etc). You could try to wiggle any parts around under the front end, but while it is sitting stationary with weight on it, it probably won't do any good.

Put the truck on a rack (or on jack stands with the weight off of the suspension) and try to move the wheel/tires around, and simply look to see where any play may be coming from.
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Old 09-15-2010
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x2 its hard to diagnose with such little info. Listen to Brian that will get you going in the right direction or take it to a shop.
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Old 09-16-2010
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Hey Brian ... I'm all ears ... How hard is it to change the ball joints? Is there a "How To" article on this?
(If you're afraid that you're going to **** a bunch of people off just send me a PM)
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Old 09-16-2010
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No I'm not afraid of pissing anyone off, I don't know why I did before. lol. Basically I told someone that we could only make guesses and he needed to get under the truck and see where the play was.
Upper ball joint are very easy, lowers are pretty easy though as well. I had links to some good write ups but I'm out of town without a real computer for the weekend.

Typically any tire/brake shop would look at the front end compenents for free and provide a quote, although they may tell you that you need extra things. It is an easy place to start though I guess.
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