Dodge W150 Parts And Dodge W150 Accessories
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The Dodge W150 pickup may have been phased out in the 80s, but its toughness and reliability makes this classic workhorse an occasional sight on the road today. But despite its longevity, the W150 does have its share of problems, including that of loose steering.
A common problem particularly with the older generation models, the steering of the Dodge W150 has tendency to acquire play over time. The effect may vary, from a sloppy sensation when turning to severe cases wherein you have to constantly correct the wheel just to keep it from pulling the wheels. Either way, this can result in a reduced steering capacity that might prove hazardous on the road.
There are many reasons as to why the steering may start to become sloppy, but in the case of the Dodge W150-which uses the classic rack and pinion steering-it may be due to worn tie rods and ball joints.
Tie rods - These serve as the driver\'s connection between the steering unit and the tires. Once the tie rods start to wear out, they can cause the steering wheel to feel loose. Trucks with worn tie rods may also cause squeaking noises whenever the steering wheel is turned because they are out of alignment.
Ball joints - The W150\'s wheel hubs are connected to the suspension through a set of ball joints. These joints are constantly exposed to various stresses from the wheel and the weight of the truck via the suspension, resulting in the gradual wear of these components. And if the wear becomes too serious, the steering will start to feel loose, causing the truck to produce a banging sound when hitting bumps and other irregularities on the road.
Loose steering has also been associated with worn or damaged gear teeth on the rack and pinion assembly on the steering column, as well as damage or wear on the steering wheel itself.
Having your Dodge W150 truck inspected by a professional mechanic remains the best course of action once the steering starts to become loose, but there are ways for you to know if there is something wrong with your car\'s steering.
First, check the front suspension and the rack and pinion for any signs of damage. If these appear to be in good condition, unlock the steering wheel, engage the parking brake, and lift the front of the vehicle off the ground with a hydraulic or scissor jack. Slide underneath the vehicle and have someone rotate the steering wheel back and forth to the point where resistance is felt. While this is happening, check for any steering linkage for excessive play; the joints should move tightly and have very little or no play in the steering gear. Also, the output linkage must move in direct relationship with the input shaft without hesitation. If these are not true with your truck, one or more parts of the steering system are most likely to be suffering from wear and must be checked by a mechanic.