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Thread: Two questions

  1. #1

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    Two questions

    Hello, any help is appreciated. My '94 2.4l is a great little truck but recently it has been acting up.

    1. When turning the wheel (particularly to the right) at slower coasting speeds I'm hearing a high-pitched wailing/moaning sound. I replaced the power steering fluid about 6 months ago and it is still at a normal level (and clean). I'm only hearing the sound at slower speeds, and it sounds like it's coming from the front, but it's difficult to be certain. It also seems like it only does it after the truck is warmed up. What could this be if not the PS fluid? Should I drain the fluid just to be sure?

    2. I've replaced most of the front end suspension (and 4 tires) with hopes that it would tighten up my steering but alas the wheel is still wandering, especially at highway speeds. Turning the screw in the gearbox made the wheel tighter, but the truck was harder to control because it would wander and it took extra effort to straighten back out. So yada yada yada now I'm committed to replacing the gearbox. RockAuto seems to have the best prices but I'm wondering if anyone knows of better deals on mits parts?

  2. #2

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    Hi instakill, I'm gonna take a stab at your haunted power steering set up. If it's 'moaning' at low speeds I think it's cavitating. This is where air is trapped in the system and it pulls it through the pump. If the power steering fluid looks whitish and cloudy with lots of small air bubbles in it, that will indicate there is an issue. Either that or the pump's internals are worn. Maybe try using an additive/power steering treatment and see how you go. Also ensure you are using the correct fluid (don't know how much impact it'll make but you never know...)

  3. #3

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    Thanks geezer. I changed the fluid a few months ago when I did the belts and repaired the front end. It's still bright yellow and clean. The truck has had sloppy steering since I got it, but I've been reluctant to replace the gearbox since they are a pretty penny. Also, if there was air in the system or low fluid there would be a noise any time the power steering was engaged. As of now it only makes the noise when turning right at slower speeds, doesn't seem to do it while cold, idling or at highway speeds, and it sounds like chewbacca. Super weird.

    On a related note, I had the suspension and alignment checked again (I've had it checked 2-3 times since I did the front-end work myself) and the shop said it was dead-on. I asked them about the steering wander and they said it had to be slop in the gearbox since everything up to the gearbox is new. They couldn't identify the noise though.

  4. #4

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    Any chance that noise is brake pads?
    The greatest gift you have to give to the world is that of your own self~transformation.

  5. #5



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    did you replace the lca, idler arm, and strut rod bushings? those will cause wander if bad
    Pennyman1
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  6. #6

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    Yup anything that was rubber on the truck when I got it was shot. I replaced all the bushings. Pads and calipers are new too. Truck only had 90k when I got it in '12 so I decided it was worth it to fix it up. Replacing bushings really isn't that costly if you do it yourself.

    I took off the driver's side tire today to check out the gear box. I can wiggle the wheel 2" either way and the pitman arm doesn't move. I don't know what the tolerance is for these trucks but that seems excessive to me. My guess is that the wookie sound is coming from the box but I don't know what's causing it and I don't know how dangerous it is to keep driving it.

  7. #7



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    Don't forget Muffler Bearings!!!

    Any movement as play is concerned is not a good thing. The bushing maybe bad on Idler and without really giving it a stress test might not show. Any alignment shop will or should refuse to even try to align a vehicle with suspension play in any parts. I use a pair of channel locks on suspension parts by grabbing the joint and squeezing them together. This can help show play that usually our grabbing and shaking doesn't always show up.
    Steering gear might need a little adjustment, but you need to be careful making any changes with this. It's easy to get it wrong. Wandering many times can be a toe-out issue. If the tires are toe out too much it can definitely make the truck follow the grooves in the road or just wander like you mentioned. New tires should make the truck run true, but without an alignment it may just ruin the tires. I don't think alignment shop will charge too much to rack it and give you a diagnoses if you find yourself frustrated. Try not to spend a ton on chasing something if it doesn't need the fix.
    Good parts to search for are Moog parts. Usually more heavy duty and last longer.

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  8. #8



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    if the pitman arm doesn't move but you have play, that is either the center link is shot and/or tie rods and idler
    Pennyman1
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Instakill View Post
    Yup anything that was rubber on the truck when I got it was shot. I replaced all the bushings. Pads and calipers are new too. Truck only had 90k when I got it in '12 so I decided it was worth it to fix it up. Replacing bushings really isn't that costly if you do it yourself.

    I took off the driver's side tire today to check out the gear box. I can wiggle the wheel 2" either way and the pitman arm doesn't move. I don't know what the tolerance is for these trucks but that seems excessive to me. My guess is that the wookie sound is coming from the box but I don't know what's causing it and I don't know how dangerous it is to keep driving it.

    Instakill,
    Following this thread closely, as I have the same concern on My '92.
    As Yourself, I went completely through the front suspension after purchase.
    And as Yourself, I still had 'wander' ... so I pulled the L/F, SAME SAME 2-3 INCHES of S/wheel movement
    and no input to the pitman arm !!!!.

    Having said that I have scoured all the manual links here with no success on an blow up of the steering gear...

    (Gents !!! pdf needed !!!)

    The pitman shaft to rack piston adjustment top of the gear, (engine running 1/16 turn max) will only tighten up 'on center' feel.

    It will not however take up the slack between the worn recirculating ball bearings between the rack piston & worm shaft (steel and for whatever reason composite).

    As rack piston movement controls hyd supply and return Your gear is suspect, as is Mine.

    Seems like gloom and $$$$ doom !!!

    Not so however Honored Posters.

    Grab the input shaft (column to gear) up or down movement = high dollar gear replacement. I think not however.(its MM after all).
    Pry bar on the Pitman shaft --- side to side movement = high dollar gear replacement. I think not however.(its MM after all).

    I apologize Instakill for the no pic/no pdf paint modded post, and the long winded preface.

  10. #10



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    the power steering boxes are known for bearing wear on both input and output shaft. Fordubishi was crazy enough (his own words) to tear one down and rebuild one of these boxes. Rebuilt ones are expensive because of the work involved to fix them. I just picked up the power steering setup from an 86 for my project truck - guess I could be in for a lot of fun.
    Pennyman1
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  11. #11

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    Instakill, apologies, found the link.

    http://www.onsiteconcrete.net/d-50/F..._and_power.pdf

    I stand corrected on 2 points...

    1) no composite material used in the recirculating balls.
    2) 1'st Gen and 2'nd Gen are not the same.

    --- SIDE NOTE---,

    The Mitsu P/S gear seems to have some ... mmmm... remarkable similarities between the The p/s gear on My '67 Barracuda...

  12. #12

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    On a side note, does anyone have a wiring diagram for the horn on a '94? I took mine apart and now I can't figure out how the button works. Every time I wire it up the horn just honks continuously!

  13. #13

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    One 12v wire comes up the steering column and grounds to the plastic backing. A 2nd wire hangs from the foam backed 'button' and it has a clip on the end. When I touch the wires the horn blows but but I can't figure out where the 2nd wire clips to without the horn staying on.

    Anybody know how this works? Or have a pic?

  14. #14

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    I had the same problem with my horn sticking on and ended up replacing the foam, which acts as an insulator. My foam had started to disintegrate in several spots, allowing contact. Make sure the copper plate is flat as I t is easily bent and can make inadvertent contact. I just used the old piece as a template and cut out a new one out of packing foam, has been working fine for over five years now.
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  15. #15

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    Thanks lush90 very helpful.

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