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Linden, NJ, USA
Registered on 4/14/2004
Ok my truck wanders at 50mph & higher. I have replaced steering box which was bad. I replaced my upper & lower ball joints with greasable ones, tie rod ends, steering control arm. Front end alignment done and re-checked. The front & Rear bushings have been checked, the steering box tightened. My truck still wanders and also at lower local street driving speeds I am constantly having to re-adjust steering for curves and bumps in road . the steering doesn't seem to return to center. I have to turn wheel and seems to over compensate when I do. Also the steering pump was flushed and some residue was found. Does anyone think Steering pump may be bad. I have no squealing......Help
Ok my truck wanders at 50mph & higher. My truck still wanders and also at lower local street driving speeds I am constantly having to re-adjust steering for curves and bumps in road, the steering doesn't seem to return to center.
If the steering wheel is not returning to center, then I'd be suspicious of the caster setting. That's part of the front wheel alignment, but is often overlooked or ignored on 4WD vehicles having a solid front axle. Otherwise, the wandering sounds like the classic Excursion ailment, and you might want to read the following ...
hi guys apology for making this thread up. not knowing what the problem is, if it goes out completely you'll be driving a car that is harder to steer, which would be a problem if it happens unexpectedly. is it the power steering pump? any reply please. thanks guys.
Bismarck, ND, USA
Registered on 4/11/2009
I know some will jump in and insist there is something mysterious and exotic the matter with your Excursion. But there isn't. It is not rocket science by a long shot. Have you ever wondered why some seemingly identical Excursions simply do not have a steering issue? Wonder no more.
There are only three things that can make a vehicle wander and steer loose.
ONE is something very obviously loose in the suspension and steering. This problem will be a no-brainer to spot, because the truck will have obvious play in a component when up on the rack. Problem Solved.
TWO is a bad belted tire where the belt is loose. It will also be obvious when up on the rack and the tires are slowly spun and observed. Problem Solved.
THREE is the most likely cause of random wander in just some Excursions. It is also just about the only reason for excessive front tire wear. It is simply that the toe-in is set to toe-out, or too close to toe-out before the steering gives from drag while moving.
Toe-out is the only setting that causes wander on any vehicle. I repeat; toe-out is the only setting that causes wander on any vehicle. Castor error can cause a steady pull to one side, particularily in conjunction with toe-out error. Mild camber error has no effect at all. By mild camber error, I mean the wheel does not lean more than an inch and one half off vertical. Wheel alignment is a much simpler process than many people imagine. Too much toe-out wears tires on the inside tread face and makes steering grabby AND WANDER. Too much toe-in wears tires on the outside tread face. It has to be quite a bit off for tire wear to occur rapidly. Not very far off for steering to wander.
The normal setting of all rear wheel drive vehicles is either neutral, or slight toe-in to compensate for suspension flex in the toe-setting while underway. Front wheel drive vehicles are sometimes toe-out on purpose because they straighten out under FWD power.
The reason toe-out still occurs on Excursions, even after several professional alignments, is something of a mystery, but is a fact. Toe-out alignment read-out error is not uncommon with 4X4 trucks that use a live axle, as does the Excursion and most 3/4 ton 4X4's. Some flaw within the alignment equipment allows the truck to read OK when it is not, and the flaw is repeated by several shops. I KNOW. IT HAPPENED TO ME.
The fix is to park the truck on a paved, fairly level surface, wheels straight ahead, after stopping from a forward movement. Your driveway perhaps. Then sight down the inside of the tire. The inside of the front tires should sight slightly inside the rear tire treads by about an inch. If they don't sight this way, which is properly toed-in by the way, jack the truck up to take the steering pressure off the tie rods and adjust until the tires have moved together at the front slightly, as in toe-in. Put the truck back down and back up, then pull ahead (to load the wheels by rolling) and stop. Sight down the inside of the tires again and repeat the tie rod adjustment until they do toe-in by lining up 1" inside the rear tire tread, as I said earlier.
Drive the truck. If any wander remains, toe it in more, sighted up to 1 1/2" inside the rear tread. Keep in mind that toe-in can change when the truck is loaded with hitch weight. If you tow, make sure the toe-in has not toed-out (bump-steer) when the truck is hooked to your trailer. Toe-out, while towing, is a nightmare.
After you get done setting your own toe-in, enjoy driving your Excursion (or Super Duty) like all of us Who luckily don't have a professionally mis-aligned truck. Problem Solved.
A fourth reason is spring wrap. A set of Landyot radius rods with an anti-sway bar really improves handling. It doesn't wander near as much and you don't hit a bump and end up in another lane.
Kings Mountain, NC, USA
Registered on 6/24/2013
Wes, thank you for all that info, but as a result I have the following question for you:
My Excursion only has 74000 miles and I just replaced the original shocks with Monroe Reflex and combined with my Goodyear Silent Armor tires was running beautifully. Then after a "deal" from Ford, I replaced the Goodyears with LTX-MS2's and had the alignment checked since my Goodyears did have a little cupping after 45000 miles. They also checked all the front end components and said that everything was in good shape! Upon driving it home, the Excursion steering was extremely loose and I was ready to return the tires and get new Silent Armors, but I figured that there probably was something screwy with the alignment that they just did. So I brought it back, test drove it with the tech at 75 mph and he decided he needed to recheck the alignment. After the realignment, it drove beautifully, but after reading the posts on various forums regarding the proper toe-in on the front, I am questioning whether the alignment is set properly?
After the 1st alignment (in degrees):
LF Camber .3; Caster 3.0; Toe .01
RF Camber -.2; Caster 3.2; Toe -.03
Total Toe -.03; Steer Ahead .02
LR Camber .1; Toe .12
RR Camber -.03; Toe .16
Total Toe .27; Thrust Angle -.02
After the Realignment (in degrees):
LF Camber .3; Caster 3.0; Toe -.03
RF Camber -.2; Caster 3.2; Toe -.04
Total Toe -.07; Steer Ahead 0.00
LR Camber .1; Toe .13
RR Camber -.3; Toe .18
Total Toe .31
Thrust Angle -.03
Wes, what do you think of the results? And thanks in advance for your help!