Friday, December 4, 2009
We finally have our truck! However, the steering is still loose. When I first test drove it, it was something we were all aware of, and the dealer said that he would have it repaired by the time we picked it up. He did replace the bearings and the ball joints and tie rod ends are nice and tight.
On the ride home last night I felt like a ping pong ball, and was VERY unnerved about the idea of towing like that. When taking turns the steering felt fine—so long as the wheel is being turned in one direction. However when traveling straight the truck pulls to the left, then when I straighten out, it then pulls to the right, and visa versa—thus a ping pong ball. It's totally unsafe, and the steering must be fixed before we head south… So, after fretting last night about needing to replace ball joints and the tie rod ends I called a diesel repair place this morning and brought the truck down to them to have them take a look at the steering problem.
They confirmed that the ball joints and tie rod ends are tight (yay) but the did find that the axle U-joint on the front right tire is rusting some, and should be replaced other wise the steering might jam up. While that isn't the cause of the steering problem, I'm happy they told me that. The steering problem, they believe is being caused by the drag link. When the steering wheel turns from left to right the drag link bounces up and down, which it's not supposed to do. According to what they described, this can cause what the vehicle was doing, so this sounds like the problem.
I called the dealer to tell him their diagnosis, and he said that if we obtain the parts and bring them and the truck up to him, he'll happily install them tomorrow (Saturday). Otherwise, the diesel place will put them in on Monday for us. Sooner is better, so I'm going to take up Henry (the dealer) on his offer. I'm very grateful that he's willing to help us with this.
Today I insure, register and inspect the truck. James and our friend Kevin and I will also be installing some hooks into the walls inside the little house to strap the free floating things down.