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1996 Dodge Ram 2500:
Vehicle Wandering, Steering Adjustment

Alex Steele
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seen in Truck Trend



I recently purchased a 1996 Ram 2500 Diesel 4X2. It seems that I spend a whole lot of time making minor steering adjustments while driving. It's basically impossible to just hold the wheel straight.


Someone had told me that the Dodge trucks had an ongoing problem with the vehicle wandering. Have you heard of such a problem, and if so is there a solution?




You're not the only one who has complained of sloppy tracking on a Ram truck. The first and foremost place to start is a thorough inspection of the suspension. A variety of worn/loose front end parts can cause wandering symptoms. The wheel alignment out of specs or even low air pressure in the tires will also produce similar conditions.


Once you've eliminated the basics it's time to perform "steering gear adjustments". This procedure should be done by a qualified technician. So, don't attempt it unless you're experienced and have the proper tools and procedure in front of you.


Dodge has published a Technical Service Bulletin Number 19-10-97 which applies to all Rams from '94 to '98, and documents the appropriate steering gear adjustments. They suggest starting with the "Over-Center Adjustment" by means of the "Pitman Shaft Adjuster Screw". If road testing after the Over-Center adjustment fails to show improvement the next step is the "Worm Thrust Bearing Preload Adjustment". Your local Dodge Service department should have it down pat.

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31 Jul 2010, 08:40
Of course, any type of wandering problem should begin with a thorough inspection of the tires and suspension
29 Jul 2010, 22:14
My Dodge wanders like hell. I looked it over and think I know whats wrong. I checked the tracking bars, and they are very worn so the front end has some play, and it's time for some ball joints.


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