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Rock Solid Ram Steering Fix Install

Discussion in 'Dodge 4x4' started by swirvin21, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. swirvin21

    swirvin21
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    Figured it would be better to have a separate install thread for this than tossing it in my build thread.

    Bought my Rock Solid Ram Steering kits a LONG time ago, finally got around to installing it. For those of you interested, here's the link to his site: www.rocksolidramtrucksteering.com
    This kit replaces the spring and cup lower bushing with a solid one. A good test to see if you would benefit from this is to grab your steering shaft and watch the bottom of your column while trying to move the shaft side to side. If you can see any movement this will definitely benefit you.

    The instructions included show the process with the column removed, but you can do this without removing the column. However it is awkward, so I waited until I had plans to pull other parts off and did it all at once. Pulling the left fender or brake booster will help immensely.

    Here's the kit: Includes: Instructions, 1 bushing, 1 retaining washer and a piece of PVC to help install them.
    [​IMG]

    -Secure the steering wheel with a bungee or strap first to prevent the wheel from getting off center or breaking the clockspring from turning too much.
    -Remove the upper steering shaft bolt completely and remove the shaft from the column.
    [​IMG]

    -Place a clamp or vice-grip at the bottom of the column to catch the spring or it will fly off
    -Cut off the retainer. I used a small Dremel w/ a tiny cutting disc. You can try to push the spring up some to get more room or just cut through the spring as well since it WILL NOT be reused.

    The vice grips caught the spring right after I finished cutting.
    [​IMG]

    -Remove your vice grips and pull off the spring and retainer
    -Inside the metal cup (some older models are plastic and manual versions look different) there is a plastic seat. I used a small screw driver and needle nose pliers to pry up an edge and slowly work around it until I could pull it off. Be careful not to damage the column shaft!
    -After the plastic seat is a metal forcing cone. I used the small screwdriver again and slowly worked around it until it came free.
    -Finally the metal cup which is what is holding your shaft centered. Again, slowly pry around the outside until it is loose. You can't really pull it off, just work it loose.
    [​IMG]

    Here are the parts you should have removed: the cup, forcing cone, spring seat, spring and retainer.
    [​IMG]

    -Check the column shaft for any burrs or scratches and use some fine steel wool to make a smooth surface. The shaft will be turning inside the bushing, any burrs will cause premature wear.
    -Test fit the bushing in the column and make sure that it will go in at least 3/4 of the way. Now add some grease to the INSIDE ONLY and fully install with the PVC installation tool. Don't hit it too hard or force it. If it feels too tight, pull it off and sand down the outside with fine grit until proper fit is achieved.
    -I installed the retainer loose and reattached the steering shaft to check fit before fully seating the retainer. You CANNOT remove it once installed, it must be cut off and a new one installed. Turn the wheel to make sure you don't have any binding or resistance.
    [​IMG]

    -Use the installation tool to push the retainer up the shaft, making sure NOT TO GO FLUSH AGAINST THE BUSHING. There should be about 1/16" gap between them. The retainer will rub against the bushing while turning and add extra resistance and premature wear if it is touching. Take a piece of cardboard or something and use it as a spacer since it will be hard to see in there, just pull it out when you're done.
    [​IMG]

    Reinstall your steering shaft, tighten the bolt completely, double check that everything and go ahead and throw some grease on the saft joints while you're in there.

    I haven't driven it yet, but can feel a little difference just by turning the wheel. :bigthumb:
     
  2. Tango

    Tango
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    Did you have any play in the steering wheel before you did this? I many times will grab the wheel as a grab-bar-handle to get in the truck, but I haven't noticed any play in the wheel.

    Looks like a good mod.
     

  3. swirvin21

    swirvin21
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    I checked the shaft while I was switching out the steering box and noticed a little movement, since I already had the part and had everything apart I thought it would be worthwhile. I think the $60 is worth it considering that I could move the spring with my hand! It would have started giving me trouble. I think anyone planning to replace their shaft should consider doing this while they are in there.
     
  4. LegendKiller89

    LegendKiller89
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    Great write-up.:bigthumb:
    Would make a sick combo with a borgenson steering shaft! Also would be a good upgrade for anyone who is putting bigger tires on as well, always a good idea to beef that up when putting larger tires on.
     

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