Twitchy steering? 00 dakota...

I have a question...
Is it just something about the geometry of the front end of the dodges in general in the 98-04 models range maybe? I drove the companies (I believe
it was an 02) full size 4door Hemi, it was the same way, if you sneeze (which can jerk your arm just a bit) you are suddenly and HARSHLY effecting the direction of the truck when at highway speeds...? Then I got my 00 Dak, I notice it is squirrelly as hell too, twitchy I call it. where as, most cars and trucks I drive you have to actually move the steering wheel a bit to even change lanes, but if you even "think" about doing the same in the Dak, or the Ram I drove, hell you are across 4 lanes or in the ditch in the time it takes to react. both vehicles, for what it is worth, had nice 17 inch rims with 30 inch or more tread diameter tires on them. My Dak has 128k miles, the company 4door had about 58k at the time. is there anything you/we can do to minimize this?
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Well, tell us more real info about the subject truck, like was it 4x4 or 2wd? Tires, what kind, how old? Last alignent done when? How many miles? Modifications if any?
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wrote:

My 2004 ram 2500 does the exact same thing. It has the solid front beam axle, 4x4, and did it with worn Good Year Wranglers and now with new Toyo Open Country A/T's. Alignment is good, no uneven tyre wear, no mods to suspension or steering, 12000lb winch added recently with no change. Badger.
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On Wed, 14 Oct 2009 21:52:18 +0100, "Badger"

Well we have basically the same truck... Mine is not too bad, certainly not so bad that I am unhappy with that aspect (and we all know I'm unhappy with the quality...) Don't recall which tires I have on it, but they have 46K miles on them right now.
There is a 'steering stablizer' on the draglink, you may want to check to see if it is still working OK. That might be a factor.
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PeretD,
Mods? none that I know of on EITHER truck, else I would have eluded to them. If I had ONLY noticed this on my truck, I prob wouldn't ask the forum. I have put a total of 934 miles on my newly acquired '00 dodge Dak, (minus the test drive). it has 31x10.5x15 tires on the 4x4.
But since a few years back I had driven a (at the time ceo's company pickup) that was really new, still had factory 17's (yet over half used up good years), and I did typo the mileage, it was more like new, closer to 32,000 miles on it was close to needing new tires. and no it wasn't the "work truck," lol. it was instead of buying a Lexus for him to drive (he was more down to earth guy). it was 2wd, 4 door hemi (ran like a streak and was the pretty nifty packaged truck at the time). but they did insist that I drive a company vehicle on the 500 mile trip (that was nice). But I recall that I dang near wrecked it in Kansas City, in traffic on I-70 because it was so da-m twitchy like it has indycar quick steering, when I sneezed once... I mean I didn't switch lanes but the truck abruptly reacts with tiniest of inputs at 60-75 mph speeds.
So that is why I asked the question. Both are 99-02 models of Dodge and already someone noticed the same thing I see... .
wrote:

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OK, tomorrow I'll be especially obeservant when I drive my truck. Maybe I'm used to tight, precise steering, most of the (other) vehicles I have are very tight or are sport cars. Possibly I'm more used to it? Anyway, I'll see if I can notice anything.
Q: would you call this an oversteer situation maybe? Or just plain too sensitive? (Also read my comment about the 4x4's having a steering stablizer (like a shock absorber) on the drag link...
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Sorry looks like I typo'd the name last time Peter.. sorry
Like I've tried to say, it seems like moving the wheel one inch from center, makes a HUGE adjustment in Steering inputs to the wheels. if it were a person I would say it was hyper sensitive, lol.
I'm trying to not make mountain out a mole hill, but we're definitely talking about twitchy steering vs. normal "truck steering" "ish" feel. (yeah I'm a farmer so we have a few pickups/vehicles) Dad's 02 f150 doesn't feel like this. the 99 f150 before that, my 99 Chevy blazer I had before this 00 dak, my POS 95 Mazda 626 daily driver, & the 07 Pacifica my wife drives doesn't feel like that. hell not even close. I can drive anyone of those to the limits of their handling down windy dirt roads and on good roads, but not this dak.
that is what I think happened to that Dak in the movie clip posted yesterday or before, the dang trucks are twitchy, and if you don't "have racing feel" seat of the pants knowledge on how to recover, you can be screwed over pretty dang fast by the way the steering inputs. Plus the feel from the wheel is worst than a 74 Torino, you know with the Hydraulic cylinder that shoves the wheels right or left with no effort, and horribly no feel of the wheels and the road.
once you get past that 1st 2 inches, maybe it aint that bad, but those 2 inches can take you around a 45mph 90 degree bend, well almost, you know. :P
Come to think about it, I drove my dad's 03 1ton 4x4 (non dually) with the Cat diesel, a few weeks ago - the same movement "almost doesn't" affect the STEERING at all. if you see what I mean. Passing a slower vehicle I had to really move the wheel (which seemed to me to be under sensitive). That truck has <43k miles on it (got its 1st new set of Michelins on er this year.)
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wrote:

Well, hell, if you'd said nothing, I'd have never noticed! <bg>

Oh, god, I had (thankfully) forgotten about those systems. They were horrible, truely awful! <bg>

OK, since we're on twitchy... I have two vehicles with 'drive by wire' throttles. The Dodge Hemi (2004 Ram 2500 4x4) and a Hummer H1 diesel.
The Hummer is perfect. Excellent throttle response, smooth, predictable, a pleasure to drive.
The Dodge on the other hand is so twitchy (just like your steering!) that it is a PITA at all times. You step on the fuel, nothing happens, step more and nothing happens, then step again, and bang, it's like you floored it!
Anyone else find their Hemi's accelerator much too sensitive, especially at initial application of throttle (from stop lights, or other dead stops?)
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Mine's not quite as sensitive as you say yours is, but you are right, it does require a gentle touch on the throttle when pulling away, especially when on a loose surface or wet roads. For what it's worth, my 300c Hemi is exactly the same, seems to be a "hemi thing" lol. On the 300c, there is a procedure for throttle pedal calibration which helped a bit - ignition on but do not start, slowly and smoothly depress the throttle pedal all the way to the boards and slowly back again, then ignition off. Whether this would do anything on the Ram I do not know. Badger.
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On Thu, 15 Oct 2009 17:24:41 +0100, "Badger"

OK, I got mine on the highway today (yea,I don't have to drive much!) and I'm going to have to agree, it is sensitive with little to no free-play in the wheel when heading down the highway. More like a sports car than a truck. I must be fairly used to it because it doesn't bother me any... <g>
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Did you check the toe? It sounds like you need a little more.
beekeep
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It is a DODGE trait, their power steering is great around town but turns into a handful on the highway, you must make very small corrections on the freeway or you change lanes.
My 08 Nitro with 8000 miles does it, didn't even realize it until I was driving it on vacation on the highway, I doubt if there is a damn thing you can do to reduce the sensitivity of their power steering. They have been built like this for years.
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Thanks,
that is what I thought would be a consensus

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Suddenly, without warning, PlowBoy exclaimed (10/15/2009 8:47 AM):

> Thanks, > > that is what I thought would be a consensus
Well, not quite, since I don't think my '01 4x4 Dakota is twitchy at all. I seem to remember when I was researching the truck, that it "drove like a car", and that I thought the same when I test drove it originally, so it might be a difference in perception.
It's definitely a lot more sensitive than the hubby's new Jeep Wrangler, that's for sure.
jmc
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Suddenly, without warning, PlowBoy exclaimed (10/14/2009 12:37 PM):

I have a 2001 4x4 Dakota, bought it new, just passed 70k miles, haven't noticed this at all. Maybe I'm just used to it, but I wouldn't describe my truck's steering as twitchy at all.
jmc
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Well, maybe Ill take this thing down to have it looked at, maybe it has something bad, I read the ball joints are notorius I guess...

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Suddenly, without warning, Plowboy exclaimed (10/15/2009 6:28 PM):

Yup. They're a recall item too, got mine replaced a few years ago for nothing. At least, I think it was the ball joints. Had something else down there replaced too, tie bar ends I think.
jmc
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