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I have a 2000 Ford Excursion and my truck sways side to side when I am driving. It seems the faster i go the harder it is to control. It seems like whenever i compensate to go straight i have to almost immediately compensate in the opposite direction. I took it to a local shop and they told me my wheel hubs are fine, my tie rods are fine, and my gear box is fine. I also just replace all of my shocks. I am a college student that will be driving 15 hrs home with a trailer in two weeks and really need to fix this problem. Please Help!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I just did a web search for your problem. It seems to be a very common problem. There is aTSB about stiff or wandering steering. The first operation to perform is a precise wheel alignment according to Ford.
How much play is in the steering wheel With the truck just sitting and using just two fingers to turn the wheel? If it is more than 1/4 to 3/8 inch you might need the steering box adjusted, or possibly a worn drag link end.
Worn ball joints or tie ends or a worn steering shaft coupling can also cause play.
It seems that there is an inherent problem with rear spring wrap up that amplifies the tendency to wander on that model. The cure for that problem would be to install traction control bars or radius rods.

Attached is the TSB I found.
 

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I have a 2000 Ford Excursion and my truck sways side to side when I am driving. It seems the faster i go the harder it is to control. It seems like whenever i compensate to go straight i have to almost immediately compensate in the opposite direction. I took it to a local shop and they told me my wheel hubs are fine, my tie rods are fine, and my gear box is fine. I also just replace all of my shocks. I am a college student that will be driving 15 hrs home with a trailer in two weeks and really need to fix this problem. Please Help!!!!!!!!!!!!
You may want to post in a different forum, either the brakes and suspension (ball joints are suspension pieces) or the Excursion forum.

Did your shop give you an answer as to what was worn on your Excursion? It seems out of line that they would look your vehicle over and not find a problem with the steering or suspension.

Older Fords had an adjustable steering box (or steering gear). You said "gear box" and I hope that they mean this part. I have adjusted these on both my 95 F150 with 225,000 miles and my 96 F250 with 165,000 miles. Usually this accomplished by loosening the jamb nut and turning the set screw at the top of the box in. A small amount of turning goes a long way, and improper adjustment can damage your steering box.

Also check for worn "rag joints" in the steering column linkage (if so equipped).

I was taught to either put the vehicle on jack stands or a lift and move each component of the front end and look for play in the joints. I try to replace any component that has play in it. Usually just jiggling the tires will make worn parts evident very quickly. Having a friend wiggle the tires while you examine components makes things much easier.

Take note of the wear of your tires. Excessive wear on the inner or outer extremities of the tires is proof that your vehicle needs an alignment. I have come to the conclusion that having a vehicle properly aligned is worth its cost due to prolonged tire life.

Please let us know if you solve your problem.

Thanks,
Jon
 

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Thanks for the replies, they have been very helpful. I had a full allignment done on the truck about 3 months ago after i bought 4 new tires and the problem still existed. That being said, it has to be the steering box. I am taking my truck to a different mechanic tomorrow morning with hopes of him being an honest/ good one. Unfortunately ive been in this town for 4 years and still havent found a good mechanic. I will be printing off your replies to give to the mechanic as well. Hopefully this will ensure a good/complete fix. Thank You
 

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what about the tires being out of balance?
 

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If it is swaying (like when you get hit by a crosswind on the highway) try new shock absorbers.

1) It it is wandering (hard to keep it going in a straight line, especially at highway speeds), it is related to the front suspension/steering. As jonmark mentioned, recirculating ball steering can be adjusted, but get it done by an expert. (See #3)

2) An aftermarket steering damper might help.

3) Find a repair shop that specializes in front end alignments. Ask to talk to the mechanic and get his opinion on increasing the caster angle. This will NOT affect tire wear.
 

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Ok, i do have a bad steering box but i cant afford to replace it so we adjusted it and its a little better. We also found that my passenger side lower ball joint was loose as hell, so were gona replace it even though its still good because were gona have the assembly apart anyway so mite as well. We are also gona take my rear tires and rotate them to the front since theyre basically brand new. This should help. Does anyone know about steering box rebuild kits? I heard new theyre around 800 and that just not possible for me right now.
 

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Did you call the local parts store and ask how much a rebuilt steering box was? When I worked at O'reilly in college I remember the steering box for the 1980-1998 F series was $150. I can't imagine a stock replacement running a super high price. If the steering box was rebuilt and braced for off road conditions is could be very high though.
 

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I have a 2000 Ford Excursion and my truck sways side to side when I am driving. It seems the faster i go the harder it is to control. It seems like whenever i compensate to go straight i have to almost immediately compensate in the opposite direction. I took it to a local shop and they told me my wheel hubs are fine, my tie rods are fine, and my gear box is fine. I also just replace all of my shocks. I am a college student that will be driving 15 hrs home with a trailer in two weeks and really need to fix this problem. Please Help!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here I come late to the party but still wanting to put in my two cents.

Here is my story.
In my '90 Bronco, (although I am sure the design of the front end had been changed by 2000) I could describe my driving problems exactly like yours. I brough tit to a front end mechanic who checked it and told me that one ball joint was loose and needed to be replaced, but the other three were too tight, and needed to be replaced. He showed me that thebody started to shift (when turning the steering wheel) before the tires started to turn in or out. In effect you would turn the wheel more than would be needed, but that much would be needed to "break" the joint free so that it would turn, then you would have to compensate for the oversteer.

Be sure to take it to a competant mechanic. My friend had a story to go with this, but to make it short, other shops missed this problem and he has fixed it a number of times.

One other thing that I don't think was mentioned is your tires.
If they are lightweight tires with weak sidewalls, IE Not designed for a truck like your's that could give you some handleing problems.
 

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Did you call the local parts store and ask how much a rebuilt steering box was? When I worked at O'reilly in college I remember the steering box for the 1980-1998 F series was $150.
That might be the exact same part !

Checking Rock Auto, a rebuilt steering box is still less than $200 !

Replacing the steering damper is less than $50 and is and easy fix.
 
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