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Old 04-05-2010, 20:48   #1 (permalink)
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2006 Expedition loose steering

06 Expedition, 5.4, 4wd, 59k miles

My steering does not pull or vibrate. However I some float in my steering wheel. If on the freeway for example I can move my wheel about a half inch or more to either side before my steering changes. Any ideas? Is there a way to tighten it up?

Thanks guys
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Old 04-10-2010, 12:06   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2006 Expedition loose steering

I have a similar problem in my Dodge Durango (2000 R/T). It's not an easy fix in any vehicle. The most common problem when you have 'free-play' in the steering is that the lower steering shaft (it connects to the steering rack) has a worn joint. Even a small bit of play can feel like a lot at the steering wheel.

To narrow it down you can try this: Start the vehicle and put on gloves. Open the hood, and carefully with one hand, turn the steering shaft a bit back and fourth. You should see if any joints have play in them by not turning other components right away. The shaft is replaceable but will more than likely run $150-200 just for a 2' shaft. If you can manage your hands and some tools in there, you can save yourself a couple hundred bucks in labour and do it yourself. I have a shaft on order for my Durango, but am waiting for it to ship (few more weeks yet...).

There is no way you can tighten this up, as the metal pivot points have worn. You might luck out and have poly or rubber bushings that can be replaced vs buying an entire shaft, but that setup is rare. It's best to go with a new shaft. You can get some at salvage yards for half the price, but they're filthy (generally) to work with and not guaranteed.

With your vehicle specs, I find it strange why the shaft would be bad so early, then again in this modern age where vehicles are built by lowest bidder, it's not much of a surprise. Keep us posted on what you decide/progess.
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Old 04-10-2010, 19:50   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2006 Expedition loose steering

Could also be a wheel bearing. Jack up the front wheels, one at a time, place hands at the 12 & 6 o'clock positions on tire and see if the wheel will rock in and out. If it does, more than likely a bad bearing, or even slack in a ball joint.
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