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2008 Diesel Dually has a history of steering related issues. Purchased used at 70k miles, at 130k now 9 years later so it's not like I'm throwing a bazillion miles year on it. Barely noticeable when 1st purchased, the issues have steadily worsened. Truck rides great on street...predictable, stable, safe. On the freeway above 55? I feel like I need a second seatbelt. Feels like I am damn near driving on ice...Truck feels as though the entire front end is "floating", as a whole the truck wanders and pulls as though riding in freeway truck ruts or catching drainage ripples where none are present.
Now on my third set of tires since buying it 60k miles ago, none of the other (removed) tire sets have exhibited any unusual wear patterns. Steering box was replaced a year ago. After a test drive the local commercial truck repair shop wants to replace both ball joints, steering gearbox, both drag links, intermediate arms, and "start from scratch" with a high dollar fix. 4WD shop (2nd opinion) says there is nothing wrong with steering parts, geometry, alignment... claims the straightline grooved "steer" tires are causing the truck to catch and follow every nuance of concrete on the freeway, claims if all the other steering gear was dicked up I'd feel the ice at lower speeds as well. Newest set of tires with less than 600 miles on them is (rear drive) Goodyear G622 RSD 225X70x19.5 and (steer tire) Goodyear Endurance RSA 225X70X19.5. Both are load range G. Rims are stock. Prior tire sets were Internet purchases, one was a treaded mud style tire and the other was conventional high-mileage straight-grooved tractor-trailer style. Only time the truck did NOT wander was when I had a 40' 5th wheel trailer or a 30' power boat behind it.
Looking for advice, other experiences with this sort of thing, expertise, recommendations.
 

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How much play do you have if you jack the front end up?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There is no perceptible slop or play in the steering. It is “precise” for want of a better term. No binding, chatter, or vibration from the steering box, which was replaced approximately 10 months ago.
 

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Are you absolutely certain that the 4WD is disengaging on the street? My '04 Excursion transfer case once "stuck" in 4WD and the truck wandered on pavement (not as bad as yours) I replaced the transfer case solenoid and all was well when back in 2WD. A real clue is tire wear. ( As you know, you shouldn't have to replace tires at 20,000 miles)
 
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