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Discussion Starter #1
I bought this truck a few months ago, never owned a Dodge. Despite new front end parts from the previous owner, it steered as bad as everyone said they do. So, got an alignment from a performance shop: bang on. They use updated, not factory settings. But, it still wandered and had ~ 2" freeplay at centre steering. After reading about all the aftermarket upgrades, I thought I'd try the DSS first. How was it? Their web site says installation under an hour, ~10 min for them. Sure...... Every time I read this I multiply by 5 :lol3:

The fateful day arrives. I open the box. All parts present. Installation sheet is words only. Where are the pictures? Back inside I go, fire up the computer, find the installation photos on the Solid Steel Biz web site, print them off on a colour printer. A picture is worth a thousand words. Back to the garage.

I start disassembling as per the instructions. The steering shaft nut is 1 5/16: guess which socket I don't have? Off to a supply house, buy the right socket. Back home now. I have a compressor and impact wrench, goes to 230 ft lbs. I'm wailing on the nut, not a mm of movement. Arrgh. Crank up the compressor to 150 psi, wail on it some more: nothing. Off I go to a local auto repair shop. I ask them to loosen and retorque the nut to 180 ft lbs so I can remove it with my tools. They do it, and won't take any money which I offered for their time. Kudos to them for great customer service. I guess they felt pity for me looking all dirty and forlorn. :) Back home I go.

Now I can take off the nut. I install the new nut/extended shaft. It says torque to 185. I get my click type torque wrench: goes to 150. I dig up my old beam type torque wrench, goes to 200. I go to attach the socket: of course it won't fit! The extended shaft is too long! I don't have any crow's foot sockets. Now what?

I take my 12" Crescent wrench, put both feet on the passenger tire in the rowing position, and pull as hard as I can with both hands. I guess it's at least 185 now....

I used a hydraulic jack to support the anti roll bar, and needed carpentry type Quick-Grip clamps to position the DSS to line up the bolt holes. Eventually, it all fit. Whew! Total time: around 5 hours! Just like my recipe says :thud:

So what do I think? It definitely reduced wander. I can let go of the steering and it will track straight. It did nothing for the 2" of steering free play though. Was it a worthwhile addition? Yes. Is it the magic answer? No. Next I'll have to look more closely at my trackbar and steering shaft. I suspect I have a 3rd gen track bar and Borgeson shaft in my future. But I'll do it one at a time to see what each does.

Suggestions to the company: give a color photo instruction set with the brace like they have on their web site. They could suggest the usual size of nuts they encounter, and mention you'll need a crows foot socket to torque the new nut to spec. Other than that, the parts are very well made, nicely powder coated, solidly built, and actually do what they say it will. Would I install a DSS if I bought another 2nd gen Dodge? Yes. But at least then it wouldn't take me 5 hours.....:lol3:

I hope this helps anyone else who's thinking of adding a DSS.
 

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Give this a gander. It worked for me..

TSB 19-10-97

There are hundreds of other good to know things on the rest of that website as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Excellent! Thanks for the link. I'll certainly try this before buying anything else.
 

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Yeah me too. I've replaced everything (ball joints, tie rods, trac bar, steering shaft and steering gear box) and I still have slop in the wheel.
 
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