Since the day our '06 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 drove off the lot, the factory steering has never given that tight-on-center feel. Factor in 60,000 miles, a 3-inch suspension system, and 35-inch tires and we've only aggravated the steering situation. Until late 2007 the Dodge Ram 3/4- and 1-ton trucks were equipped with a Y-link (also known as a Haltenberger) steering setup. One of the drawbacks of the Y-link is that it allows the toe to change as the front suspension cycles since the tires are connected to the steering box through two separate links, in the shape of an inverted Y.
The toe is the amount the front tires point inward or outward. A basic example is to look down at your feet and move them in an opposite directions with your heels planted. The degree to which you point your toes outward is "toe out" and vice-versa. The Y steering system design is tough on tires and can make the steering feel loose as time wears on.
Over the past couple of years Dodge has revamped the Ram line, unveiling the 6.7L Cummins, a fresh body style, and, in early 2008, an updated steering system. The new Ram steering system utilizes a T-style linkage setup that uses a straight lower tie rod to connect both steering knuckles . This T-link design eliminates toe change as the suspension cycles.
Seeing how the current Rams are equipped with the same AAM front axle and a similar steering box as the '03-'07 3/4- and 1-tons, we decided to see what it would take to upgrade the old steering to the beefier new setup. To help dial in the steering conversion and add a little damping aid, we went to the fullsize Mopar gurus at Carli Suspension. Within a couple hours they had the new linkage bolted in place along with a couple performance Bilstein steering dampers from Carli.
Since the install the truck has towed, cruised in the dirt, and racked up a healthy amount of highway miles. Though we did notice a touch of bumpsteer, we're pleased to report that the steering upgrade was a worthwhile investment and made the truck feel much tighter and more controlled.
|DODGE FACTORY PARTS|
|PITMAN ARM||PN 68039930AA|
|FASTNERS||one of PN 6502697|
|two of PN 6505623AA|