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Junior Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys I have a 97 F250 when driving over 70 its not to bad bout under that it shakes. I know there is alot to check for. But can someone give me a starting point?
Thanks
 

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Member
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391 Posts
There are a lot of possibilities. First examine all the tires closely and look for any odd wear. That may help to determine the problem. You may even want to rotate tires and see if it makes any difference. Jack up each corner and check for anything loose (steering or suspension related).
 

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Stuck in Commiefornia...
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2wd or 4wd? Does it do it under braking also? Modifications or non-stock parts currently on the truck? Could be a lot of things but need more info to help.
 

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Shocks, if after a drive they are cold they are junk, it could be a loose linkage part or the steering box may need to be adjusted. If it is a 4X4 it could be a "U" joint in the axle. The wheel bearings need to be checked, steering parts could be broken or loose on their mounting.
You want to lay down and have someone shake the steering gently back and forth, look and feel for loose componants. or broken.
Just a thought!
 
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Junior Member
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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry guys I was out of town. YES its a 4x4 It has new shocks. Yes it still will do when braking. I do not have any NON stock parts. tires are new... I have been under it and nothing feels loose. Or look broke. How do I check for a bad u joint? or the wheel bearings?
 

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Old Fart
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889 Posts
The steering (King pin) ball joints are probably shot. Jack up your truck and place a crow bar under the tire, where it contacts the road. Lift the tire and look at the upper and lower ball joints. If you see them move, they are shot. Ball joints turn, but should not move otherwise. Unless you have a good amount of mechanical experience and lots of tools, get a mechanic to change them. Use MOOG Ball Joints.
 

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To check the suspension what I do is put the jack under the spring bucket if it is a 2 wheel drive and check the upper control arm bushing for slack the forward to back, the ball joints you rock in and out but you have to feel that as a loose bearing will do the same thing. Lifting from the bottom of the wheel will tell you if the king pin bearings is worn, or i guess the bottom ball joint. The rear wheels check for wheel bearings loose, I put a bar threw the rim and lift to see if there is movement.
If you can look threw and see the brake pads then turn the wheel and see if the rotor is warped by the change in gap between the shoes and disc. Put something like a jack stand and see if the rim is bent both inside and out also check the tire for bulges. Be sure the tire preasure is correct.
If it is a 4x4 then check the nuckles and rotate the tire looking at the axle, do it with the tire turned 30 degrees off center, looking for a siezed "U" joint end. Check the hubs are releasing fully and the driveshafts are in Phase and the "U" joints are good do that for the rear, by looking at the "U" joint and rotating the tire back and forth with you foot. check the diff oils.
If the steady bearing is bad the rubber will be torn up if the rubber is good the bearing is good.
With the truck on the ground check the steering box for play when centered, and when full right and left.
Just a thought!
 

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Stuck in Commiefornia...
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1,296 Posts
That's a twin traction beam front suspension, so it's like a 4wd Twin I Beam design. The truck uses radius arms to locate the front beam axles. The radius arm bushings are shot. That's why I was asking about the 2wd/4wd thing previously. Only 2wd Twin I Beam and 4wd Twin Traction Beam trucks exhibit this behavior under driving and braking. Basically, the axle center is moving around front to back and not just up and down, the axle can travel in a circular or elliptical pattern too. This is not a ball joint issue.

Replace the rear radius arm bushings with a Moog K80007 problem solver heavy duty replacement bushing.

You'll also need to replace the bushings on the pivot end of the beam axle with a Moog K8620 heavy duty problem solver bushing.

Total parts cost from Rock Auto with shipping will be under $75. It's a hell of a job though and unless you have a good bit of heavy duty tools, including a 20-ton press, and solid mechanical knowledge, I'd suggest paying a pro to put them in.

Final thing, buddy up to a tire shop and let them put your wheels on the balancer. Make sure the tires and wheels are round, not just balanced. You need a fixed point of reference to watch them. If they are not true, sometimes you can pop the tires loose on the wheel, and turn them relative to the wheel to put the high side of the wheel opposite of the high side of the tire. Of course that usually requires balancing them again, but usually you'll find they take less weight when you take the time to do this, and the truck will ride better as well.

I went through all of this with a '93 F-150 SVT Lightning years ago, after the truck hit 100k it lost it's mind and was scary to drive. The above fixes, with the F-150 specific parts, resolved the issues completely.
 

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Junior Member
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Discussion Starter #9
That's a twin traction beam front suspension, so it's like a 4wd Twin I Beam design. The truck uses radius arms to locate the front beam axles. The radius arm bushings are shot. That's why I was asking about the 2wd/4wd thing previously. Only 2wd Twin I Beam and 4wd Twin Traction Beam trucks exhibit this behavior under driving and braking. Basically, the axle center is moving around front to back and not just up and down, the axle can travel in a circular or elliptical pattern too. This is not a ball joint issue.

Replace the rear radius arm bushings with a Moog K80007 problem solver heavy duty replacement bushing.

You'll also need to replace the bushings on the pivot end of the beam axle with a Moog K8620 heavy duty problem solver bushing.

Total parts cost from Rock Auto with shipping will be under $75. It's a hell of a job though and unless you have a good bit of heavy duty tools, including a 20-ton press, and solid mechanical knowledge, I'd suggest paying a pro to put them in.

Final thing, buddy up to a tire shop and let them put your wheels on the balancer. Make sure the tires and wheels are round, not just balanced. You need a fixed point of reference to watch them. If they are not true, sometimes you can pop the tires loose on the wheel, and turn them relative to the wheel to put the high side of the wheel opposite of the high side of the tire. Of course that usually requires balancing them again, but usually you'll find they take less weight when you take the time to do this, and the truck will ride better as well.

I went through all of this with a '93 F-150 SVT Lightning years ago, after the truck hit 100k it lost it's mind and was scary to drive. The above fixes, with the F-150 specific parts, resolved the issues completely.
I do NOT have a rear radius arm.... I have leaf springs......This is also a F250 not a 150. And its a 4 wheel drive. From what I can find a 97 DID NOT have Twin I Beam design.
 

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Aimless Wanderer
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929 Posts
I do NOT have a rear radius arm.... I have leaf springs......This is also a F250 not a 150. And its a 4 wheel drive. From what I can find a 97 DID NOT have Twin I Beam design.
Some of the light F-250's did have the drive axle mentioned. Your's is not a light duty version.
 

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Stuck in Commiefornia...
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1,296 Posts
F-250 TTB fronts use leaf springs, not coils. I'm VERY aware of this. I worked in the repair and aftermarket segments of the automotive industry from 1988 to 2010. It's a hybrid of a Twin I Beam. I'm going to tell you right now, if you look under the left front it looks like this:


The part numbers I provided will solve your issue. Or you can chase your tail and hope you find someone with a magic fix that doesn't involve any work. Good luck with that. I hear duct tape and some chewing gum is pretty good for fixing stuff on the cheap. And don't forget to hit everything really hard with the biggest hammer you've got, that works well too.
 
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