Kenworth roadwalking/wandering issue

Discussion in 'Heavy Duty Diesel Truck Mechanics Forum' started by Smiley300, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Smiley300

    Smiley300 Bobtail Member

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    Mar 26, 2014
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    First off, if this is in the wrong forum I apologize.
    I’ll also apologize in advance for the long post.
    I have a 2003 Kenworth W900.
    I’ll start off by saying, when I bought this truck it drove and handled excellent. I don’t remember a specific time this problem just “occurred”, but I’ve been dealing with it for a while.
    It wanders left and right. Every now and then, if I get on a good perfectly flat and smooth road, it will drive pretty well without too much wandering. It seems very persuaded by the road if that makes any sense. If the road is uneven or leans one way or another, it pulls pretty hard that direction. I know all trucks do to a degree but it seems excessive. Sometimes It will wander a little in a certain direction, and a minor correction on the wheel straightens it out. Then it will wander the same direction again and it seems I have to pull and pull against it for it to start back in the right direction.
    Another thing I noticed that seems strange is let’s say I’m in a left hand bend on the highway. Sometimes I’ll find it “diving” into the corner. I’ll actually be pulling in the opposite direction to keep it up in my lane.
    I’m sure I’ve over thought, and over analyzed as the problem has persisted, but one thing I wasn’t sure about, is the steering never really returns to absolute center. If I’m in a corner and I let go, it will return almost back to dead center, but not exactly dead center. May be normal, and I may be overthinking.
    It just seems like it wants to go any direction but straight. Almost like a toe-in problem, but that’s been checked. ‍♂️

    So far, I’ve replaced the steering ujoints, as well as the shaft, the steering box, the tie rod and ends, the kingpins, front spring pins, and had the steer tires trued and balanced. It has been to two separate alignment shops. One of which used a Bee Line machine. Both shops also claimed to have checked the caster. It has the 8 bag suspension, and my rear bushings and torque rods were all replaced roughly 250(ish),000 miles ago. Mechanic says the rear bushings are good and tight.
    It seems to wander the worst when it’s bobtail. It’s slightly better with an empty trailer, and slightly better than that with a loaded trailer. I’m running 11r 24.5 BF Goodrich Highway Control steers, and 11r 24.5 hankook smartflex drives. (Can’t remember the model number of the drives)
    I’m at a loss and I’m not sure what else to try. The only steering components I haven’t replaced are the column and the drag link.
    If I stand outside the truck, and twist the steering shaft, everything seems good and tight. Zero play anywhere.
    Any ideas?
     
  2. starmac

    starmac Road Train Member

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    Is there any chance your front cross member has gotten loose or any cracks in the frame, seems like kenworths that had that problem was usually on the passenger side close to the spring mount.

    Tie bolts good in the springs, and ubolts good and tight?

    I had a pickup that got terrible, I replaced every moving part and it didn't change anything. I found the rivets had got loose in the cross member under the engine,
     
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  3. Tx Countryboy

    Tx Countryboy Road Train Member

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    Hankook tires are crap. Sidewalls flex & wear out quick.
     
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  4. Frontman

    Frontman Light Load Member

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    After all you replaced, I believe the the drive tires are causing this. Do you have the DLO7's on drives?

    If applications allows, put hwy trend on drives.
     
    Smiley300 Thanks this.
  5. Smiley300

    Smiley300 Bobtail Member

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    Mar 26, 2014
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    I never thought about the front cross member. I’ll check that! There are no cracks around the spring hangers. I check that pretty regularly.
    I just looked and I’m running Hankook DL12 on the drives.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  6. Tx Countryboy

    Tx Countryboy Road Train Member

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    He might need a traction tire for where he runs.
     
  7. Rounded_nut

    Rounded_nut Light Load Member

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    I have the dl12 too, open shoulder and yes, they like to wander! How many miles on them, as they tend to settle down after 50k or so.
     
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  8. Smiley300

    Smiley300 Bobtail Member

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    Mine have around 100k. It would be nice if that is the issue! Easy fix haha
     
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  9. Frontman

    Frontman Light Load Member

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    Apr 4, 2012
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    Mine settled down close to 30k. So glad!
    That thing was everywhere on the road.
     
  10. DmitriyKW

    DmitriyKW Bobtail Member

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    Sacto, CA
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    I had Yokohamas 709ZL and those tires waders all the time, even when they had 200K on them. So, now I got Michelin xda5+ and what a difference! From day one!
     
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