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Squirely Steering

2000 F250-Super Duty w/144,000 miles



Had bald tires. Replaced ball joints, and other font end parts. Truck felt nice and tight. Then repalced tires with Nokian Vative AT 235/85R/16, 65psi front and 80 psi rear. truck became quite squirely in the front. Tried to adjust tire pressure, no luck. Put on 4000 miles and had tires rotated, front to back, no help. Had alignment checked, front right significantly off, had realigned, still no luck, truck still really squirely in the front. Toom to dealer, suggested new ball joints, u-joints and alignment be performed. Seems quite odd new ball joints would be loose already, especially since the last time tires were put on this truck the same thing happened. That time the fix seemed to be put new tires on bac so there was not so much bite in the front. Is it possbile these Nokian tires could have tooooo much bite! Any suggestions? I plan to take it to another tire shop/mechanical garage for another opinion. It might be possbile the alignment “toe” angle is significantly out of spec and the original tire shop didn’t knwo what they were doing?

Are you sure you do not have 4wd engaged? Make sure it is on 2 hi.

Keep in mind the tire shop mechanic drove it, the car dealership mechanic drove it, my wife drives it daily, and several other people have driven it; so no, the 4x4 is not engages.

Perhaps the tires are the problem. I have a 2000 Blazer, it drove straight and tracked well on the Uniroyal AWR (original tires) and Uniroyal Laredo Cross-Country tires.

The Laredos were replaced by Firestone Destination LEs. Since then the truck does not track as well and tends to wander. It’s more of a nuisance so I live with it. However the wet, snow, and off-road traction are magnitudes better than the Uniroyals. The door sticker recommends 32 PSI frt/rr. At that pressure the Firestones feel underinflated. After a little research, I found the tires are best between 36-38 psi.

Do a search on the web to determine how other Nokian owners are making out.

Ed B.

First, try dropping the pressure to 35 front, 30 rear (as long as the truck is empty) and see how that works…No need for high pressure in an empty truck…On your next alignment check, make sure there is a little toe-in, which tends to stabilize steering…ANY toe-out will make it squirrely…

Not sure an F250 can have tires that are only inflated to 35/30 psi. The factory placard calls out 65 front and 80 rear, which is what the Nokian’s are set at.

I plan to have a third shop look at it and check the toe-in for the alignement.

Thanks

For a first step you seriously need to revisit this tire pressure issue. I think you’re misinterpreting the placard. Drop the tires down to 35.

If the tires wear rapidly on the centers with only feathering at the shoulders it will indicate that the tire pressure relative to the load and rim width is too high regardless what the placards say.

I did a little googling, and the the 250 and 350 do use ridiculously high tire pressures. Assuming the tires are meant for that pressure. Check the tires max psi rating, and make sure you are well under that.