Vehicle wont drive straight

I have a mystery I hope you can solve for me. I currently own a 1989 Dodge Ramcharger 2wd, with a 360ci motor. The problem is that when I drive the vehicle the wheel is always angled between the 10 o?clock and 11 o?clock position. It also seems that the faster I go the more angled I have to hold the wheel. Ex.: 35mph I have to hold it around 11 o?clock and 55-65 mph I have to hold it around 10 o?clock position. Another interesting note is that the wheel, when braking, some times comes back to the 12 o?clock position but back to 11 o?clock again when I return to the gas.

I have been to three different mechanics in town and can?t seem to get a correct answer. Two mechanics have said all I need is an alignment job, which I had done both times to no avail. The third mechanic said I needed a new idler arm followed by an alignment, which I also had done. But again with no luck.

In the last year I have replaced the following items trying to fix the problem: new power steering pump with lines, new brake calipers, pads, brake lines, front rotors, new brake shoes, shocks all around, and the following moog suspension parts both inner and outer tie rods, both upper and lower ball joints, drag link, and the idler arm.

Measure the distance from the center of the wheels front to rear and compare left to right distance.

Your problem is consistent with low pressure on a front tire.

That truck likely has a radius rod that attaches to the lower control arm and the frame just behind the bumper. If it is deteriorating the lower control arm will move fore and aft relative to the pressure put on it by accelerating and braking. In an open parking lot with no interference from any traffic stand alongside the truck and watch the front wheel while someone moves ahead and then applies the brakes. Do this repeatedly and watch closely. You might see that the wheel is shifting front to rear.

You could have excess play in the steering gearbox. Very common on these vehicles. It is possible to tighten it up, but few mechanics know how to do it anymore. Your best bet is to try to find a mechanic with gray hair who has dealt with a lot of rear wheel drive vehicles from the '70s and '80s. A guy like that will be able to help you out.

I’d agree with the others, but also is your rear axle securely attached to the springs? If it gets loose and shifts a bit it could cause this sort of issue.

A steering wheel that is that far off-center is usually caused by incorrect alignment, someone not centering the wheel when doing an alignment, or something is bent or loose.

I would second Rod Knox about using a tape measure and comparing the wheel centers from side to side. They should be very close.

If you got a printout of the alignment specs you might post those for a little examination and while the ball joints were replaced the control arm bushings are always a possibility.

Maybe you should go to another town. How much has this cost you versus the worth of the vehicle? Is it possibly time to cut your losses?

If you had two alignments, did you pay for both?

You’ve got a 20 year old vehicle; maybe time to pull the plug?

The fact that the problem varies with speed suggests the rear end.

If the rear end moves front to rear because of loose components the results will be very similar to the front being loose.