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  1. #1
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    ESP Light only and other stuff

    Ok, Where to start... I have an 05 Magnum RT and recently over the weekend i did a little work to the car (Rack and Pinion, Front lower control Arms, Tie Rods, Calipers, Rotors, Brakes and Hoses)! It was very time consuming and the only issue i ran into was getting that Ball Joints off when removing the Control arms. After 8 hours of heating with a torch, Hitting with a hammer, I broke a pitman arm puller and ultimitly i had to rent a kit that had a pitman arm puller that wasn't made in china to get both off. Everything else went on fine, My steering wheel was crooked before i did the work and is still the same after all the work, The outer tie rods did have me confused as the driver side took 24 rotations to come off and the passenger took 22! Everyone i talked to said that was normal and not to put them on any different! I was about to put them both at 22 and still might. But after i bled the brake calipers i took the car for a test drive, I could tell there was air in the power steering fluid and after driving for a bit it seemed to work itself out. Right as i was about to turn into my driveway i heard the passenger side wheel rub and the ESP light came on. I just want to see if anyone has an idea of where to look 1st? I know there a ton of things that can cause that light to come on and when i 1st purchased the car i had the ESP and BAS lights both on which was a wheel sensor. Im not sure if its the wheel angle calibration that caused the light and what would cause the rubbing on that one wheel? Everything else with driving the car seemed great. I honestly didn't want to do the work but the mechanic wanted $2000 and I wasn't paying that, The only thing I was new to installing was the rack and pinion and I centered the rack prior to install.

    So my questions are obviously what would cause the ESP light only to come on, With the work I did what would cause the wheel to rub (Seemed to be connected as the light came on right when I heard the wheel rub) Should I adjust the outer tie rods to the same rotations? And what is it that makes the steering wheel to center?

    I plan on taking the wheel off and check everything I did but just wanted to get some insight from people who have more experience than me.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    The first thing you should do is go get an alignment done. Anytime you do a rack or tie rods you need to have an alignment. That will get your steering wheel straight, help the handling and save the life of your tires.

    The number of turns off or on is only a baseline to get you to an alignment shop, that's it. Replacement tie rods are almost never the same length as OE so getting them set right without an alignment is near impossible and quite possibly why you heard a rubbing.

    Idk about any wheel angle calibration, never heard of that. Steering angle maybe, and if that's the cause, the alignment shop can reset it and turn off the light....if that's why it came on.





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  3. #3
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    Let me edit that first take... The rub feels like power steering, it happens about 3 quarters into turning left only, Sounds more like pulsating than rubbing. I'm going to jack it back up and check the torque on everything I installed.

    The Tie rod and steering wheel thing I agree with you. It only pulls a small anound and tire wear is actually perfect. So that's why I don't want to mess with any of the settings. Its really just an eye sore that I'm being cheap about not wanting to pay for an alignment. Lol

    The ESP/BAS light might be my fault... Installing one of the Calipers I crossed the brake line with the wheel sensor and had to disconnect the sensor to fix it and it was stuck pretty bad and I might've messed it up getting it out, The last time I had a wheel sensor go bad it threw a code and right now it's not. I thought when I installed the last one I had to reset the steering angle for the light to go off by doing something with the steering wheel. I have to look to see how I did that again?

    Thank you for your advice btw.

  4. #4
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    Take it for an alignment. The life you save might be your own.

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  5. #5
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    In all seriousness. I've been doing wheels, tires, suspension and alignments for almost 30 years and I'm Hunter certified in alignments.

    There are several factors that could be the source.

    If your steering wheel free spun even half a turn while unhooked from the rack, you could have broken the clockspring. That could cause the ESP light to come on.

    If it didn't break the spring, it could still be installed a full turn off in one direction or the other, causing the steering angle to be waaaay off. Causing the light.

    I know you said you centered the rack before you installed it, but that may still be the issue why you're running only turning to one side.

    The tie rods being improperly installed (too many or too few turns) could cause the rub in one direction.

    A jam nut could have backed off causing a tie rod to move.

    The fact that it took you 8 hours to get one ball joint off tells me you've not got much experience doing this kind of work. Bravo to you for doing it! I'm serious about that, a lot won't do it to learn.

    Please don't be one of the new guys that asks for advice and doesn't follow the advice given. Go let someone look at it, get the alignment done.

    Your tires might not be showing the wear yet, but I promise with that amount of replacement parts, you NEED one.

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  6. #6
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    What he sad. Right on!

  7. #7
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    Hey... I don't claim to be a certified mechanic and I appreciate the feedback, With that being said... I've done most of the work on any car I've owned and have had more issues with getting parts off of this one car than any car combined! The Control arms took about 5 mins when I a decent tool to get them off, It was 8 pm when I thought id be able to them off with a hammer and when that didn't work I ran to buy a Pitman Arm puller that literally snapped into 3 pieces! There was a lot of running around and frustration put into those things. 8 hours was an exaggeration, The couple hours that were spent were all wasted because nothing was open. I think it's funny when people laugh about when I tell them about getting stuff off of this car,
    Let me give an example of the first week I bought this car and went to take the wheels off... 18 of the 20 Lug nut caps where so swollen they had to be cut off by hand (No big deal, took about an hour), Those same 18 Lug nuts would not come off with a 4-way! I took the car to a tire shop and paid $5 for a tire rotation and within 15 mins I see the mechanic throwing his air gun on the ground, They said they didn't want to take the chance of breaking the hub. Point being it shouldn't take a 5 foot iron pipe and a breaker bar to loosen the lug nuts. The Rotors were the same way, I couldn't replace them and had to be careful how I was hitting them but they took about 30 mins each to get off. In total I probably spent "Wasted" 4 or 5 hours on getting 4 wheel and 4 rotors off. lol. As far as I can tell almost everything on this car is stock and has never been replaced. The car came out of South Florida and not sure if it's because of the heat or what but everything is hard to get off of this Magnum. Thats why I mentioned I could've messed up the speed sensor when I disconnected it, It was stuck pretty bad and started falling apart around the clips.

    With the Rack it was my 1st time installing one but
    I'm very certain I centered it because it wasn't coming out of the box, You could tell by just looking at it because the boot on one wasn't straight. I turned it all the way both ways to double check, The Steering wheel was locked into place so I know I didn't turn the steering shaft connector, Other than that it's 2 bolts and 2 lines. The outer tie rods went on exactly the way the others were on. I was just trying to see if the tie rod being at 24 on the driver side and 22 on the passenger would be the cause of the steering wheel? I understand getting an alignment would answer that question. Just curious.

    Also, I wasn't sure if the torque specs I had were correct or not, Where can I find the specs for stuff like this?


  8. #8
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    So after jacking the car up i went through everything i put on and the one side where the tie rod came off at 24 rotations i adjusted it to 22 and it straightened out the steering wheel where it's just a tad off of center but night and day better than what it was!The Speed sensor i took back off and cleaned it with electical cleaner and put back, I reset the steering angle and the light came off! So everything aside from the noise is fixed.

    Could there be a chance that Rack is defective? It honestly sounds like no fluid goes to that one side when turning left.

  9. #9
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    Is all the air bled out of system? Are there bubble in reservoir.



  10. #10
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    Its possible there's still air, It's supposed to self bleed and made a god awful squeeling sound when it was being drove for the 1st time. I assumed when the noise stopped that the air was out. Honestly i'm going to drop it again, The only thing i didn't double check was to make sure i centered the Rack correct. As much as it pains me to admit... I need to check it again because the Rack is supposed to come centered and when i took it out of the box i didn't think it was because you could see one of the boots wasn't straight, It could actually be that it looks like that centered and i miss counted when checking it. It wasn't the easist thing to turn. I'm almost 100% sure thats got to be the issue.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by punisher69 View Post

    The fact that it took you 8 hours to get one ball joint off tells me you've not got much experience doing this kind of work. Bravo to you for doing it! I'm serious about that, a lot won't do it to learn.


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    I've read plenty of horror stories on here about removing the ball joints. I consider myself to be pretty handy too, and have done all of the work on my car as well. When I replaced the entire suspension about a year ago - I too had the frozen ball joints, and worked on them for hours. After destroying my impact, I threw in the towel and took it to a local machine shop. They ended up having to drill the centers out of them because their huge presses wouldn't budge them! So don't judge this guy - and as he said - everything has been frozen and hard to remove on his car. Maybe the salt air in south Florida?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDT View Post
    I've read plenty of horror stories on here about removing the ball joints. I consider myself to be pretty handy too, and have done all of the work on my car as well. When I replaced the entire suspension about a year ago - I too had the frozen ball joints, and worked on them for hours. After destroying my impact, I threw in the towel and took it to a local machine shop. They ended up having to drill the centers out of them because their huge presses wouldn't budge them! So don't judge this guy - and as he said - everything has been frozen and hard to remove on his car. Maybe the salt air in south Florida?
    I wasn't judging anyone. By what he wrote, he wasn't trying to press the ball joints out of the control arm but trying to separate them from the knuckle. That should not take hours.

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  13. #13
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    Dude, I started with a hammer, Than a pickle fork, Than a Pitman arm puller that snapped. You're correct... It shouldn't take hours, With the Arm Puller i rented it took less than 10 minutes. I've seen nothing but horror stories with these Magnums, 300's and Chargers! That's why I said I think it's funny when people laugh about these things, Granted if you have a shop and lift to work on your car I'm sure you'll never see issues like this. I'm doing this under my car with about 20 inches of room to navigate. These were the lower forward control arms (Tension Struts).

    Btw... Dropped the entire rack and re-cheched the center and reinstalled and still the same noise.

  14. #14
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    Let the car idle in park, have someone SLOWLY turn the steering wheel from lock to lock a couple of time while you watch the fluid in the reservoir, see if it bubbles.

    I'm thinking it wasn't bled well enough and has some air in the lines still.

    If you thought I was picking on or judging you, I wasn't. My apologies if you did.

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  15. #15
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    Some useless information maybe. I've been watching repair videos made by South Main Auto Repair in NY. In one of them Eric the mechanic said on one car he had to replace a steering rack 5 times to get a good one. He was buying cardone racks from the local Advance I think.
    Thanks lsmith4177 thanked for this post

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