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  1. #1
    TrailLeadr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Coventry, Rhode Island

    Default Steering gear rebuild [Expired Topic]

    Does anyone have experience with rebuilding steering gear boxes?

    My steering has been a little loose, and I was going to go buy a new gear box (of course my 'burban needs the more expensive one :? )
    They also have gear box rebuild kits. However the picture of the kit looks like snap rings, o-rings, and gaskets. I don't want to waste $30.00 on something I won't be able to use.

    With over 200k on the gear box, do you think it would be best just to invest in a new one, or is it the bearings and seals that lose tension, and allow the extra play in the wheel?

    Rhode Island

  2. #2


    I've had to do it once. Just had a stripped out spline on the sterring column. Cleaned up the box a bit and it was all good with a new column. Gear boxes are usually pretty tough. What are you experiencing now? Really lose? 1/4 turn play? 1/10 turn play?

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  3. #3
    TrailLeadr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Coventry, Rhode Island


    Probably 1/10 turn play. I get from 11 o'clock to 1 o'clock movement. (if memory serves)
    I'm just concerned that with the weight of the vehicle that it might slip, and I'll find myself
    going straight when I'm turning the wheel. Probably not a problem yet, but I'd rather not have to worry about it. That's probably going to be my prjoect this weekend. Just wanted some advice before I set out to put some money down on parts.


  4. #4


    Update on my steering gear:
    I tried in vain to do a job in one day that clearly needs a weekend. Of course with an infant, sleep is hard to come by, and my neighbors frown on me working on my suburban when I'm actually up (11pm to 4am) Go figure!

    According to the best info I could get, I was to disconnect the power steering lines, disconnect the steering universal link, then remove the pitman arm, and finaly remove the steering gear from the frame.
    Well that sounds all well and good, but the pitman arm was stuck in the drag link, and I couldn't actually get to the gear side of the pitman arm due to a crossmember that is welded to the frame of the truck.

    So while the mosquitoes nipped at me at 10:45pm I used a sawzall and cut the pitman arm in half.
    I still can't get the other half of the pitman arm off, I've broken my balljoint separator :shock:

    Any ideas? I've got a 2 jaw puller, but I can't get the fingers of the puller between the drag link and the pitman arm.

    Lastly, like an idiot I sent the core back with the cut pitman, and the retaining nut for the pitman arm. The new steering gear
    didn't come with a new nut. Is it just my luck, or what????? :roll:

    Tonight I may try heating the pitman stud with a torch. If that doesn't work, I will drill straight into the stud and then hopefully pound what's left of it out.

    I will gladly take any and all suggestions into consideration.

  5. #5


    there is a puller made just for pulling this apart. if you have a VIP parts store near you they have a loan a tool program, you give them a deposit , ussually what the tool would cost, and you get it back when you return tool.
    if you have a torch, oxy/acet heat only the arm, and have a hose close by.

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  6. #6


    Ah... the pitman puller.
    for some reason I was under the impression I should have been using the ball joint separator for the pitman as well.

    Well thank you for the advice. I bought the part at a partsamerica store for $12.00 and in less than two min the pitman was out. :D

    Now I just have to wait for the local dealer to get the washer and nut for the pitman. Which actually cost more than the puller. $13 and change.

  7. #7

    Default A quick question on GVW 8600 or 7400

    I installed the new gear today, and it's shorter than the old one. :?

    The steering shaft does not reach, and comes up about 2-1/2 inches short. When I ordered the part I told them that the truck was an 8600lb gvw. This was based on info I had read. The 7400gvw has a 6lug rim, and the 8600 has an 8 lug. (my 'burban has 8 lugs. I know it's kind of an unscientific method)

    My door sticker is worn off so I cannot make out the specs. The glove box sticker is gone..not sure if there was anything there for specs anyway.
    The only sticker I still can read is for the tires (on the door) and it indicates that my suburban's GVWR is 7900. Nobody sells a steering gear for a 7900lb gvw suburban. The parts stores around here need to order the part so they don't have anything I can compare against, and my old gear box is already in "Core heaven"

    Can anyone tell me if I'm wrong on the GVW of my truck? Should I have gone with the 7400 since my GVWR does not exceed 8600?

    Your thoughts are very much welcome!

  8. #8


    WOW, sorry. First, I'm glad that the pitman puller did the job for you. But, can't help you much in terms of finding the part for a 93. If there are only two units made for it, you might just need to buy the other one? Is that correct? Is there just only one other one made?

  9. #9


    open the glove box underneath all that crap that doesnt belong in there should be a label with all the options made on you truck, the steering box should be on the list.
    you may need to go to the dealer to have it decifered but it should list the box that was put in the truck when it was built. they have put that in all gm products since the 70's.

  10. #10


    sorry i guess i didnt read your post completely, i see now that sticker is gone, one last possibility. when we build a vehicle the seats are built on a seperate assembly line. being built on a seperate line you have a manifest to go by, its a sheat of 8X11 paper with everything that goes on to that car or truck. usually they are left under one of the seats, if you have any luck at all it may still be there. i can't tell you what seat tho, sorry.

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