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  1. #1
    Legend unplugged's Avatar
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    Default Broke the steering box [Expired Topic]

    Last week I swerved to the right to avoid two stopped cars. Slammed on the brakes and the ABS decided to do its thing to keep the wheels from skidding. Swung right and banged the curb pretty hard. The steering wheel was not on center afterwards, but no immediate visible damage. A couple of days later and I notice fluid leaking from the steering box near the pitman arm. Yesterday the was a 'pop' when I started the engine and then no power steering pressure. I had replaced the pump and hoses a few months back so that wasn't the problem. A rebuilt steering box is on order and I will be replacing it tomorrow. I'll keep you posted. 93 K1500 burb, 4wd lifted with oversize tires. 200k+ miles.

  2. #2
    Jr. Engineer Chevy Girl's Avatar
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    Default RE: Broke the steering box

    Yikes, that could have been bad if you were driving with it like that. Just glad that it didn't snap something and have your wheel turn around and around in your hands!

    I stripped out a steering box once and that's what happened. It got looser and looser for weeks and then I was going down the freeway and it got so loose that it scared me. I pulled into a parking spot and the wheel did a 360 on me. YIKES!
    Cheri
    Chevy Trailblazer LS 4x4
    Seattle, WA

  3. #3
    Legend unplugged's Avatar
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    Default Didn't drive it

    Yes, I was 90 miles from home when it crapped out. My mechanic friend suggested that I have it towed since the power steering pump would have been damaged without fluid, and the steering could either go 'numb' or lock up. AAA premier tow service got me home with no worries. NAPA wants $179 for the part with my AAA discount. It will arrive tomorrrow afternoon. More to come.......

  4. #4

    Default RE: Didn

    Cool. Sucks breaking down with something like that when you're away from home. I broke down once on I5 in Northern California at 2AM on a Tuesday onces. Yikes!

    Steve
    10 Chevy Traverse LT AWD
    02 Chevy Trailblazer LS (110K+ miles - loaded except for 4WD - WRECKED!)
    99 Chevy Cavalier LS (105K+ miles - commuter car)
    78 Chevy Suburban Silverado (454, 3/4 ton)
    62 GMC 3/4 ton Pickup (350 police interceptor)

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  5. #5
    Legend unplugged's Avatar
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    Default Re: RE: Didn

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve
    Cool. Sucks breaking down with something like that when you're away from home. I broke down once on I5 in Northern California at 2AM on a Tuesday onces. Yikes!
    I had to wait 3 hours for the tow truck, but I was visiting mom so I just hung around an ate more than my share.

  6. #6

    Default RE: Re: RE: Didn

    Well, that's not so bad then.

  7. #7
    Legend unplugged's Avatar
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    Default JOB IS DONE

    Ok. Here is the 411 for removing the steering box on a 93 K1500 Suburban 4wd. (It was great to have a compressor and air tools, but they are not required.)

    1. I pointed the wheels straight.
    2. Then I put the left side up on a jack stand, and removed the drivers side wheel for better access.
    3. Removed the power steering lines.
    4. Disconected the steering shaft.
    5. Disconnected the pitman arm from the link, using a pickle fork.
    6. Unbolted the 3 bolts holding the steering box to the frame and lowered the steering box out and away.
    7. Took the steering box with pitman arm still attached and had the machine shop at NAPA remove the pitman arm for transfer to the rebuilt box. (You can remove the pitman arm yourself using a puller that can be purchased or rented.) I had the machine shop at the NAPA store remove it because they have a hydraulic press and can remove it with ease. They elected not to charge me for the service since I bought the rebuilt steering box from them.
    8. Using an 1 5/16" socket I tightened the nut holding the pitman arm to the steering shaft.

    I reversed the other procedures reattaching the pitman arm to the steering link, etc.

    Other notes: You will have to do your best to align/center the steering wheel when attaching the pitman arm. I did an eye-ball wheel alignment since I positioned the wheels before starting. I expect to have the alignment checked if it pulls left or right, but so far so good. Top off the power steering fluid and cycle the steering lock to lock to get air out of the lines. I had a lot of foaming fluid in the power steering pump, but it settled after I let it run awhile.

    The nut that holds the pitman arm to the steering shaft is 1 5/16. I bought the socket from NAPA and the 1" to 1/2" drive adapter. You will need to rent or buy a pickle fork and a pitman arm puller if you don't already have one. Otherwise basic hand tools are all that are needed.

    Cost: Rebuilt steering gear: $180.00
    Couple of pints of steering fluid: $ 9.00
    1 5/16 socket and adapter: $41.00

    It was a five hour project including lunch. It was a lot cheaper than the $750 that the shop quoted me. A good way to spend an afternoon getting to know my burb a little better. Besides with the money I saved, I'll be able to spend a little extra on tires when I'm ready for those.

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