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  1. #1
    Master Mechanic
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    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Farmersville, Illinois, United States

    Default steering play question

    got a question about my tahoe, its got some play in the steering and i was wondering what i can do to tighten it up. you can turn the wheel back and forth little ways before the wheels turn and i'm just wanting to get it tightened up and lose the play in the sreering wheel. thanks guys


    2002 Tahoe LT---------TINTED WINDOWS------------7" DUAL DVD INDASH

  2. #2
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Endicott, NY


    Doubt it. It has the old style recirculating ball steering box. The only ones of that type that I know were adjustable were the ones on the 1963-1967 and 1968-1982 Corvettes.


  3. #3


    Look down the side of the radiator at the top of the steering box. You will see a set screw and a jamb nut. Back off the jamb nut and turn the screw clockwise to tighten the steering. Turn the screw only a quarter turn then retighten jamb nut and check for play. Repeat if needed.

    97 Chevrolet Suburban K1500 5.7L
    78 GMC High Sierra K1500
    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go thru life.

  4. #4


    Your body style Tahoe was notorious for having steering issues. We have several mid 2000's Tahoes at work that had similar problems. Check the steering shaft under the hood. It's the one that goes from the column coming from the firewall to the steering box. Any excess play in the system will be amplified if there's any play at all in this shaft. Don't use a cheap imported replacement part as these tend to be a pretty sloppy fit and don't really solve the problem. This should cure 95% of the slop in your steering. It will totally feel (and look) like the trouble is in the box, but it probably isn't.

    Also, I've found that many rebuilt steering boxes aren't much better than old worn boxes. If you can find one at a scrap yard with low miles on it or even better would be to get a new one from GM. Of course, you should still check the usual suspects - center link, pitman arm, steering arm, ball joints and tie rods.

    The set screw and locknut on the top of the box is for setting the bearing pre-load. It's not designed to adjust the play in the steering. If you tighten it too much, the steering won't return to center properly when you release the wheel and it will cause the box to wear prematurely.

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