GM Truck Club
THE PREMIER CHEVY TRUCK & SUV FORUM
Founded in 2004 ~ We're the #1 Chevy Truck & SUV Forum.
Silverado & Sierra | Tahoe & Yukon | Suburban & Yukon XL | SUV & CROSSOVER
Page 1 of 2 12 Last Post byLast Post by
Results 1 to 10 of 19
  1. #1
    Jr. Apprentice revscott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Montgomery AL
    Posts
    24

    Default Slack in the Steering

    I seem to have a little slack in my steering. It is most noticeable at hwy speeds. Dangerous im sure and a little scary. What could be the cause and is it something I may be able to fix myself. Im not ASE certified but Im pretty good with cars. RWD at least!

  2. #2

    Default

    If you are lucky and it is not bad parts, like bjoints, bushings or tie rods, its prob in the steering gearbox, and its easily adjusted....on top of the gearbox you will see a hex head stud (female, like an allen wrench will fit) with a nut on it, nut wrench size usually about 3/4, 11/16, somewhere in there, stud allen size I cant remember and not near mine right now to check it for you.....anyway, hold the allen, break the nut loose as it is just a jam/lock for the allen. Turn the allen inwards/clockwise, then slightly tighten the nut and check the steering play, adjust more as necessary. You may have to drive it after some adjustment to get the true feel of how much adjustment you have made. This will remove the slack, but at the same time it WILL also tighted up the steering and make it seem stiffer, especially at first.......once adjusted to your satisfaction, lock down the jam nut and you are done..........hope this helps..........

  3. #3

    Default

    If you determine that it is the steering box, when making this adjustment, go A LITTLE AT A TIME! Start with a quarter turn and go from there. Also, the more you tighten the bolt, the less your steering return will work. If it is so bad that you have to run the bolt down enough to kill the steering return (If you have to manually straighten the wheels back out after a turn) then you should look for another steering box.

    Don't START at the steering box! If you have worn suspension parts that are causing the slop in the steering, adjusting the steering gear will not work!
    "It went together didn't it? Well then there has to be a way to take it apart!" - Me.

    Check out my image gallery HERE.



    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

  4. #4
    Jr. Apprentice revscott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Montgomery AL
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Thanks guys, I had a new set of tires put on in Feb and the tech said I needed a new pitman arm and control arm. I will get those replaced and have the front end thouroughly inspected before going to the gearbox. This was great help thanks again.

  5. #5
    Sr. Engineer Dana W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Chuluota, Florida
    Posts
    361

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by revscott View Post
    the tech said I needed a new pitman arm and control arm.
    Well, now. There's yer problem.

    I am a little concerned about you needing a new control arm. Is there accident damage to it? Bent? Usually, a set of bushings and/or ball joints will fix control arm issues.

    I just replaced my pitman arm, and the whole idler arm assy on my '99 Burb at 112,120 mi. It made a world of difference to the steering feel and function.
    Last edited by Dana W; 03-24-2012 at 07:33 AM.

  6. #6
    Jr. Apprentice revscott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Montgomery AL
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dana W View Post
    Well, now. There's yer problem.

    I am a little concerned about you needing a new control arm. Is there accident damage to it? Bent? Usually, a set of bushings and/or ball joints will fix control arm issues.

    I just replaced my pitman arm, and the whole idler arm assy on my '99 Burb at 112,120 mi. It made a world of difference to the steering feel and function.
    Sorry, I meant idler arm and pitman arm, not control arm. Yeah I'm going to do that soon, he was talking $300+ though I felt that may have been a little steep, it does include the alignment though.
    The Rev

  7. #7
    Sr. Engineer Dana W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Chuluota, Florida
    Posts
    361

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by revscott View Post
    Sorry, I meant idler arm and pitman arm, not control arm. Yeah I'm going to do that soon, he was talking $300+ though I felt that may have been a little steep, it does include the alignment though.
    After having done this myself, I have access to a lift and air tools, I would have gladly paid somebody 3 bills including alignment to do it. It is NOT a piece of cake. Mine cost me about 100 bucks in parts from AutoZone, so for parts, labor, and alignment, 3 bills ain't bad. Warning - Do not try this at home. That Pitman arm is ON THERE, and you need an extra long pickle fork to pop the ball studs out. There's almost no room to swing a 2 lb sledge up in there. The Idler assy is a piece of cake if you do the whole thing, meaning the arm and pivot both, just don't drop the non-captured bolts or the socket down in the frame. I dropped both, one at a time and spent the better part of an hour on each item, with a rare earth magnet on an extendable rod fishin' them out.

    Torque specs for the biga$$ nut holding the pitman and idler arms on is 184 ft lbs. Cheeeze, I don't even weigh that much.
    Last edited by Dana W; 03-24-2012 at 01:43 PM.

  8. #8
    Jr. Apprentice revscott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Montgomery AL
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Thanks Dana, will definitely let the shop do it then. Hope this straigtens out the steering as well. BTW, I notice on a level surface the left (driver) side of my truck seems to sit lower than the right. I dont notice it while in the cabin or driving. Just curious as to what would cause it.

  9. #9
    Sr. Engineer Dana W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Chuluota, Florida
    Posts
    361

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by revscott View Post
    Thanks Dana, will definitely let the shop do it then. Hope this straigtens out the steering as well. BTW, I notice on a level surface the left (driver) side of my truck seems to sit lower than the right. I dont notice it while in the cabin or driving. Just curious as to what would cause it.
    It could be as simple as a completely dead shock or two. They only hold it up a tiny bit though, and then only if they are gas charged. It could also be way out of whack front end alignment. It is probably a saggy torsion bar and/or rear spring. Worst case scenario would be accident or pothole damage to the lower control arm(s).

    In one case I know of, a frind's friend found two broken body mounts on the right side of his pickup which made it lean a little the other way "sometimes". They were missed by a body shop which repaired damage from a low speed head-on.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by revscott View Post
    Thanks Dana, will definitely let the shop do it then. Hope this straigtens out the steering as well. BTW, I notice on a level surface the left (driver) side of my truck seems to sit lower than the right. I dont notice it while in the cabin or driving. Just curious as to what would cause it.
    The lean is probaly caused by the torsion bar on the drivers side being worn out. Known as the Chevy lean you can just crank the t-bar key up to level it out

    2003 Z71 Silverado LS
    Access roll up cover
    Bed Rails
    Billet Grill insert
    Bed Rug
    CB with PA system
    Waiting to be installed
    Two 8in RF HX2 punch( would have 12s but they got stolen)

Page 1 of 2 12 Last Post byLast Post by

Similar Threads

  1. Slack in transmission
    By Philip Greer in forum GM Powertrain
    Replies: 8
    Last: 09-25-2011, 11:51 AM
  2. Too much slack in gear selector. Any solutions?
    By rojoho79 in forum General Chevy & GM Tech Questions
    Replies: 7
    Last: 08-16-2010, 12:40 PM
  3. Drivers electric seat has slack
    By new2dis in forum Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)
    Replies: 0
    Last: 08-08-2009, 11:52 AM
  4. slack in the steering wheel?
    By tpirob in forum Lifted & Offroad Suspension
    Replies: 2
    Last: 08-23-2008, 02:07 AM
  5. DJTricky im new cus me some slack lol
    By DJTricky in forum Member Introductions
    Replies: 12
    Last: 04-19-2008, 10:35 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •