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Thread: Slack in the Steering
03-21-2012, 05:04 PM #1
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!
03-23-2012, 08:30 AM #2
- Join Date
- Dec 2011
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..........
03-23-2012, 08:45 AM #3
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
- Cameron, NC
- Blog Entries
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.
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03-23-2012, 01:33 PM #4
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.
03-24-2012, 07:29 AM #5
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.
03-24-2012, 10:21 AM #6
03-24-2012, 01:37 PM #7
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.
03-24-2012, 03:17 PM #8
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.
03-25-2012, 10:16 AM #9
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.
03-25-2012, 10:46 AM #10
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