Excuse my clumsiness

Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop ~ Chit Chat' started by Gugs'96, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. Gugs'96

    Gugs'96 New Member

    Hello to all truck enthusiasts. Let me start by saying that I'm new to forums discussions so it may take a bit to get the hang of posting and such.
    Would like to talk to people who are into the older K body trucks willing to exchange knowledge and experiences.
    I've owned Chevys since the late 70's (got my first c1500 when I was 16) and always worked on them myself.
    Hopefully there's folks out there with similar interests.
    My current head scratching issue surrounds the Chevy steering box.
    I've owned 3 higher mileage trucks which have all had similar play in the steering and wondering if anyone has experienced this and if the steering box has ever been the source given that all other steering components check good.
    RayVoy likes this.
  2. kennythewelder

    kennythewelder Rockstar 3 Years 1000 Posts

    Your truck is a GMT 400. Be a C or a K does not matter. Any full size GM truck built from 1988 to 1998 is a GMT 400. I have had mt 97 C1500 sense 2004. I do all my own work on my truck except for tires and front end alignments. I had a 1993 WT c 1500 for 10 years before that. The looseness you are talking about is most likely the rag joint. You can get a replacement for about $10. I changed mine and it makes a world of difference. You have to remove the center section of the steering shaft to replace the rag joint. The joint is made of rubber. Here is an after pic of mine. 20160116_143453.jpg
  3. kennythewelder

    kennythewelder Rockstar 3 Years 1000 Posts

    Sense you are asking about talking to like minded truck people, with the same kind of trucks, here is a web sight that is just for GMT 400 trucks. As much as I like this forum, it is for all GM trucks and SUVs. There are some grate people here, but there are some grate people there too. GMT 400 also moves a lot faster that this forum does, and the format is the same for the most part. http://www.gmt400.com
    Hightower likes this.
  4. Gugs'96

    Gugs'96 New Member

    Thanks for all the info. Took a view of the site you recommended and will def. join. Will let you know how rag joint works out.
    kennythewelder likes this.
  5. thegawd

    thegawd Rockstar 2 Years 1000 Posts

    Welcome to the club Gugs!!!

    hey Kenny, is this the rag joint? I have absolutely no play in my steering but its always good to know these things...

    I took a quick look through that other site, specifically through the tranny section and couldnt believe the amount of info they have there. they must not have a good rating with google cuz iv never had it come up in a google search when I was looking for some of that info. lots of good info there though. thanks man.
    kennythewelder likes this.
  6. xPosTech

    xPosTech Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    And I think the steering box loosens up with a lot of miles. Back when most cars had manual steering it was a normal part of maintenance to take the play out of the steering box.

    On top of the box there should be a large nut with an Allen head in the bolt it's on. Loosen the nut and tighten the Allen head bolt. The nut/Allen head is the same type of adjustment/lock as valve lash adjustments. Check the steering wheel play. Rinse and repeat. Lock the adjustment back down when finished.

    I would only do this if replacing the rag joint did not remove the sloppy play in the steering wheel. On the manual boxes this moved a tapered gear similar to a pinion toward a ring gear. It was the same as adjusting the ring & pinion in a rear end. I've heard on some late model power steering vehicles this is more of a friction adjustment instead of removing play. At any rate after adjusting (if you decide to adjust it} make sure after a turn the steering will return to center on it's own and doesn't require you to move the wheel back to center.

    Google has lots of instructions and videos for "gmt400 adjust steering box".

  7. kennythewelder

    kennythewelder Rockstar 3 Years 1000 Posts

    The rag joint is a flat rubber disc with 4 bolt holes and 1 center hole. It connects the steering shaft to the splined clamp that slids onto the steering box. This rubber disc gets week in time, and gives slack in the steering wheel. It is a popular mod to replace it with a steering shaft from a Jeep CJ because, they use a U joint and they use the same type of steering box, but this only works for 95 back GMT 400s, because the 95 up steering shafts on GMT 400s have a 3ed flex joint, and the shaft can wobble when in use. I thought about replacing the rag joint assembly and welding in just the one U joint, but after replacing the rag joint, my sterring is good.
    thegawd likes this.
  8. kennythewelder

    kennythewelder Rockstar 3 Years 1000 Posts

    I found GMT400.com, on a yahoo search one day about 6 months after I joined this sight. When I saw what the sight was, I signed up. There is a young croud there, but some of us old farts too. I have learned a lot there that is specific to 88-98 GM trucks. I have almost as many post there as I do here.
  9. kennythewelder

    kennythewelder Rockstar 3 Years 1000 Posts

  10. Flyinfool

    Flyinfool Rockstar 100 Posts

    When you are adjusting the gear lash in the steering box to get rid of play you must remember, the cent is the most used and therefore the most worn. If you get all of the play out in the center the ends may be way to tight to the point of breaking something when you turn full lock. To tight can be felt with the above test. That adjustment can get rid of a bit of the slop, but if you have a lot of slop in the steering box, then a new box is the only real option. I adjusted my 96 several times to tighten it up until the ends started to get too tight.
    xPosTech likes this.

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