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Steering Clunk Fix for Chevy Trucks

Discussion in 'Lifted & Offroad Suspension' started by skinner, May 7, 2009.

  1. skinner

    skinner New Member

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    I have been doing some research on the shaft in question and i have a solution that will stop the noise almost instantly. It will require a minor modification under the hood, but fairly easy to do.
    I hope to do mine tomorrow nite and i will post pics and basic instructions then.

    Results and instructions in post #5 & 6

    2004 chevy Silverado Z71 Ext cab 4x4
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
    #1
  2. retired2001

    retired2001 New Member

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    I hope it works for you. I'll be waiting on your next post, as I've just about gotten used to the "knock" in mine!
    #2
  3. skinner

    skinner New Member

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    Did the modification tonite, seems to have eliminated the noise and feel in the column.
    Took about 45 min.
    Worked late and can't post pics tonite, sorry, will post tomorrow for sure.


    2004 Chevy Silverado Z71 ext cab 4x4
    #3
  4. magstar67

    magstar67 New Member

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    Anxiously waiting pictures/details! I took mine to a different dealer friday for a second opinion, they put another I-shaft on it (4th one - 3 new OEM and 1 Borgeson), they also beat on the end of the column where the bearing is to make the bearing fit tighter and it still does it!!! Have had it at two large Chev. dealers and both say there is nothing else they can do to make a 27k mile truck not feel like you are driving a piece of junk! The first dealer has also replaced the steering box, lower bearing and the shaft between the I-shaft and steering box.

    I think you could fix it if you could put pressure on the I-shaft - I've thought about experimenting with a bungee cord stretched over it and attatched at both ends to the frame somewhere below the I-shaft so that there was pressure pushing down on it all the time and maybe stop the 'flop' causing the noise. Mine does the noise enough that I could experiment with this at low speed in my driveway without having a wreck. Not sure how to make it work in normal driving but it might be a starting point.

    Look forward to your experiment!!!
    #4
  5. skinner

    skinner New Member

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    This fix i have come up with works to stop the noise from the slip-yoke on the Chevy/ Gmc trucks that everyone is upset about. Ihave 90,000 on mine and it worked instantly.
    The only issue i can see is if the splines are worn badly, it may not cure it or may have to be maintained more frequently.

    First, open the hood and turn the steering so the connecting bolt (about 12 inches from the firewall) is positioned with the head pionted up.
    You will need a hammer, centerpunch, 1/8" & 7/32" drillbits, drill, a 1/4x20 thread tap and handle, a grease fitting with 1/4" thread and a grease gun.
    I used a multipurpose chassis grease with 40% Molybendum content.

    First centerpunch then drill a 1/8" pilot hole at the top of the flat above the bolt head , then open the hole with the 7/32" drill bit as shown.

    [​IMG]

    Next using the 1/4" tap, cut a thread in the hole(as shown below) but only cut about half way up the tapered tip of the tap so when incerting the nipple it will be very tight. It is ok if u cut a full thread, the nipple may not tighten as securely.


    [​IMG]

    Next incert and tighten the grease nipple in the hole, Be careful not to over tighten.
    It should look like below.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Last step, pump atleast 30- 40 shots of grease into the fitting, then drive it 50 miles or so and pay attention to weather the noise comes back. If so pump another 30 shots of grease into the column.
    This should eliminate the noise and give the steering a bit smoother feel.
    You may add a few shots of grease to the column when and if the noise returns , to maintain lubrication in the spline.
    Notes: It will take about 100 shots of grease or 3/4 of a tube and the grease will start coming out of the bottom of the column at the steering box end. I may sujest to disconnect the column at the location shown in the pictures and plug the upper portion below the grease nipple, then pump in the grease. It will require less grease and will put a bit of grease pressure in the tube which will prolong the time between maintenancing the spline but is not nessesary. I packed a rag in the bottom of the column when the grease started to come out and put pressure on the rag with a small prybar to create some pressure but it was not nessesary to complete the modification.

    UPDATE: JUST AT THE TIME I WAS FINISHED THIS MOD, ONE OF THE GUYS I WORK WITH TOLD ME THAT HE DID THIS MOD TO HIS 03 gmc TRUCK 5 MONTHS EARLIER. HE WENT FOR ONE RIDE, REGREASED AND HAS NOT HAD TO TOUCH IT SINCE. HAS OVER 6000 MILES SINCE THEN AND IT IS STILL QUIET.

    Try it at own risk, if u are not confident that you can complete this task, get a shop to do it for you.
    Post your results and updates for all to see, good or bad.
    Thanks and good luck, hope this works for you as well.
    skinner (Deryk)
    #5
  6. skinner

    skinner New Member

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    Put another 200 miles on this afternoon, 90 of that was average to ruff gravel road at an average of 30-40 mph, No noises back yet.
    I may have created a couple of new ones though, lol.
    #6
  7. magstar67

    magstar67 New Member

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    Skinner,

    I tried your fix...after two dealers and basically new steering linkage courtesy of GM, your simple grease fitting WORKED!!!

    I only drove it about two miles but I think it is gone. My truck has GM's latest version of the I-shaft, dont know the part number but it ends in 614 (I think).

    You are my hero!
    #7
  8. skinner

    skinner New Member

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    Let us know how it works out, feedback is a great tool to help people who are skeptical.
    #8
  9. leadpan101

    leadpan101 New Member

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    I did it today, the noise instantly stopped. Under $10 fix. Great work Thanks
    #9
  10. High Voltage

    High Voltage New Member

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    I'm next... I'll try to get to it this weekend. I haven't found any fixes that looked good yet and this one is easy enough to repack with grease if needed.


    Thanks!
    Jason
    #10
  11. Dr_Zero

    Dr_Zero New Member

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    What years does this apply to?
    #11
  12. Captain Bones

    Captain Bones New Member

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    I am new to this forum as of 7/18/09. I own a 03 Silverado Extended Cab. I signed on to find a solution to the @#%&*#$@ clunking problem in my steering collum. I found many post about this issue which surprised me as Chevy claimed I was the only one having this mystery problem. I used the post by Skinner to add a grease fitting to the steering collum. IT WORKED!! I was at the end of my rope. If this didn't work I was headed down to the local Ford dealer and trade it in. The technology available in todays trucks is amazing. Satalite Navigation, anti lock brakes, even my rear view mirror knows to automaticly dim if the guy behind me has his brights on. But they can't make a steering collum that works correctly. No wonder GM went bust.

    Captain Bones
    Chesapeake Bay Maryland
    #12
  13. Offshore24

    Offshore24 New Member

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    That's the first mod I've read about for this that makes any sense. Some are taking the shaft apart, greasing and putting it back in. Seems like way more work than would be necessary. I've got a good rattle in the column when turning at speeds approaching 20 to 35 mph and it's not right. I'm still under warranty so I guess I'll try dealer first and if replacing the I shaft doesn't work I'll try the DIY method. Thanks.
    #13
  14. Tunnelmotor99

    Tunnelmotor99 New Member

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    You're not alone, we had the same problems with the saturn Ions and Vues. To this day I still don't think GM has figured out how to make an intermediate shaft that doesn't clunk.
    #14
  15. Captain Bones

    Captain Bones New Member

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    The only modification I made to this fix was I used some expanding foam "great stuff" to plug up the end of the shaft where it connects to the steering box. I let it harden up over night and added more grease the next day.
    #15
  16. Tight Lines

    Tight Lines New Member

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    I have searched and wondering if I have this problem. My steering doesn't clunk per say, when I turn it almost feels like something is loose, within the system. It just doesn't feel solid. Is this the same thing you guys are talking about? If so, thanks and will try, if not sorry but can somebody maybe steer ;) me in the right direction.
    #16
  17. skinner

    skinner New Member

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    What you are explaining sounds to me to be a different issue, like the pitman arm or steering box is sloppy. This issue usually is most noticable turning on rough surface at slow speeds, but mine got tobe noticable at highway speeds in some corners where the outside tire track was rough. Felt like a bad balljoint kind of.
    If u are out of warrenty, try the grease fitting, fixes the issue instantly, read some posts, there are some good helpful ideas like the foam idea, very smart.
    skinner
    #17
  18. skinner

    skinner New Member

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    Someone correct me if i'm wrong but i believe 2000-2006, don't know about newer.
    #18
  19. skinner

    skinner New Member

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    Glad u are happy CAPITAN BONES, don't want to loose you to ford for such a simple repair lol.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
    #19
  20. skinner

    skinner New Member

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    By the way, mine is still quiet, about 3000 miles or more now.
    #20

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