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steering gear adjustment procedure

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by GM_Guy, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. GM_Guy

    GM_Guy New Member ROTM Winner

    what's the correct procedure for adjusting the steering gear on my 89 burb?
    has about 3/4 inch play, the tie rods, ball joints etc, are good.
  2. 84fiero123

    84fiero123 New Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    Are you sure it’s not the pitman arm?
  3. GM_Guy

    GM_Guy New Member ROTM Winner

    I will double check it when it quits snowing.
  4. unplugged

    unplugged New Member 1000 Posts

    Saginaw steering gear adjustment

    I wouldn't bother adjusting the play until it get to be more than 1" of play in the steering. The process requires removal of the gearbox and that is more than a couple of hours work for a DIY. I know I just replaced a broken steering box on my 93 burb. If you are interested the procedure for adjusting the Saginaw gearbox can be found at: http://www.partsmikeparts.com/saginaw_steering_box_adjustment.htm

    Courtesy of: Parts Mike Parts
    (530) 885-0673
    750 Perry Ranch Rd
    Auburn, CA 95603

    Saginaw Steering Box Adjustment

    The nut and screw adjust Worm bearing Preload and Sector shaft mesh. NOTE! The steering gear must be out of the vehicle to adjust it on all 1974 and later Saginaw rotary gear units. The earlier models can be adjusted (sector shaft preload) on vehicle. Here is the manner that GM Saginaw Division recommends how to adjust. Disconnect the pitman arm from the sector shaft, completely back off the sector shaft adjusting screw on the sector shaft cover. Center steering on the "high point" then attach an inch lb torque wrench to the steering wheel shaft, the torque required to keep the shaft moving for one complete turn should be 1/2 - 2 in lbs. If the torque is not within these limits, loosen the thrust bearing locknut or tighten valve sleeve adjuster plug to bring the preload within limits. Tighten the thrust bearing locknut and recheck preload. Slowly rotate the steering shaft several times, then center the steering on high point. Now, turn the sector shaft adjusting screw until a steering shaft torque of 3 - 6 in lbs more is required to move the worm through the center point. Tighten the sector shaft locknut to 35 ft lbs and recheck the sector mesh adjustment. Total steering gear preload should be 14 in lbs or less. Install the pitman arm and replace back in vehicle. To try and adjust the sector shaft screw without doing the preceding will DAMAGE the steering gear. Most of the play is not in the sector shaft adjustment, it is the spool valve area.
  5. GM_Guy

    GM_Guy New Member ROTM Winner

    I checked today, with a friend standing outside. with the engine off, I moved the wheel back and forth, the wheels immediately turned with the motions of the steering wheel.

    the play occurs, only with the engine running.
    steering linkage in good shape
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2007
  6. GM_Guy

    GM_Guy New Member ROTM Winner

    front tires are LT 235/75/15 . wheels are all matching factory 15x8 rally's
    would having these wider LT series on the front cause this???
  7. unplugged

    unplugged New Member 1000 Posts

    I recently went to BFG AT KO's LT265 75R16's on my 06 Silverado with no difference in driveability. My 93 burb has Goodyear LT305 75R16's and they work fine, but are a little resistive on low speed tight turns. I don't think the issue is your tires, but check your tire pressure just in case.:cool:
  8. GM_Guy

    GM_Guy New Member ROTM Winner

    yeah, that was a long shot

    the play occurs, only with the engine running.
    steering linkage is in good shape.
  9. GM_Guy

    GM_Guy New Member ROTM Winner

    I went ahead and swapped the rear wheels off My van (had better tread,was going to do it anyway). still about an inch of play, occurs only with engine running. so, looks like a steering gear is needed :( the linkages are in good condition
  10. GM_Guy

    GM_Guy New Member ROTM Winner

    well, I had a shop look at things, was determined that the steering gear was shot, I found a good one at a auto/truck recycling center in a nearby town for $65
    I braved the single digit temps and went and picked it up this morning. it is in much better shape, even got the matching pitman arm still attached
    will put it on this weekend, it will be warmer :)

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