Steering has a "binding" feeling

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by mwa3c, May 23, 2013.

  1. mwa3c

    mwa3c New Member

    Good day GMC forum folks!

    Well, making my 1999 Suburban k1500 a comfortable ride again..

    I had loads of play in the steering and decided to replace everything but the steering box. Before replacing all the parts, i had some "binding" when rotating the steering wheel full circle. I had so much play in the pitman arm and tie rods that i figured it had to be one of those causing the binding.

    When i say i replaced everythign but the steering box, i mean everything but the steering box. Pitman arm, idler arm and mount, centerlink, inner and outter tie rods on both sides, and adjusting sleeves.

    Good news is, Play is gone! bad news.. binding is still there.

    Before I jump in and buy a new steering box, i was thinking about adjusting the pre-load.. Would that help? or should i look around for something else.

  2. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I would still look into replacing the steering box, as you have replaced everything. You can try adjust the pre load but that may put some "slop" back in. Has it ever been in a front end collision.

    One more thing, since I see you say k1500, is it stuck in 4wd (not sure if push button, full time or stick on floor), even if it shows 2wd.
  3. mwa3c

    mwa3c New Member

    Thanks for the reply!

    My K1500 is push-button. The truck has a new transfer case, and new 4x4 selector switch. It is shifting out and in 4x4 fine at this time. (I can definately tell a difference in steering when 4x4 is engaged, but that is not the issue i am working out :)

    as for the front in colision question, i asked that same thing because of the pitman arm being sloppy... i am not sure. I am the 3rd owner. I do know it slid off a 4x4 trail into a tree with the back passanger's side, but that body work was completed prior to my ownership.
  4. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts


    Next, if you were to put the front wheels up in the air (steering wheel unlocked) can you turn the tires lock to lock without binding (turning either at the wheels or steering wheel). If its not nice and smooth get under while it is being turned and see if you can visually see something bind up etc. If smooth go back to weight on tires and go lock to lock looking for anything in the front steering binding. If all at least looks fluid in the steering components I would once again lean towards the gear box.
  5. mwa3c

    mwa3c New Member

    I notice the binding when driving. Most of the time it occurrs while entering / exiting the innerstate, or while going around mountain roads.. It is like there has to be additional load on the outside wheel for it to occurr.

    The symptom is, steering into a turn, the wheel suddenly "gives" and you have to recover the give by reducing turning force on the wheel.

    It is a very unsettling feeling.. almost makes the vehicle lurch into a turn.

    I can not reproduce it while sitting still. But.. what i have noticed is with the wheels off, and the font end up in the air, if i turn the steering wheel left to right, it almost looks like the hub "shutters" left to right, sinstead of a smooth operation. no resistance is felt in the column though..

    really tough to explain..
  6. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    That is interesting. Well you can check the hub too. With the tire on and one tire off the ground (jack under lower A-arm to load suspension) raise the one side to about an inch off the ground. Grab the tire at 9 and 3 and try to move tire back and forth in a push pull method and feel for movement (shouldnt be any). Then grab at 12 and 6 and repeat steps. Do the same for the other side. This is standard way to check front end suspension/steering parts, and if everything is tight but still movement at hub the hub bearing is bad.

    Again going off your previous post I also think that for some reason possibly, the front diff is not spinning freely. For example when you go around a corner the outside wheel needs to spin faster than the inside wheel. The "gives" almost seems like its not letting it free spin and then it does giving that change. I know I have gone back and forth with different possibilities during this, but I could see a front diff issue.

    My #1 thought is still possibly a gear box issue, as when under pressure it gives internally (not sure if the gear box has teeth inside or a worm drive type). Hopefully this gives you a couple more ideas
  7. MrShorty

    MrShorty Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    One somewhat common issue I've seen mentioned is problems with the EVO valve in the steering system. This variable valve makes the steering speed sensitive, so that it isn't as responsive at high speeds. It think what happens is that, at high speeds especially, these jerks are related to the failing EVO system cutting in and out. jerk
  8. mwa3c

    mwa3c New Member

    Now, THAT sounds exactly like what i am having issues with. I will have to see if i have speed sensative steering and locate the sensor..
  9. mwa3c

    mwa3c New Member

    That is pretty much EXACTLY what i am chasing around.. Now, i just have to figure out if i have this type of steering system.. Wonder.. if i could just disconnect the sensor...
  10. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Didnt even know about that, glad someone else jumped in with a possible solution. My truck still has the hydraulic but is a 2500.

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