Steering help

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by 96BlackSilverado, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. 96BlackSilverado

    96BlackSilverado New Member

    I have a 96 silverado 4x4. The alignment seems to track straight but the steering wheel isnt straight when it is driving straight also it steers one way further than the other way. How do I fix this?
  2. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    the steering wheel not being straight can be fixed with an alignment (alignment may be right but not aligned with steering wheel straight). the other problem could be a couple things. not sure if the gear box will just keep spinning with pitman arm detached or if it has a certain rotation. If it has a set rotation it may just not have been centered correctly if the pitman was ever taken off. if thats the case the pitman needs to be removed with wheels straight and the put back with wheela and gear box centered. Like i said I cant remember if that works on these gear boxes.
  3. Chris Miller

    Chris Miller Rockstar 100 Posts

    The pitman arm can go onto the gear box more than one way. Just pop the pitman off the box, rotate the wheel straight, and pop it back on.
    You will need: pitman arm puller ($15 to rent)
    Large wrench and cheater pipe to take the old arm nut off
    Replacement nut (it's best not to re-use these)
    Torque wrench to tighten the nut properly
    I recommend not jacking the truck up if you can avoid it. That way, your wheels won't move when you yank the pitman arm off.

    Just take off the nut, and with the puller and a big wrench, remove the pitman arm from the gear box. See those grooves in the shaft splines? That's how you line up the arm. Move the steering wheel into the correct position, and put that pitman arm back on. It shouldn't be super-hard to put it back on. If it won't go on, you might have to loosen it from the center link to get some more lee-way. But it shouldn't be all that hard.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  4. unplugged

    unplugged Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I had a brother replace my steering box and he did not center the steering gear. The gear should be set at the center of it's range before attaching the pitman arm.

    So before you detach the pitman arm, use the steering wheel to set the steering gear at it's midpoint (the point where it takes the same number of turns to go to either end of the steering travel.)

    Then you can detach the pitman arm, re-position each wheel facing forward (use a tape measure for rough alignment) and then center the steering wheel before re-attaching the pitman arm. (Recommend an trip to the alignment shop afterwards)

    Or better yet since you are going to the alignment shop anyway.....have them do the work. :glasses:

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