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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Chevy 95 K1500
Local shop rebuilt the front suspension of the truck by replacing Ball-Joints, Tie-Rods, Steering box, Pump, Idler-Arm & Pittman-Arm.

With vehicle stationary, currently there is a bind while turning the steering wheel left or right… like when getting the truck positioned to back into a parking spot (i.e. three-point turn with steering rotating from stop-to-stop); it’s like the power-steering stops working at a small location partway into the left or right hand rotation. The first steering box had this symptom only to the left and was extreme binding. Now it’s mild but present both left and right.

The shop has replaced the box and pump 5 times, the ball joints 3 times, Pittman-Arm 2 and the bind just moves around to different parts of the steering potion. After the last box and pump replacement, the steering actually bound 3 times during a moving right hand turn almost causing the truck to crash into a car in the other lane – but has not happened since.

The shop is at a lost for ideas as what could be binding and even tried explaining that the steering probably just needed to break in, which was not accepted.

There were 230,000 miles on the original box with no issues, symptoms started after the first new steering box was installed and with everyone thereafter.

This issue has been stated with no solution over the internet for a variety of vehicles, so this cannot be isolated to just this truck. Just that no one appeared know the solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Problem solved

Turns out it was the steering box, but who would have guessed it would take seven (7) replacements with the last one being a brand new GM part.

The local shop ran out of ideas and sent me to the Dealership. The Dealer did their analysis and decided it was the steering box and/or pump, which they replace to no avail. The Dealer did a nationwide search and found three new boxes, all on the east coast; one was ordered and installed. I cannot even begin to tell you the difference, the new box is worlds apart from all those rebuilt boxes. The new box is tight and firm in the turns, the new box performs the way you’d expect a rebuilt box to perform.

I can’t imagine what’s wrong with the re-manufacturing of these old steering box, but you’d expect them to bring the old part back up to original manufactures specifications – obviously something is missing.


All I can say, “don’t give up”; it took me 7+ months of pushing back on the local shop to fix it right. While their workmanship was correct, their parts supplier(s) let them down. I even checked with the local parts distributor and they confirmed they get about a 50/50 return on all boxes and/or racks – now that’s scary. I actually had one replacement that had all the original symptoms in addition to being very loose and hypersensitive which made the truck very challenging to drive at highway speeds and performing lane changes (i.e. white knuckles grip on the wheel and holding your breath when you changed lanes).


With the new steering box in, all is good. I was pleasantly surprise at the level the Dealership was willing to go on my old 95 Pickup. They kept me informed as to their progress and at no charge to me, put me in a loaner car (i.e. a very nice Tahoe) . I did see the bill going to the local shop and it was respectable for what was done to fix the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
brent_m said:
JoeDaddy,

I read your post about the steering box issues you were having. Congratulations on your persistence and finally solving your issue. I have been suffering from play in the sterring in my 95 K1500 for many years. Have replaced the gear box several times and even had the autoparts store replace several boxes. They usually only want to replace it once, but one store replaced it three times.

I truly beleive the 50% of the rebuilt boxes are junk. My current box is wearing out and I am looking for after market options. Thought I would se if you had any suggestions.

Brentm
I did a little research on after-market boxes but did get too far - seamed a little thin picking and appeared to be more towards hot-rods. if you have a local 4x4 shop specializing in the off-road people/activities, they would probably know more.

At the time my truck was fixed, there were three brand new GM steering boxes on the east coast. you can ask your local dealer to do a nation wide search (i.e. they usually only go out a few states around your state). you could mention that as of late Dec 2011 there were two new steering boxes remaining on a dealers shelf somewhere on the east coast.

p.s. I agree with you on the rebuilt Steering Boxes, they're total garbage... one from the wrecking yard would work as good or better.

Hope this helps
 
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