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Username Post: Steering shaft issues.... catching?        (Topic#351878)
454cid 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3008

Age: 45
Loc: West Michigan
Reg: 02-18-12
07-04-18 08:16 PM - Post#2739004    

Today, while heading to the family 4th of July picnic, I felt my steering "stick" while making a left hand turn. It's done this before once or twice but it's been months. The front end needs work, and I've done the passenger side, but haven't gotten to the driver's side yet.

I had assumed it was the joints, but doing some checking today, I think my idler arm pivot is going (last replaced in 2007). My uncle noticed that if I wiggled the passenger tire, the whole center link moves, so he was thinking the box has slop, but I noticed the steering shaft was moving ,too. He then noticed that the shaft moved, but the steering wheel didn't.

The box is an AC Delco reman that was installed a few years ago, and given that the steering shaft moves, I'm going to assume the box is ok, for now.

Do the shafts themselves wear out, or would this just be a rag joint replacement? I have not yet removed the plastic dust shield to examine the rag joint, but I'll be doing that tomorrow (Thursday).

Unfortunately, it seems as though the the Jeep XJ shaft swap is not a safe option for my truck, as it would add an unsupported joint to my steering shaft.

This truck has 280+ thousand miles on it.

99 K3500 RCLB


 
bowtie44s 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4081
bowtie44s
Age: 35
Loc: wv
Reg: 08-29-12
07-05-18 03:09 AM - Post#2739015    
    In response to 454cid

There are 2 joints in the steering shaft. If the rubber cracks on the upper one, the grease will run out and it won't later long. I did the Jeep shaft on mine but the Borgeson would be better.

Get that idler arm changed before you go any farther. If you can see slop it's not safe and it's hard to tell what else is bad. I have always felt the idler arm and pitman arm should be changed together. You can't get the pitman arm off with the steering gear in the truck so allow yourself a couple hours.

Jeff

'88 Chevy K3500, aluminum head roller cam 511in³ stroker 10.5:1 compression, 96 NV 4500, 94-98 grille, 305/70-16 (33x12) BF Goodrich KM2s, 91 cluster swap


 
someotherguy 
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Posts: 28775
someotherguy
Age: 48
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
07-05-18 03:39 AM - Post#2739019    
    In response to bowtie44s

I hope it's not your reman steering box. The only time I think I've ever felt a "catch" in GM steering is when someone tried to adjust the box incorrectly.

Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
454cid 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3008

Age: 45
Loc: West Michigan
Reg: 02-18-12
07-05-18 10:40 AM - Post#2739063    
    In response to bowtie44s

  • bowtie44s Said:
There are 2 joints in the steering shaft. If the rubber cracks on the upper one, the grease will run out and it won't later long. I did the Jeep shaft on mine but the Borgeson would be better.



That sounds like the early shaft. I don't have a joint towards the firewall. Thats why I can't use the Jeep shaft as it adds one there, and I would end up with three joints. One at the box, one at the firewall, and one on the other side of the firewall.

  • Quote:
Get that idler arm changed before you go any farther. If you can see slop it's not safe and it's hard to tell what else is bad. I have always felt the idler arm and pitman arm should be changed together. You can't get the pitman arm off with the steering gear in the truck so allow yourself a couple hours.



The Pitman arm was done when the box was done, so it's only a few years old. Actually, that's why the box was replaced. I figured it was that much trouble getting the Pitman arm off, the box may as well be new too.


99 K3500 RCLB


 
454cid 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3008

Age: 45
Loc: West Michigan
Reg: 02-18-12
07-05-18 12:58 PM - Post#2739075    
    In response to someotherguy

  • someotherguy Said:
I hope it's not your reman steering box. The only time I think I've ever felt a "catch" in GM steering is when someone tried to adjust the box incorrectly.

Richard



Yeah, I hope not too. I've had great success with my AC Delco branded rebuilt alternator, and I'd hope the steering box would work equally as well.

I have a used box that I pulled from the local salvage yard. It's the small box, Though. Would it work on my truck, even if a bit undersized? I mostly use my truck has a heavy duty car.


99 K3500 RCLB


 
bowtie44s 
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bowtie44s
Age: 35
Loc: wv
Reg: 08-29-12
07-05-18 01:24 PM - Post#2739081    
    In response to 454cid

They definitely changed it then. I don't currently know anyone with a 2nd gen GMT400 I could even look at. Is it similar to the GMT800 with the intermediate shaft that clunks and need replaced after a while?

Jeff

'88 Chevy K3500, aluminum head roller cam 511in³ stroker 10.5:1 compression, 96 NV 4500, 94-98 grille, 305/70-16 (33x12) BF Goodrich KM2s, 91 cluster swap


 
454cid 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3008

Age: 45
Loc: West Michigan
Reg: 02-18-12
07-05-18 01:53 PM - Post#2739087    
    In response to bowtie44s

  • bowtie44s Said:
They definitely changed it then. I don't currently know anyone with a 2nd gen GMT400 I could even look at. Is it similar to the GMT800 with the intermediate shaft that clunks and need replaced after a while?



I've heard of the problem with the GMT-800's but have never heard about it happening with the later 400's. I don't know enough about the 800 problem to know if my issue is similar, or not.

I just got back from the Post Office, and am letting the truck cool off. I'm going to try to access the rag joint and see what I see there.


99 K3500 RCLB


 
454cid 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3008

Age: 45
Loc: West Michigan
Reg: 02-18-12
07-05-18 03:13 PM - Post#2739093    
    In response to 454cid

Well crap, I just lost my post, due to a security error!

I definitely saw movement in the rag joint.

I also saw some movement in the input shaft on the steering box, but I'm not sure it was enough to worry about.

I could also shake the steering shaft up and down, but not side to side. The rag joint is of course allowing some movement, but I would like to have been able to have eyes under the dash to look at that joint too.

I think I'm going to order a new Lares 205 input shaft coupler.

99 K3500 RCLB


 
454cid 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3008

Age: 45
Loc: West Michigan
Reg: 02-18-12
07-07-18 02:10 PM - Post#2739293    
    In response to 454cid

I've got the new rag joint ordered from Rockauto.

I'm considering leaving the grey plastic shroud off, so it will be easier to inspect. Any opinions on that? It's plastic, so it's not heat protection, even though it's near-ish to the exhaust manifold.

That reminds me, I need to see if I can get a new rubber boot for the rest of the shaft. The original is mostly functional, but it does have a rip in it. EDIT: Boot (26059307) is discontinued, and nothing shows up on ebay.

99 K3500 RCLB


Edited by 454cid on 07-07-18 02:53 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
CowboyTrukr 
"7th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4074
CowboyTrukr
Loc: Salt Lake City
Reg: 06-20-09
07-07-18 09:56 PM - Post#2739331    
    In response to 454cid

This one?

Attachment: 3432B059-3792-435A-8B3D-8A62EAE712BF.jpeg (78.1 KB) 1 View(s)




Greg

'95 K1500 Z71 EC Short Step 5.7L+0.040/NV3500
'00 Explorer XLT 4.0 V6 Auto
'94 K2500 5.7 NV4500 ECLB - SOLD
‘87 GMC S15 SCLB 4.3 Auto - SOLD

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Sir Edmund Burke


 
454cid 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3008

Age: 45
Loc: West Michigan
Reg: 02-18-12
07-07-18 10:14 PM - Post#2739332    
    In response to CowboyTrukr

Yes, the grey plastic shield around the rag joint is what I'm considering leaving off, and the accordion rubber boot, is what I was hoping I could replace cheaply.... mine has a rip at the bottom. I suppose I could take a look at the salvage yard.

99 K3500 RCLB


Edited by 454cid on 07-07-18 10:15 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
CowboyTrukr 
"7th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4074
CowboyTrukr
Loc: Salt Lake City
Reg: 06-20-09
07-08-18 11:37 PM - Post#2739418    
    In response to 454cid

Can’t tell you how many I’ve seen in the yards with the shaft intact and the gray cover gone.

Boot may have to be a salvage. I can check this weekend around here. I have several dozen trucks at my disposal.

Greg

'95 K1500 Z71 EC Short Step 5.7L+0.040/NV3500
'00 Explorer XLT 4.0 V6 Auto
'94 K2500 5.7 NV4500 ECLB - SOLD
‘87 GMC S15 SCLB 4.3 Auto - SOLD

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Sir Edmund Burke


 
454cid 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3008

Age: 45
Loc: West Michigan
Reg: 02-18-12
07-09-18 11:46 AM - Post#2739467    
    In response to CowboyTrukr

  • CowboyTrukr Said:
Can’t tell you how many I’ve seen in the yards with the shaft intact and the gray cover gone.



Well that's not a good sign, the trucks could be in the yard due to the missing cover

I often wonder why certain vehicles end up in the yard. Crash damage is obvious of course. I've seen a decent-ish Yukon/Denali in the yard, probably because of the obviously blown intake gaskets. Other times, I have no idea.

  • Quote:
Boot may have to be a salvage. I can check this weekend around here. I have several dozen trucks at my disposal.



I'll stop by my local yard this week, and see what I can find. If I can't get one locally, that would be awesome if you could pick one up for me.


99 K3500 RCLB


 
454cid 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3008

Age: 45
Loc: West Michigan
Reg: 02-18-12
07-11-18 12:10 PM - Post#2739703    
    In response to 454cid

I just got my new rag joint in the mail. It came directly from Lares, even though the sale was through Rockauto.

It looks like a good quality piece. Even the box it came in is nice thick cardboard.

I'll see about getting it installed tomorrow.

99 K3500 RCLB


 
454cid 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3008

Age: 45
Loc: West Michigan
Reg: 02-18-12
07-17-18 01:29 PM - Post#2740314    
    In response to 454cid

I put the rag joint off, because I was leery of of those rivets holding the old one together. I finally got it done between yesterday and today.

The rivets were a pain. They did not want to come out.

I also was not expecting the upper bolt that attaches to the steering column to have a bracket staked to it preventing it from turning. I stripped the head out trying to turn it. I knew it was there, but thought it was a separate piece. I have never seen anything like that.

The steering does feel better... more immediate response, but I can still feel/hear something moving.

Next I'm changing the PS lines... I'm tired of leaking fluid all over the place.

99 K3500 RCLB


 
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