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Loose Steering??

MountaineerGreen

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I have had a nagging problem for some time now with my steering wheel having slack in it. I'm not talking about wondering steering, but slack in the steering wheel when stopped or when moving.

I replaced my stock rack which had 120k on it on Labor Day this year. It was groaning and had slack in it. I could have run it longer but the slack was driving me crazy. The rack I put in was a reman from Oriley auto. I put on new Moog outer tie rod ends while I was at it.

That helped my slack, but didn't eliminate it. I checked my intermediate steering shaft and it is tight as a drum. I put vice grips on both ends and couldn't get it to budge at all.

That brings me to the last few days. My wife drove my truck and complained that it was driving really bad. I guess it had gotten worse and I had gotten used to it. The slack was severe for a rack and pinion. I checked all my connections and bolts again and went to two alignment shops and both said it was the rack. I got another rack from Oriley under warranty and installed it which was no easy task. It is much better than before but I still have a little bit of slack in my steering wheel.

With everything new, what could it be?
 


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Turdle

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The u joint in the inter shaft?
Take that sucker out, check it good. mine did that same thing, I replaced with one from a 96. It needs to be cut--1/8 inch off the firewall end--I can tell you how. It has an all steel shaft, and larger u-joint
 




MountaineerGreen

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The inner shaft was tight as a drum. I remember you saying to check that out before, so I checked it out very well. Couldn't get it to budge a bit.

I have had someone sit inside and wiggle the steering wheel back and forth and I can watch the steering shaft move where it attaches to the rack and pinion.
 












Turdle

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It could be the pinch clamp slipping, on the inter shaft to rack connection
No?

I got mine from a member here for 25 bux
 




MountaineerGreen

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The pinch bolt is tight and the stub shaft is notched for the bolt so I know its tight and not slipping.

If you are sitting in your truck with the engine off but key on how much if any does your steering wheel move before there is resistance?
 




Turdle

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Exactly--
Mine used to have the dead play. It is now friggin tight. If the steering wheel moves-the wheels do
 








Turdle

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I'm going to get a picture of both, so you can see difference and know what to look for.
 




Turdle

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OK
Im not good with image tags

pic 1 shows how the triangle shaped pinch clamp can wear into rounded edges, even if bolt is tight, it can have play

pic 2 shows cheap plastic old shaft
pic 3 shows new shaft ( notice, it is all black, all steel, no plaastic
pic 4 shows how much larger the u joint is, and it still clears headers
 

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MountaineerGreen

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Thanks, I am willing to try anything at this point. I just need to find one and put it on. I don't know what else it could be.

Its a sombitch to get to that pinch bolt isnt it?

Did those come only from 96 models or was there other years?
 




Turdle

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Thanks, I am willing to try anything at this point. I just need to find one and put it on. I don't know what else it could be.

Its a sombitch to get to that pinch bolt isnt it?

Did those come only from 96 models or was there other years?

I don't know about the year thing---
I was with a friend at a pick and pull, they were surprised he wanted one.
His was cheap!!

If you turn your wheels to face that bolt forward, you can get it easy then, with a 1/4 inch swivel and long extension. Facing the bolt forward is best IMO

If you are lucky, you will find a truck with no engine, then it is easy to pull it.
 












MountaineerGreen

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I had to go out of town for the weekend, I will work on this more tomorrow. Definately on my list, I was pulling my travel trailer and the slack is annoying as hell when Im pulling that.
 




explrths

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Question, could this also cause stiff spots troughout the turn? My steering doesnt have alot of play, but when I turn, I get "stiff" spots.
 




MountaineerGreen

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Umm, I don't believe so, your body lift could be a factor in the stiff spots if the extension is touching something.

I went by my favorite salvage yard today too see about a steering shaft, but it was raining and I didn't feel like walking around in the rain. Later this week I will go for a walk in the salvage yard.
 




MountaineerGreen

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Ive been looking and a vendor on here has one for $55 shipped, I have a few other leads I am working on from private sellers. I am going to the salvage yard tomorrow to see if they have one I can get them to sell me for about ten or fifteen dollars. If I go pull it they sell me stuff cheap. :)

I am not entirely certain if my shaft is bad, but with everything else new, it can't be much anything else.
 


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MountaineerGreen

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Found an all metal shaft in a 97 sport at my favorite salvage yard. I pulled it my self, it was a little rusty and slightly bent, but I got it and the shaft that goes through the firewall and connects to the steering wheel for $10.

I pulled my stock steering shaft and the plastic was cracked, put it in a vice and put a little torque to it and there is the slack. I am going to go out and put in the junk yard part now. :)
 




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