Steering play - S-10 Forum
S-10 Forum is the resource on GM S-series trucks, Suspension, engine information, Body Modifications, painting tutorials.  Modifications to suit every need, budget and whim

Steering play

Go Back   S-10 Forum > Specific Model Forums > 1st Gen Forums > S10 / S15
New User? Register Forgot Password


 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-01-2010, 11:46 PM   #1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 3
Location:
User is: OffLine
Steering play

I have a 1989 S10, (4x4 V6 4.3L.) It has had a lot of play in the steering. I had the gearbox replaced at Brakes Plus, and I replaced the pitman arm myself. There is still a fair amount of play, and after getting the tires aligned at Big O Tires, they said there was "excessive play in gearbox". They said that if the gearbox has that much play in it that it could be the original is wearing out, or the replacement is a bunch of junk.

I was wondering if it could be something besides the gearbox.

Or should I take it back to Brakes Plus and have then either tighten it, or replace it right?

I've read that one can tighten a gearbox themselves, but is that recommended?

Thanks!!
Old 06-02-2010, 12:18 AM   #2
peace and big boobs to u
 
phantom_mia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,785
Location: soflo
User is: OffLine
Re: Steering play

2 things, the steering coupler might have crapped out and i think there's a adjustment on the box which tightens up play also
Old 06-02-2010, 08:21 AM   #3
ASE certified MasterTech
 
jtcfanof3's Avatar
 
Age: 38
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 8,691
Location: A little here and a little there....
User is: OffLine
Re: Steering play

Did you replace the idler and center link and tie rod ends......
Old 06-02-2010, 09:00 AM   #4
peace and big boobs to u
 
phantom_mia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,785
Location: soflo
User is: OffLine
Re: Steering play

Quote: Originally Posted by jtcfanof3
Did you replace the idler and center link and tie rod ends......
here's a shocker for ya, 20 years i've had this truck and 17x k miles on it, the front end is still tight, no play in the wheel and i've never replaced any of the components you mentioned. she tracks straight on the highway and the tires(235/55's) wear evenly. no wonder gm stopped making them
Old 06-07-2010, 12:58 PM   #5
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 3
Location:
User is: OffLine
Re: Steering play

So, after looking in the area, it looks like the steering coupler might be the problem.

I don't know what it's supposed to look like. Is it supposed to have some slack in the coupler between the steering wheel rod and the gearbox? I had someone turn the wheel as I was looking at the coupler, there was this slack that it had to pick up before it turned the gearbox?

Is this the problem?
Old 06-07-2010, 02:56 PM   #6
peace and big boobs to u
 
phantom_mia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,785
Location: soflo
User is: OffLine
Re: Steering play

i'm pretty sure its not supposed to do that
Old 04-25-2011, 11:38 AM   #7
Registered User
 
lowmileage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 204
Location: NY
User is: OffLine
Re: Steering play

"All of a sudden" my steering wheel was "cocked" (as if the toe went out) and there was 2+" of play in the wheel. After checking, the coupler broke and steering was only by the "emergency pin" on the coupler.
Old 04-25-2011, 05:52 PM   #8
'87 Backyard Build
 
Bennsb's Avatar
 
Age: 36
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 532
Location: New Smyrna Beach, FL
User is: OffLine
Re: Steering play

The rag joint tends to wear out over the years. (Two reinforced rubber discs that are on the steering shaft near the gearbox.) My old truck had a half inch of play because of this. All other components were new. On the one I'm building now, I just eliminated the rag joint by using a Jeep Cherokee steering shaft with a U-joint. It was almost a direct replacement and there is zero play in the wheel now.
Old 04-26-2011, 09:47 AM   #9
Registered User
 
lowmileage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 204
Location: NY
User is: OffLine
Re: Steering play

I managed (after a fight) to get the old (not a real) rag joint out yesterday. I had to take the P/S pump out anyway cause I wanted to replace the power steering line - and could only take the line out by taking the pump out - I've had the line (the one with the fittings) for a few years now so I figured now is the time. I'm trying the Dorman 31002 route tomorrow - seems the quickest way to do it along with being the cheapest. Will advise.
Old 04-26-2011, 04:50 PM   #10
Boozebag
 
Mad Max's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,491
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
User is: OffLine
Re: Steering play

If the brake place that replaced the box and didn't tell you the rag was in trouble, I would be PISSED. That should be something they tell you to take care of right away. You may not have needed to replace the box.
There is a plastic cover over the end of the shaft that has to come off in order to see what's going on, unless someone already removed it. The best sollution was suggested by Bennsb, junk yard Jeep Cherokee steering shaft - eliminates the antique style rag.
Yo, get off the rag dood.
Old 04-26-2011, 09:18 PM   #11
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 10,895
Location: Who cares
User is: OffLine
Re: Steering play

^ I agree. That's only your life they're messing with..I agree with dumping the rag
to a u joint and I did on mine with two Flaming River joints and Borgeson shaft.

Only thing is and Jim Shea who is the GURU on steering made a point of is that
the fact that the rag does take some of the strain off the intermediate shaft to
input shaft when used as the shaft to box aren't in line.

http://jimshea.corvettefaq.com/?p=581
Old 04-28-2011, 02:01 PM   #12
Registered User
 
lowmileage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 204
Location: NY
User is: OffLine
Re: Steering play

Quote: Originally Posted by lowmileage
I managed (after a fight) to get the old (not a real) rag joint out yesterday. I had to take the P/S pump out anyway cause I wanted to replace the power steering line - and could only take the line out by taking the pump out - I've had the line (the one with the fittings) for a few years now so I figured now is the time. I'm trying the Dorman 31002 route tomorrow - seems the quickest way to do it along with being the cheapest. Will advise.
good news/bad news - I got my Rock Auto order with the new brake pads and tie rod ends. #31002 dorman is NG for the '85 blazer. I need 2 1/2" between bolt centers and a 3 1/8" (maybe 3 1/4") diameter rag joint. #31002 is 2" between centers and 2 1/2" diameter. Will try to now find out what D# I need.
Old 04-29-2011, 04:19 PM   #13
Registered User
 
lowmileage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 204
Location: NY
User is: OffLine
Re: Steering play

Quote: Originally Posted by lowmileage
good news/bad news - I got my Rock Auto order with the new brake pads and tie rod ends. #31002 dorman is NG for the '85 blazer. I need 2 1/2" between bolt centers and a 3 1/8" (maybe 3 1/4") diameter rag joint. #31002 is 2" between centers and 2 1/2" diameter. Will try to now find out what D# I need.
The '85 S10 needs Dorman #31000 to repair the rag joint. The original is a flexable plastic piece so IMO the Dorman repair makes it a better unit. I will shortly upload some photos. You need to grind off the (?) safety pins on the original unit and the Dorman kit contains replacements that you will bolt on. You will then use all the other pieces (except of course that plastic disk that probably broke off in a few pieces like mine did) of the original. I am not putting the plastic cover back on that covers the joint. My vehicle only has 90K miles on it when the failure happened - nasty.
Old 04-30-2011, 10:43 AM   #14
Registered User
 
lowmileage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 204
Location: NY
User is: OffLine
Re: Steering play

Quote: Originally Posted by lowmileage
The '85 S10 needs Dorman #31000 to repair the rag joint. The original is a flexable plastic piece so IMO the Dorman repair makes it a better unit. I will shortly upload some photos. You need to grind off the (?) safety pins on the original unit and the Dorman kit contains replacements that you will bolt on. You will then use all the other pieces (except of course that plastic disk that probably broke off in a few pieces like mine did) of the original. I am not putting the plastic cover back on that covers the joint. My vehicle only has 90K miles on it when the failure happened - nasty.
Here are the photos

Last edited by lowmileage; 05-31-2012 at 09:43 AM.
Old 05-02-2011, 12:54 AM   #15
'87 Backyard Build
 
Bennsb's Avatar
 
Age: 36
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 532
Location: New Smyrna Beach, FL
User is: OffLine
Re: Steering play

After reading Jim Shea's paper, it is arguing the benefit of a rag joint in a single u-joint shaft. There are no alignment issues when using a double u-joint setup, and therefore little to no loading strain on the intermediate bearing in the column.

You gain an isolation from engine compartment noise (I won't notice a difference with the engine noise I'll have) and tactile vibration isolation from harsh road feedback. With power steering, road feedback isn't going to jerk the wheel out of your hands.

Just curious, how much did the replacement joint run you?
Old 05-02-2011, 10:35 AM   #16
Registered User
 
lowmileage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 204
Location: NY
User is: OffLine
Re: Steering play

The Dorman #31000 replacement was either 6.99 or 7.99 + tax. The #31002 (which is incorrect for my 1985) was a few bucks more.

Last edited by lowmileage; 05-31-2012 at 09:43 AM.
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the S-10 Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:53 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2011, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. SEO by vBSEO 3.2.0
SEO by vBSEO
vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.