Steering play - S-10 Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-01-2010, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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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!!

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post #2 of 16 Old 06-02-2010, 12:18 AM
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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

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post #3 of 16 Old 06-02-2010, 08:21 AM
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Re: Steering play

Did you replace the idler and center link and tie rod ends......


1989 Chevrolet Blazer 3.4
1989 Chevrolet Blazer 4.3 4x4
1989 Chevrolet Blazer 4.3 Edelbrock equipped
2003 Chevrolet S10 4.3
1999 Chevrolet S10 Xtreme 2.2
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-02-2010, 09:00 AM
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Re: Steering play

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Originally Posted by jtcfanof3 View Post
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

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post #5 of 16 Old 06-07-2010, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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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?
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-07-2010, 02:56 PM
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Re: Steering play

i'm pretty sure its not supposed to do that

mike
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post #7 of 16 Old 04-25-2011, 11:38 AM
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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.

1985 S-10 2.8ltr. Radio delete, 2WD positraction, gauges, halogen lights and off-road tire option (standard tread front, off-terrain tire rear - now running 4 Winterforce tires). Delco gas shocks. Dad was original owner. 90K miles now with new Rear Axle bearings, seals, and all new rear brakes. Single stage urethene repaint was the summer of 2011 project
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post #8 of 16 Old 04-25-2011, 05:52 PM
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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.

1987 S10 HotCam LT4 V8/ T56 M6 build thread:
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/f135/8...ct-s10-444959/
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-26-2011, 09:47 AM
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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.

1985 S-10 2.8ltr. Radio delete, 2WD positraction, gauges, halogen lights and off-road tire option (standard tread front, off-terrain tire rear - now running 4 Winterforce tires). Delco gas shocks. Dad was original owner. 90K miles now with new Rear Axle bearings, seals, and all new rear brakes. Single stage urethene repaint was the summer of 2011 project
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post #10 of 16 Old 04-26-2011, 04:50 PM
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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.

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2) '85 S10, 3.4, 700R4 4x4 stretch cab (Redneck) 3) '90 S10 2.5, 5 speed shorty
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5) '92 S10, 2.5, 5 speed shorty, (Barbie)
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post #11 of 16 Old 04-26-2011, 09:18 PM
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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
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-28-2011, 02:01 PM
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Re: Steering play

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowmileage View Post
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.

1985 S-10 2.8ltr. Radio delete, 2WD positraction, gauges, halogen lights and off-road tire option (standard tread front, off-terrain tire rear - now running 4 Winterforce tires). Delco gas shocks. Dad was original owner. 90K miles now with new Rear Axle bearings, seals, and all new rear brakes. Single stage urethene repaint was the summer of 2011 project
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-29-2011, 04:19 PM
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Re: Steering play

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Originally Posted by lowmileage View Post
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.

1985 S-10 2.8ltr. Radio delete, 2WD positraction, gauges, halogen lights and off-road tire option (standard tread front, off-terrain tire rear - now running 4 Winterforce tires). Delco gas shocks. Dad was original owner. 90K miles now with new Rear Axle bearings, seals, and all new rear brakes. Single stage urethene repaint was the summer of 2011 project
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post #14 of 16 Old 04-30-2011, 10:43 AM
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Re: Steering play

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowmileage View Post
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

1985 S-10 2.8ltr. Radio delete, 2WD positraction, gauges, halogen lights and off-road tire option (standard tread front, off-terrain tire rear - now running 4 Winterforce tires). Delco gas shocks. Dad was original owner. 90K miles now with new Rear Axle bearings, seals, and all new rear brakes. Single stage urethene repaint was the summer of 2011 project

Last edited by lowmileage; 05-31-2012 at 09:43 AM.
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-02-2011, 12:54 AM
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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?

1987 S10 HotCam LT4 V8/ T56 M6 build thread:
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/f135/8...ct-s10-444959/
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post #16 of 16 Old 05-02-2011, 10:35 AM
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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.

1985 S-10 2.8ltr. Radio delete, 2WD positraction, gauges, halogen lights and off-road tire option (standard tread front, off-terrain tire rear - now running 4 Winterforce tires). Delco gas shocks. Dad was original owner. 90K miles now with new Rear Axle bearings, seals, and all new rear brakes. Single stage urethene repaint was the summer of 2011 project

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