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1999 gmc jimmy loose steering

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Old 08-03-2013, 10:55 PM   #1
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1999 gmc jimmy loose steering

My steering wheel has play in it meaning it takes more of a turn to turn the wheels.everything seems fine underneath,pitman arm,tie rods,steering shaft ect.would adjusting the gear box hurt anything or are there other options?scared to drive not knowing if the steering is going to give out.the steering wheel isnt always lining up with the wheels either.it drives fine but seems i have to turn the steering wheel more to turn sharp of pull in a parking space.the same even if it's not moving.im starting to wonder if it's all in my head.im out of work so i hope it's nothing because i cant afford to spend much and i hate to have to sell it.any advice/help would be very appreciated.
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:06 PM   #2
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Re: 1999 gmc jimmy loose steering

you need to check all suspension components. including control bushings and ball joints. you can't just look at them and see if they are worn. you have to pry on them with a pry bar.

Jack up the front of the vehicle. GRAB the wheel in the 9 and 3 o'clock position. move it back and forth. DOES it move pretty easily and the steering wheel doesn't move along with other tire. if so than you have worn steering components.
Old 08-04-2013, 01:20 AM   #3
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Re: 1999 gmc jimmy loose steering

To check properly, you need to get the front of the truck up safely on stands, blocks in front and back of the rear wheels.

You need to take the tension off the ball joints and control arms before you can shake, push or pull.

Put a jack under the outer end of the control arms, right under the ball joint.

Jack it up until it wants to lift off the stand.

Now that the upper control arm is off the droop stop, you can grab top & bottom and push & pull.

If you detect any looseness look at the top & bottom ball joints.

At the right wheel you can grab each side and twist left & right while watching the idler arm. If it moves up & down more than a 1/4" you need to replace it.

You can also check the upper control arm bushings by pushing & pulling the top of the wheel. You can also remove the wheel so you can see easier.

Adjusting the steering box should be the last action, after you are sure that nothing else is loose.
Old 08-04-2013, 12:10 PM   #4
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Re: 1999 gmc jimmy loose steering

Well i forgot to mention that when i had the right side jacked up i did all the push and pull test and even a bar under the tire to move up but it's tight.i dont have jack stands and only one jack.it drives fine but like if in a small parking lot driving slow and turning in to park or being parked is when it seems to need more steering wheel turn.it could just be me and i dont think another alighment would hurt but i would have to wait since i cant do that.if i drive maybe 10 mps and turn the steering wheel back and forth fast it doesnt even rock the jimmy from side to side,maybe this is normal?im a nervous person and im not even sure if theres anything wrong with it but i dont know anything else to check.
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