Steering Gear Box Install Issue - S-10 Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 Old 04-20-2019, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Steering Gear Box Install Issue

Alright everyone, first post here but it will probably get a few chuckles from everyone at least. I have a 03' 4wd S10 with the 4.3 and standard gear box and just had to put a new one on yesterday. Everything went smooth, worked it on the bench to make sure the pitman was on correct and it even dropped right into the drag link without having to move it on install.

Now, on to the problem. Simply put, the steering wheel is perfectly upside down now, rotated 180 degrees. I noticed on install that the key way (flat side) of the column spline was on the opposite side than the old box I took off. I confirmed this because I marked the old one before removal and nothing had been moved except when I had to rotate it to line it up for install, since it will only go on one way. Ive tried everything at this point. The box is perfectly center, 1.5 turns from center left and 1.5 turns right, lock to lock 3 total. Is it possible that this is the wrong box or was rebuilt incorrectly, or maybe for a 2wd version or did I miss something during install. Unless my logic is failing me here, to get the wheel right I would need to move the pitman and then it would have an incorrect turning radius.

Then my next question is can I just remove the steering wheel, realign the clock spring and reinstall in the correct position or does the wheel have it's own key way on the spline as well. Any input or advice would be great. As a side note, it drives perfectly, handling is great just kinda hard to see the gauges and turn signals dont turn off right. Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 19 Old 04-20-2019, 05:28 PM
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Re: Steering Gear Box Install Issue

1st thing I'd do is check with the place you got it and see about a replacement.


BTW...welcome to the forum.

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post #3 of 19 Old 04-20-2019, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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I plan on that being my first stop Monday to rule out a defect. Is this something you have seen or heard of before? And On the off chance I run into issues on a replacement, would flipping the steering wheel work or would it need to happen at the rag joint or somewhere else?

Thanks for the welcome, I've already ran through lots of helpful information here!
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post #4 of 19 Old 04-20-2019, 06:22 PM
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Re: Steering Gear Box Install Issue

I have no clue about flipping the wheel...shouldn't have to do that if the box is correct.

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post #5 of 19 Old 04-20-2019, 10:31 PM
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Re: Steering Gear Box Install Issue

Don't mess with the steering wheel and clock spring, you'll wreck something inside. You didn't have to take it off to remove the box. You shouldn't take it off to get it on right. You should have locked the column straight ahead before you started and not unlocked it until you were finished.
Did you take the steering shaft apart? It will go back together 180° out IIRC. Other wise the box was rebuilt wrong, but not likely unless it was rebuilt in China.
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post #6 of 19 Old 04-22-2019, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Steering wheel remained locked during removal of old box, locked straight ahead. I also marked it with chalk. During install and ensuring the new box was straight, the flat side of the input shaft was opposite 180° from the old box and i had to unlock the wheel, rotating it to match for reinstall. The steering shaft was left alone, except to compress it for removal and to extend it for reinstall. I'm going to the parts store in the morning to see what their thoughts are, and get a contact point for the manufacturer (believe its cardone). I guess I figured I couldn't have been the only one to have this problem. But I'm not ruling out install error, I just cant work it out since nothing I do rectified the problem and it just seems like the only possible cause in my head is the input shaft on the box is flipped. I've never tried rebuilding one before so I dont even know if that's possible, or maybe it was a box for a right hand drive?
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post #7 of 19 Old 04-22-2019, 12:38 AM
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Re: Steering Gear Box Install Issue

I wouldn't waste anymore time on it...take it back and ask for another. Now that you know what to look for...check it before you leave the store.

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post #8 of 19 Old 04-22-2019, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Just as an update, following the "you must've put it on wrong" and the front end mechanic taking a peek at it to confirm it was indeed put on right, then the speculation of ways I could make it work, it was confirmed that there must be a defect in the new gear and a new one is on the way for me to spend an hour or so gently massaging as I lay on the concrete. As a point of reference, cardone was the manufacturer/rebuilder and they were recently acquired by another company called triple B, this reported by the parts man as a potential reason for the shotty work. Oh well, gives me something to do for a while....
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post #9 of 19 Old 04-22-2019, 01:42 PM
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Re: Steering Gear Box Install Issue

BBB Industries in Daphne, AL is a prime provider to O'reilly's AP.

Your mechanic was close.

August 2nd, 2018 - Genstar Capital, a leading private equity firm focused on investments in targeted segments of the industrial technology, healthcare, financial services, and software industries, today announced the acquisition of BBB Industries, LLC, an industry leader in the automotive aftermarket.

BBB supplies non-discretionary replacement parts in the North American automotive aftermarket, primarily focused on the do-it-for-me (“DIFM”) light vehicle aftermarket and serves vehicle owners, professional technicians and franchised dealers. BBB Industries has a broad product offering, including starters, alternators, hydraulic steering, brake calipers, electric power assisted steering (“EPAS”) and turbochargers. Its 30,000+ SKUs are sold through warehouse distributors, retail outlets, and OEM service organizations. Founded in 1987, the company is based in Daphne, AL.
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post #10 of 19 Old 04-22-2019, 05:30 PM
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Re: Steering Gear Box Install Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldeerslayer View Post
BBB Industries in Daphne, AL is a prime provider to O'reilly's AP.

Your mechanic was close.

August 2nd, 2018 - Genstar Capital, a leading private equity firm focused on investments in targeted segments of the industrial technology, healthcare, financial services, and software industries, today announced the acquisition of BBB Industries, LLC, an industry leader in the automotive aftermarket.

BBB supplies non-discretionary replacement parts in the North American automotive aftermarket, primarily focused on the do-it-for-me (“DIFM”) light vehicle aftermarket and serves vehicle owners, professional technicians and franchised dealers. BBB Industries has a broad product offering, including starters, alternators, hydraulic steering, brake calipers, electric power assisted steering (“EPAS”) and turbochargers. Its 30,000+ SKUs are sold through warehouse distributors, retail outlets, and OEM service organizations. Founded in 1987, the company is based in Daphne, AL.
Genstar Capital eh... another bunch of debt vultures... Buy your spare parts now, BBB will be broke, bust, and buttf'd in a few years.
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post #11 of 19 Old 04-22-2019, 05:57 PM
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Re: Steering Gear Box Install Issue

the only luck Ive every had with Cardone was bad luck.

Most of the rebuilds were junk cores cleaned and repainted.
Neighbor owned about 35 parts stores and I shopped at his warehouse.
I would see the pile of returns and asked why he dealt with that junk,until one day he had enough.
No big surprise they went under.
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post #12 of 19 Old 04-22-2019, 06:33 PM
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Re: Steering Gear Box Install Issue

Cardone is still in business,I buy parts from them all the time,and I've never had an issue with any of their parts.

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post #13 of 19 Old 04-22-2019, 11:10 PM
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Re: Steering Gear Box Install Issue

Cardone is not in any way related to BBB Industries. A competitor. Cardone IMHO is like Dorman. Well maybe not that bad. But there's no consistency due to lack of QC.
Dorman - sometimes you can mod it to fit. Sometimes not.
Cardone - it'll fit, just hope it works.
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post #14 of 19 Old 04-23-2019, 08:06 AM
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Re: Steering Gear Box Install Issue

Out of all the S10’s I’ve owned&dismantled I think somewhere around 40 range..I’ve only had 2 with bad gearboxes...that’s right 2 out of 40 trucks&suv’s. To me that’s pretty good odds that the junkyard could yield a fit replacement. They’re so plentiful(one comes on every truck) that I started scrapping them with what’s left of the trucks after the first few I dismantled or I’d have dozens of them in my shop...it’s already getting that way with 2.2 driveshafts&rear ends...I hear about people needing them,and I’m like “how did that go bad? there’s not enough horse power in a 2.2 to break a rear end.”

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post #15 of 19 Old 04-23-2019, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Knowing what I do now the junk yard or a more reputable replacement would have been a better choice. The previous owner didnt maintain anything with this truck and it's a true testament to the engineering put into it. At 210k miles it held pretty well, plus the 2 years it has spent sitting in his yard before I convinced him to sell. The first sign of trouble with all this was the transmission fluid used as power steering fluid, and sadly the old box couldn't recover even after I flushed with new. Had a 55 GMC dump truck with a 4' steering wheel handle better with 12k on the back of it.
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post #16 of 19 Old 04-24-2019, 09:19 PM
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Re: Steering Gear Box Install Issue

I purchased 2 different "rebuilt" steering boxes for my gen 1 a few years back. They would work great for about a month, and then loosen up bad.
A friend had an older s10 sitting in his yard and allowed me to swap for that box. 200k later it is still tight and leak free.

Suggestion, go to a salvage yard and pick one that feels good and is dry underneath. Several older gm cars also had the same unit, if you wish to research this.
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post #17 of 19 Old 04-24-2019, 09:36 PM
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Re: Steering Gear Box Install Issue

I guess I got lucky, when I switched to a manual box I got an AC Delco reman and it's been great. The steering wheel was off... I think 90 degrees or so, I just took it to an alignment shop and they straightened it out.




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post #18 of 19 Old 04-27-2019, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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So here is a final update on this issue. Picked up the replacement box on a defect return and it was identical to the first replacement, wheel was still upside down. So I called around to a few other parts stores that had a cardone rebuild in stock and ran over to check one out.

Store had two in stock and both had the key way on the opposite side of the column spline than where it was on my original, which results in the wheel being 180° off and upside down.

Ran down to one of the s10 orphanages and took a peak at one close to mine, and it matched my original box perfectly. Thus confirming that I might be crazy, just not about why my steering wheel is upside down.

Conclusion is they are either rebuilding these things wrong or as suggested many different vehicles used the same box and may have had the key way opposite.

Solution took me 30 seconds to fix (no I didnt set fire and walk away). After a week of this, I just pulled the lower half of the telescoping column off and rotated 180° and reinserted it then connected to the box. After mumbling a few cuss words to my self, i put this problem behind me and drove off into the sunset with a little less(not much) wobble in my steer. I'll run it till it wears again and hit the junk yard next time for the OG parts.

Thanks guys for all your help! No way I'll be the only one with this problem so hopefully they will run across this and save some heartache.
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post #19 of 19 Old 04-27-2019, 10:05 PM
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Re: Steering Gear Box Install Issue

great to hear you got it resolved
and posted the results
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