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Do I need a new steering box?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by RyansRod, Oct 28, 2001.

  1. RyansRod

    RyansRod 1/2 ton status

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    My steering is not behaving. I have an enourmous amont of play from left to right in the wheel and it gets worse as time goes on. Also sometimes around a particularly bumpy stretch of road at a reletively slow speed the entire front end will wobble from right to left. Does this have anything to do with the steering stablizer or is it the steering box. Or something else possibly?

    Friends don't let friends drive fords
     
  2. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    I would start out by finding where the play is comming from. Have someone turn the wheel back and forth while you look under the truck for slop in any of the linkage (rag joint, tierod ends etc.). Than jack up the axle and shake the tire to see if there is any play in the ball joints. Replace any parts that have slop in them. As for the steering stablyzer unbolt one end and push the rod in and out. There should be a good amount of resistance. If not repalce it.
    If there is still play in the steering after all of this has been checked/replaced try adjusting the box. There are 2 adjustments (bearing preload and gear mesh). Go easy on both of them. The first one to do is the bearing preload. The adjuster is located under the rag joint (rubber and cloth disc where the shaft enters the box). Loosten the LARGE stamped nut w/ a hammer and a drift than tighten the adjuster 1/8th of a turn and tighten the stamped nut. Drive it and see how it feals. If that don't do it buy a manual and a in*lb torque wrench and adjust the box according to the specs.

    '71 Blazer CST w/ a 400sbc, 4" lift, 36" Supper Swampers, and alot of rust
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  3. hammer

    hammer 1/2 ton status

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    make sure the frame isn't broken at the steering box
     
  4. MRBIGBLOCK

    MRBIGBLOCK 1/2 ton status

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    i have a good one off a 87 that is the correct one for $75.00 plus freight.
     
  5. RyansRod

    RyansRod 1/2 ton status

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    75 is too much, but thank for the reply

    Friends don't let friends drive fords
     
  6. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    I have one that I would part with for $40 with the pump too! It doesn't look really pretty, but it is functional! Let me know...

    <font color=red>GOT MUD???</font color=red>
    My license plate reads:<font color=blue> 8 YR SUV</font color=blue>
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    454/TH400/NP205 - 14BFF/D60/w/ 4.10s
     
  7. Mudzer

    Mudzer 1/2 ton status Author

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    Ryan,

    I recently installed Crossover steering on my K5. I have noticed since the changeover, I now have the wobble you speak of. A good friend of mine named it appropriately: "Death Wobble". I bent my front tie rod while wheeling this weekend, and had also removed my steering damper in the process. On my way back to town, I experienced this "Death Wobble" about 10 times! Its uncontrollable in my case. My truck starts shaking, then the whole front end jumps back and forth. After making it back to town at a snails pace, I stopped at the local parts store and bought a new tie rod, plus a new stabilizer. This cured my problem. I was able to drive without the wobble. So, first check your toe in, then check your stabilizer. Hope this helps.

    Mudzer 1978/91 K5
    <font color=blue><a target="_blank" href=http://www.mudzer.rockcrawler.com>www.mudzer.rockcrawler.com</a></font color=blue>
     
  8. Blazer_Boy

    Blazer_Boy 1/2 ton status

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    Oh man, its been a while but I think I remember how to do the bearing preload. Check out the back of your box where the shaft bolts to. There should be round plug with a little dot on it and big ring around that holding everything it place. I took my box off and put it in a vice to do this. Loosen that ring. Take the plug and tighten it up so its snug. Then mark the plug and a spot outside of the plug. Take the plug and loosen it so the mark is back 1/2", put the lock ring back on and tigthen it. Bearing pre-load is now set. Long story short, you tighten the plug and back it off 1/2" inch.

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/bigkern76>http://www.geocities.com/bigkern76</a>
     
  9. prjt_blzr

    prjt_blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Something else to think about. My K30 has this death wobble as well. I've run single and dual stabilizers and they attempt to cover it up but not very well. All of my steering parts are tight as is the steering box. I took it to a good shop last night and they showed me that the front spring hangers have some movement. Apparently it is common for a truck that has been run hard to have these hangers get loose. You may want to check yours and weld them if they are loose.
     

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