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Funky steering

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by shane74, Jul 9, 2002.

  1. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, here is my problem. My steering feels wierd. Some times it pulls to the left, some times it pulles to the right. Also, sometimes when I turn the steering wheel, it is stiff to a certain point, then it spins incredibly easily. Also, sometimes the wheel is off center like when the front end is out of alignment, but it's not always in the same spot. Yesterday the steering wheel was turned slightly to the right, today, it looks like it is about 1/4 turn to the left?? /forums/images/icons/crazy.gif

    I am running 38x12.50x15's on 15x8 wheels w/ 7" of lift. When I put the lift in, I had the front end gone through. It has a new steering box, new pitman arm, new corrected steering arm, new drag link, and new ball joints. I did not replace the tie rods though. Could worn out tie rods cause this? I jacked the front end up off the ground and turned the tires by hand while watching all the steering components. There was no stiffness in the system at all, and nothing looked loose. Is there something I'm missing? How do I check the tie rods to make sure they aren't the source of my problem? This is a recent problem. I didn't have any issues before, and I have been running the 38's for about 3 months. I know they will wander a bit, but honestly, I had NO problems at all until a week ago or so. Any ideas? Thanks!
     
  2. TopOff

    TopOff 1/2 ton status

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    Check your leaf spring U-bolts. I found mine doing the same thing, my driver side U-bolts were WAY WAY loose!
     
  3. Jed

    Jed Registered Member

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    Ditto on checking the ubolts - mine were loose on the driver's side too. The steering wheel always 'centered' at a different position. I replaced a lot of other worn pieces like balljoints, joints on the drag link and a bent tie rod at the same time.

    Maybe ask a friend to turn the steering wheel while you look for slop. My axle was moving a couple inches. Someone also suggested I replace the ubolts incase they were fatigued from being so loose.
     
  4. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks guys. I checked my bolts. They were a bit loose on the drivers side. I cranked them down, but I'll have to torque them tomorrow. They should be tight enough to make a difference if they were the problem. I kind of hope so. I don't really have the $$ to do the tie rods right now.
     
  5. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    Shane, check your steering box mount bolts.........and while you're at it check the condition of the frame in that area. Do you have an ORD brace yet? /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif
     
  6. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    That is something I havent checked yet. And No, I don't have the brace yet either. The frame wasn't cracked and I didn't have the brace when I had to replace the box. I'll look at those tonight.

    I did check the u-bolts. The drivers sider were a little loose. I cranked them to #150 when we installed the lift and I have checked them about once a month since I lfted it. I guess they worked themselves loose somehow. After I tightened them, the steering was much improved, not as stiff and funky, but there is still some play. I wasn't able to get the full #150 last night, so I'll re-torque them tonight and check the steering box bolts and frame. If all that is still good, then I am left thinking it is the tie rods.
     
  7. TopOff

    TopOff 1/2 ton status

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    It could be the slop in the steering box too. It can be adjusted out, but I usually kill the PS pumps when I adjust these.

    I have a little slop left in my steering, but I thought this was a TRUCK! LOL!

    Good luck.
     
  8. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    I thought about that. The box is only 6 mos. old. There is a tiny bit of slop, but not enough to worry about. I am concerned because I have a 3000 mile trip with the family in a few weeks and I don't want any mishaps along the way. I'll have enough other crap to worry about.
     
  9. Blazinaire

    Blazinaire 1/2 ton status

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    I don't know if your problem is fixed, but my truck had the same problem and it turned out to be my drivers side spring center pin was broken. The U-bolts were properly torqued, but with the pull of the power steering was enough to push and pull the axle instead of turning it (sometimes.) Have someone saw the wheel back and forth (with truck running and wheels on the ground) and watch to see if the axle is moving on the springs. If it is, $3 for a new pin will be all you need.
     

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