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How do you find the center point in the steering gear??

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by will89, Mar 15, 2003.

  1. will89

    will89 1/2 ton status

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    I just did some work front end work and I didn't realize that there is a specified center point in the steering box where it is tightest. I wasn't aware of this center point and ended up reassembling it off center. Now I feel a bit of play in the wheel that wasn't there before. When I turn the steering wheel there is quite a bit of play in the box. I have new ball joints, wheel bearings, and Ive gone over tie rods too- all are tight and there is no play on that side of the steering box.

    Is there a way to find center in the steering box? Are there certain grooves to align etc???

    thanks much for anything ya got!
     
  2. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Did you rebuild or replace the box? If so then you may need to adjust it. There is an adjustment nut on top. You need to loosen the nut and turn the adjustment screw in the middle of it till you feel resistance then back it off a 1/4 turn. If you go too far, the steering will bind and you will wear out the box prematurely. If you need to find the centerpoint of the box, disconnect the pitman arm, and turn the wheel all the way right or left till it stops, then count the number of turns all the way to the opposite side. Then turn the wheel back half the number of turns. ex. if the wheel turns 6 times from full right to full left, then turn the wheel back 3 times. This will be the center, then connect the pitman arm sticking straight out and hook up the drag link. You can adjust the drag link to get the vehicle to go stright when the wheel is centered. I hope this answers your question, if not then maybe someone else can explain better. /forums/images/graemlins/burb.gif
     
  3. will89

    will89 1/2 ton status

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    No, I did not replace the box. I just disconnected the steering arm from the knuckle when I was doing the ball joints and other stuff. When you finish the ball joints you are supposed to check their resistance by trying to turn the steering knuckle. They should turn with under 25 ft. lbs of force. So, when I was moving the knuckle back and forth testing it- thats when I think i offset it!

    That should work thanks!
     
  4. GMCLegacy

    GMCLegacy 1/2 ton status

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    so you are saying you think the pitman arm is not "centered," or lined up correctly, on the gearbox's output shaft? if this is true, there is only one way that the pitman arm fits on the output shaft since there is a keyway cut in the shaft for the bolt to slide through and tighten against the pitman arm. another part to look at is the condition of the rag joint that ties your steering shaft to the input shaft of your gearbox.
     
  5. will89

    will89 1/2 ton status

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    No.. I just took the steering arm off of the knuckle- not off of the gearbox. I think I might have turned the steering wheel a turn one way or the other by accident. Im also looking into adjusting the gearbox. I think that could take away some of the play too... Anyone have experience doing that?
     
  6. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    No.. I just took the steering arm off of the knuckle- not off of the gearbox. I think I might have turned the steering wheel a turn one way or the other by accident. Im also looking into adjusting the gearbox. I think that could take away some of the play too... Anyone have experience doing that?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    If all you did was disconnect the drag link then there is no way you could have upset the box or wheel centering. If the wheel had moved the pitman arm would have moved also. I would check your tie rod ends and drag link ends and the steering shaft rag joint, and if all of them are OK then have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth slightly while watching the steering shaft and pitman arm. The pitman are should move at just about the same time as the shaft. If not then your box may need adjustment or be worn out. If you are not familiar with how to adjust it, try to find someone who has. I have overadjusted boxes before, and thought that the steering was great, but... a few weeks later the play was back, and I had to replace the box cause it was worn out. /forums/images/graemlins/burb.gif
     

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