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Loose Steering

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by JerzeyJimmy, Dec 8, 2000.

  1. JerzeyJimmy

    JerzeyJimmy Newbie

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    Greetings All:

    I'm a new owner of an 84 Jimmy and am completely new to this forum; although, I've quickly taken notice of wealth of information that passes through these pages and as a result here I am. So, my question: The steering on my Jimmy is loose. How loose you might ask? Well, let's say that my steering makes Heidi Fleiss look like a Nun. Not having driven another Jimmy or Blazer, I was wondering if this is normal. I experienced this once b4 in a Ford when the rack was shot, but the Jimmy has no rack. Has the power steering pump crapped out? If the consensus is that the pump is shot, is it a pain to replace it?? Any and all replies would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

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    well slopy stearing is not normal. my 77 is very tight. as far as the power stearing pump if it is bad they are easy to replace

    s.smith 77blazer lookin 4 mud
     
  3. Zepplin

    Zepplin 1/2 ton status

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    If your pump is shot it would cause a loss of power steering and it would be hard to turn. If its slopping I would check all steering components, tie rods, drag link, steering arm and even the ball joints. Even check the steering shaft that runs to the steering gear and especially check for cracks on the frame where the steering box bolts to it. These vehicles are known for having a cracked frame at or near the steering box. More or less make a complete visual inspection of the front suspension and steering components.

    Communication Breakdown
    74 Blazer
    Zeppelin
     
  4. Wheels

    Wheels 1/2 ton status

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    Loose steering could be the symptom of other problems. First if the pump isn't squalling or when the wheels do finally turn it's not a heavy pull, the pump may be okay. With the engine off and the column unlocked, check for play in the steering column rag/slip joint (the area between the end of the steering column and the gear box). If that's good, check to see if the gear box output is responding to the input with no play, with power steering, just crank the engine and grab the rag joint at the gear box and turn it both ways. If that checks out okay, check the tie rods on the drag link (from gear box to steering arm on left knuckle), then the tie rods that tie the two knucles together. If they are good, check for loose wheel bearings or worn ball joints. Jack the front end and place jack stands under the axle tubes. Shake the rim up and down and see if there is any play between the knuckles or in the hub. If play is in the hub, it's wheel bearings, if it's in the knuckles, it's them dreaded ball joints. Generally when the pump goes, the steering gets hard to turn, but changing the pump and any of the rest of these parts is simple. The ball joints get a little tougher but they can be done. Welcome to the site, good luck.
     
  5. Gandolf

    Gandolf 1/2 ton status

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    Have someone turn you steering wheel 1/2 or 3/4 turns, back and forth, while you watch your steering box. If the steering box is flexing relative to your frame, then tighten the steering box bolts and check it again. If it still flexes you need the ORD Bolt-in Steering Brace. (If your frame is cracked, there is a weld-on brace available at ORD). It's a good idea to get the brace anyway, because this is a weak point on all Blazers. Good Luck.

    Give Steven Watson a call at Off-Road Design. 970-945-7777

    http://www.offroaddesign.com/




    '89 K5 Silverado 4" lift w/BFG 33's
     
  6. ftn96

    ftn96 1/2 ton status

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    If its the ball-joints, give me a call. Im a pro. LMFAO!! I just got done doing mine. They aren't too too bad. You just have to buy a few tools and have to take just about the whole front end apart to get too them. But I'd go with wheels' advise in that order. Most of the stuff hes talking about starting out with checking that is, is the cheaper and easier stuff. My guess, while having a 90 JIMI, I'd say that the ball-joints are going to be the culpret. Do this daddy have a lift on it? What size tires? Has it been wheeled alot? The bearings would be my next check. It doesn't take them long to go if they were not checked and taken care of. When I got mine, while in the middle of a brake job I checked the bearings, and WHOOOO, glad I did, they were, aaaahhhhhhh WASTED. There is a wealth of knowledge here. After you did through everybodys sense of humor (great ones I might add) you can get what ever help you may need. Watch out for BURT4x4, he just got a new welder and he sounds like he's a bit unstable right now. LOL!!!!! BURT, I love you man. Can I have one of those un-welded Bud lights.

    I miss my Ex, but my aim is getting better!
    http://mccordhouse.freeservers.com
     
  7. JerzeyJimmy

    JerzeyJimmy Newbie

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    First of all, thanks to all who responded. I'm going to print out these responses and my weekend work is cut out for me. Wonderful! Thanks all!

    In response to ftn96, the truck was a workhorse for a local lumberyard; however, the previous owner said that it was used sparingly. So, as far as I was told there was no off-roading. There truck has a 1 inch lift (or thereabouts) and 31x10.5x15 tires--nothing too aggressive, YET!
     
  8. Hobbes68

    Hobbes68 Registered Member

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    One other thing to check that wasn't mentioned is the spring bushings, shackles, bolts and mounts. Mine were so worn when I got my truck that the holes in the shackles and mounts were large ovals and the bolts were worn halfway through. I replaced everything with the Greasable HD Front Shackle kit from Off Road Design. It's like a new truck! BTW, ORD is a great company to deal with and the techs are very helpful! I highly recommend them!

    http://www.offroaddesign.com/catalog/hdshackles.htm
     
  9. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    Looks like my ball joints are loose (I have some up and down movement) My haynes book says there is an adjustment sleeve under the retaining bolt but damed if i could find it. How hard is it to do it yourself on a 1990? How much does it cost to have it done? Thanks.
     
  10. militaryblazer

    militaryblazer 1/2 ton status

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    Do 'Burbs also have the problem with the steering box breaking off the frame??? I found a suburban with some tracks, I guess for snow or something, and I figured it would probably have a busted steering box.

    <font color=orange>'86 Military Blazer with 4" Lift & 33" Tires</font color=orange>[​IMG]
     
  11. Gandolf

    Gandolf 1/2 ton status

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    All the older Blazers, Burbs, 1/2 & 3/4 ton pickups have the steering box to frame flex problem. I don't know if Chevy cured the problem in the newer trucks. Maybe someone in here knows.

    '89 K5 Silverado 4" lift w/BFG 33's
     
  12. ftn96

    ftn96 1/2 ton status

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    That adjustment sleeve is around the upper ball-joint stud inside the knuckle. After you take the top nut off, you will need to get a spanner socket and a 1-1/8 1/2 drive socket to put ontop of the spanner socket and turn it right tighty lefty lossy. The biggest problem you are going to have is: the rust and mud thats caked in the detents of the sleeve. I actually broke a brand new spanner socket trying to get one of those sleeves out. The trick is, but with more time, you need to take the hubs, axles andthe whole nine yards off, so you can get the tension off the sleeve. The ball joint stud is tappered and the sleeve has a expansion gap, so when its tightened down on to the tapered section of the ball-joint stud, it expands thus keeping it from turning. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any problems. Last resort scenario, get a BIG ASS HAMMER and case of beer, beat on it till it comes off, breaks or you get drunk. Which ever comes first. LOL!!!! just kidding.


    I miss my Ex, but my aim is getting better!
    http://mccordhouse.freeservers.com
     
  13. Confederate9

    Confederate9 1/2 ton status

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    try dual sterring stableizers.
    thats what i did. and the place where i took it tightened some other stuff, but im not quite sure what it was.



    Confederate's w/ K5's!
    '85 K5: BIG BAD AND MEAN
    K5: Because size DOES matter
     

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