Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Odd clunk... perhaps steering box? (Update below)

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by CyberSniper, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Posts:
    2,257
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Chelsea, MI
    I have a peculiar clunk. Kind of like someone is hitting the frame with a ball peen hammer. It's more of a hollow clunk (like cast iron) than a "ting" of hitting a wrench. It can be felt in the feet but not in the steering wheel. It can be heard as well. However, I don't have any floor covering so I can actually hear the whine of a transmission going down the road...

    99% of the time it only does it when I go around a corner. I have to have with the steering wheel at least half a turn off center and then take the steering wheel relatively quickly past center at least half a turn. It does it most when I go from left to right. I can't seem to reproduce it while going slow enough to walk next to the truck. I also can't reproduce it while parked.

    I can sometimes also get it when I hit a hole in the road. I think it's caused only when the suspension unloads completely. This makes me think it's suspension related but I've found no loose shocks, springs are tight, no loose body mounts, or anything that looks like it's moving.

    I have all new tie rod ends, draglink ends, and balljoints.

    The steering box is pretty sloppy. It isn't leaking yet but it's more sloppy than my Dad's at 200,000 miles and mine hasn't reached 100,000 yet. It needs to be replaced but if I replace it the winch fund will get another dent put in it.


    Any experiences/ideas?








    Update:
    I've checked all around the steering box and crossmember for evidence of cracks with a flashlight and a pick. One crossmember bolt looks like it might've moved once upon a time the way the rust has formed and the same goes for the the upper front steering box spacer.

    The steering box is really sloppy. I mean really sloppy. I can probably get 1/16th of a turn before the sector shaft even starts to move let alone turn. The slip part of the steering shaft used to be injected with nylon but I heated it up this Fall to get the steering column out and most of the nylon blew out. It's still tight. The joint up at the steering column has some play in it. The rag joint is tight.

    I checked all the bushings in the front springs by unloading the axle using the jack to lift up the frame. I checked the U-bolts at 120 ftlbs because I can't remember what they're supposed to be at. I checked all leaf packs for broken leaves. I checked all the swaybar crap which is all new. I checked the driver's side front cab mount to see if it's cracked by lifting up on the cab. It seems to be good. I checked the exhaust. I checked the front shocks. They move a little bit in the upper mounts if you really put some weight into it but not much. I checked the pinion nuts also. I checked the driver's side wheel bearings.
     
  2. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Posts:
    16,217
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Mesa , Arizona USA
    Re: Odd clunk... perhaps steering box?

    I couldn't say what it is but I heard that noise before. After basically redoing everything except the insides of the drivetrain its gone. I did 4 inch lift , steering brace, cv shaft, and locker in rear, and had to tighten pinion nut..........Don't know which one did it but it wouldn't hurt to check stuff, that's how I found loose pinion. Hope ya' find it . /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  3. ds350

    ds350 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2001
    Posts:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Re: Odd clunk... perhaps steering box?

    I have had a similar problem....it ended up being the shackle bushings that go into the frame. I replaced them all with greasable ORD.

    Maybe something to check out. /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif

    Good luck!
     
  4. 1989blazer

    1989blazer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Posts:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Re: Odd clunk... perhaps steering box?

    My truck had a similar noise. It turned out to be loose u-bolts. I re-torqued them and the clunk went away.
     
  5. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    1,582
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Re: Odd clunk... perhaps steering box?

    I can vouch for the loose u-bolt fix. I just farted around with a clunk as well, and finally found it on a long shot. They didnt look loose, but I put about 2-3 turns on each nut on the rear pass side leaf springs.
    Give them a try.
    Mike
     
  6. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Posts:
    2,257
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Chelsea, MI
    Re: Odd clunk... perhaps steering box?

    I checked the pinion... and found a universal that's going bad but I'm not surprised with my driveline angles.

    I've pretty much had this clunk since I put my lockers in my truck in September. About a month and a half before that I'd done the lift and axles.

    It's just slowly been getting worse.
     
  7. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Posts:
    2,257
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Chelsea, MI
    Re: Odd clunk... perhaps steering box?

    I crawled under there and checked all of them visibly. Around here everything gets covered with sand so anything that moves shows evidence of it.

    I then decided to lift the truck up using the frame to see if the shackles on the front were wore out. They didn't move.

    I've been wanting to replace them because they're pretty tired but I don't think that's the problem. That's a summertime job anyway.

    The swaybar bushings and transmission mounts were replaced in December. The rear spring bushings were replaced in July. The body mounts were all new about a year and a half ago.

    Got any more ideas?
     
  8. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Posts:
    2,257
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Chelsea, MI
    Re: Odd clunk... perhaps steering box?

    OK, what are they supposed to be at? I checked all 16 nuts at 120ftlbs and none of them were loose. It seems like they're supposed to be at 145ftlbs but I can't remember.
     
  9. FWP

    FWP CRS

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2000
    Posts:
    3,845
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Prescott Valley, AZ
    I chased something like that just recently on my 81 K10. Turned out to be the front main leaf sliding on the leaf below it. You could barely see it move (less than a 1/32) but you could feel it for sure. POP! Yup, there it is.
     

Share This Page