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steering help

Discussion in '1969-1972 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by litlmatt, May 9, 2004.

  1. litlmatt

    litlmatt Registered Member

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    hey guys, my 72 has very sensitive steering which is fine at low speeds, but cruising on the freeway can be sketchy. does anyone know how to tighten it up so its a little tougher to turn the wheel?
     
  2. arq

    arq 1/2 ton status

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    what size tires are you running. Is it wandering, have you replaced your steering box lately???

    ARQ.
     
  3. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Welcome dude. 2 post member! /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif Fill out your profile along with the specs of your truck and we can help you more.

    Check toe in. Check for worn wheel bearings & ball joints by jacking one side of the front axle up at a time.
    Check the steering box and see how much slop it has by turning the rag joint back and forth until you see the movement out of the pitman arm & draglink. Make sure all the bolts are tight for the steering box to the frame, and that the threads aren't stripped out. -My friend's truck we had to run longer bolts with washers and locknuts. And make sure the frame isn't cracked right there.

    Thats about all i can think of for now, what size lift do you have? how much steering compensation do you have? sometimes you'll have a wedge shim on the bottom of the leaf pack which rotates the axle to correct your driveshaft angle, but it will give you that much negative caster- which will make it more unstable at higher speeds.
    /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif

    /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif Crossover Steering. /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  4. litlmatt

    litlmatt Registered Member

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    thanks for the welcome guys! i just filled out some basic info on "my home", is that the profile page or am i showing off my computer illiteracy?
    i just picked up my truck a month ago, so i am learning a lot about her and the previous owner. from what i can tell everything is stock except the motor which he says is a 383 and small things like the radio and wheels are aftermarket.
    i looked underneath and cranked the steering wheel side to side and the steering box didnt move and i didnt look close but there were no major signs of cracks at the mounting point. she will wander when driving if i catch a rut in the road other than that she is aligned and drives straight as an arrow. i will get under there soon and make sure everything is tight and there are no signs of wear. i am just tripping out on how easy it is to turn the steering wheel.
    thanks for the help guys.
     
  5. clubba68

    clubba68 1/2 ton status

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    To tighten the sensitivity of the steering wheel there is a small allen-head screw on the top of the steering box. I couldn't see mine at first due to muck and oil and such, but with some cleaning you will be able to see it. It is located on the top of the box at the front end of it. If you take an allen wrench and tighten that screw down you will experience tighter steering. Tighten it down to where it feels comfortable to you. I did it to mine, and now I don't feel the Grim Reaper breathing down my neck so hard every time I drive.
    Hope this helps. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  6. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    FWIW I think it is VERY BAD JUJU to mess with that adjuster. It tightening it will wear your steering box quicker and could lead to your steering locking up. That adjuster adjust the gear lash in the box. The factory service manual has a detailed step by step process for adjusting it and all the torque spec's to go with it.

    There is a small torsion bar in the steering box that is what determines the ammount of steering feal you get at the wheel. Our trucks are set up to have very soft steering. You would have to tear the box apart to replace it.

    A quick easy fix might be to install a steering stabilizer if you don't already have one. It will add a bit of resistance to the system and might make it manageable...but the best way to go would be to have the steering box rebuilt with a different diameter torison bar.
     
  7. clubba68

    clubba68 1/2 ton status

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    That would work too. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    My remedy works for me, but as Triaged says, it might not be for you.
     
  8. litlmatt

    litlmatt Registered Member

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    thanks for the info guys. as soon as i started looking into the steering solutions i had a friend tell me that the motor vibration was more of a priority to fix. what vibration you ask? well at about 3000 rpm i get a really disturbing vibration, it happens in park as well as driving around. all is good as soon as the tranny shifts to the next gear. it is the worst on the freeway in 3rd gear, but as soon as i get off the throttle it disapears. i am looking into the harmonic balancer and the flexplate. the motor is a 383 so i am wondering if he used the incorrect parts. so once again i appreciate all of the tips and look forward to using them soon.
     
  9. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    yeah technically if it needs to be adjusted like this then it is worn and should be rebuilt or replaced, but maybe it all depends on the person, i dunno, but if you do adjust the current box then dont overdo it, it doesnt take much adjustment to make a huge difference


    good luck
     
  10. gjk5

    gjk5 3/4 ton status

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    Yep, I just picked up my '72 last night and it does the same thing. Scary as hell at 65!

    I am going to work on it this weekend, I will post anything I find out. Do the same if you can.
     
  11. litlmatt

    litlmatt Registered Member

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    cool bud, let me know what you find.
    i had a little time the other day and i crawled underneath her and had a look. the rubber bushings in the steering components (not sure of part names)is cracked and faded and the steering stabilizer is leaking fluid. had my dad crank the wheel and there is no slop or obvious movement that shouldnt be there. the steering wheel is smaller than normal i was told that could help increase the responsiveness. i decided i didnt want to play with the adjuster screw on top, so i may have to bite the bullet and have it rebuilt, and, or get a bigger steering wheel.
     

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