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Steering Play

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 84mudmachine, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. 84mudmachine

    84mudmachine 1/2 ton status

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    My blazer seems to have a lot of play in the steering wheel. It doesn't vibrate going 75mph down the highway or go crazy when hiting bumps, so what are some ideas of some cheap fixes that can be done for a dyi person. I replaced the damper already. /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif
     
  2. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Fix your cracked frame at the steering box and get a bolt on brace.

    After that, check for any worn parts, and replace only as necessary.
     
  3. 84mudmachine

    84mudmachine 1/2 ton status

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    I believe my frame is ok, it might be some old worn out steering parts.
     
  4. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I believe my frame is ok, it might be some old worn out steering parts.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I believe you're wrong, and I believe you may also have worn out steering parts.
     
  5. 84mudmachine

    84mudmachine 1/2 ton status

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    Well, I'll check it out tonight. Thanks for the input. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  6. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Fix your cracked frame at the steering box and get a bolt on brace.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Tim - What do you base this on? I had to replace my steering gear and a bunch of other parts because I had too much play in my steering in general. Also, my ball joints were shot. Once I replaced those and slapped on a new steering stabilzer, I was good to go until my bearings wore out.

    Rick - Yes, definitely check your frame. YOu'll need to unbolt your box to get a real good look at it. BUT...before you go buying parts because somebody told you to....check all your other stuff too. I ended having to replace a BUNCH of parts (tie rod, drag link, ball joints, steering gear, rag joint, steering stabilizer, etc.). None of which had anything to do with my frame. Our trucks are old and parts wear out. Not all frames are broken. It is a good idea to strengthen it up if your going to be in there anyway, but, make sure you replace the right parts.
     
  7. 84mudmachine

    84mudmachine 1/2 ton status

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    How do really check each individual parts of the steering system? Do you just move them arround to see how loose they are by watching them while someone turns the steering? /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  8. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    Basically, each part is pretty easy to check if you have someone in the truck moving your steering wheel back and forth.

    Ball joints - Jack up the front of the truck and grab the tire at the 12 and 6 o'clock positions. Try pushing the tire from top to bottom to check for play. If there is, check to see if the play is happening at the knuckle, or just the hub. If it's just the hub, your bearings need replaced. If the whole knuckle is moving, your ball joints need replaced.

    Wheel bearings - Same as above, but look for play in the hub only. If the hub moves, but the knuckle doesn't, your bearings need replaced.

    Rag joint - Watch it as some one turns the steering wheel, If its bad, you'll see play. It'll almost look like the steering shaft is moving in an oval pattern on the steering gear input shaft.

    Pitman arm - Check this too. Mine came loose on me and was flexing on the steering gear output shaft. It'll look like it's moving up and down on the shaft if it's loose. Make sure it's torqued down.

    Drag link - Check to see if there is any play in it before your wheels start to turn. I was getting more than 1/4 turn out of the steering gear before the wheels started to turn.

    Tie rod - same thing, check to see if there is any play by moving the steering wheel back and forth. If there is, it'll almost look like one wheel turns before the other one.

    If you check everything and it's all tight, check your frame under where the steering box mounts. Sometimes there are cracks under there that you cannot see from the backside (exposed side) of the frame rail.
     
  9. 84mudmachine

    84mudmachine 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks, I'll check it over the weekend. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  10. kevcarr59

    kevcarr59 Registered Member

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    When you check the frame you should be able to see the cracks around the bolt holes fairly easily. If its cracked, you need to get the WELD-IN type frame strengthener. the Bolt-in type wont keep the frame from cracking.
     
  11. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    the Bolt-in type wont keep the frame from cracking.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Nonsense. The bolt in will do a hell of a lot more to protect and uncracked frame than any weld in POS patch.

    I was simply basing my judgement on the fact that he said he had a, "LOT" of play. I had a, "Lot" of play and about four hours later, my steering box fell completely off the frame.
     
  12. stallion85

    stallion85 1/2 ton status

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    I think we have all been down this road, I had the same prob and it still feels somewhat loose compared to my 00' Explorer. But all the things mentioned could cause the problem at hand. I replaced my steering box and front stabilizer and it fixed the problem for me. Also the steering box brace kit is a must /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  13. kevcarr59

    kevcarr59 Registered Member

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    Mr. Tim, I agree with you, but I think I was misinterpreted. If the frame was not cracked, then Yes the bolt-in will help. But if the frame is already cracked, the weld in repair plate offered by ORD is the better option. This info was found in this very forum from several of the members.

    Researched this about the same time I joined this wonderful site last year. Gonna ask for a real membership from Santa this year and unlock the rest of valuable information available here. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  14. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    But if the frame is already cracked, the weld in repair plate offered by ORD is the better option.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I disagree. The best repair is to FIX THE FRAME!

    I do sell the weld in patch as well, but I recommend against it. If your frame is cracked already you need to fix the cracks you have.

    I have both plates on my truck and I wish I'd never used the weld in patch. It's a total piece of crap.

    That said, if a customer wants it, I'm glad to sell them, I've sold a number of them.

    Oh btw, ORD doesn't make the weld patch...it's the same one sold by every lift kit manufacturer in America.
     
  15. kevcarr59

    kevcarr59 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the info Tim, but still have a couple questions... /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif

    Noticed my steering box moves or wobbles about a 16th to maybe an 8th inch. A couple of the bolt holes have cracks(the longest about 1/4 inch), what do I need to do to the frame to fix it. Thought the weld-in patch would work, but guess I'm wrong. I thought by using the weld patch and the bolt-in brace would be a remedy.
    /forums/images/graemlins/weld.gif /forums/images/graemlins/weld.gif
    BTW, didn't know ORD didn't make the weld in patch, just ASSUMED they did seein' it on their site.
     
  16. original balzer

    original balzer 1/2 ton status

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    you need to grind a groove ( v ) in the cracks slightly past the end then have it welded by a pro welder asumeing your not a welder then grind it smooth and use the bolt in braces thats how i did mine has held for 7 years ( home built braces by the welder that fixed my cracks cuz i didnt have net at that time)

    willow /forums/images/graemlins/grind.gif /forums/images/graemlins/weld.gif
     

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