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Steering Problem - Not sure what it is

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by randy88k5, May 2, 2007.

  1. randy88k5

    randy88k5 1/2 ton status

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    Location:
    Lynchburg, VA, USA
    What I have:
    D60, completely rebuilt, 4.56 ARB locked
    PSC steering box
    PSC hi volume pump
    ORD crossover steering
    ORD bolt on steering brace
    Borgeson steering shaft
    External tube and fin cooler
    Rocksliders
    37" SSR tires
    Valvoline SYN Power fluid

    I have a steering issue. The steering seems to have a wander and jerks very slightly while driving strait. Occasionally, after going around a turn, it gets a little hard to straiten the wheel. Now, it is near impossible to turn the wheel at a stop. It feels like something is physically keeping the wheels from turning. The pump makes noise, and you can see the frame flex and the front leaf mounts flex while trying to force the turn. The box does not move around in its mounting and the frame does not look cracked. Nothing is in the way of any steering components. Steering box almost too hot to touch. Fluid is full and looks good.

    When I was offroading, it would get difficult to turn in some situations, which I later found that the tire was hitting the rock sliders. So when I felt the hard steering, I would assume the tire was in the slider and would power out of the obsticle. This is exactly what it feels like now. Tires no where near sliders. Cant even turn in the driveway. Steering still wanters almost constantly. It jerks, but still feels tight. Not like a sloppy wander.

    I had a similar problem before I modified the Blazer. With the original steering and suspension. Steering would get really hard coming out of a turn, there would be a pop, then it would jerk slightly. Really noticible on hard right turns. Occasionally, steering would feel like it would jamb at low speed turns, like a parking space. Did not happen that often though. When I changed everything, the problem went away, so I assumed I had replaced the bad part.

    I am leaning toward a bad steering box. I cant believe it though. Its a pretty nice box, and the company seemed to have a pretty good rep. What do you all think?
     
  2. mello_yello

    mello_yello 1/2 ton status

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    the loose nut behind the wheel.
    j/K Good luck
     
  3. 1977k5

    1977k5 3/4 ton status Vendor

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    Try disconnecting the ram (just one end) and see if anything changes.

    My bet is on the box too.
     
  4. miniwally

    miniwally 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    What is your caster?

    Is this a hydro assist setup or just crossover steering?

    Verify that the ARB is unlocking properly.

    What are your tire pressures while doing this?

    I would lean towards the pump being bad myself, perhaps the box is bad.

    Since the frame flexes while trying to turn on pavement I think pump being wierd.

    You have all high quality Manufacturers so I think you are going to find an oddball issue.
     
  5. Mudstud

    Mudstud 1/2 ton status

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    You jack the truck up and try turning the wheels? I'm not certain but it is suspicious that the gear box would be hot. I'm inclined to think a faulty pump also- not moving the fluid thru the system to disipate heat so it stays idle and heats up- and obviously doesn't want to make it easy for you to turn. Keep us informed.
     
  6. randy88k5

    randy88k5 1/2 ton status

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    Not sure, whatever the mid 80s Chevy D60 (originally DRW, have new SRW hubs and rotors) standard would be.

    Just standard crossover, no hydro assist

    Pretty sure it is, but Ill double check. I dont think the rear is working properly though...

    Just checked ... 22 psi

    Thanks for the suggestions. Any idea how to isolate the problem? It seems to be intermittent, so I'm almost at a loss on how to test the defect, other than throwing known good parts at it.
     
  7. Mudstud

    Mudstud 1/2 ton status

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    I'd contact PSC and ask them what they think. Shoot- they may have a troubleshoot section on their website that explains this situation. Keep us posted.

    Hey, have someone turn the wheel to make it act up and watch the pump pullie. I have experienced belt slippage without squel and it was because the belt wasn;t quite tight enough. If it's slipping you will see the pullie stop for a second then spin then stop- Almost like a timing light on the balancer.

    22# tire pressure sitting still is a lot of tire to be turning. I dont know much about the PSC steering stuff you have but I know you loose 15%-20% of your power steering when going crossover. There are mods on redneckrams website on how to up the power on a factory box.
     
  8. miniwally

    miniwally 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Check your caster. Caster being wrong will make for some goofy steering things.
    22psi is a bit on the low side for turning while sitting still on pavement.

    I would try jacking the front up and putting it on jack stands. This might reveal something.

    Try calling PSC or ORD and asking them.
     
  9. randy88k5

    randy88k5 1/2 ton status

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    OK, its been a few weeks until I found the time to do some more investigation. Yesterday, I jacked up the front end and tried turning left to right several times. It turns without any major resistance, but I found the steering box and p/s cooler got really hot really fast. I tried steering left to right on another vehicle (still on the ground) for about a minute and I cound not get the same heat from the steering box. This makes me suspect a failing pump or box. What do you all think? I am going to call PSC tomorrow on my lunch break.

    Also, I found that some of my springs in the leaf packs (both on the rear and front passenger side) seem to be shifted from the rest of the pack. I have not seen this before. Is this normal? I cant see where anything is bent or damaged, other than the rear passenger shock...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Chaddy

    Chaddy 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    You need a ram.
     
  11. 70jimmy

    70jimmy 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I would lean toward bad pump.

    I agree you need hydro assist if you don't have it.

    Another culprit may be blockage in lines, replace steering fluid, disconnect lines and blow out. see if that makes any difference. If you have any screens in the back of the pump make sure they are not clogged.
     
  12. Mudstud

    Mudstud 1/2 ton status

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    The spring plate on the Pass side front isn't on straight. Wusupwitdat? My front two springs are fanned out a bit also. :dunno:
     
  13. randy88k5

    randy88k5 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, I know about the spring plate. I will fix that before the truck goes on the road again.

    As an update, I called PSC, and the technician thinks it is the torsion bar inside of the gear box. I am going to ship it back and see if it can be repaired. I will let everyone know of the outcome...
     
  14. Mudstud

    Mudstud 1/2 ton status

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    Did he happen to explain what/where the torsion bar is in a gear box? Spill the beans if you know.
     
  15. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I'm curious also. Recently rebuilt an OEM steering box and I have no idea what they mean by "torsion bar".
     
  16. randy88k5

    randy88k5 1/2 ton status

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    Well, a bit of an update. I sent my box away a few weeks ago. Last week, I got it back in the mail. Well, they sent me a brand new box. No questions asked. There was no invoice, and my credit card was never charged. So, no explination as of yet, and no news of the elusive torsion bar. The new box will be going in this weekend, if not earlier. I'll post up the results...
     

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