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Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Lotsa_Faith, Jan 6, 2003.
How can I tighten up the steering on my '85? Its got alot of play in it right now...
How do your drag link and tie rod ends look? Lots of play in those if they are worn.
Yes, check all of those FOR SURE. When they look ok(and greased), check the bolts holding your steering-box if they're loose. After the first time I put big meats on my '77 the steering got way loose, and I found the bolts loosened up (replaced later..w/threadlock too). Once tightened the steering was back to a moderate form of normal /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
After you check (and replace) all those pices mentioned there us a lash screw on the steering box.
Do the regular maintenance first assuming the front end stuff is original.
follow this post also:
After you check all your stock stuff, check to make sure you're frame isn't cracked and add an ORD bolt on steering brace. My steering felt a lot tighter after adding the brace.
Pretty much what everyone else said - check tie rod ad drag link ends.
Check your steering shaft rag joint. These can be excessibly worn and contribute play. Due to the design, there is a little play built into them no matter what. If you're made of money buy a Borgenson steering shaft (I think baout $250) and that will take car of that aspect.
I got the ORD bolt in brace and it instantly remove a lot of play - best mod. It also cured the odd co ndtion that every time I came back from wheeling, my steering wheel would center in a different position.
Also, balljoints can be bad and cause looseness.
Yes, there are a lot of thing that can contribute to looseness.
Bolt in brace will make the biggest difference, or it did for me at least.
All the steering items on my /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif where good but I still had a little play at the steering wheel. I got one of the superlift coil over stabilizers from the 'for sale' boards here and its all better now! I know my stabilizer was on there for maybe 8 years or better, and at least 3 years with no boot, so it was ready for replacing!
Good luck /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
My steering also has a bit of play in it so I have checked the things that were on this thread as on the other one, though tis truck was not wheeled before I owned it so the frame is still in tact. Though I read of the "lash" screw, where is that exactly and/or how do I adjust it.
My steering also has quite a bit of play. I tried adjusting the allen head on top of the box with out fixing it. I also replaced the drag link, and the tie rod joints are fine.
I think the play is in the box itself because I can turn the wheel an eighth of a turn either way and the pitman arm doesn't move. Also awhile back I hit a curb while turning when my throttle got stuck and the whole wheel became crooked, I fixed it back to center by adjusting the drag link but I think I just covered up the problem. So what are the remaning solutions to my proble, and what is my problem>?
The lash screw isn't your problem. It is only a preload on the sector shaft. It will NOT make anything "tighter" or remove any "play" in the steering, it will just increase/decrease pre-load on the sector shaft, and if you put too much, it will break while your driving and you'll lose steering control. Trust me, I've seen it happen. It WILL make the truck tougher to steer (ie, will take more force to turn the wheel), but will not remove any play in anything that is loose. The part about making it harder to steer can be mis-percieved as "tighter" steering, but it would be the equivlent putting your front axle between two curbs with no space btw the curbs and tires and trying to turn the wheel, all your really doing is making the box work more to turn the tires (in this example steering would result in lifting the truck because the tires would have to ride up the curbs first).
I've said this before, and will say it again, do not adjust that screw unless you rebuilt the box. It is factory set and I've not seen one EVER come out of it's factory setting unless someone tore into the box to replace internals.
If you've already checked the usuals, ball joints, tie-rod ends, drag link, and the like, your next stop is the steering shaft. Someone else already mentioned it, but not only the rag joint goes bad, but many of these trucks suffer from a loosened collapsable joint in the steering shaft as well. It is a saftey feature to have a collapsable steering shaft, and on these trucks it consists of one section of the shaft is bigger than the other, the smaller diameter section slides up into the bigger diameter section, and it's stoped from sliding in normal conditions by a small pin, that is designed to break in the event of a severe front-end collision. What happens is the little pin wears, or the point where the two sections come together wear and provide play in the steering. So replacing the steering shaft is a good idea.
Remember too, that these trucks never really had "tight" steering to begin with.
Theres an adjustment, so you just gotta play with it! /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif
/forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gifThat adjustment is for factory initial setting only, because every box has a potential to be a little different from the next, so they set the preload at the factory the same for every box, to compesate for slight machine batch differences, assembly..etc. After that, it not's supposed to be touched. Just because there is an adjustment, doesn't mean its supposed to be adjusted. (Torsion bars are another good one for that...people always wanting a little extra at the expense of mis-alignment/tire wear etc..)
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