NEED HELP Play in steering wheel (new tie rods, ball joints, struts, arms)

was directed over here by Mooseman on trailvoy, thanks brother!

Just put all new parts on my front suspension, new control arms (upper and lower) with fresh bushings and ball joints, new inner and outer tie rods, new struts, new sway bar links

just got it back from the alignment shop and the play I had in the steering wheel is still there, Firestone says its play in the rack

am I looking at a new rack and pinion?
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Welcome to the Nation! Real people, not actors here :biggrin:

How many miles on the truck? It's possible that the R&P has wear, especially at the center portion where it spends the majority of its life. There is also the steering shaft U-joint which may be worn.

Do you have this play everywhere or only in the straight ahead position?
 

budwich

Well-Known Member
how much "play" are you seeing? ie. when you move the steering wheel, how many inches of travel do you get before you start feeling a "resistance", ie. that the "slack" has been taken out?
 

Sparky

Moderator
Cannot be any worse than thr 100k mile Ford uhaul I drove this past weekend 😜 that thing was awful...

Does it feel like it wanders around, or is it loose or delayed steering? Any noise or audible, or can you feel the "stops" as it were where the slack is picked up?
 
OP
OP
J
about an inch of play, steering doesnt wander just feels overall loose throughout the entire steering motion

rack is from an 05 TB that I had pulled, mine had a bad leak, this rack has been on here for about a year and a few months
this one had a slow leak but I put some Lucas oil power steering leak stop, and it isnt leaking anymore, hasnt leaked in a couple months

doesnt sound like whatever the issue is, will be a cheap fix, damn
 

budwich

Well-Known Member
well, I wouldn't get too "excited" just yet. I know that you said you did a "bunch" and had the alignment (which they don't appear to have mentioned anything). I would double check each side again by having some one turn the steering (slowly) to the resistance point while you or someone watch the various connection points (including at the steering shaft area) to look for movement just in case something isn't set quite right. go from there.
 
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nozzleman

Member
Similarly, I had the tie rod ends done this spring. With the nice weather I have been driving my Corvette. Rainy day comes so I drive the Envoy. 50-70MPH, the wheel does a slight shimmy over road seams. Just 3 or 4 mild shimmies. With load left or right, no shimmy. At 230K miles, should I assume R&P? What's in the future if I let it go?
 

LikeEnvoy

Well-Known Member
about an inch of play, steering doesnt wander just feels overall loose throughout the entire steering motion

rack is from an 05 TB that I had pulled, mine had a bad leak, this rack has been on here for about a year and a few months
this one had a slow leak but I put some Lucas oil power steering leak stop, and it isnt leaking anymore, hasnt leaked in a couple months

doesnt sound like whatever the issue is, will be a cheap fix, damn
I had a similar play in the wheel and after replacing the intermediate steering shaft I found the culprit was the actual column shaft, the one with the tilt bearing in it. Sloppy as heck once I got it out. Replacing that gave me nice wheel with no real play anymore, just the slight springy movement you always get as you move it and let go again.
 

Berns

Well-Known Member
Hello,

I had the same issue recently on my '06 9-7x. I would also hear a clunk when I would hit uneven roads.

I redid the whole front end, arms, bushings, tie rods, etc... and I still had the problem. I would recheck it each time I would hear a noise then I started paying attention to my steering wheel and how loose it was.

So after chasing the problem I ended up having my son turn the wheel after reading a thread on the steering shaft bolts coming loose and sure enough I felt something hit like metal to metal.

Put the truck on ramps and check the bolts, the lower int. shaft bolt was very loose and allowed the steering wheel to feel loose and sometime wander.

Took off both bolts, cleaned the old thread lock and add some fresh lock tite and torqued them down.

All I can say is that it made a world of difference and the steering wheel no longer feels loose. Feels like a brand new truck.
 

nozzleman

Member
Solved:
I didn't notice that I was losing PS fluid. I added some, checked the next day and it needed more. Seems that the PS cooler was rusting out and leaking fluid. Replaced it and filled back up and there isn't any play anymore.
Who'da Thunk It?
 

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