04 Yukon XL Steering left issue.

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Kosherpotatoes

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Hey all,

Looking for some advice. I have a few assumptions of what the title issue is but wanted some advice before diving in to this issue this time. So, in 2019 I bought my current 04 Yukon XL I replaced pretty much the entire front suspension with the exception of sway bar bushing. Uppers and lower control arm, tie rods, shocks, and wheel hubs to attempt to fix ABS issue (seems to have resolved it). So to get to the root of the issue. While turning left, it becomes near impossible at times. I don't know if it's wore u joints in the steering shafts or if it's the gear box. I guess it could also be a CV axel but wouldn't imagine the issue is only in one direction. Vehicle has 245k miles and previous things done to it are unknown. When I bought it I was a bit newer to GM family and wasn't sure what to look for. I don't plan to sell this thing anytime soon but want to get it back in good driving condition again. While I can drive it and just muscle through the steering issue my wife cant and I bought it for her. I plan to pull the upper steering shaft this afternoon after work and test both u joins for binding and excessive play. I'd like to avoid replacing the steering gear box but if it's the issue have no problem purchasing a new one. Any advice on how to go about the checklist from least expensive to most? I assume it's upper shaft then lower shaft, then CV axle, then gear box? Any other suggestions would be helpful.
 

OR VietVet

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What were the before and after alignment readings? You did get an alignment done, RIGHT!?

You did all that work but no idler arm or pitman arm. Why? When you say, "when turning left it becomes near impossible at times", what do you mean? Is there still power steering feeling or like it loses power steering? Like it is binding or steering up against a rock and stopping the wheel movement? It almost sounds like you lose power steering assist, depending on the answers to my questions.
 
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Kosherpotatoes

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What were the before and after alignment readings? You did get an alignment done, RIGHT!?

You did all that work but no idler arm or pitman arm. Why? When you say, "when turning left it becomes near impossible at times", what do you mean? Is there still power steering feeling or like it loses power steering? Like it is binding or steering up against a rock and stopping the wheel movement? It almost sounds like you lose power steering assist, depending on the answers to my questions.
I got an alignment done but don't have the readings anymore. It was done over 3 years ago. Issue didn't start until mid 2022. Currently it feels more like a binding up more than anything when it is happening. It's hard to tell, as it doesn't always do it. Sometimes it feels like a binding, sometimes it feels like power steering loss. I would say the issue over all occurs 75% of the time. As for why I didn't do the idler or pitman arm. I wasn't aware they had significant enough issues to be replaced. I thought it was normally the steering shafts that became the issue. If I have to pull the steering gear I'll replace idler and pitman arms since I'll be down in that area with the pitman arm. Mind you, fairly new to doing my own work on vehicles and this is the one I'm learning on.
 

OR VietVet

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Be prepared. If you do the steering gear, that is the perfect time to do the pitman arm. You need a pitman arm puller tool as well. In order to pull the pitman arm, you need to pivot the gear box anyway, at least in my rig you do.
 

rockola1971

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First thing I would do is inspect for bent tie rods? Someone hit a curb or a nasty pothole? Then I would check the idler and pitman arm for binding. The 1/2 ton GM truck chassis is notorious for eating up idler arms. Especially cheap chinese ones.
 

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