Sloppy/Loose Steering Fixed!

Discussion in 'Tech Info' started by Wake, Dec 3, 2012.

Car Parts
  1. Wake

    Wake Full Access Member

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    Surprisingly I didn't find much info on this forum about correcting for sloppy steering so I figured I'd add a post for those of you wanting to try to correct this problem that plagues so many of us.

    When I purchased my Escalade in January of this year it had a problem with sloppy steering, enough that I had to move the wheel back and forth quite a bit while driving down the highway.

    I had a promise note from the GM dealer (I'll never walk away with one of those again), to fix it. They came back with replacing the ISS which didn't cure the problem, made it slighly better but didn't satisfy me and they refused to do more. A lot of good that promise note did me, next time they fix it first, then I come back to sign the papers. :flame:

    Two different GM dealers checked out the suspension and both came back with no worn components so I spent a lot of time researching here, the GM Full size truck form, and youtube and came across the solution several times before I decided to give it a shot. I have to wonder though, why neigher of them suspected the gearbox itself. Both checked everything (linkages, pitman, idler arm, etc) other than the box itself.

    In my case it was as simple as a loose steering gear box. At 86K miles on a heavy vehicle I can see it needing adjustment sometime in the vehicle's lifespan. So today I took about 10 minutes total and made two separate adjustments to the gearbox and it steers like a new truck.

    A warning/disclaimer though. If done incorrectly this can destroy your steering gearbox. I know this from experience on a used vehicle I purchased about 20 years ago that had this adjustment done prior to me owning it. Then again, if you're going to go as far as replacing the gearbox after all other options have failed then you don't have much to lose. Do this at your own risk though, I don't want to have someone coming back and blaming me for ruining their gearbox.

    The adjustment itelf, it only took a 16mm wrench and 3/16 allen wrench for tools and about 10 minutes total of my time.

    To start, I'd suggest you have an alignment if you haven't had one recently or your wheel isn't at 12 o-clock position while driving. It will eliminate worn steering components as a source of the problem and possibly prevent you from ruining your gearbox if the designs used today have an ecentric lobe at center like the older designs did.

    After having the wheels (steering and front) straight I made a small paint mark at 12 o-clock on the center stud of the gear adjustment stud so I could tell if it moved (it will) while loosening or tightening the locking nut. Then I made a small adjustment of 1/4 turn clockwise and locked it back down before taking it for a test drive. I could tell an immediate improvement before even moving the truck as the wheel moved a lot less before moving the tires. The drive felt much better but had just a little bit more looseness than I like. I came home and moved it just a little more for a total of 1/3 turn after both adjustments and took it for another test drive.

    PERFECT! :party36:

    It shouldn't take much adjustment if you simply have a gearbox that is slightly out of adjustment as mine was. If you're turning it one or more turns then assume you're doing it wrong or your gearbox is shot. You also won't feel resistance in the adjustment screw as you adjust it, so don't try to use that to gauge the adjustment.

    The only real PITA was getting at that locknut and adjuster. The trans cooler lines run right over top of the gearbox so it was not only hard getting the nut loose (constant flipping the open end wrench over and occasionally switching to the closed end box side), but getting the allen wrench in there was a PITA as well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  2. NathanJax

    NathanJax Vacation Nathan Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

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    Nice!

    I'm going to move this to the Tech/write up section!
     
  3. MeanGreen03

    MeanGreen03 Full Access Member

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    The stud is suppose to be turned counterclockwise, correct?
     
  4. electro

    electro Full Access Member

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    This sounds cool. I will go looking for the locking nut tomorrow and maybe give this a shot.

    Turn the adjustment in to snug it up you say?

    Thanks.
     
  5. Tommy 874

    Tommy 874 Member

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    Turn it in or out?
     
  6. Wake

    Wake Full Access Member

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    No, clockwise like a normal threaded screw/bolt to tighten.

    ---------- Post added at 10:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:18 PM ----------

    That is correct as long as you're not meaning turn until snug.

    Again, a reminder to go slow if you attempt this and don't try to get it all in one shot. It shouldn't take much movement of the adjustment screw.

    And I'll add a comment to the original post that you will not feel resistance in the adjustment screw as you adjust it.
     
  7. ktmhans

    ktmhans Full Access Member

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    Shoildnt things like this be sticky's at the top of the page?
     
  8. Gzes

    Gzes the drifting 2dr

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    No it makes pages all crowded. Thats why we habe a search box so its in the forum like a folder in a drawer
     
  9. ktmhans

    ktmhans Full Access Member

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    I disagree, i like going to the tech section on a forum and have great, well discribed soulutions easy to drop down threw and use a seach fuction for random challenges. Gmfs as an example has great sticky's.
     
  10. BAMA_LTZ_HOE

    BAMA_LTZ_HOE Member

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    I tightened mine up 1/4 turn just the other day and it made a world of difference. No more slack in the steering.
     

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