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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another question on steering. I understand these trucks have never had very tight steering but I feel like mine needs some attention.

Just recently replaced, upper/lower ball joints L/R, inner/outer tie rods L/R, idler arm, idler bracket, pitman arm and new steering gear.

Bought new tires and had an alignment.

On interstate truck runs straight and alignment seems to be good.

Problem is truck steering still seems loose after all this work. The truck feels like it wants to drift left and right as it encounters slopes and bumps going down the road. This drift can't really be felt in the steering wheel. There also seems to still be excessive play in the steering wheel.

So I hit the internet. Read about u-joints on the steering shaft being worn. Checked those and they seem to be tight. Connection to the gearbox is tight also.
Then I read about the joint that handles steering wheel tilt may need tightening. I grabbed the steering shaft under the console and wiggled steering wheel and there seems to be no play in this joint. I also removed the upper column cover and took a video of the steering wheel in motion and does not appear to be any excess play.

This leaves me with the steering gear itself. I also learned these can be adjusted. Is this normal to have to adjust a new (refurbished) steering gear? I read no more than 1/2 turn, is this accurate? Any insight is appreciated. Thanks.
 

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2010 GMC All Terrain 4x4 5.3 210,000 mi
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I had a lot of trouble with same year model of yukon. Swapped out the gear several times. I replaced everything...even steering linkage to the steering wheel. You can adjust some lash...but may not really fix it...it it was a crappy rebuild. I think the rebuilds from the parts stores are not very good.
 

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The adjustment on the steering box is just to set lash, it's not meant to tighten or loosen your steering. If it doesn't have any play then tightening it up probably won't do much and over tightening it isn't good.
Might have the alignment checked, wouldn't be the first time a bad one came off the rack. Tires can also be a problem, doesn't matter if they'er new, seem plenty of bad ones off the shelf as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i may come back to alignment as issue but i noticed this before and after the tire replacement and alignment. i assumed at first the steering sway was because i had the toe way out. i got the tie rods mixed up during the work and couln't use them to set the new ones.

probably going to wish i had just kept the old one up there
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Alignment was done at a Firestone. Wasn't my first choice but they had the best deal on the tires I wanted.

I can check the shaft under the console against the steering wheel movement myself. Did that right before the video. Seemed fine.

I had someone this morning move steering wheel while I checked the intermediate shaft under hood. Seems fine. No obvious wear issues.

Linkage seems fine and tight all the way to the gear. Will double check tomorrow by holding wheel firm and trying to twist linkage.

May just take it back to Firestone and let them drive it
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just said screw it and tightened 1/4 turn.

While it may not be the intended function and while it may be causing excessive wear on the gearbox it did make a big difference in tightness of steering.

It definitely feels more positive. The bobbing action left to right still seems to be slightly there but at this point I think it is me. I key in way to much on stuff like that and I just flipped the switch on 12 yr old steering components.

My muscle memory may be used to that floating of worn out components. Will let a coworker drive tomorrow and see what they think
 

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Sounds like it was a bit worn/loose, it is an old truck :D

I have to relearn my throttle muscle memory. First drive in the rain with new plugs and wires, one of which the shielding was wore off of from the steering shaft. Pulled out like usual and ended up needing a wee bit more road then normal as the tail end started coming around on me.
 

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2010 GMC All Terrain 4x4 5.3 210,000 mi
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Take a slow test drive. Overtightening the lash can leave a very odd steering situation as well as prevent the return to center when going back to straight from making a turn.

I was suggesting you get under the vehicle and look for play or non-movement of the linkages and pitman arm...etc with the steering wheel being moved. That will tell you if it is in the gearbox or further downstream.

A 1/4 turn should not be too much...so take a test drive with that and see how it feels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I did a test drive in neighborhood then around block. Went through culdisac so could see it steer at full lock. Your right the return to center is definitely affected. I don't plan on tightening anymore. If I'd doesn't feel right on a longer drive I will back off about a 1/16.

Me and a guy at work were under it this morning while playing with the steering wheel. Everything seems normal. At least nothing obvious jumps out. The trained eye may feel different. Will follow up tomorrow after another check up.
 

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robeward said:
I did a test drive in neighborhood then around block. Went through culdisac so could see it steer at full lock. Your right the return to center is definitely affected. I don't plan on tightening anymore. If I'd doesn't feel right on a longer drive I will back off about a 1/16.

Me and a guy at work were under it this morning while playing with the steering wheel. Everything seems normal. At least nothing obvious jumps out. The trained eye may feel different. Will follow up tomorrow after another check up.
Hey man! I am chiming in here a little late. I had a vehicle I was working on do similar symptoms as yours. It ended up being rusted rear shackles. They were flexing over bumps and would make the vehicle wander a lot and act unstable. They weren't broken but they were flexing while driving enough to cause the problem. I couldn't find any problems up front, so I inspected the rear. I suggested we try the shackles since it they were really rusted and going to need replacement eventually anyways. Always start with the obvious if you can't find a problem! So we did that and the difference was very noticeable.
~shaun
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I will take a look at the shackles but I don't have any rust issues. Not saying there isn't something worn out back there since it is 12 yrs old.

here is a couple videos on the road yesterday. I think the steering gear I got is just sloppy. it was a rebuilt one after all.

the shake is just me holding the phone. there really isn't any response on the road
 

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There's one last thing you could check too, did you check the white steering column bearing under the dash for any play? I just recently replaced that because I was getting a clunk sound going over bumps sometimes and it wasn't the intermediate shaft, but I have almost no play in the steering anymore.
 
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