I feel a knock in my steering wheel when the wheels are turned but not when they are perfectly straight. I jacked the front wheels up and can feel a knock in the steering gear box when someone movs the steering wheel back and forth slightly (engine not running). The steering linkages all seem to to be tight and firm. This truck has 4WD but only had 31K miles. Does this seem to indicate a gear box problem that requires replacement. If so, is this a reasonable DIY project?
Lube your intermediate steering shaft. It is very easy. Remove the bolt in the shaft that you can see from under the hood and push the steering shaft up toward the firewall. Where the shaft goes into itself place some grease and work it back and forth. This will last quite a while, but is easy to do again if need be. Replace the bolt and you should be go to go. The dealer will charge you $150 to do the same job. The knock goes away as soon as you test it out.
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A wobble in the steering is more likely to be one of
- loose wheel nuts
- loose hub nut
- worn steering tie rod outer joint
- worn steering tie rod inner joint
- loose steering rod universal
- worn steering knuckle ball joint
Out of these a worn or loose steering tie rod joint is most likely. If you can, jack the front of the car up and rest it on axle stands, NOT just on the jack, then have one person shake the front wheel back and forth while holding it at 9 and 3 o'clock, while another holds the steering wheel still. Then look at and feel each joint to see if you can locate the looseness.
It sounds like a ball joint is worn, possibly the rack end ball joint or tie rod end. With the bumpy ride it could also be that the front shock absorber has failed. Jack the front wheel up on each side in turn, grab the wheel at each side and shake it back and forth as hard as you can. If you hear or feel looseness, the problem is in the steering, as above. Then shake the wheel while holding it at top and bottom. If you feel looseness then, the problem is in the front suspension wishbones. Repeat this on the other front wheel. Let it down on the ground, then bounce each front corner up and down as hard as you can (you might have to have a second person with you doing this). If you hear a clunk or feel excessive bounciness, it is the shock absorber. When bouncing like this, the car should resist, and not keep bouncing when you let go.
with the front of the vehicle raised in the air (with jack stands underneath), turn your steering wheel lock to lock, counting how many times the steering wheel does one complete rotation..........halve this number and rotate the steering wheel the opposite way...this will be the approximate middle of the steering rack movement
One important ppoint to note that not all items are built exactly, so you will require a wheel alignment after any change in steering or suspension components to be sure that everything is running true and correct
There should be a bolt sticking out of the steering box with 1 or 2 nuts on the bolt. This is a thrust setting which puts load on the steering gear. Most people jack the front wheels off the ground and then back off the nut or nuts. You then turn the bolt to screw further into the steering box until you have 1/2 inch or less of play in the steering wheel. Then tighten the nut or nuts down and recheck to see if setting held.
It would be kind of hard to explain, but you may want to check your wheel bearings. Sounds like your wheel is binding. If you jack the front up, grab your tire, and shake. Sort of like you are trying to turn the wheel your self with out the steering wheel. Then do the same up and down. If you have a lot of play, then your wheel bearing is shot. And with a 4WD, you have to replace it because its sealed, where as on a 2WD, you can tighten them. For the pitman arm, and the gear box, you may have to get a haynes manual to find. But the gear box will be the box that your steering shaft goes into and connects to the tierods. Not too hard to find.
if you feel it in steering wheel it could be your front axels. jack up the front end of your vehicle and turn the steering wheel to which ever way you hear it most, roll the wheel with your hand and see if you hear any noise email@example.com