My Chevy S10 ('88) has too much play in the steering wheel. Does this mean replacing the steering gear box? If so, how dificult would it be (for a rookie mechanic such as myself) to remolve and replace?
Thanks in advance for your help.
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Re: Too much play in the steering wheel.
Well i would check the idler arm first then all tie rod ends if thats not your problem the changing the steering box isn't to difficult although you will need a tie rod end splitter to seperate it from the drag link good luck
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yes - the column will come out separate to the steering box but remember that the column has to come all the way up to get it of the steering shaft which is part of the box. That means if you do not have the room in the cab for the length of the column to come past the steering wheel then you will have to remove the box . Really it is quicker to pull the pitman arm of the box --undo the column brackets --remove the steering wheel ---undo the box off the chassis and pull the lot out past the springs.
In general terms, its fairly easy. You need to disconnect the pitman arm, the steering coupler to the column, the ps hoses, and unbolt it from the frame. The tricky part is getting the steering wheel and pitman arm aligned so the steering wheel is centered when you put it back together. Some are notched so you have to put it back one way, some are not.
Steering wheel play can be caused by many parts including tie rods, idler arms, pitman arms. drag links, the gear box itself or the shaft and connectors between the steering wheel and the gear box. I would recommend inspecting all of these things and repair or replace as necessary.
play in the steering wheel for that truck is more than likely caused by worn tie rod ends, and sometimes ball joints. The steering box is least likely to give you problems, unless it had bolts come loose. Check out the tie rod ends first; with the vehicle off, have someone else turn the steering wheel from left to right within that free zone, and look at the joints in the steering linkage. If you see one half of the joint moving more than the other half, you know it need replaced. If you have more questions, or if you need more help, feel free to post a comment, and I'll check up on it so you aren't left hanging.
WHat do you mean by "float in steering wheel"? Do you mean play at the steering wheel? If so, there probably are no adjustments on that car. Some older cars used steering boxes which could be adjusted, but Every Hyundai I've ever seen used rack and pinion steering which is usually not adjustable. You should check for play in the whole system. Have someone rock the steering wheel back and forth and look at the steering components to see if there is any play in them. If it is rack and pinion, hold your hand on the boots that are on either side while the wheel is being rocked to check for play in the inner tie rod ends. Replace any parts with play in them.
Before you do this procedure, check the rubber or universal joint connector between steering column and the steering gear. If it's worn it will cause looseness and there's your problem. Otherwise, there is a threaded screw with a lock nut on the top of steering gear. Clean threads first. Put a large flat screwdriver on the screw and loosen the lock nut. Back it off several turns. Now, screw the screw down into the gear box. Not too tight though. Your actually jamming the gears back together. Back it off a 1/2 turn or so and run it back in lightly. Hold the screwdriver and tighten the lock nut. This is usually effective.