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On my truck I have (IMO) quite a bit of play in my steering wheel. If I put the key in and unlock the steering wheel, I can probably move the steering wheel a good 6-8 inches without moving the tires. Is this normal? My dad had the steering box on his '90 suburban tightened a while ago and it seems to be quite a bit better. Over Xmas break I took it to a shop to have them look at it, they basically told me my balljoints, TRE's, tie rod sleeves and who knows what else was bad. Since all that stuff has less than 30k on it, I don't believe them. On top of that they overtightened my lugnuts with an impact when they were done :nono: Anyway, how can i tighten up my steering?
 

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Idler arms are common. That is one of the first things I would check, something obviously is wrong witht that much play. You need to determine if it's something in the steering gear or in the front end. I've heard of the knuckle in the steering shaft going also.

There is an adjustment to the steering gear, but I have never seen a huge improvement from that most of the time it's just worn.
 

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Jack the front end off the ground and have someone sit in it turning the wheel back and forth while you watch from outside. With that much play you will definately see something that is worn and moving around.
 

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There is also a possibility that your steering shaft (from the column to the gearbox) is worn. I was having the same problem with mine and traced it to the steering shaft. Of course, mine had 250K miles on it. Cost was about $120 and took less than an hour to swap.
 

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I had that on my 01. The idler arm and pitman arm was junk.....
 
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willyswanter said:
Jack the front end off the ground and have someone sit in it turning the wheel back and forth while you watch from outside. With that much play you will definately see something that is worn and moving around.
no... have it on the ground its called a dry part check, we learned this at wyotech... it makes it easier to watch the parts move when they have weight on the tires
 
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97Silverado said:
There is also a possibility that your steering shaft (from the column to the gearbox) is worn. I was having the same problem with mine and traced it to the steering shaft. Of course, mine had 250K miles on it. Cost was about $120 and took less than an hour to swap.

thats the intermedeate steering shaft...

lol i know alot about this cause my truck is doing the same thing! and its a 99
 

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kid_rock_gtx said:
no... have it on the ground its called a dry part check, we learned this at wyotech... it makes it easier to watch the parts move when they have weight on the tires
You are right for looking at the intermediate shaft this is the best way to look.

For inspecting underneath that is pretty much useless. It's only applicable to taller vehicles that you can get under while it is on the ground. If a truck is lowered or most cars, it's almost impossible to get a good view witout it being in the air. Instead of turning the steering wheel, i leave it locked, and will have someone push and pull on the tire (attempt to turn it) causing you to see where there is play in the front end.
 
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