Steering issue

Discussion in 'Engine Performance + Maintenance' started by RawbDidIt, Jan 13, 2020 at 7:01 PM.

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  1. RawbDidIt

    RawbDidIt I'm Awesome

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    Hello everybody, I'm sorry if this has already been addressed, but I couldn't find my exact issue in any thread through my initial searches.

    My 1997 K1500 has always had somewhat sloppy steering, I attributed it to the rag joint, but it's gotten unbearable. Completely independent of the rag joint, I'm going to replace that anyway while I'm dealing with this, but there's definitely something else going on here.

    Symptoms: truck makes a clunking sound (single clunk when steering, particularly when braking or accelerating, but happens once every time, sounds like it's coming from the right front area of the truck).
    While driving, the steering slop is noticeably worse. It went from maybe 10 degrees of slop to almost 90 degrees, and it the steering will just change mid turn, and get just a little bit looser. A bit scary at highway speeds.

    I've never worked on any component of the steering system of this truck with the exception of the power steering pump less than 5k miles ago. With me being a novice, I'm looking for advice on what to look at. It seems to be a joint on the passenger side that is causing the issue, so I'll get down there and give it a look, but I need to know where all of the bushings and joints are to inspect, and if I'm already there, I may as well just replace any bushings as they are cheap, and running the truck into something or somebody isn't.
     
  2. RawbDidIt

    RawbDidIt I'm Awesome

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    Edit: Doesn't seem to matter which direction I'm steering, or be associated with any particular steering angle.
     
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  3. df2x4

    df2x4 Domestics only.

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    No idea what's up with the majority of the other stuff in your post, but this sentence here makes me think your EVO sensor on the column may be going out. That might be at least a small part of your issues.
     
  4. RawbDidIt

    RawbDidIt I'm Awesome

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    I thought so at first as well, but wouldn't that affect the weight of the steering? It's not that there's less resistance at certain times, which would point to the EVO system. It's more like the steering wheel doesn't move at all, but the angle of the wheels change a couple degrees. Without having looked at it yet (really noticed it today after I had already left for work, haven't had time to get underneath it) I would take a guess that one of the joints is worn causing one wheel to go askew by a fraction of an inch. Parked it for now and I'll look this weekend, but a worn bushing would account for both the noise and the added looseness of the steering wheel. The real question is where are the joints that I need to be looking at, and are the bushings replaceable by themselves, or do I have to buy an entire pitman arm or tie rod or whatever to replace the worn joint? All of this is assuming that I'm right, but with the age of the truck, and with 220k+ miles on it, I'd be willing to bet the bushings have passed their usable life.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
     
  5. df2x4

    df2x4 Domestics only.

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    Yeah, it might not be related to the EVO at all. Just the fact that you mentioned it feels "looser" randomly is what made me think that.
     
  6. Tavi

    Tavi Vehicle enthusiasts

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    It could be your bushing. Which there are 8. Two each control are. But the culprit is more likely tie rods or ball joints.
    DCA5F570-2E85-46C5-8DC7-C8D7CE15AAA2.jpeg
    3EFF0D50-84A0-41CD-BE16-62887200A0C6.png
     
  7. RawbDidIt

    RawbDidIt I'm Awesome

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    This is what I was looking for, thank you.

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  8. DiHrdBowTi

    DiHrdBowTi Newbie

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    Did you figure this out?
     
  9. RawbDidIt

    RawbDidIt I'm Awesome

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    I'm looking at it tomorrow after the rain stops here in north Texas, I'll send an update with what I find. I think the previous post was correct in that it isn't a bushing, but a tie rod or a ball joint because it sounded and felt like a one- sided issue where the diagram indicates that a bushing would affect both sides.

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