adjusting steering box on old S10 Blazer

My steering has too much play and my mechanic said I need a new rebuilt steering box at around $400 !
Now I don't know if he even tried to adjust it first or maybe he did and he
still couldn't fix the play or what because I didn't know at the time that you could adjust the box but someone told me you could. It's a 1985 CHevy S10 Blazer with 2.8 engine and 4x4 Is it adjustable or not?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/26/2011 5:26 PM, don wrote:

Should have a lock/jam nut and an allen to adjust. Be careful, and only adjust a little at a time. You can cause real damage by over adjusting it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
ok thanks for the tip - would you say 1/4 turn or 1/2 turn or what? clockwise or counterclock to tighten?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/27/2011 12:13 AM, don wrote:

1/4 turn, clockwise. Drive for a day, then tighten again. Once set, double check jam nut.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You will likely find that you can only reduce the amount of play at center point (steering straight ahead) before you start causing binding when off center. We are allowed a certain amount of free play in our state for inspection... don't know what your situation is there. You don't want any binding at all. First symptom of that is that the steering won't return to center on it's own. When you have to apply pressure to the wheel to return to center, you will go past center... it sets you up for sort of a low speed wobble... very annoying and not safe, where as in comparison extra free play is easily tolerable. Generally speaking, adjusting a worn steering gear is sort of cheating. Your moving one part to close a gap created by another part. It's not ideal by any means. But if you can reduce the problem without making it dangerous... well the worse you will do then is ruin a steering box that is already junk. I would say there's a good chance your mechanic didn't bother trying to adjust it, because it's really not a proper repair. Short time adjusting = unknown effect later when driven = long term liability... I wouldn't likely do it for a customer, but would certainly give it a shot for myself before replacing the box. Could be a good short term solution. Just keep the required tools IN YOUR TRUCK after, as the binding may only surface after it reaches a certain temperature, like after excessive cornering. ADD... this would be for slightly excessive free-play. If you have severe free-play, you probably have a bearing crapping out. Definitely replace the box!
Was the $400 price for parts only, or include labor. Generally, steering boxes are not a fun easy job...

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You can order a rebuilt box for a lot less then $400. Try rockauto.com and see what their price is.
Before deciding you need a rebuilt box make sure someone hasn't messed up the centering of the box due to some idiot not doing an alignment properly. The box WILL have slop in it whenever it's off it's center point. If you adjust it while it's off center to take that slop out it will grind it self up when it goes thru center during use. You can google a lot of good info on these GM boxes. There's a local shop here that rebuilds them for about $150. Generally they are fairly easy to RR but you do need to have a pitman arm puller.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well, the price of $400 did include installation..... the original problem was the alignment which is what he did after replacing the left and right front axles..... it was after that that he told me the steering box needed replacement also
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.