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?
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
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...
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.
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
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