Silverado: "Clunking Noise Under Hood" which "Can Be Felt in the Steering Wheel."

I have been driving my 2004 Silverado for two years now and have had the following problems:
9,000 miles: Replaced leaking rack and pinion assembly. Fortunately, the
old rack was replaced with a superceded part, which might not leak.
15,000 miles: Replaced driver-side manual window regulator.
21,000 miles: Replaced driver-side air conditioner temperature actuator.
30,000 miles: Started dealing with Intermediate Steering Shaft clunk. Somewhat relieved to find out that the front end isn't falling apart; dismayed to hear that I may be obliged to pay and pay to have this chronically-defective part serviced over and over again. If you're driving a GM product and you haven't yet experienced the dreaded "Clunking Noise Under Hood" which "Can Be Felt in the Steering Wheel", you probably will. The problem affects all of these models as well as many others:
2002-2003 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade EXT 2003 Cadillac Escalade ESV 1999-2003 Chevrolet Silverado 2000-2003 Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe 2002-2003 Chevrolet Avalanche 1999-2003 GMC Sierra 2000-2003 GMC Yukon, Yukon XL 2003 HUMMER H2 (Affected vehicles include both 2WD and 4WD)
*** I copied and pasted the above information from the website below. The updated information from the service bulletin that I obtained on February 13, 2006 takes the dates for ALL of the models listed above and extends it through 2006. This indicates to me that GM has not produced a superceded part which will permanently correct the Intermediate Steering Shaft problem. I am going to check with the Chevrolet parts department today to see if a new part is available.
http://www.flashoffroad.com/H2/maintenance/Tech_Bulletins/h2bulletins.html
Complete information is contained in service bulletin #1757365. The band aid approach is have the dealer install a thicker, more heat-resistant lube into the defective and/or damaged part. This procedure involves the use of the Steering Column Intermediate Shaft Lubrication Kit, P/N 26098419, which is currently on national backorder. As a temporary fix, my dealer installed some of the earlier style lubricant and the problem seemed to go away. However, last night, during a sharp low-speed left turn, the clunking noise and vibration faintly returned.
Other than the discovery of the steering problem, my 30,000 mile "service" was a complete success.
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'03 Silverado, in the 2nd year:
Clunking under hood & felt in steering wheel AC not working: in for service twice Catelitic Converter needed replacing Gas tank needed replacing Gas tank sender needed replacing twice
V.B.

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actuator.
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problem.
aid
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noise
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You had a defective gas tank? That's an unusual problem.
I guess the sending units just went along for the ride.
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No, two separate issues. The sender packed it in after a month, then again several months later. The tank had a vapour leak somewhere in year two.
V.B.
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What were the symptoms when they "packed it in"? We had a rash of senders about 2 years ago that was traced to a particular brand of filling stations. They got , and my memory is hazy here, a couple loads of very high sulfur content gasoline and it corroded the contacts on the sender. I want to say it was Shell, but it might have been Chevron. I am pretty sure it wasn't Exxon, or Mobile. Anyways the cars affected would read full all the time.
It made the news, happened in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.
Whitelightning
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again
I ran out of gas even though the gauge read between quarter and half. This ended up happening 3 times. GM blamed Shell, Shell blamed GM. First they tried to charged me for putting fuel injector cleaner in the tank. I told them to forget it, I wouldn't pay. Told them to take it out, and they gave up that argument. At another dealership, I had it replaced. the second time was when they had the tank off.
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Had my 2004 Sierra's Intermediate Steering Shaft replaced at 21000 miles. Everything was OK. It started giving me the marble rolling and clunking sensation again about 10,000 miles later. GM relubed it. Only a temporary fix. I'm looking at a 2006 Sierra. Gee, I wonder if they fixed it? Probably NOT!

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If you can possibly wait, the 2007 GM model year may hold some surprises. After all, the Silverado/Sierra trucks have been using the same platform since 1999. It appears that the early bird 2007 Tahoe is introducing GM's new, full-size SUV platform. Here's the lowdown from GM Inside News:
"Chevrolet Silverado: A new Silverado is going to arrive in late 2006 as a 2007 model. The new truck will have more fuel-efficient powertrains and all-new styling inside and out."
I'm sure that the Sierra will follow suite. On the other hand, the new designs will probably be full of bugs, so buying a 2006 or waiting at least until the 2008 model year may be the wise thing to do.
http://www.gminsidenews.com/index.php?page=future_guide
Your are absolutely correct. The Intermediate Steering Shaft used in the 2006 Sierra is the same defective part that has been used since 1999.
I asked my local Chevrolet parts manager about this problem and he said that originally, GM replaced lots and lots of the Intermediate Steering Shafts under warranty, only to have the problem return in 10 to 15 thousand miles. Then, GM decided not to stop replacing the units and concentrate on the patch-up fix.
Apparently, GM is trying to find out what is causing the problem with the idea of designing a new and improved part. The parts manager speculated that the situation is getting so bad that a recall is almost a certainty. But a new part must be designed to correct the problem.
The list below has been updated from the information contained in the service bulletin that I received last week. Notice that all of the models involved continue to use the defective Intermediate Steering Shaft into the 2006 model year. I don't know if the 2007 Tahoe uses the old part.
2002-2006 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade EXT 2003-2006 Cadillac Escalade ESV 1999-2006 Chevrolet Silverado 2000-2006 Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe 2002-2006 Chevrolet Avalanche 1999-2006 GMC Sierra 2000-2006 GMC Yukon, Yukon XL 2003-2006 HUMMER H2 (Affected vehicles include both 2WD and 4WD)
My local Chevrolet dealer is having a President's Day celebration and the "All-New '07 Tahoe!" will be the featured attraction. I will look under the hood and see how it compares to a 2006. According to the GM-mouthpiece websites, the 2007 Tahoe will be longer, lower -- wider too!
*** *** ***
The 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe
Bigger than ever, the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe is leading the pack of redesigned full-size GM sport utility vehicles. Despite rising gas prices, GM is going all out to show off their large trucks, while still touting their improved fuel economy.
The 2007 Tahoe is built on GM's new full-size SUV platform. It features a new fully-boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, rack-and-pinion steering and an all-new, premium interior system that bolster the vehicle's comfort, quality and capability. The vehicles also feature wider front and rear tracks, which help with handling due to a lower centre of gravity.
http://autonet.ca/Autoshows/story.cfm?story=/Autoshows/Toronto/2005/09/22/1386559.html
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