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Chevy S10 - GMC S15 and Sonoma Steering questions

wardoewardoe Posts: 6
edited March 15 in GMC
I have a 96 GMC sonoma four pot auto, the problem is the steering is very stiff, when I go round a curve and let go of the wheel it doesn't move back to center. I have replaced everything from the steering box to the wheels...could this be a steering box problem (it is ajusted right, done by the garage), or could it be the power steering, like having air in it or old fluid? (no leaks of strange noises and seems to be ok)

I'm running of of things to look for (and money).

Eddie.

ps the truck only has 78,000 on it.
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Comments

  • oldharryoldharry Posts: 413
    Is it a 4x4? If so check the lower ball joints, they have known problems. Many garages do not know how to adjust gear boxes. If they attempt to adjust it when the steering is not centered it will be too tight, and cause poor returnability.

    Harry
  • wardoewardoe Posts: 6
    It's a two wheel drive (rear wheel).
    The ball joints and all steering componants from the steering box to the trackrod ends have been changed. the only things that haven't been changed are the steering box and power steering pump.
  • oldharryoldharry Posts: 413
    Here's how.

    With the steering centered, hold the adjuster while loosening the lock nut.

    Try to turn the adjuster one flat of the nut (1/6th turn) looser then back. It uses a 3/16 allen wrench.

    If it turns easily that is not the problem.

    If it turns real hard, turn the steering wheel a full turn right or left, and try the screw again.

    If it turns easily now, the "garage" tightened it too much.

    The recommended procedure for adjustment calls for disconntecting steering linkage and turning the input of the gear with an inch pound torque wrench. No one I know does that.

    A practical way to adjust it to a satifactory setting is to:

    1. Loosen the lock nut.
    2. Turn the steering wheel one turn from steering centered.
    3. Back off the screw gently until it starts to feel slight resistance, or three turn, whichever comes first. Not more than three full turns!
    4. Start the engine, turn the wheel to center then rock the steering wheel clockwise and counter clockwise so that the top center moves from 10:00 oclock to 2:00 oclock three or four times. Stop engine with the wheel centered. A few drops of P/S fluid will have leaked around the screw.
    Gently tighten the screw until you just begin to feel resistance change. Then back off 1 flat.

    5. Tighten the lock nut while holding the adjuster then test drive the truck. If it does not feel "right", try loosening one flat more. If it gets better try again, if it gets worse, tighten one flat.

    This should make the adjustment as close to correct as can be done without removing the gear and adjusting it on the bench with a torque wrench.

    If excessive force is required at any step of this procedure, stop, and take it to a professional that specializes in front ends.

    Harry
  • wardoewardoe Posts: 6
    Did what you said...made no difference at all. when turning a tight corner if I let go of the steering wheel it will go about a quarter of the way back to center, on bends in roads I can let go of the wheel and it will carry on turning around the bend (not going to center, or even near it) the steering is a bit on the heavy side. I am getting no noise from the steering, no vibs shakes, no clonks or knocking...nothing that would say it was bad.

    Could this all be due to a bad pump, or is there other stuff that could do this?

    HELP!
  • rockingbrockingb Posts: 3
    Having a problem with a late 70's camaro power steering box being too long to allow the front radiator support and radiator sit down in proper perspective to the rest of the car[52 buick], can/dose anyone have any measurements on the s-10 box...smaller then a 79 camaro[length-wise] how about a rack/pinon from a late chevy/?. do/did S-10's have rack/pinion steering, any info would be appreciated.....Paul
  • I have a 1998 Chevy s-10 4.3liter v6 2 wheel drive. I've had it for about 6 years and it has over 160k miles. It still runs great and I have kept it well maintained but I have one issue with noise. Whenever I turn to the left while the truck is moving slowly, like in a parking lot, I get noise coming from an area close to the steering wheel. It's been that way for years. It steers fine, it's not stiff or anything and it hasn't gotten worse over time. It just sounds like a dirty shopping cart wheel. Does the steering shaft need to be lubricated? My powersteering fluid is to the correct level and the system seems to work fine otherwise. Has anyone had this noise problem? What kind of lube should I use? Any advice would help.
  • I have a simular sound and it was only at low speeds only turning left and only with the wheel turned hard to the left. A quick look at the right hand side of truck and you may see a coolent overflow hose that has the dirt warn off it, i think the sound was caused by the hose rubbing on the wheel.....I didnt give it a second thought, just turned the stereo up. you may have a simular problem...now if you or anyone reading this post can help me with a low speed rythmic chirping sound from the back passenger side when foot is on the gas, and more apparent when turning to the left?
  • I have a 91 GMC Jimmy S-15 and the steering colum is loose at the wheel tilt. It wiggles and moves no matter what position. No one seems to know how to repair this problem or know where to find instructions on this repair. Please help.
  • What is the work involved in replacing the power steering pump in a 4.3l 2002 Sonoma? Does the rad have to come out, or is there a tool that works off the pulley?
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 871
    Try google, I know there is a repair for just that problem. I haven't run into for awhile though.
  • rhm3rhm3 Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 1988 S-10 Pickup with a 2.5 Iron Duke engine. It does not have power steering and when I found an owners manual, it discussed Power Steering which led me to the following questions: Was power standard or optional? If optional, are the units available and how difficult are they to install? I hav some basic mecanical knowledge and do not feel the value of the truck would justify having it installed by a shop. Thank you in advance.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 871
    Best bet is a junk yard, you need the gear box, pump assy and brackets and the hoses. The pitman arm attach might give you some trouble, would be easier if you rented the tool.
  • I recently had my front end aligned because my 2002 S10 4x4 has around 82k miles and the steering was making noise. Well, it still makes noise. It whines as if the 4x4 is engaged and I'm making a tight turn. I added steering fluid and had it aligned. If there was any problems with the steering, they would have caught it. Any thoughts what it could be?

    Jake
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 871
    If you know for a fact that it is a power steering noise, it would be a bad power steering pump.
  • Check the steering linkage for grease. Mine was doing the same thing, I greased the tierod connections and ball joints and the sound went away.
  • jdh81478jdh81478 Posts: 1
    I've noticed recently that my steering is a little loose and sometimes I hear and feel a little click in my steering wheel when turning.

    I took it to an auto shop several years ago where they tightened something which made my steering much better. I think is was my steering column but I'm not 100% sure. So it seems that something needs to be tightened again.

    Any suggestions on what could need tightening or further inspection?
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 871
    If it is 2 wheel drive have the front wheel bearings checked, they should be cleaned and grease every 30K miles. Proper wheel bearing adjustment will cure loose steering.
  • you have loose tilt bolts. this problem is not a very hard fix, i recently tightened my bolts myself. you will need of course a steering wheel removal tool, a lock plate remover and installer (all one tool), and a steering pivot pin remover. you can usually rent the steering wheel and lock plate tools in a kit at your local parts store. the pivot pin remover you will have to buy its about seven dollars. start tearing it down carefully placing your parts where you will be able to remember where they go later. the turn signal switch you should be able to pull out just enough to let it hang out of the way after you take out the screw that ataches to the turn signal lever and the hazzard screw. then unscrew the srew that holds the lock cylinder and pull out the little electrical plug thats right on the lock cylinder, then pull out the lock cylinder, the unscrew the three bolts that hold the neck shroud on. well you have to unsrew the tilt handle at some point (any). now comes the harder part.

    THE pivot pin tool. use your tool to take out the two pivot pins. they come out easy with the tool. at this point, re-attach the pivot lever and pull it to where the shaft goes down, this will allow the main chunk of the upper steering column to come off so you can access the four pivot bolts. the rack gear will come out to and is alittle tricky to get back once your ready to install, but is very possible just take alittle manuevering. anyways you also need an internal torx socket to tighten these bolts which you can also pick up, but its like ten bucks. i would definitly use lock tight on the bolts so you don't have to do this again. i had manual steering on my truck so those bolts got a good workout everyday. anyways once you got them tight just repeat your steps in reverse. its not that bad just take your time and make sure you get your steering bearings properly back in place. once you get it all back. i had to heat up the front bearing race so it would go back onto the shaft so the bearings were tight. i probably didnt explain all this perfectly, but if you have any more question just ask.
  • you have loose tilt bolts. this problem is not a very hard fix, i recently tightened my bolts myself. you will need of course a steering wheel removal tool, a lock plate remover and installer (all one tool), and a steering pivot pin remover. you can usually rent the steering wheel and lock plate tools in a kit at your local parts store. the pivot pin remover you will have to buy its about seven dollars. start tearing it down carefully placing your parts where you will be able to remember where they go later. the turn signal switch you should be able to pull out just enough to let it hang out of the way after you take out the screw that ataches to the turn signal lever and the hazzard screw. then unscrew the srew that holds the lock cylinder and pull out the little electrical plug thats right on the lock cylinder, then pull out the lock cylinder, the unscrew the three bolts that hold the neck shroud on. well you have to unsrew the tilt handle at some point (any). now comes the harder part.

    THE pivot pin tool. use your tool to take out the two pivot pins. they come out easy with the tool. at this point, re-attach the pivot lever and pull it to where the shaft goes down, this will allow the main chunk of the upper steering column to come off so you can access the four pivot bolts. the rack gear will come out to and is alittle tricky to get back once your ready to install, but is very possible just take alittle manuevering. anyways you also need an internal torx socket to tighten these bolts which you can also pick up, but its like ten bucks. i would definitly use lock tight on the bolts so you don't have to do this again. i had manual steering on my truck so those bolts got a good workout everyday. anyways once you got them tight just repeat your steps in reverse. its not that bad just take your time and make sure you get your steering bearings properly back in place. once you get it all back. i had to heat up the front bearing race so it would go back onto the shaft so the bearings were tight. i probably didnt explain all this perfectly, but if you have any more question just ask.
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