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Loss of Steering in turns 2002 Silverado LT 1500 Z71+

cindyxf2cindyxf2 Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
Summary - 2002 LT Silverado 1500 v8 Z71 shortbox extended cab plus towing and much more, no cap/weight in rear, less than 8k miles. Loss of steering was last night in a right hand turn at 30-35 mph. Felt like front tires were coming off and the steering wheel bucked like crazy, car was coming the other way and the truck already was making a point of not wanting to make the turn and stay on right side of lane (going 10mph less than limit because of symptoms), had to straighten out the wheel and bail into a driveway just in front of the oncoming car. Please relay TBS#s, assembly terminology and references, that I can communicate to help me get the Dealer to listen.
Additional Info - At 500 miles I informed dealer of thunk/thump/klunck in steering wheel in turns (with or w/o brakes didn't matter). At 6k miles she gets worse, but this time braking after the shakes starts will make for a real interesting ride (braking on straight has no symptoms). Straight aways are okay (except this morning), all the chevy trucks I've ever had weave-when-windy, but then again, all the chevy trucks up until this one could handle a simple turn (heck, a bronco II or one of those suzuki-rollover-suv's could have handled this turn better). This morning the dang thing started darting left and right on a straight away (worse then when windy). I'm driving my 1989 Silverado twinn until someone can help me find TBS info, part/assemblies to investigate, terminology, and/or other ammo to go back to dealer with. Suppose Chevy couldn't just reproduce the 5.7L 1989 1500 - best truck I've ever had in 30 years (best chevy was my 1967 ChvII Nova SS). Oh, symptoms seem to be like the 89 got at 180k miles which upper/lower ball joints/idlr arm fixed. Other facts, yes tires are GM mfgr stock (firestone AT's I think), pressure good, balanced, etc. and no I have not hit a pothole, curb, nor has it been off road yet, etc. Dealer says it is the nature of a truck - I need concrete reference numbers to go back to the dealer with (TBS, postings, something to get them to listen). And yes, after last night I'll probably spend the $120 to go to an unauthorized shop to get it checked. Could it be as simple as making the camber/castor/and toe-in closer then GM specs. Oh, as well as steering wheel clunking, you can feel the clunking under your foot when on either the gas or brake. Until resolved - I'm putting off replacing the tires with BFG AT's (Best all purpose tires and gets 60-80k+ miles if maintained, neighbors love the ride up the mountain-hill in the winter, and the tires are good for pulling the neighbors out of ditches). Oh, right turns buck/chuck/clunk more then left hand turns. Purchased Oct 2001 to help boost/support USA economy after Sept.11 (for real, no kidding): hopefully GM will help represent USA and fix the problem (lots of similiar postings on Silverado's since 97+ - so GM needs to stop sitting on it based on death/injury suits being cheaper then putting out a recall).


  • oldharryoldharry Posts: 413
    You have something that broke or came loose in your steering linkage. Have someone start the engine and rotate the steering wheel back and forth so the top moves between 10:00 o'clock and 2:00 o'clock (about a third of a turn). leave the truck in Park, and brake applied. watch the front wheels to see if both turn the same amount. If not * HAVE THE TRUCK TOWED * to the dealer.

    It sounds to me as if your idler arm broke or came loose from the frame. The truck cannot be safely driven if that is the case.

  • Made several phone calls, a small town Chev dealer said they would take it on Dec 31. I explained the other dealer response, their response was their not affiliated with the big guys like Tate, etc. Is there a parts brand or gauge I should request as a replacement since what the factory put on the truck obviously can't handle normal use? Thank you for the response. I will post the outcome of the fix. Now off to the manual to figure how to stop the lights from automatically coming on when I start the truck so the neighbors don't get their windows beamed in the morning. Sincerest thank you for the response.
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    Your still under factory warranty, get it to the dealers NOW, this is a dangerous condition and needs immediate attention before you kill yourself or worse yet someone else.

    Ray T.
  • I am having the same sort of problem with my truck also ( 2002 Z71 ). It has what I can only describe as a "thump" in the steering on turns, never while going straight. I notice it most on exit and on ramps when I am either breaking while turning or accelerating on a turn. Never have I had a loss of steering, it just feels like the steering is not as responsive. Almost as if the wheels are out of balance, but only while turning. Have mentioned it to the dealer twice when it was in for other minor problems. They claim they can not replicate the problem and that is how a 4wd rides. I have owned 2 other 4wd and none has done this. Please tell me what the dealer has said about you truck and what was done to fix the problem.

  • Found a dealer that fixed it, simple fix. Removed lower intermediate shaft cleaned and lubricated with lubricant 8.800. Bulletin 545. Typically problem with Vin's starting with '2' (Canada). So far two weeks after fix and all is well. Fix seemed too simple for the degree of symptoms of the problem, had my doubts but now it is sure footed and doesn't seem like an accident waiting to happen.
  • mledtjemledtje Posts: 1,123
    Try R&D Truck Acc headlight override.

    Then you have complete control of your headlights.

    I've used their 4 headlight system on 3 trucks with great success.

    Oh, you could just put on the parking brake, and the headlights won't come on until you release the brake.

    Mike L
This discussion has been closed.