2002 Blazer Steering Column Question

jlflemmonsjlflemmons Member Posts: 2,242
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
Just picked up an '02 Xtreme, and there is play in the steering column. Not the linkage down below, definitely in the upper end of the column. I have some older GM books on tilt wheel columns, and I am thinking the current is ver similar. The wheel can be turned about 5 deg, or 1 inch or so, with no resistance at all. When reaching the end of the free play, there is a noticable 'click' in the column near the instrument panel.

Anything specific I need to look for when I open up the column? Yes, I will remember to pull the airbag fuses and battery before starting. Don't want this thing going off in my face.


  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Member Posts: 2,242
    Determined the play is in the knuckle joint of the tilt wheel mechanism.

    I will pay the $100 deduct on the warranty and have the dealer go through it. A trusted buddy at the dealer indicated that those things generally don't go bad, and a thorough inspection is called for to determine what caused the problem, ie other damage from an attempted theft?
  • coachhillcoachhill Member Posts: 13
    The play you are describing sounds like lash in the steering box. I just adjusted the one in my '98 Blazer...yours may be similar but I can't guarantee that.

    I removed the plastic shield under the front end to expose the steering box. At the top of the unit there is a 5/8" or so lock nut and a Allen screw. Undo the lock nut and turn down the Allen screw a little at a time and check the play. Note that if you start the engine with the locknut loose it WILL LEAK FLUID! When you have the adjustment right snug down the lock nut.

    Let us know how you make out.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Member Posts: 2,242
    Thnks, that was the first thing I suspected, too. Unfortunately, the play is definitely in the knuckle. There is a two piece nylon bushing in there that maintains tension with a spring. My suspicion is that the spring broke, allowing the bushings to loosen up. They cannot come out, so the steering is not going to just 'go away', but it does act like a loose steering box.

    The big clue was the steering wheel turning back and forth about an inch, and the input shaft to the steering gearbox not moving.

  • coachhillcoachhill Member Posts: 13
    Got it...now I understand the problem. My symptom was the same (play in the wheel) but a different cause. Good luck sorting out your problem!
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