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Premium Member
07 TBSS 1SS AWD
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17,281 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
i had about 2 inches of play in the steering wheel on center. i know there was a thread not too long ago about this, and a few of us said it was normal. well after letting a tech take a gander at a few things we found that the lower steering intermediate shaft that connects the rack and pinion to the shaft of the steering column was bad.

there is a universal joint in the shaft that was missing a cap ( think of it as a u joint on a driveshaft with a cap missing... ) the joint was able to move around in the housing enough to cause a small almost inaudible clunk and give me enough play in the wheel that the truck would wander and hunt even worse than normal.

after replacing this shaft we in turn found another problem with the assembly as well, the stock bolt has a shoulder on it that is not threaded, the bolt is only threaded for a short portion of the shank, then its all shoulder, and the head of the bolt.

the shoulder of the bolt is too long, causing the shoulder to bottom out on the opposite side of the shaft housing and not allow the bolt to completely tighten. we dont know if this is just a maunfacturing variance in material thickness of the housing, or just a problem that has gone un noticed... its easy to check from underneath all you need to do is split the boot on the steering shaft in the middle, and pry one towards the firewall, and the other towards the rack and pinion. you will then be able to see if you have play there, in the rack, or in the column itself... also you will be able to check the bolts for tightness...

the upper bolt is supposed to be 29 ft lbs
the lower is supposed to be 37 ft lbs.

just wanted to post this here, as this is a pretty big deal... we were surprised to find this when we looked into it and i just wanted to put this out there for you guys so you can check for yourselves...

if you end up replacing the steering shaft here is the quick labor op for it, BE SURE NOT TO LET THE STEERING WHEEL ROTATE EXCESSIVELY. it WILL cause damage to the sir coil, AND the steering wheel position sensor located at the bottom of the column..

Removal Procedure
Notice: With wheels of the vehicle facing straight ahead, secure the steering wheel utilizing steering column anti-rotation pin, steering column lock, or a strap to prevent rotation. Locking of the steering column will prevent damage and a possible malfunction of the SIR system. The steering wheel must be secured in position before disconnecting the following components:

• The steering column

• The intermediate shaft(s)

• The steering gear

After disconnecting these components, do not rotate the steering wheel or move the front tires and wheels. Failure to follow this procedure may cause the SIR coil assembly to become un-centered and cause possible damage to the SIR coil. If you think the SIR coil has became un-centered, refer to your specific SIR coil’s centering procedure to re-center SIR Coil.

Turn the steering wheel so that the front wheels are pointing straight ahead.
Turn the ignition switch to the lock position and remove the key.



Lock the steering column through the access hole in the lower steering column trim cover using J 42640 .
Important: Note the relationship of the intermediate shaft to the power steering gear and the intermediate shaft to the steering column in order to ensure proper installation.

Raise and support the vehicle. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle .



Disconnect the upper intermediate shaft boot from the lower intermediate shaft boot to gain access to the upper intermediate shaft to lower intermediate pinch bolt.
Remove the lower intermediate shaft to upper intermediate shaft pinch bolt.
Disconnect the lower intermediate shaft from the upper intermediate shaft.



Disconnect the lower intermediate shaft boot from the power steering gear and remove intermediate shaft boot from the vehicle.



Remove the lower intermediate shaft to the power steering gear input shaft pinch bolt.
Disconnect the lower intermediate shaft from the power steering gear.
Remove the lower intermediate shaft from the vehicle.
Installation Procedure




Install the lower intermediate shaft to the vehicle.
Connect the lower intermediate shaft to the power steering gear.
Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in the Preface section.

Important: Perform the following procedure before installing the bolt.

Remove all traces of the original adhesive patch.
Clean the threads of the bolt with denatured alcohol or equivalent and allow to dry.
Apply threadlocker GM P/N 12345382 (Canadian P/N 10953489) or LOCTITE™ 222.

Install the lower intermediate shaft to the power steering gear input shaft pinch bolt.
Tighten
Tighten the lower intermediate shaft to the power steering gear input shaft pinch bolt to 40 N·m (29 lb ft).





Install the lower intermediate shaft boot and connect the lower intermediate shaft boot to the power steering gear.



Connect the lower intermediate shaft to the upper intermediate shaft.
Important: Perform the following procedure before installing the bolt.

Remove all traces of the original adhesive patch.
Clean the threads of the bolt with denatured alcohol or equivalent and allow to dry.
Apply threadlocker GM P/N 12345382 (Canadian P/N 10953489) or LOCTITE™ 222.

Install the lower intermediate shaft to the upper intermediate shaft pinch bolt.
Tighten
Tighten the lower intermediate shaft to the upper intermediate shaft pinch bolt to 50 N·m (37 lb ft).

Important: The upper intermediate shaft boot must completely cover the white insert of the lower intermediate shaft boot to ensure proper sealing.

Connect the upper intermediate shaft boot to the lower intermediate shaft boot.
Lower the vehicle.



Unlock the steering column by removing J 42640 from the steering column lower trim cover access hole.




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Premium Member
'07 awd
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2,421 Posts
Good to know. I get a clunk in my steering column once in a while, it feels like an int. steering shaft starting to go bad on a full size truck (if you know how that feels). I had a guy here look it over and didn't find anything. It's not that bad though and doesn't knock when I steer it, but everyonce in a while I feel a knock when hitting a bump, esp when braking. Anyway, I'm gonna look into it further now. Good stuff.
 

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Premium Member
06 black awd tbss
Joined
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5,953 Posts
ive been having an issue just like this. i had a shaft go bad in my 00 dakota i used to have, and this is kinda what it feels like, the clunking anyway. i dont really have play that im noticing, but the clunking is getting annoying. and i dont wanna just let it go.


i have an apt at my alignment guy for next wed. i have half a notion to print this out and show it to him. maybe it could help steer him in the right direction.


thanks for the heads up greg!
 

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Registered
TrailblazerSS
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959 Posts
hmm yea i need to check that out as - i hate the way my truck rides - i got a wheel alignment and still rode like shit - got kw coilovers front - adjusted bags rear and replaced with kw shocks - adjusted the shocks to my best abilities along with ride height - got another wheel alignment - and it still just doesn't feel like a new suspension it still rides sloppy - i always wondered if it was the steering column but i wasnt sure - oh yea nd i have the djm a-arms - i dunno i honestly want to sell my truck because its not fun to drive anymore
 

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Administrator
Trailblazer SS
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30,384 Posts
what are your settings on the rear shocks. on lowered bags rebound should be at least 5 clicks more than compression.

hoenstly put the rear springs in and your done.
 

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Registered
TrailblazerSS
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959 Posts
for the rear shocks im on 3 away from stiffest setting on the bottom and on the top i am 8 away from stiffest settings - yea i would love to do the springs in the rear but i dont want to be subject to 31.5 i would love something 30.5 to 31 - my main concern is the front just feels sloppy - maybe its a combination of things or just one small thing throwing me off
 

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secret squirrel
TrailblazerSS
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1,280 Posts
maybe this is the noise i have been hearing in my 09....hmmm have to tear it apart to confirm. i can feel through the steering wheel a rattle going over some rough road. have been chasing it down checking everything on the suspension. will have to check the steering column now. thank you sir.....:cheers1:
 

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secret squirrel
TrailblazerSS
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1,280 Posts
let me clarify mine was not RATTLING... it was uber sloppy (like jj's anus) the rattle you guys are talking about is like the struts are loose, or just shot.

its super easy to look into...
simmilaarr...but with only 16k miles , i dont think my struts are shot yet.:2cents::popcorn3:
 

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Premium Member
06 black awd tbss
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5,953 Posts
let me clarify mine was not RATTLING... it was uber sloppy (like jj's anus) the rattle you guys are talking about is like the struts are loose, or just shot.

its super easy to look into...

i have no play in the wheel it self, but i can feel a knocking when going over bumps and turning at the same time. other than that it feels fine. and i have the kbees from tony with upper DJM arms also from tony.
 

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secret squirrel
TrailblazerSS
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1,280 Posts
i have no play in the wheel it self, but i can feel a knocking when going over bumps and turning at the same time. other than that it feels fine. and i have the kbees from tony with upper DJM arms also from tony.
EXACT same feel without the kbees. i also have the newer DJM arms from Tony. i feel it in the steering wheel...do you>?? its almost like your feeling it hit or rattle directly to the wheel joint or shaft...??:cheers1:
 

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Premium Member
07 TBSS 1SS AWD
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17,281 Posts
Discussion Starter #15

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Premium Member
06 black awd tbss
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5,953 Posts
EXACT same feel without the kbees. i also have the newer DJM arms from Tony. i feel it in the steering wheel...do you>?? its almost like your feeling it hit or rattle directly to the wheel joint or shaft...??:cheers1:


yup, same feeling im experiencing. i dont hear anything at all. every now and then ill hear a squeak, almost sounds like the muffler hangers or something. but ill hear that over any hard bumps. but mines just like an annoying knock in the steering wheel.
 

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secret squirrel
TrailblazerSS
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1,280 Posts
i think this is something else, the noise i was hearing was no where near this type..

i also have this issue at certain times when going over bumps.... i think it lies in the design of the front suspension... the way the bushing is captured in the lower arm and mounts the strut....
get one of those mini spy cameras and film it over some bumps. i was speaking with Tony about that particular bushing where the strut mounts. i was also speaking to him about getting the lower A arm mounts in Polyurethane like the uppers.

there has to be a 'fix' for that crappy bushing GM put there.i wonder if you could just weld the SOB to the lower A arm and get away with it. heck, you can move the darned thing with your hand when the strut is out. its pathetic to call it a 'bushing'.....what you say>??:burp::)
 

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secret squirrel
TrailblazerSS
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1,280 Posts
i agree.. welding it solid is out for sure, but a nice del-alum bushing or some stout poly would be the shiznit....
not to get off topic too much,

but in my 5.0 mustang days, we took the control arm bushings and used a torch to melt them out and press fit a urethane bushing back in. no need to press out the bushing shell. just blow torch the rubber out and it basically shoots out in a flaming mass out the other side......ehehheheee...fun and smokey!!.....SOME ONE has to be able to have contact with a manufacturer to fix this..........TONY ARE YOU LISTENING??!?!?!?!??HEHEHEHH....maybe there is something already in existence just have to repackage and resell to us SS owners...without charging me an arm or leg.:argue2::burp::burp:
 
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