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'97 Z71 Loose steering

This is a discussion on '97 Z71 Loose steering within the Technical / Maintenance forums, part of the General Discussion category; I just got a '97 Z71 today and it has that loose steering crap that GM likes to dish out ...

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    '97 Z71 Loose steering


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    I just got a '97 Z71 today and it has that loose steering crap that GM likes to dish out on all their trucks. I had a K5 Blazer that had this problem but was solved with a steering box brace from ORD. Do I need a new steering box?
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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    Have you checked your pitman or idler arms to make sure they are good or are full off grease? i just filled my with grease and it solved alot of my play in my steering on my 97 z71.

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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    you need to start with your steering components... try and find where your slack is... have somebody hold your pittman arm still and turn the wheel... see if you have play.

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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    Quote Originally Posted by aggiedave98
    you need to start with your steering components... try and find where your slack is... have somebody hold your pittman arm still and turn the wheel... see if you have play.
    I have been going through the same crap with mine. Start with checking the hub bearings, ball joints and tie rod ends. Then move to the idler bracket, idler arm, pitman arm and track bar. From there.... Check the rag joint and steering shaft. Still nothing... Probably the steering gear box.

    Having a helper makes a huge difference when you are checking the idler, pit, and track assemblies.

    Oh....... Be sure your tires are aired up....
    1996 Chevy K1500 Z71 ECSB

    1985 Mercedes Benz 300D

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    FSC Ladies JimmyTrukGirl's Avatar
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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    I have play in mine and its due time for a replacement idle and pitman arm...probably will end up doing the tie rod ends and the entire works ...How many miles on the truck?
    "Rabbit"
    '96 K1500 GMC 5.7 Vortec EC SB, Rhino: Bedliner/ Rocker Panels/ Rollpan, K & N Generation II FIPK, Granatelli Mass Air Flow, 4" Dual Stacks/ Straight Pipe 4" Blocks w/ Ford Keys, Pro Comp ES9000's, H3 Wheels w/ Black Centercaps, 305 70 16 BFG All-Terrain T/A KO


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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    143K, I greased everything and it's still sloppy.
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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    How can a pitman arm wear out, I did not think this was possible. Where is the idle arm located?
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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    I thought the pitman arm which is a cast iron piece coming off of the sector shaft out of the steering box, am I right?
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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    Pic's would be great too.
    1997 Chevrolet Z71: 3 Dr. ECSB, 5.7L Vortec V8, Auto, G80, Cold Air Intake Mod(K&N Filter), Ranch Hand Bumpers F&R, Delta Tool Box, Flowmaster True Duals, Cranked TB's, NBS Silverado wheels, 285's, Turd Color

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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    Do what I did, grab a front tire. Twist the tire while watching for the parts that move or buckle. Idler arm should not move more then a few degrees up or down.Or, have someone jump in the drivers seat and turn the wheel with the motor running.
    Steven -> http://www.xtremenw.com/

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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    Thanks.
    1997 Chevrolet Z71: 3 Dr. ECSB, 5.7L Vortec V8, Auto, G80, Cold Air Intake Mod(K&N Filter), Ranch Hand Bumpers F&R, Delta Tool Box, Flowmaster True Duals, Cranked TB's, NBS Silverado wheels, 285's, Turd Color

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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    I had slop in my steering as well. I replaced both sides inner and outer toe rod ends, idler arm, pitman arm, and all 4 ball joints. I even adjusted the steering box screw. I got the slop out, but it still wanders around. I will be replacing the steering gear box next week. I hope that works, because there is nothing else to replace.
    94 Chevy C1500 ext cab short bed. TBI 350. K&N Air Filter, flowmaster exhaust, 275-60-15 street radials on factory aluminum wheels. Kenwood Audio system. Mostly all stock for now. But plan to implement upgrades in near future. texas:

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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    Quote Originally Posted by 93Lee
    I had slop in my steering as well. I replaced both sides inner and outer toe rod ends, idler arm, pitman arm, and all 4 ball joints. I even adjusted the steering box screw. I got the slop out, but it still wanders around. I will be replacing the steering gear box next week. I hope that works, because there is nothing else to replace.
    Take a look at your intermediate steering shaft. The rag joint on the end where it meets the steering box wears out. Summit sells a nice one by borgeson that fits our trucks. (i have one and I like it)
    Last edited by Whifflebat; 01-30-2007 at 04:00 PM.
    Rest in Peace Jason Payne

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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    Could someone post pics of these steering parts, so I know what you are talking about?
    1997 Chevrolet Z71: 3 Dr. ECSB, 5.7L Vortec V8, Auto, G80, Cold Air Intake Mod(K&N Filter), Ranch Hand Bumpers F&R, Delta Tool Box, Flowmaster True Duals, Cranked TB's, NBS Silverado wheels, 285's, Turd Color

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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStarZ71
    Could someone post pics of these steering parts, so I know what you are talking about?
    http://www.lmctruck.com/icatalog/csb/0121.asp <- Steering link
    http://www.lmctruck.com/icatalog/csb/0123.asp <- All other steering parts for 2wd and 4wd.

    Hope this helps.
    Steven -> http://www.xtremenw.com/

    03 Chevy S10 Xtreme - My Baby!
    82 Chevy C20 Burb - My *itch.


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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    Thank you, I went and ordered a mag. from them, I had one for my K5 Blazer.
    1997 Chevrolet Z71: 3 Dr. ECSB, 5.7L Vortec V8, Auto, G80, Cold Air Intake Mod(K&N Filter), Ranch Hand Bumpers F&R, Delta Tool Box, Flowmaster True Duals, Cranked TB's, NBS Silverado wheels, 285's, Turd Color

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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    How would you guys recommend replacing the pitman and idle arm?
    1997 Chevrolet Z71: 3 Dr. ECSB, 5.7L Vortec V8, Auto, G80, Cold Air Intake Mod(K&N Filter), Ranch Hand Bumpers F&R, Delta Tool Box, Flowmaster True Duals, Cranked TB's, NBS Silverado wheels, 285's, Turd Color

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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    get a 2-jaw puller (rent it for free from oreilly or similar auto store). the rest should be pretty straight forward.

    does that help??

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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    If the slop is due to the gear box itself, it can be adjusted. Read 'Part 2' on this site: http://www.monte-list.nu/tech/boxmesh.shtml

    NOTE: Just adjusting the 'over center' drag will not take all the slack out. Pull the box and follow the 2nd procedure outlined.
    1991 K1500 - 'Red'
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    Re: '97 Z71 Loose steering

    Thanks for the info I'll just get a two jaw puller.
    1997 Chevrolet Z71: 3 Dr. ECSB, 5.7L Vortec V8, Auto, G80, Cold Air Intake Mod(K&N Filter), Ranch Hand Bumpers F&R, Delta Tool Box, Flowmaster True Duals, Cranked TB's, NBS Silverado wheels, 285's, Turd Color

 

 
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