Loose steering - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Loose steering

I'm trying to figure this out currently. I just purchased a 94 SS and at slow speed it feels like it wanders (below 40mph) at 60 not nearly so much. I turned the key and the steering wheel has about 4-5" of travel. The telescoping shaft clicks at the top and the top joint can be wiggled up/down by hand (not linear with the shaft but perpendicular to it). When the steering wheel is turned hard L/R the pitman will barely move and it appears that it moves about 1/8" side to side and pulls down on the joint about 1/16th or so, (only when the steering will is turned hard to the L/R). Do you think its the upper bushing? shaft? box? pitman joint? Any suggestions on how to diagnose? I've searched for similar posts and thats what lead me to do the things above. Not sure what to do to isolate the issue. The car has 135k miles, very clean outside. One owner. Just had it at the dealer specifically asked them to check the front end components, all they found were bad shocks and loose wheel bearings. They stated none of the components were loose. Shocks were replaced with the recommended severe duty Monroe's I read about on here. Sorry for the long first post, thank you for your thoughts.
Ron
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 08:04 PM
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Welcome to the forum guy...

I've been having similar issues as well with steering rattle. I had a alignment done yesterday, new front end, and tie rods recently. With the alignment alone (to me) kinda stiffed things up a little bit. The steering and rattling is at a descent minimal. So I would recommend this if you haven't all ready. I see you are from Michigan. And my car (96 SS) has spent most of its years there also until I purchased it from the last owner here in GA.

So all that to say, the salt life might have a factor into some things as well. Do you have any rusting parts? I would check your upper and lower control arms. And replace any bushings which might be the overall problem.

1996 Chevy Impala SS BBB -
R.I.P. 4/15/2012

1996 Chevy Impala SS DGGM -
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 08:19 PM
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when i got my caprice it had about 4-5 in as well i replaced the idler arm, helped a little so i did all four tie rods including the adjusting sleeves and it did almost correct it but after i replaced all four shocks is when i noticed the biggest difference. it is nice and smooth no wander drives staight as an arrow. all i got to do left is ball joins only uppers are alittle worn but if i got it apart why not do lowers as well. i would jack the front up so tires are free grab em and wiggle if you have any play u got a problem. top and bottom play is balljoints and left and right is tierods but not limited to idler arm. all of em are very easy to replace and if ya need pics or info just ask me.also goood point on the bushings on the a arms.

94 Caprice 4.3l flat black, red wheels, trim rings
air pump delete, a/c delete, washer tank moved to trunk, resonator delete, swiss cheese airbox, home made cai, And more, more to come.

Last edited by mega; 02-24-2011 at 08:20 PM. Reason: added
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 08:54 PM
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There should be NO slop from the intermediate shaft to the wheels. Sounds like your intermediate shaft and center link are bad (Pitman arm is not a wear item on these cars). You should jack the car up and check the idler arm and tie rods for play as well. After replacing these parts, an alignment is absolutely necessary.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cletus284 View Post
There should be NO slop from the intermediate shaft to the wheels. Sounds like your intermediate shaft and center link are bad (Pitman arm is not a wear item on these cars). You should jack the car up and check the idler arm and tie rods for play as well. After replacing these parts, an alignment is absolutely necessary.
i completely agree after reading more of the post carefully lol nobody everdoes that huh. but as it sounds i wouldn't drive it

94 Caprice 4.3l flat black, red wheels, trim rings
air pump delete, a/c delete, washer tank moved to trunk, resonator delete, swiss cheese airbox, home made cai, And more, more to come.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 09:27 PM
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i was dealing with the same issue about a month ago and almost replaced the pitman and other parts but thanks to the guys on this site i found it was just the center link,, fixxed it right up

96 Impala BBB
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cletus284 View Post
There should be NO slop from the intermediate shaft to the wheels. Sounds like your intermediate shaft and center link are bad (Pitman arm is not a wear item on these cars). You should jack the car up and check the idler arm and tie rods for play as well. After replacing these parts, an alignment is absolutely necessary.
^^^^^
I had the same problem when I purchased my car and I replaced everything in that post. For extra stiffness I also added the jeep shaft mod.

BlueGraSS KENTUCKY
95 BBB 11,264 of 18,365


96DGGM PARTS CAR 80K
94BBB PARTING OUT NOW 183K
95BBB PARTS-USED FOR 231K STILL RUNNING STRONG!!!!!!!!
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harriSScutty View Post
.........For extra stiffness I also added the jeep shaft mod.
Huh ?

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1995 DCM SS, LS3 w/Custom CAI, V-max 90mm TB, TSP CNC Ported Heads, Lingenfelter GT1-1 cam, Headman Mid-length Headers, 2 1/2" cat-back, 3200 Circle-D TC, 3.42 gears (for now) -- 450 HP/400 TQ To The Wheels


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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by KW Baraka View Post
Huh ?

KW
To improve the durabilty
Is that better?

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96DGGM PARTS CAR 80K
94BBB PARTING OUT NOW 183K
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harriSScutty View Post
To improve the durabilty
Is that better?
yes, I don't have one on my car but the jeep steering shaft is just an all around better design than GM's crappy design.
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