Steering shaft - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Steering shaft

Hey folks,

So to start off the symptoms and the problem.

When turning to the left at light or heavy throttle I get this damn horrible rattle/knock and I can feel it in the steering wheel and gas gas pedal but its ONLY under throttle.

So I went to the front end, yanked on everything and checked everything. All my shims are there, nothing is lose with a fresh alignment with new inner and outer tie rod ends. All balljoints and shocks are pretty new and everything else is not to beat (187000KM).

I was told by the mechanic that one of my wheel bearings has a bit of play but I doubt that is the bastard in this relationship. Talked to a few guys here on the forums and someone suggested it could be the bearing or spindle on the right side as that is where my weight goes when turning to the left (makes sense).

Well today while tearing about the underside of my dash hoping something is lose in the cabin I decided to look at my engine bay one last time and yanked on my intermediate shaft I think is what its called (Photos to follow for better description) and low and behold the thing knocks when i rip on it as if something is toast on the upper end towards the firewall.

My question is what parts wear out up there, how hard is it gonna be for me to turn some wrenches and bust some knuckles and anyone care to chip in? Bottom line is minimal effort from me and I can get that thing knocking and its in the steering so it MUST be the ugly step sister in this equation.

- Sym


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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Hope this can help some how!!


OK well since its so small the yellow arrow is pointing towards the shaft which i pull on to hear the knock sound and i see a lot of movement under the rubber piece where the red arrow is. I also see some movement up farther on the green spot which is out of sight.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 09:10 PM
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cant read the red, yellow and green words as the image is too small

As for the shaft I find them to develop hrrible slop in the rag joint and where you have an arrow pointing toward the rubber that is worn closer to the fire wall

replace with a new shaft or a jeep shaft with the solid u-joints to eliminate the slop if your part is worn

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 09:27 PM
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Up near the firewall, there is a single thru-bolt that passes thru both sections on the steering shaft (where the part of the shaft from the interior of the car connects to the section in the engine bay). It's possible that bolt is loose or the holes it passes thru are enlarged - neither is a 'good thing'. But it is easy to check since it's only one bolt.

+1 on the possibility that the 'rag-joint' on the steering shaft is worn/wearing out. Here's a link to 'a' rag-joint on JEG's: http://www.jegs.com/p/Borgeson/Borge...55269/10002/-1

The rag-joint is a circle of 'rubber/belt' material with 4 holes in it. Two bolts connect int to one shaft and two bolts connect it to the other shaft - the 'rubber' piece helps reduce the vibration from the road up the steering shaft. When this joint wears the steering starts getting sloppy (but there are a whole bunch of other front-end parts that will cause that problem as they wear also). I've seen the 'rubber' piece in the 'help' section of a lot of auto stores.

As for that 'blue/gray' boot that covers the lower end of the steering shaft, I really don't understand why GM put that on there. I 'encouraged' mine to 'fall off' a few years back. (I'm SURE someone will speak up and tell me why that's not such a good idea.)

HTH.

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Tested a coil by listening to MR.WOODS... ****ing coil WORKS just fine.... ass hole
'96 SOB Imp, 'Built' 355 LT-1, 3200 Street Edge, stage-3 4L60E, Unlimited drive shaft, 'bulletproof' 3.90's, Hydra intake, CIA headers, CIA 570 CFM cats, Pypes X-pipe, Dynomax VT's, dumped, Nitto 555's (255/70/15 ), Bilsteins, brake bolt mods, externally stock appearance.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 09:33 PM
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Check all the set allen screws at steering column top and bottom ujoints (3 on each end) and telescoping section in the middle of the intermediate shaft for tightness. Do the simple external checks first. Check the pitman arm ends on bottom of steering box and centerlink for tightness. It sounds like the issue lies somewhere in the suspension or steering linkage. The obvious and simplest checks are all the connection pieces. If all those nuts are tight, you may need to check inside the upper steering column for the problem. Put the front end up on jackstands and have a friend turn the wheel side to side and you see if you can see/hear where the rattling is coming from. Let us know what you find.

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Last edited by sonuvah; 02-15-2012 at 09:36 PM.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 09:40 PM
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You could have a worn out lower bearing on the column, or the universal under the boot may be worn out. The only way to tell if it is one or the other is to replace the intermediate shaft (easiest to do, but still a PITA).

You could use a engine stethescope to listen to the individual parts when jostled around.

The boot around the universal looks good, so I would focus on the lower bearing on the column.

That being said, you could have other issues as well. Are you running large tires? They could be hitting the wheelhouse, or the frame. I have had that happen on my lowered car. Try removing the top center bolt on the wheel opening. You can also look at the frame and sway bar for shiney spots. The stops can be worn, and allow the tires to turn excessively, causing interference with other parts.

1991 OCC 461 (.030 over 454) BBC, 3.23 posi, flash to pass, drop spindles & springs, custom fender skirts, stainless full moons, Recaros, Blazer console, MOMO/wood SW w/QR, custom wood shift knob, Pioneer DEH P77DH
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 09:53 PM
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Also, if this is happening with the wheels turned 'all the way' right or left, it could be the stops on the knuckle rubbing against the stops on the lower control arm (the stops are the 'curved/bent' pieces of steel rivited to the LCA). A dab of grease will help with this.

Another good culprit is the idler arm that support the passenger's side of the center-link (it's bolted to the front of the passengers-side frame, below the radiator. If you can push/pull that end of the center-link up and down, it's way past time to replace it.

The idler arm will look similar to this (from an S10):
http://static.1aautoimages.com/parti...00006/main.JPG

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebigbadWOLF View Post
Tested a coil by listening to MR.WOODS... ****ing coil WORKS just fine.... ass hole
'96 SOB Imp, 'Built' 355 LT-1, 3200 Street Edge, stage-3 4L60E, Unlimited drive shaft, 'bulletproof' 3.90's, Hydra intake, CIA headers, CIA 570 CFM cats, Pypes X-pipe, Dynomax VT's, dumped, Nitto 555's (255/70/15 ), Bilsteins, brake bolt mods, externally stock appearance.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice guys. Too answer some questions:

A) No I don't have big tires, i run 15 inch steeles with your avg tire.
B) Just worked on my front end pretty recently and in relation to tightness i recall everything being pretty good. I will however once over the entire front end for tightness looking at the idler arm center link and pitarm connection mainly.
C) The nose only occurs during little to full range of turn towards the left so I think that rules out the bump stops being totally beat.
D) I will check all of the screws on the shaft and also check the screw that goes thru it all at the top half as mentioned by The Fooser Guy.

And last but not least its only under throttle. I can coast around a corner and I don't hear the rattle or feel it and sometimes it wont even happen during a turn to the left under throttle. I work tomorrow morning but I will be off before the sun is down which will give me time to check some of this stuff with daylight. Hopefully there is not to much snow on the ground hehe. Thanks for all the ideas so far I will keep you kind fellas posted.

- Sym


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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Aha!

Well after some more yanking and cursing and re assembling my dash haha. I think I found it for sure this time! really paid attention to the sound and when i pull on the shaft as that alone makes so much noise when I pull on it so I can definitely see it being super loud and feeling it in the wheel at higher speeds and under throttle.

PS ignore the red lettering lol.... Thanks guys!
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capriceboi View Post
Well after some more yanking and cursing and re assembling my dash haha. I think I found it for sure this time! really paid attention to the sound and when i pull on the shaft as that alone makes so much noise when I pull on it so I can definitely see it being super loud and feeling it in the wheel at higher speeds and under throttle.

PS ignore the red lettering lol.... Thanks guys!
I have no idea what the meaning of what you just wrote is.

1991 OCC 461 (.030 over 454) BBC, 3.23 posi, flash to pass, drop spindles & springs, custom fender skirts, stainless full moons, Recaros, Blazer console, MOMO/wood SW w/QR, custom wood shift knob, Pioneer DEH P77DH
1992 OCC now with 5.7 tbi, DEH P77DH
For a parts list, check http://www.impalassforum.com/vBullet...1#post11691762
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