Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Largo, FL 33774
I would adjust the steering box before replacing the shaft. It is a lot easier to adjust when you put it on the bench. You need an inch/lb. torque wrench, and a socket to fit the end of the input shaft. When adjusting the input bearing, always approach center clockwise, or the shaft will push out on the bearing, and you will not get an adjustment. Adjusting the input bearing will probably remove 80% of the play. You can do it in the car, but it is a little bit crowded in that area. It is easiest to remove the box by detaching the Pittman arm from the cross link, and using it as a handle for the box.
If the upper boot is ripped, you probably need a new upper shaft. The rag joint can be repaired with a kit from your local parts store in the HELPs section. Unless there is play in the rag joint, it is probably fine. The rag joint does not make the shaft less accurate, it is only there to stop the transmission of vibrations through the steering column. The rag joint is not even designed to flex to any degree.
If you want a Jeep shaft, the one to get is for a 91-93 Cherokee. You can get them new on Amazon for a reasonable price; about $120. The chances that a new shaft will eliminate the play is about 2%. The play is almost always in the steering box. If you are going to go cheap, and get a used Jeep shaft, make sure the shaft does not click when twisted. The click is a sign of worn bearing surfaces in the universal joints, and that will translate into play in the steering.
If you are going to replace the steering box, the quick ratio units have an Z on the top, and the standard ratio does not.
1991 OCC 461 (.030 over 454) BBC, 3.23 posi, flash to pass, drop spindles & springs, Impala rims, Hydroboost, Recaros, 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 https://www.impalassforum.com/vBulle...ion-parts.html