98 Chevy Steering problems

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  #1  
Old 01-30-16, 08:16 PM
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98 Chevy Steering problems

Hello All,

So, my wife is stranded at her folks house right now. Problem is this:

98 Chev Silverado 1/2 ton 4x4. 350 v-8, auto trans, 200,000 miles.

Truck started shaking real bad, about 15 minutes or so after she left to come home. She went back to the folks. Her son was there and checked a few things out for her.

No play in the hub, when the truck is jacked up.
When not jacked up, and they crank the steering wheel back and forth, there is no play in the steering stuff; tie rod ends, pitman arm, idler, etc.
There appears to be a slight "clunking" sound coming from the steering gear box.
Power steering fluid is full and not leaking.

Now, when she bought this truck a few months back, there was a feeling like the steering was kind of binding when trying to turn the steering wheel when not moving and the truck was idling. When the truck was moving the wheel turned just fine. Her son thinks the steering gear box is bad. I have had gear boxes go bad before, but the issue was the truck kind of veering side to side, not shaking. But I've always driven Dodges.

What are the chances that the gear box is bad? On a Chev, would this cause shaking?

Thanks in advance for any help with this.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-30-16, 08:38 PM
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My first suspect is a bad U-joint in front drive. (axle or drive shaft) Maybe "grease worms" are eating the driveshaft slip-joint.
Next would be a slipped belt in one or more tires.

Good luck!
RR
 
  #3  
Old 01-31-16, 04:35 AM
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Steering gear boxes are all pretty much similar. The side to side slop you experienced in a previous vehicle was due to a worn box. If something broke in the box you'd notice it when turning the wheel with the vehicle parked.
 
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Old 01-31-16, 07:27 AM
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She maybe able to make it home if she engages the 4 wheel drive. It might stop it from shaking.
 
  #5  
Old 01-31-16, 05:25 PM
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Thanks for the replies. So, I took a ride there to get her. It's about 120 miles. When I got there, I checked the truck out and found no excessive play anywhere in the steering. Took it for a ride, drove fine straight.... got up to about 55-60 or so..... still drove good. Then it started shaking. The truck was shaking, but the steering wheel didn't seem to be shaking? Drove about 5 miles or so, and it shook like that a few more times. Went back to her folks, checked everything again. Still seemed tight.

So, we rotated the tires..... took it for another ride, and drove great, right up until I put on the breaks to turn around, then it shook again. Turned around, and once again it shook, at about 55 and going up a slight grade. Got back to her folks and I decided that I would drive the truck back and she could drive my Jeep.

Truck drove like new all the way home! ?? As I came up to the first couple of big corners I slowed up quite a bit in case the shaking started, but it didn't. Several times brought it up to 70 when there were no other cars around. No shaking at all, not once...

So, do I leave as is?
Did into it and see if there is some hidden problem?

I know bad tires can cause issues like this, but what puzzles me, is that it drove 120 miles just fine, and only 1/2 hour before, it shook when I drove it. I guess maybe I'll just drive it around town a bit and see if there are any issues with it before we take it out on the highway again.
 
  #6  
Old 01-31-16, 07:11 PM
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If there is a lock nut with an adjustment screw on the steering box, adjust it & take it for another ride.
 
  #7  
Old 02-01-16, 04:35 AM
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I wouldn't think the adjustment screw on the steering gear box would have much affect on shaking. It will take out [or reduce] any play in the box. I'd double check all the front end components for play/wear.
 
  #8  
Old 02-04-16, 08:18 PM
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I've driven the truck around town a bit the past few days and no shaking at all. I'll keep a close eye on things until it warms up, then give it a bit more attention.
 
  #9  
Old 03-05-16, 02:01 PM
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So, this shaking seems to be back. Intermittent though. Every once in a while, while driving at 45-55 or so, it will start shaking, then I step on the brakes, and as it slows the shaking gets worse. It seldom shakes when driving though. Now it seems more like when you apply the brakes in a moderate pressure. If you hit the brakes hard, it won't shake. If you brake very gently, it won't shake.

I put the original tires and wheels back on it, thinking that the new set was bad. Made no difference at all.

I jacked up the drivers side to check for bad bearings. If I grab the top and bottom of the tire and try to move it in that direction, there is no play at all. If I grab the tire at left and right, there is some movement. It looks like there may be some play in the inner tie rod ends. I checked the passenger side too and it was the same. So, I put the truck back on the ground and had my wife rotate the steering wheel back and forth. When she does that, it looks like everything is tight and there is no play?

I'm kind of stumped now. Not sure what to look for. I was pretty sure that there may have been a split cord in one of the tires.

Someone had mentioned possibly a bad cv joint. How would I check for this?
 
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