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Old 09-17-2006, 06:16 PM
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Default play in steering wheel?

I have a 1996 blazer 4dr, 4.3l, 4x4; my question is if I have quite a bit of play in the steering wheel does that mean that the steering gear is shot or could it be a matter of grease all parts such as ball joints and tie rod ends? To let you know what quite a bit is, if I'm going straight my steering wheel is at the ten oclock position and if I'm going to make a right turn I have to turn the wheel to about the one oclock position before it starts to turn! I jacked up the front of the truck and tried to check for play side to side and up and down but I couldn't tell if there was anything wrong, it felt pretty solid especially whan I tried the up and down movement. Also, I'm just curious but is the side to side ball joints or tie rod ends?
Old 09-18-2006, 02:08 AM
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Default RE: play in steering wheel?

Inspect for wear on joints from the steering column to the steering gear.
If you're wiggling the wheels side to side you are checking tie rod ends, idler arm and pitman arm.
To check the ball joints, jack ithe truck up under the lower control arm and grab the wheel at the top and bottom, try tilting the wheel in and out, then get a 2x4 or a bar and try lifting and lowering the wheel. You'll need a 2nd person to assist you.

If you're unsure, I'm sure an alignment shop will check it out for free.

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Old 09-18-2006, 04:46 AM
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Default RE: play in steering wheel?

Our S-10 blazers have been known to have sloppy steering. From the research that I have done it can be caused by the fabric "Rag" joint just at the top of the steering box, where the steering shaft connects to the steering box. This is a fabric connection that wears out over time. There have been "mods" to fix this problem entirely but it requires some searching in wrecking/recycle yards for specific parts.

One comes from Chrysler Jeeps and Ram pickups. Or there is one that uses the steering shaft from an Astro van. What you need is something that has two "u-joints" in the shaft to replace the "Rag" joint and still have the correct spline count to connect to the steering box...

Here is the link to what I am talking about: steering

But check the items Chevy Lover indicated first since they are easier to determine if they are bad....

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Old 09-23-2006, 10:08 AM
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1996blazer is an unknown quantity at this point
Default RE: play in steering wheel?

I took my truck to my buddy's place and he took a look at it and said that the wheel bearing is bad on the front driver's side, he even showed me where the driver's side tire was starting to wear on the inside of the tire; also there was no wear on the other tires. My question is, would this cause the play in the steering wheel?
Old 09-23-2006, 01:19 PM
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Default RE: play in steering wheel?

No, the wheel bearing will NOT cause your steering sloppyness. Our blazers are known for this trait, what the 2 guys above said are the likely culprit. Check yer front end pieces (*****, pitman, idler, tie rods), then if they are good, check to see if it is the steering shaft! If it is not that, replace your box! You can adjust the box before replacing it, but just a bit.. anymore and you will lose wheel recentering ability..

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1996, 2000, 96, bit, blazer, chevy, lots, play, slack, slop, steering, sterring, tire, wear, wheel

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