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Old 02-10-2018, 07:02 AM
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Question Steering Column

I have a 1998 Chevy Blazer LS 4X4, 4 door.
It's a pretty standard SUV/Truck.
My problem is sloppy steering. It's driving me crazy. I've replaced and adjusted the steering gear(box), idler arms, pitman arm, balljoints, hub and bearing assembly, and still have about an inch of play in the steering.
Funny thing is, I've replace the steering gearbox three times. Everytime, I replace it the steering tightens up a little. Maybe, a 1/2" of play. But, after I've driven as little as a few city blocks it loosens back up to about an inch of play. This last time, I adjusted the gearbox. There are two adjustments. One course, and one fine, I adjusted the course. That tightened the steering up to about a 1/2" of slop. So, I'm thinking that since I've replaced about everything from that gearbox to the rotors. It's got to be something higher up. Like the steering column itself.
At least, that's my thinking. I've also got a 1999 Blazer LT that my daughter wrecked. I'm soooooo glad that she's alive, but I still almost cry everytime that I think about it. Couldn't save the truck. Anyway, I can use it for parts. She missed a deer and ran it into a ditch deeper than the truck is tall. It literally disappeared into the ditch. Anyway, the point is that I can use it for parts. The right side was totaled. But, the rest of it is okay. Including the steering column. Funny thing is that it also had some slop in the steering. Just a little less.
So, I can remove it and rebuild it.
My question and point is. Does anyone have any ideas about what might be causing this??? Am I barking up the wrong tree with the steering column??? If I'm right about the steering column. Does anyone know of a good source/site that shows how to rebuild a '98 blazer steering column, remove and replace it???
Thanks for any constructive help that anyone can offer... Go blazers... :-)
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:49 AM
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Have you watched the lower part of the column while someone turns the wheel? This would help you narrow down the source of the play.

Have you replaced the rag joint (the rubber disc coupling right at the connection between the column and the steering box)? Many people swap over to a universal joint in this location. The column out of a Jeep (not sure of model or year range off the top of my head) has a universal joint rather than the rag joint; a search for S10 Jeep steering upgrade should turn up the relevant details. There also are aftermarket alternatives, but they are pricey.

I mention these two things because after replacing the common wear items in the steering (tie rod ends, pitman, and idler arms), the next most common location is the lower steering shaft itself and more specifically the rag joint.

Adjusting the steering box should only be reserved for a very last resort as damage can result if done improperly.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:46 PM
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I will give that a try next...
Thanks...
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:31 PM
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Take a look at Flaming River for the universal to replace the rag joint if you can't get the parts from a Jeep.
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