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GM 4x4 Steering Box Issues.

Shocks, Springs, Brakes, Frame, Body Work, etc

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dfarr67
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GM 4x4 Steering Box Issues.

Post by dfarr67 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:18 pm

GM 4x4 Steering Box Issues.

Not sure what to expect here- maybe some good experiences.

I've had this 1989 K1500 for years and years and it has always been surprisingly 'tight' handling wise for what it is. Years ago the steering box finally wore out and I gave it a shot rebuilding it myself and failed. So looking around at all the rebuilt options I decided to spend a few extra bucks and get a Lee (Tom Lee at the time) reman'd box with a little less steering wheel effort. His box was spot on and I was very happy for a time until the box started leaking out of the top cover due to pulled threads on one of the cover bolts- in hindsight I should have installed studs and called it good, but since the box was expensive (to me) I sent it down for a warranty repair and it's been downhill ever since, the replacement box was too light on the highway with a twitchy feel and over long distances was very fatiguing.

Last year I was having some dyno tuning done and the pump puked it's synthetic atf, so I decided to put a divorced res pump style on with Redline PS fluid, a huge trans cooler for the PS cooler, and finally had enough of the twitchy box and sent it back for readjustment, now it has gone the opposite direction- just too much effort with (to me) some steering play at neutral. I will install the original pump (when the steering was too light) and see what happens- if it improves I will reinstall this pump into the divorced can. Also had some front end work and an alignment, told the guy to align the marks on the steering box and forget where the steering wheel ends up- I wanted the correct neutral position on the box maintained, of course he didn't listen and the steering wheel is centered- I haven't looked at the box position yet.

Well that's my story ;( Murphy must love hanging around me. I'm in Canada- so sending the box out is killer post.

SupStk
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Re: GM 4x4 Steering Box Issues.

Post by SupStk » Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:09 pm

The heavy or light steering effort is related to the torsion bar used in the spool valve assembly. Too light, broken or unpinned torsion bar will cause the twitchy feeling at highway speeds.
Just one other thing, use power steering fluid instead of ATF.
Monty Frerichs
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dfarr67
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Re: GM 4x4 Steering Box Issues.

Post by dfarr67 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:27 am

The vehicle was up in the Canadian north for a few years with no end of PS hydraulic hose issues- finally had proper industrial hoses made and Acura PS fluid. For some reason I changed to Mobile synthetic atf and it scared me when it puked and misted all over the engine at one point. Have changed to Redline PS fluid with a huge cooler. This also has hydroboost.
The original box was OK a little heavy- Lee's box was resprung and was great, I don't believe they repaired the first box but instead pulled one off the shelf and sent it back, too different.

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