1998 Chevy Suburban "play" in the steering wheel

Tiny
HOUSE246
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHEVROLET SUBURBAN
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 151,000 MILES
I have had it aligned and technicians say they have adjusted the steering sector gear as much as they can. The ball joints and tie rod ends are in good shape also. The steering sector gear was replaced 2 years ago with a "rebuilt" gear and 30,000 miles have been put on it since. I drive down the road and I am constantly trying to correct my driving path as I still have to move my steering wheel 1/2- 1" constantly to stay in my lane. It is not "tight" like a solid front end should steer. Tires are in good shape and have been balanced and rotated. We just bought the vehicle 1 month ago. The "play" in the steering wheel is almost dangerous when you get heavy winds pushing me back and forth. Your thoughts?
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Monday, July 19th, 2010 AT 8:15 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
It is hard to make a box like a suburban not get blown around in heavy winds. As you are relying on the previous owner saying the sector gear was replaced 30,000 miles agao, you really don'tknow. If it's been adjusted as much as it can be then the whole front end should be checked not just the tie rod ends and ball joints. I would suspect the idler arm is worn as that effects wandering more than anything. Ball joints do as well but normally after hitting a bump. Also have the control arm bushings checked for wear, especially if you hear a clunk when the brakes are applied.
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Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 AT 8:54 AM
Tiny
HOUSE246
  • MEMBER
I'm sorry I should have let you know that I do have the receipt of the sector gear when it was replaced. The gear was a "rebuilt" one not a new one. I have talked to a local technician and he has said he is not a fan of rebuilt sector gears since he's seen 2 of them go out within a few years of being installed. So, maybe my rebuilt gear is a faulty one? Maybe rebuilt gears are not as dependable?
I thank you for your response! Thank you :)
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Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 AT 8:37 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Rebuilt things can be ok, but it really depends on the rebuilder. The only thing on that type of gear that they would "rebuild" that I think is to build up where the seasl hit the shaft and nothing else. I would tend to agree with your mechanic about that though. Most things you should put in steering are new not rebuilt. But in this case to keep the costs down i'd look into a box out of a junkyard as you could get one with low miles which would be a lower cost thing over a new box which I just checked at GM parts Drect. Com and it's $800 and change. Plus installation. Good luck on what you decide.
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Friday, July 23rd, 2010 AT 9:43 AM

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