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OT.. Steering box Slop!!

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Old 08-13-2002, 11:26 PM
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Default OT.. Steering box Slop!!

Well it is for the tow truck.. so it is boat related.. sort of./

I just replace my steering box on the 89 full size Blazer I built over the past three years. I bought it at Auto Zone and the brand name is an Atsco.

The problem is there is still slop in the steering. I have a hard time making a curve on the expressway at 70mph and staying in my lane!!! Not Good!!
Now I have replaced ball joints, tierods, etc.. all the worn parts are new.. So I look at the box and call the manufacture. They tell me a certain amount is ok and it seems just fine. I measured it from the center of the shaft, 8" out, it will move an inch or more before it gets a solid feel. This is suppose to be "no problem" situation. But I still wander all over the road at speed.

My question is this.. Has anyone changed out a steering gear and been very happy with the results? What brand of boxes are there and is the one I have just no good, any experience with Atsco?

I talked to AutoZone and they will give me a new box, but I hate to change it if the same thing is going to occurr.

So if any one has been down this road, I would love to hear about it..

Like I said everything is new! The tires came off my old Blazer that would do 90mph and not scare the hell out of me..

Thanks for any help..!!

Dick
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Old 08-13-2002, 11:33 PM
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There shouldn't be any noticable play in the box. Mine is tight - no slop -- 115000 miles.
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Old 08-13-2002, 11:39 PM
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That is what I thought.. but the way the guy explains it, that is the way they are built.. did you ever replace yours or it is the original box??

My old Blazer had 160k on it.. I may just use that one!!
but a new one is suppose to cure my ills..


thanks
Dick
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Old 08-13-2002, 11:43 PM
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Mine is the original-- I even had to replace the tiller arm on the box since it got bent when a guy ran a yield sigh and I merged him off the road with my front tire.
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Old 08-14-2002, 01:43 AM
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went thru the same problem with a 1/2 ton deisel suburban. after getting three bad rebuilt boxes went to the junk yard pulled one off a trucik with 65,000 miles and no problems since then! we got two rebuilds with SLOP!! and one box that wouldnt turn one way without major cranking in the wheel. we were buying our boxes from Pep boyz but same low budget **** im sure. the biggest improvement we made to the suburban for trailering was new leafs and airbags in the back end WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT!!!

Rob
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Old 08-14-2002, 02:17 AM
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Sorry to hear about this problem . I realize you found play but did you do an alignment on it too ? YOu will NEED to do one if not . Just a reminder ......
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Old 08-15-2002, 12:28 AM
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an update!

Boot,
I have set the front end with no toe in and -1/16, -1/8, -1/4" still no better handling at speed.

I stopped at the front end shop today and sugestion was made to check for any binding in ball joints.. that would cause what is going on..

I called Atsco and they returned my call twice.. The tech said to eliminate any problems he is going to have a box built tomorrow and sent to Auto Zone by Friday!!!! He wants to eliminate any question that it is the steering box. I am real impressed, but we shall see what happens..

In the mean time, I will check for binding on all points.. Thanks for the info guys.. I appreciate it..

Dick


PS... LOTO here we come!!
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Old 08-15-2002, 12:41 AM
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Dick, when are you leaving for LOTO??? IF your going down on Thursday, convoy??????
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Old 08-15-2002, 12:54 PM
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I have a 89 GMC 1/2 ton with 675,000 miles!!! I had to rebuild the steering box at 500k and have rebuilt the susp twice but the biggest improvement was recently when I replaced the isolater on the steering shaft. I was able to turn the steering wheel several degrees before it seemed to move the wheels. The isolater is on the end of the shaft and couples it to the box usually covered by a plastic shield. My 95 Sub (168k) is also starting to get the sways on the narrow 10 lane roads with 80mph traffic here in Atlanta.

Good luck, Todd
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Old 08-20-2002, 09:35 PM
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Well here is the end of the story for those that are curious.. I received the new box on Friday nite as they said I would. They over nited it to the Auto Zone I was dealing with. I installed it Sunday night, and felt a big big difference right off the bat!!! Steering effort was greatly reduced and no slop to speak of. Now I have to be careful, it goes where I point it. I am very happy with the results. I have been driving a 2002 Tahoe at work and it doesnt quite work as well as that, but it works like a new 89 Blazer should..

So happy ending to a story. I was happy to deal with Atsco, the service tech Dale is a straight up guy.

mxz800,
I was told that Atsco now handles the Pep Boys account. Previously I believe it was Cardon or something like that. The reason I received a defective box was because it was built over three years ago. The new one is just what I wanted...

Thank you all for you help..

Dick
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