Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

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Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by NickTF » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:32 am

Look at the picture below from the steering shaft of my 2015 PW. It would appear that if I remove the rubber boot clip and push the boot upward I will find some kind of telescoping joint correct? Otherwise, why have the boot there and splines. This shaft is quite noisy when I turn wheel back and forth short turns with motor off and I suspect the noise is coming from the location where the telescoping area is of this shaft. I believe this is the source of a clunking and popping i've been chassing. My plan is to apply liberal amounts of grease to the splines of this shaft and work the telescoping in and out repeatedly. I searched and found accounts in other forums where folks had done similar to eliminate the same sound I been chasing for a while.

I've already installed the EMF bushings in the pin area where the coupling joins the steering column. Before I installed them the noise was present and it has not changed after installing the bushings. For what its worth the pins were contacting the sides and quite sloppy before install of the bushings but again, did not appear to be the source of my clunking/popping.

Image

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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by Colibri » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:42 pm

Yes, take that apart and grease it. I had to do that on mine as well. Chasing down a little clunk in the Steering.
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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by Reloaderguy » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:24 pm

Tell your wife your wife you need hydro and a truss then quietly fix the problem with $10 worth of grease after.
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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by NickTF » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:32 pm

Reloaderguy wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:24 pm
Tell your wife your wife you need hydro and a truss then quietly fix the problem with $10 worth of grease after.
:excited: :excited: :excited:

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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by RustyPW » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:52 pm

Reloaderguy wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:24 pm
Tell your wife your wife you need hydro and a truss then quietly fix the problem with $10 worth of grease after.
:rofl:
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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by NickTF » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:29 pm

The shaft has a wiper seal that is super tight to splines and makes getting any real amount of grease in all but impossible. That said I applied, extended/compressed shaft, wiped grease which collected on seal back on splines, repeated this process about 50 times. Doesn’t appear to have fixed anything the noise is still there. Shaft u joint seemed tight and I noticed nothing obviously wrong with the shaft. Maybe the shaft is bad but not in an obvious way who knows.

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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by Colibri » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:43 pm

You can drill and tap for a zerk if you’re feeling ambitious
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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by Retired BLM Rig » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:10 am

If you're feeling less ambitious you can try this. It's not cheap but it's one of the best aerosol lubricants I've ever used. Penetrates with a thin solvent propellant that evaporates quickly and leaves behind a high pressure lubricant that won't run off and lasts a longtime.


819156939_tp.jpg
819156939_tp.jpg (8.65 KiB) Viewed 899 times

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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by NickTF » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:05 am

Thanks, I may give that a shot!

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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by Reloaderguy » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:55 pm

Retired BLM Rig wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:10 am
If you're feeling less ambitious you can try this. It's not cheap but it's one of the best aerosol lubricants I've ever used. Penetrates with a thin solvent propellant that evaporates quickly and leaves behind a high pressure lubricant that won't run off and lasts a longtime.



819156939_tp.jpg
Those guys must be huge Wutang fans.
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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by NickTF » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:30 am

Wutang was out on tour so I ordered a new upper intermediate shaft. My GM buddy who's dealt with all the bad GM intermediate shafts by either replacing or filling them with grease drove the truck and felt pretty confident it was the upper shaft. Time will tell. If this fixes the issue but the problem comes back in another 50k or so i'll probably go the route of tapping in a zerk and filling the cavity behind the telescoping part with grease before replacing again. I'll report back when I swap the new upper shaft in.

Upper intermediate shaft part number: 55351302AL

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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by NickTF » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:51 pm

Welp the new upper steering shaft didn't fix a thing. I also removed the lower shaft entirely and checked the u-joints. Just as tight as could be.

Worth noting that I grabbed the input of the steering box with both shafts removed to check play. I could move the input up and down maybe 1/32" to possibly as much as 1/16" of an inch and verified that the slop in the steering shafts appeared to be coming from this movement. My steering could not be tighter and doesn't wonder at all so i'm doubting the play I noted is abnormal...... No in and out play in the steering box input.

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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by Reloaderguy » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:48 pm

Did you follow the service manual and check your ball joints?
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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by NickTF » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:04 pm

Reloaderguy wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:48 pm
Did you follow the service manual and check your ball joints?
I've not yet but will possibly this weekend. Wow, 0.090" combined is not a whole lot of movement before considered bad..... :shock:

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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by Ak68w » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:00 am

Any update on this?

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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by NickTF » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:22 pm

Had a bad shock the whole time which was causing noise on compression over bumps. Still have an occasional pop which is a different noise all together occurring usually when turning at slow speed once when turning wheel in new direction but is no where near as bad as the noise on compression was.

Ball joints were around .020”-.025”, nice n tight!

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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by Ak68w » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:56 pm

Interesting. I’m chasing a dead spot with a slight clunk in my steering. I seem to have visually and audibly tracked it to the rubber boot area of the shaft but haven’t pulled it yet. Shop said my ball joints were good however he said only one had “less than 1/8 inch play”

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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by NickTF » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:19 am

Ak68w wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:56 pm
Interesting. I’m chasing a dead spot with a slight clunk in my steering. I seem to have visually and audibly tracked it to the rubber boot area of the shaft but haven’t pulled it yet. Shop said my ball joints were good however he said only one had “less than 1/8 inch play”
Likely the shop just eyeballed the movement.

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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by olyelr » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:05 am

Ak68w wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:56 pm
Interesting. I’m chasing a dead spot with a slight clunk in my steering. I seem to have visually and audibly tracked it to the rubber boot area of the shaft but haven’t pulled it yet. Shop said my ball joints were good however he said only one had “less than 1/8 inch play”
The uppers on my truck have had about that much movement since the truck was brand new.
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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by PWJouster » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:08 pm

NickTF wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:22 pm
Still have an occasional pop which is a different noise all together occurring usually when turning at slow speed once when turning wheel in new direction

i have a pop/Clunk sound when i get to the steer stops in either direction.

slow parking lot type maneuvering, crank the wheel any direction, with 5-10% steering wheel movement left to the steer stop, the truck will release a very loud and felt Clunk.

i can not locate it!!!! sounds like a spring releasing.

my guess is the angle of the springs seated on the axle, when turning, releasing compression into the spring seats.
cant find contact or slop anywhere else.
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Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by DamageWagon » Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:22 pm

Axle springs should be silent. Small movement causing a clunk can be so many things. Off the top of my head...

- a slipping crimp joint between the tube and forged ends on the tie rod
- loose trackbar bolts
- swaybar links
- worn tie rod end on either drag link or tie rod (the usual test would tell you this, using the buddy steering method)
- gearbox wear (I got this a ton on gravel and washboard roads with my worn box)

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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by NickTF » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:05 am

PWJouster wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:08 pm
NickTF wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:22 pm
Still have an occasional pop which is a different noise all together occurring usually when turning at slow speed once when turning wheel in new direction

i have a pop/Clunk sound when i get to the steer stops in either direction.

slow parking lot type maneuvering, crank the wheel any direction, with 5-10% steering wheel movement left to the steer stop, the truck will release a very loud and felt Clunk.

i can not locate it!!!! sounds like a spring releasing.

my guess is the angle of the springs seated on the axle, when turning, releasing compression into the spring seats.
cant find contact or slop anywhere else.
I mentioned this to Reloaderguy once. I want to say he mentioned something about stops on the knuckles (i.e. normal). I never looked thoroughly to verify but I have something similar which I ignore and during 99.9% driving never encounter. I wouldn't call it loud or very well felt but that is a subjective assessment. At the end of the day a balance must be struck between real noises and this is a big 7400 behemoth noises.......

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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by PWJouster » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:39 am

the fact that it is so specific to sharp radius turning to either direction, does not happen 100% of the time, and sounds like an Unloading of a spring or release of tension, not a Metal contact point, makes me feel like its none of the above.

Thuren trackbar is fully torqued.
swaybar is nice and tight, link joints are good, and i run discoed all the time anyway.(does not matter if discoed or not)
all joints are good on the tie rods and drag link, as are the threads.
steering box has no movement and the DOR brace is nice and greased.

Best way to test the actual condition of the tie rod ends?
it looks good, no stress wear, or loose components. its tight.

im leaning towards axle tube issues, ball joint issues, or u joint issues.
i drive my Truck really hard 24/7 20k miles since Janurary 2018

i assume Aggressively driving is taking out my ball joints, and messing with my alignment.
the Tie Rod and Drag link could be upgraded. at least the tie rod, so the drag link can still fail.
20k miles (no towing) too soon for ball joints? ill make that upgrade the same time as welding the truss on, and maybe 37s as well.
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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by PWJouster » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:40 am

what components can we upgrade to tighten up the front end? synergy and DOR provide linkages, thats all ive come across
the front is getting too loose for my liking.
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Re: Intermediate Steering Shaft/Upper Steering Coupler Question

Post by NickTF » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:20 pm

pry up and down on knuckles with a pry bar. If you have over 0.090" of movement they're bad, if not they're good. From the service procedure to check them.

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