GM Full-Size Trucks 1970-1979 Repair Guide

Power Steering Gear

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ADJUSTMENTS



Adjustment of the steering gear in the vehicle is not recommended because of the difficulty encountered in adjusting the worm thrust bearing preload and the confusing effects of the hydraulic fluid in the gear. Since a gear adjustment is made only as a correction and not as a periodic adjustment, it is better to take the extra time and make the adjustment correctly the first time.

Since a handling stability complaint can be caused by improperly adjusted worm bearings a well as an improper gear over-center adjustment, it is necessary that the steering gear assembly be removed from the vehicle and both thrust bearing and over-center preload be checked and corrected as necessary. An in-vehicle check of the steering gear will not pinpoint a thrust bearing looseness.

Before any adjustments are made to the steering gear, attempt to correct complaints of loose or hard steering, or other wheel disturbances, a careful check should be made of front end alignment, shock absorbers, wheel balance and tire pressure for possible steering system problems.

High Point Centering
  1. Set front wheels in straight ahead position. This can be checked by driving vehicle a short distance on a flat surface to determine steering wheel position at which vehicle follows a straight path.
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  3. With front wheels set straight ahead, check position of mark on wormshaft designating steering gear high point. This mark should be at the top side of the shaft at 12 o'clock position and lined up with the mark in the coupling lower clamp.
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  5. On the C series if gear has been moved off high point when setting wheel in straight ahead position, loosen the adjusting sleeve clamps on both left and right hand tie rods. Then turn both sleeves an equal number of turns in the same direction to bring gear back on high point.
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Turning the sleeves an unequal number of turns or in different directions will disturb the toe-in setting of the wheels.

  1. On K series, if the gear has been moved off high point when setting wheels in straight ahead position, loosen the adjusting sleeve clamps on the connecting rod. Then turn sleeve to bring gear back on high point.
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  3. Readjust toe-in (if necessary).
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  5. Be sure to properly orient sleeves and clamps, when fastening and torquing clamps to proper specifications.
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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figure 1



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Power steering gear mounting

  1. Disconnect hoses at gear. When hoses are disconnected, secure ends in raised position to prevent drainage of oil. Cap or tape the ends of the hoses to prevent entrance of dirt.
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  3. Install two plugs in gear fittings to prevent entrance of dirt.
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  5. Remove the flexible coupling to steering shaft flange bolts.
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  7. Mark the relationship of the Pitman arm to the Pitman shaft. Remove the Pitman shaft nut or Pitman arm pinch bolt and then remove the Pitman arm from the Pitman shaft using Puller J-6632.
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  9. Remove the steering gear to frame bolts and remove the gear assembly.
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  11. Remove the flexible coupling pinch bolt and remove the coupling from the steering gear stub shaft.
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  13. Install the flexible coupling onto the steering gear stub shaft, aligning the flat in the coupling with the flat on the shaft. Push the coupling onto the shaft until the stub shaft bottoms on the coupling reinforcement. Install the pinch bolt and torque to specifications.
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WARNING
The coupling bolt must pass through the shaft undercut, or damage to the components could occur.

  1. Place the steering gear in position, guiding the coupling bolt into the steering shaft flange.
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  3. Install the steering gear to frame bolts and torque to specifications.
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  5. If flexible coupling alignment pin plastic spacers were used, make sure they are bottomed on the pins, tighten the flange bolt nuts to specifications and then remove the plastic spacers.
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  7. If flexible coupling alignment pin plastic spacers were not used, center the pins in the slots in the steering shaft flange and then install and torque the flange bolt nuts to specifications.
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  9. Install the Pitman arm onto the Pitman shaft, lining up the marks made at removal. Install the Pitman shaft nut or Pitman arm pinch bolt and torque to specifications.
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  11. Remove the plugs and caps from the steering gear and hoses and connect the hoses to the gear. Tighten the hose fillings to specified torque.
  12.  

 
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