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adjusting a steering box

THEFERMANATOR

FRANKENBURBAN
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These instructions are for a late model type steering box like the 88+ has in it, earlier trucks is similiar though.


1.Heres what we start off with as this job is MUCH easier to do with the box out on the bench.


2.Start off by taking a hammer and a large flat punch and loosen then remove the locking ring from the steering shaft of the box.


3.Next take a spanner wrench and tighten the thrust assembly in until it is firmly seated. You don't want to torque it down as this WILL dmage the internals of the steering box, just tighten it until it is pulled down snug. If you don't have a spanner then you can use an allen wrench in one of the holes and a large screwdriver wedged in between the allen and the steering shaft to tighten it.


4.Next take and make a mark from the thrust adjuster and the steering box housing(the black lines). Then loosen the adjuster until it is back to the red arrow which is roughly a 1/4" back from the black one.

5.re-install the jam nut and tighten it back up. They make a socket for this job, but I'm to cheap to buy one.


6.Get a crescent wrench and put it onto the steering shaft so that it is holding it snugly. You can also use a 12 point socket for this part.

7.Turn the steering shaft to one lock and then count how many turns it is to the other lock. Now turn it back to dead center, but leave the wrench installed.


8.Take a box end wrench and put it onto the jam nut and install an allen wrench into the center adjuster. Loosen the jam nut while holding the allen wrench. Now you take and begin rotating the steering shaft with the crescent wrench and slowly turn the allen in until you just begin to feel tension increase on the steering shaft, then I go 3/16 of a turn more MAX from the point of where you just begin to feel tension increase. If you go to much the steering box WILL bind when it is centered, but not enough and it will wander. You will have the most tension at dead center as these steering boxes are designed to have a heavy on center feel to them to help reduce vehicle wandering when going straight down the road. Earlier steering boxes do not have the heavy on center feel to them so you simply adjust those until you begin to feel tension increase, then go about a 1/8 - 1/4 of a turn until it is at the desired tension which should be about 20 inch pounds of rotational force IIRC.

9. Hold the allen tightly and tighten the jam nut up without moving the allen.

10.Your steering box is now adjusted to factory specs and when adjusting this way you can take up all the slack possible without making it stiff like happens when you only adjust the sector shaft tensioner. It won't be new, but most likely it will drive good for another 100K miles or so. I've adjusted quite a few this way now with excellent results. You can also take this time to install new seals if your box doesn't leak as they aren't that bad to re-seal.
 

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espoores

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#3
Thanks for the write up Ferm! I am getting ready to tackle this job on my 89 K1500 this weekend. However, I wish I would have read this before I went and bought a used steering box to put on it. Oh well, I guess the one I put on will be restored to factory specs before installation! Thanks again!
 

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FRANKENBURBAN
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I'm using this on a classic 07 k2500hd and the steering still has no resistance. Any tips? I can turn this truck by pinky and the wheel will keep turning.

There shouldn't be much resistance if any when the box is adjusted correctly. You may have a pressure valve sticking in the pump itself. i believe there is a bulletin out for an updated pressure valve for the late model pumps. Most seem to lose power steering.
 

tanman_2006

Just a farm kid...
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#9
There should be resistance in though steering I thought. I have never had one turn this quick. Sitting in park I can be full lock right and spin the wheel full lock left with one flick of a finger. Going down the road its pure scary.
 

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FRANKENBURBAN
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There should be resistance in though steering I thought. I have never had one turn this quick. Sitting in park I can be full lock right and spin the wheel full lock left with one flick of a finger. Going down the road its pure scary.
That sounds like a failed shuttle valve inside the steering box. Sounds like you got some debris in it as I have seen this happen on farm trucks where the valves stick.
 

tanman_2006

Just a farm kid...
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#13
Dirt in a valve is possible. Never had it happen on the 4 I've adjusted this winter but this could be the one. Saved 4 of 5 not bad odds. It is actually the lowest mileage box I adjusted at 220k. One is creeping up on 400k
 

SmithvilleD

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#15
Does anyone know if the GMT800 Delphi box out of an '04 K2500HD has any updates/improvements over the Saginaw "84" casting steering boxes the GMT400 8600 GVW trucks came with?

I'm grafting on the GMT800 2 piston brakes/steering knuckles & rebuilding the front end: bushings, ball joints, tie-rod ends, idler arm & bracket, etc. I have the newer '04 truck's steering box (Delphi with "64" & 26078664 casting #'s on it. Just wondering if the newer box has any signicant improvements that contribute to a better driving truck?

The newer box has a little different shape on the stub shaft the steering shaft connects with - so that may need swapped with the older boxes' stub shaft, or use some type of steering shaft adaptor? GMT800 pitman arm looks similar although I've yet to have it side-by-side with my truck's original to confirm.
 

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FRANKENBURBAN
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Thread starter Staff #16
I believe they also changed teh mounting pattern slightly so you couldn't interchange them, but I haven't confirmed this myself. I know you can swap in a 97+ box and get better steering that way for a bolt in mod.
 

SmithvilleD

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#17
If AGR's GM application tool is correct, it shows their same model #'s (Superbox #1 or #2) fitting the 88-98 as well as up into the 2000's? I also found a picture of a box online with AGR's signature caps, that also happened to show the box casting number. It was the same as the '04 box I've got - 26078664.

http://www.agrperformance.com/Chevrolet-AGR-Performance-MB-Motorsports.htm

I may see if I can scounge up a '97-'98 box from a local pick-n-pull for cheap. Then I could compare the '97 & the '04 boxes on the bench & without having my truck down. If not the same, I could do the tightening process & any seals it needs. Plus if the '97 has the same mount locations, maybe see if the older stub shaft swaps into the newer box? The Saginaw manual shows the stub shaft as a piece that separates from the valve body & valve spool.

Don't suppose it would be too expensive an experiment as long as I didn't screw up a box & not be able to tell it's not right before very much driving?

Even though my truck's original box has 195k miles, it doesn't feel all that sloppy, so if the newer box experiment didn't pan out, I could fall back on just tightening & using it.
 

ippielb

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#18
I have a 2006 chevrolet silverado 2500hd 4x4, i was wondering if this can be done on my steering box? It is the stock box and has over 350,000km on it, i've felt over the past 15,000km the box has gotten sloppy and feels like i'm fish tailing down the highway..
 

THEFERMANATOR

FRANKENBURBAN
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Thread starter Staff #19
I have a 2006 chevrolet silverado 2500hd 4x4, i was wondering if this can be done on my steering box? It is the stock box and has over 350,000km on it, i've felt over the past 15,000km the box has gotten sloppy and feels like i'm fish tailing down the highway..
Yes, same style box just beefier.
 
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#20
Hello, could you let me know what jam nut you are referring to in step 5? I don't see one referenced earlier being removed. Only a bit later. Thanks!
 
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