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Steering column Knock


rockfangd

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Hi all. 

I know I have heard this before and there may have been a recall or TSB to address it.

My 1997 Seville is stored for the winter and today I fired it up and ran it through the gears. I remembered there is a knocking noise coming from the steering column. It is noted when I bump the steering wheel back and forth. It is not a strut bearing either, it sounds like from the base of the column.

Can someone refresh my memory as to what I have going on and how to fix it. Hopefully I can resolve it by Spring when the weather clears up.

thank you

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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Needs to be lubed or the steering shaft replaced.  I think your car suffers the same issue GM Trucks

had in the late 90s early 2000s!  Check a few Silverado/sierra forums for the shaft issues.

If you own a '99-'07 fullsize GM truck, SUV or Hummer, you may have encountered the common clunking, groaning, or creaking that emanates from somewhere forward of your steering wheel. In some cases, the annoyances reveal themselves as early as about 10,000 miles.

The symptoms have been described as a clunking noise under the hood that can be felt in the steering wheel, or a rattling noise from the steering column that is often present during low-speed steering actions. It may also be heard as a groaning noise when making sharp turns at low speeds.

 
 
 
 

Often, the issue is a due to a bad intermediate steering shaft. The shaft moves slightly when the truck body flexes on the frame. The column is mounted to the body and the steering box is mounted to the frame. Some models were built with rubber isolators, and some were not. The stock GM steering shaft contains a splined slip joint that comes from the factory with grease in the slip portion. Over time, this grease slowly works its way to one end of the joint, and the slight play in the shaft pieces causes the noisy condition.

 

In the past, when customers came to dealerships complaining of the steering noise, a mechanic would often remove the shaft and rapidly cycle the slip joint by hand to redistribute the grease in the splines. This would usually quiet the shaft but was often only a temporary fix. Some months later, the noise would often return.

GM released a lube kit (PN 26098419) to help address the issue, and dealers or DIY'ers could repack the splines to fill the space and keep the shaft from clunking as vibration was transmitted up the shaft. The lube used in the kit was purportedly a heavy damping grease. This lube kit has since been discontinued as it was not an effective solution to the problem.

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Edited by sonjaab

93 DeVille-13 Chevy Impala

72 GTO - 77 Triumph Bonneville

84 Z-28

Syracuse NY

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Was also a known issue for the Oldsmobile Intrigue (maybe Aurora too).  Lubing the steering shaft seemed to rectify the problem.  My Olds had it but was too insignificant (intermittent and only slightly annoying) that I lived with it (the groan/clunk).  This does sound to be the same-type problem.

Chuck

'17 XT5, '04 Bravada........but still lusting for that '69 Z-28

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Its funny that on a GM truck forum a owner solved his clunk/groan/knock issue by  drilling into his steering shaft housing. 

Make a hole and installed a zerk/grease fitting in the problem areas!

He had detailed pics and a good write up to boot!

Will try to find and post the article.

Prob. a similar procedure cound be done on our Cadillacs!

93 DeVille-13 Chevy Impala

72 GTO - 77 Triumph Bonneville

84 Z-28

Syracuse NY

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Cool. thank you

It probably doesn't help that the car is only seasonal. only driven in the nice months.

This is the first E/K series that has done this. Know for sure it is common among many GMs.

The front strut bearings were horrible as well on GMs from the 90s-2000s. Not with any of my caddys though.

They would get so bad on The J bodies that they were breaking and twisting the strut springs

 

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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  • 2 months later...

Well I think between work this weekend I am going to drop the column. I have to replace the turn signal switch, figure out the cruise control issue(wont resume/accel), and lastly figure the clunk out. It is driving me insane. I feel like the steering is loose and like the front end is clunking even though it is not

Can anyone tell me if this is possibly part of what I need?

Genuine GM Steering Shaft Sphere Kit 26026564

And is this anything close to the job?

I would like to just replace whatever the cause is so it does not reoccur

 

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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Yes that is the solution, I had the same problem with a 01 monte carlo.  @rockfangd it is the intermediate steering shaft, there was a recall grease kit.

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Well I am not sure what I am going to run into but this weekend I am going to tear into this. I am putting a multifunction switch, canceling cam, fix accel issue with the cruise, and worst of all the clunk issue. I will try and share a few pics

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok so no real good news today.

I first removed the lower panels (below the column)

I then wiggled the steering wheel back and forth while laying on my head under the dash. I could hear a clunking noise somewhere what sounded like lower in the column.

I then removed the column assembly.

Inspected the shaft that runs op the column. It was tight and smooth. I rocked it back and forth and heard nothing.

I then went to the shaft that goes from the column to the rack. It pulls up and down smoothly. 

I then tried moving it back and forth and it was tight.

It is possible my hand could not overcome whatever the cause of the clunk is but whatever it is it was not obvious.

I bought this kit Ac Delco #26026564. It is called a sphere kit. It is the only kit listed for the lower column. Can anyone give me any idea where it goes?

I am wondering if it goes between the plates shown in the pic. 

I did the repairs I needed to on the column itself and they went ok. Column is still removed in hopes I can resolve the issue

0527192051.jpg

0527192051c.jpg

0527192053.jpg

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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Here is the sphere kit I am referring to. I believe I may have found where it goes. Looks like upper column where it tilts. 

Mine seems to be fine there. 

0527192251.jpg

0527192251c.jpg

column.png

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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The intermediate steering shaft was a problem around 2001, I had the knock on an 01 chevy but it extended to the cadillac.  I think you are in uncharted territory with this repair.  

Here is some history on the intermediate steering shaft 

 

 

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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I think what I will do is use white lithium and work the shaft. 

Then reinstall the column. 

I will put front end up and have someone wiggle the steering wheel while I listen and feel.

Fingers crossed it is not within the rack. I will post back when I find the time to reassemble everything

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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I reinstalled the column today. It actually went very smoothly.

Nice to have all of my column functions working properly again.

Noise is still horrible though. It must be outside the car somewhere. 

I am going to be replacing the lower control arms hopefully this week and will find out more.

There is a hint though, For awhile even after multiple alignments the  steering wheel ends up being off to the left a little bit.

Sometimes it is straight, other times it is off to the left. 

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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