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Old 03-01-2013, 11:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
Derek M
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Wits End....

My truck is and has been fantastic is served us well going on 12 years now. 2002 2500HD.

The one thing that's been a nagging issue is the steering box. Yes the issue is isolated in the steering box, no iffs, no buts, I have the evidence that supports it.

Steering Wheel

Intermediate Shaft Gear Box Input Shaft

The short is all of the boxes I've obtained have had play at center X amount of degrees from center. At the pitman there's nothing occurring, the input shaft on the box rotates left or right from action applied on the steering wheel, the pitman doesn't move.

The issue is I can't for the life of me find a quality box that drives like the new one did and I've tried what I believe are just about everyone's boxes.

In order of use:

(2) Reman AC Delco -Junk
(2) PSC - great box, best feel and assist, feel at center 10 degrees left and right of center non existent movement at pitman. Lance was absolutely fantastic to work with. Lance was very personable, genuinely cared, and did everything within his capability.

(1) Redhead. Most accurate box I've had to date on center, it however at center is dead and feels like a switch when crossing center when changing direction. This box doesn't flow fluid like the PSC or AGR box, its apparent in the feel and effort of the steering.

(1) AGR - similar to PSC box, though play at center is tremendous. After conversation with AGR I'm referred to an adjustment page that I need to perform. http://www.agrperformance.com/AGR-In...x-Pre-Load.pdf. Two things here. I've done the adjustments as documented and the box is better, its still not right it did help, with 15 degrees either side of center is dead. From the conversation with AGR it was explained away that the adjustments are normal or expected. I however have an expectation that the mating of the shafts should be similar to a ring and pinion setup, very precise in pinion deep and lash to obtain the proper relationship and mating that would produce a feel that's constant and consistent throughout the operation range.

I'm several thousands dollars into this. I was previous having a local shop do the installs, they do great work, just expensive to rinse and repeat, so last two boxes I've done my own. I'm not sure where to turn to locate a box that operates like a new OEM unit.

Any boxes I haven't tried that people have had success with consistent feel across the range of motion?
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
LA DMAX
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http://lee-powersteering.com/index.htm

Give them a call, I'm still on my OEM steering system but I use their fluid to flush my pump every other year. They do a lot of the steering for Baja 1000 trophy trucks. The owner even has a 2500HD with a ram assist, which is also available for our trucks from them.

Hope it helps ya out.

LA DMAX
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
Derek M
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Thanks for the recommendation. PSC and AGR both are involved in similar type racing baja, rock crawling, etc. Hasn't made any difference to my success rate or lack there of so far. Sorry for being sarscastic. Trying to remain postive. Just wore out physically and mentally at this point. Not extremely fun laying on your back changing these puppies out time and time again only to find no real difference.

I'll call Lee's here in a moment to see if they are confident to build a box free of center play.

Any idea if a new, if you can get them, steering box from a 2011 HD would work on the GMT800 HD chassis?

I'm ready to put some finalization to this drama, life's too short for the mess of boxes I've endured. I'm extremely close to ordering a new 1/2 ton truck. Sure is a shame though as everything else on the truck is rock solid.
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
LA DMAX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek M View Post
Thanks for the recommendation. PSC and AGR both are involved in similar type racing baja, rock crawling, etc. Hasn't made any difference to my success rate or lack there of so far. Sorry for being sarscastic. Trying to remain postive. Just wore out physically and mentally at this point. Not extremely fun laying on your back changing these puppies out time and time again only to find no real difference.

I'll call Lee's here in a moment to see if they are confident to build a box free of center play.

Any idea if a new, if you can get them, steering box from a 2011 HD would work on the GMT800 HD chassis?

I'm ready to put some finalization to this drama, life's too short for the mess of boxes I've endured. I'm extremely close to ordering a new 1/2 ton truck. Sure is a shame though as everything else on the truck is rock solid.

They might be different. Things have gone through a few changes since the 800's.

Hope it works out for ya. Keep us informed.

LA DMAX
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2002 D/A CC SB 4X4 Pewter/Pewter, injectors at 72,000 on GM thank God.
Line-X, catch alls, Transynd, Juice/Attitude, Michael's medium accelerator spring
17 X 8 Goat wheels with 265/70 17 Hankook DP ATM RF10 -SOLD-
Toyo M55's 255/85 16 on PYO's
Fox 2.0 shocks piggybacked
Eric's pump rub fix

2007 KTM 250 XC-W
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
Derek M
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Called left a voice mail with Lee's at 12:30 PST today. I'll post back when I hear back from them and if anything comes of it. Thanks.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
chevyinlinesix
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This was a very informative thread. My steering box is sloppy as well. Everything else new and tight. As far as I'm concerned, a vehicle should drive as if it were new. I appreciate you posting up all the information you have, and you have gone through great expense coming to these conclusions.

I for sure am going to try AGR's procedure for taking up slack, it should help at least.

Cheers
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2001 GMC Sierra 2500HD, EC LB, 2WD, Duramax, 30mpg highway.
1996 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, RC LB, 4x4, 14 bolt FF 3.73 posi, Suncoast 4L80E, completely custom engine, true dual 4" exhaust
1987 GMC Sierra 1500HD, RC LB, 12 bolt 3.08 posi, built 383 stroker, TH400, 13" towing converter, 26mpg highway, 22 city, daily driver/drag truck. Swapping in a built TT Duramax/Allison. Looking for about 700RWHP
1995 Chevy 3500HD, RC, DRW, 13' for looong box, Dana 80 4.63 gears, double framed, 15,000 GVWR
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Originally Posted by bodis22
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Last edited by chevyinlinesix; 03-01-2013 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
heymccall
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The Saginaw box is one of the easiest to "fine tune" the near center feel, and eliminate your complaint.
http://bangshift.com/blog/driveway-t...two-tools.html In truck adjustment, but always just a little bit at a time, as too tight will cause excess wear.

The right way, out of the truck, which would allow you to verify a box BEFORE installation. Like here http://www.gmtruckclub.com/forum/sho...ll=1#post20103

It ain't rocket science, and, please don't spread your poor luck my way
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
Derek M
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I've had some good success this morning.

After going through the AGR instructions for adjusting the steering box, youtube videos and the references provided by heymccall I now have steering that's about 95% johnnie on the spot accurate. The dead center is gone. To my feeble mind it doesn't make much sense for the customer to make this adjustments, I would think the manufacturer would be best suited for this, but it is what it is. Drove it 40 miles. Pleased at this point. I did have two odd occurrences on the drive, more on that later.

Findings.

First, the adjustment of the preload on the steering box input shaft is simply critical. Took me 7 or was it 8 attempts to get it correct, least at this stage it seems correct to my feel-o-meter. The sector shaft adjustment (5/8" locking nut and 3/8' allen on the top plate) is the easier of the two to find a happy medium IMHO.

Second major finding is the steering lower shaft that connects to the steering box input shaft was physically rotating without turning the steering box input shaft. Basically the connection was sloppy and allowing the steering linkage to turn without turning the steering box input shaft. Its hard to see if your not looking for it. A dealer, two independent shops have missed this including me up till now. I take responsibly for missing this easy diagnosis. Likely wrongly blamed boxes for lack of center feel when the entire time it was the lower steering shaft coupler. I applozie for that.

Identified the issue by scribbing a mark on the steering box input shaft and the lower steering shaft coupler. Found that the double D (two flat sides of the lower steering shaft receiving joint) aren't exactly flat as is intended. I have a temporary fix in place currently, but need a new lower steering shaft. All I can locate are the upper or intermediate shafts. Looked at all my local parts stores and a couple online places with zero results for the lower.

Two times during my 40 mile drive I had moderate braking with quick left input in the wheel to make someone sharp 90 degree turn. I lost power steering twice. Mind you the PS pump didn't make any odd noises while this was occurring, there was just no assist present. I've tried and tried to duplicate this and now can't make it do it. I'm hunching moderate use of brakes at the same time with commanding considerable effort of the power steering is when the issue occurred. Now why did it occur? Possibly the original OEM PS pump (125k miles) isn't enough to drive enough volume and or pressure through the AGR steering box its demanding. The AGR box like the PSC box seems to be effortless steering, very light effort. Thus what's behind this feel, better flow and volume through the internals? I'm guessing and the OEM pump simply can't supply enough of both pressure and volume?

I do have one symptom present, a sound where it sounds like air is escaping from a pneumatic tool when turning the wheel either direction. It could also be described as an air hissing sound. It isn't loud or annoying, only this noise wasn't present before the AGR steering gear installation. It is a net new noise. I can confirm the system is properly bled. Any ideas on the noise? Or any recommendation and experiences anyone can share?

I don't wish my bad luck or lack of troubleshooting skills on any sole
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
Derek M
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As far as pump replacements do we need pumps with the reservoir attached or can we reuse our existing reservoir, needing to purchase a pump only? AGR has language on their web page that indicates their pumps are recommended with their steering boxes. The AGR pumps are suppose to produce more pressure and flow over OEM pumps. Its stated there are modifications to the pump and proprietary components produce significant increase in flow and pressure over OEM and rebuilt auto parts store pumps. Thoughts?

I looked and didn't see a DIY write up on pump replacement on our trucks. From what it looks like it should be more simple than the gear box, if I can get my hands in there.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
chevyinlinesix
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I have removed my power steering pump before, not a bad job once you locate the proper bolts, they are a bit hidden underneath the front and one on the side. IIRC I accessed the side mounting bolt through the wheel well with a 3' extension.

Thanks again for all the information Are you planning on contacting AGP for price and information on a pump? I would be interested in what you find.
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2001 GMC Sierra 2500HD, EC LB, 2WD, Duramax, 30mpg highway.
1996 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, RC LB, 4x4, 14 bolt FF 3.73 posi, Suncoast 4L80E, completely custom engine, true dual 4" exhaust
1987 GMC Sierra 1500HD, RC LB, 12 bolt 3.08 posi, built 383 stroker, TH400, 13" towing converter, 26mpg highway, 22 city, daily driver/drag truck. Swapping in a built TT Duramax/Allison. Looking for about 700RWHP
1995 Chevy 3500HD, RC, DRW, 13' for looong box, Dana 80 4.63 gears, double framed, 15,000 GVWR
Member #11 of the TLFTN club, ECLB Member #1
WWW.DMAXSTORE.COM
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Originally Posted by bodis22
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