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Fixed the brake lights! (msg)

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by AndreaS, Oct 1, 2001.

  1. AndreaS

    AndreaS Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    It turns out that we didn't replace the new brake switch properly, so it wasn't connecting to the brake pedal. The guy only charged us $20, and said that he also found a blown fuse. I was really happy not to be looking at a huge bill! Now I have another problem - the steering wheel feels loose. It's not pulling to one side, it just feels loose when I'm driving.

    Could I need a wheel alignment? Would this fix the problem? Is this something to worry about?? Actually my husband drives the truck much more than I do, so when I noticed it today he said that it started recently, and has gotten a bit worse. Is there a way to tighten it? Oh, it's a 1993 Chevy S-10 pickup.

    Thanks so much!

  2. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    You might be dealing with a worn joint on the pitman arm or idler arm or both. Poor design on the S series and they go bad fairly often. Have somebody crawl under there, locate the steering box and the arm coming off it. There is a ball joint where the tie rod connects to the pitman arm and there should be ZERO freeplay there. On the other sideof the frame is a similar joint on the end of a pivoted arm (idler arm), the arm can fail either where it swivels to the frame or where it connects to the tie rod. Idler arm is an easy change, pitman arm can be hell, you have to remove the steering box from the chassis to get at it. This is the all based on my experience with S-10 4x4, not sure if 4x2 is the same or not, but I think it is.
  3. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Glad to hear the brake lights aren't "broken" anymore!

    With regard to the steering wheel feeling "loose" - does this mean it feels like the steering wheel itself is loose on the column, or does it feel like the truck is "wandering"?

    Are there any other symptoms? (For example, does the tread wear on the front tires look even or uneven?) How long since the last front end service/alignment? Did one of the front wheels find a large pothole or bump recently?

    Not trying to sound like a smart-you-know-what, just trying to get a little more info. At a guess, I would think some front end parts may be worn and in need of replacement, THEN an alignment, but that's just a guess. Another possibility: The steering box itself may be worn.

    EDIT: Hmmmm - got there ahead of me Alan! I was still typing when you posted your reply! Good advice - you have a lot more experience with the S-trucks than I do.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2001
  4. AndreaS

    AndreaS Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    It's the wheel itself. (msg)

    Gee, two replies in a really short time. Thanks so much! I love this forum. Anyway, the truck isn't wandering at all - it's really just the wheel feeling loose on the column. The tires are all new - like 2 months old, and I can't see any uneven wear on them. Oh, and we haven't had an alignment in quite awhile - it didn't seem to need one. I guess we should do that first?
  5. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Possibly, the wheel COULD be loose on the column: I'm most familiar with '73-'80 Chev/GMC full size trucks, but I don't think the "S" is too much different in this department - the steering wheel should fit onto splines on the steering shaft, and be secured with a nut. There should also be a snap ring or clip of some sort to prevent the nut from coming right off on it's own.

    Not sure how the trim piece (aka "horn button") on the hub of your steering wheel comes off, but once that's out of the way you should have access to the nut - which, obviously, should be tight.

    If everything is OK at that end, I would consider having the steering box checked out since it's at the other end of the steering shaft. Excess movement here might feel similar to the wheel being a little on the "loose" side.
  6. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    If you have a tilt steering colume, they are notorious for loosening over time. You need to start at the top, and remove everything piece by piece, until you reach the 3 torx head srews holding the unit together. Take 30 seconds and tighten them up, and then another 2 hrs reassembling the steering colume.
    Good luck, and I hope you enjoy jig saw puzzles.
  7. AndreaS

    AndreaS Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks, all. (msg)

    These are all great suggestions, and I'll check them out tomorrow in daylight. I love coming here - I always get such good advice!

    Thanks again.