2004 Z71 - Bump in steering

ChevyDude

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#1
I have a 2004 Z71 with 51k miles. The intermediate steering shaft has been greased once and replaced twice. I am experiencing a "double bump" that resonates up the steering column and obviously is felt in the steering wheel. The intermediate shaft has been checked and is not faulty. Other than that it drives fine. The pitman arm was replaced 2k miles ago. Everything in the front end has supposedly been checked. The only suggestion was to have them adjust the "preload adjustment" in the gear box which would require them to remove and reinstall the gearbox.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Chevydude
 
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#2
:BeatsMe I did not know they solved the intermediate shaft issue - are you sure the replacement shaft was a final design?
 
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#3
If "intermediate steering shaft has been greased once and replaced twice" fixed the problem temporarily each time, the shaft may still be the problem. You might check for excessive movement at lower steering column bearing...perhaps it's worn or damaged.
 

ChevyDude

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#4
I am basing that info on the dealership's word. They are claiming that the shaft is ok. I got up under the column today to see if there is any lateral play in the bearing and it seems ok to me...

My experience with this whole shaft issue is making me seriously consider going to a Yoda on my next truck.

Thanks,

Chevydude
 

ChevyDude

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#6
Hi Dan,

I have not tried that. In all fairness to the dealership, the symptom is different than when the shaft has previously failed. I am making the assumption that they are being fair and honest with me. The double bump can be felt most times when I hit a bump that runs across a roadway to where both wheels hit it simultaneously. The bump can be felt in the steering wheel....it feels like the impact resonates through the column and to the wheel if that makes sense.
 
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#7
In driving old farm tractors without PS, you don't dare wrap your thumb around the steering wheel. If one wheel hits a rock, would literally rip your thumb off your hand from the spokes, your thumb has to be straight out above the wheel.

Was just wondering if your Z71 is this bad.

Did you do a net search from other Z71 owners with this problem?
 

ChevyDude

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#8
Hi Nick,

This is a new problem; not something that has been around since the truck was new. The dealership acknowledges the issue, but is not 100% certain of the cause. Removing the gearbox and adjusting the preload adjustment is the only suggestion and then again they are not certain that the problem will go away.

I've searched the web and there are tons and tons of posts about the intermediate shaft, but nothing specifically related to my issue.
 

Gus

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#9
It's a sad day, when a dealership, can't diagnose it's own vehicle......they know about the intermediate shaft problems....

Does the vehicle make a noise with the vehicle stopped, running, and quickly rotating the steering wheel left and right?
 

ChevyDude

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#10
Gus,

I guess that is part of the problem. The truck does not have the typical shaft symptoms that I have had in the past.

Had a front end shop drive it last week and he felt what I am feeling. They are going to look at it this week and I will go from there. And yes, it is a sad day when a dealership can't diagnose their own issues. I know that all brands have their own issues....but maybe I am just feeling up to learning about Toyota issues rather than continue fighting GM issues. We can put men on the moon but we can't fix a stupid intermediate steering shaft design??? Tough to believe!
 
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#11
Still have one vehicle left with a steering gear and a Pitman arm. Kind of like shaft in, shaft out at a right angle. Uses a worm drive that wears mostly in the center where it takes most of the beating. Can be adjusted externally, old, but not very much as the steering would really get though off center. But noticeable play in the Pitman arm itself.

If yours is like this with practically zero play, not the problem.

Is this the part you are talking about?



U-joint seems like it would be most problematic and with someone rocking the steering wheel, can you see play in it? These things also go through ball joints like crazy. But all this stuff is visual, least you weren't told, you don't have a problem, scanner shows no codes. Heard this before.

Another comment statement, can't see the trees because of the forest.
 

ChevyDude

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#12
Yes, this is the shaft setup I have. I tried turning the wheel and at the same time tried to feel the universal to see if it was binding up or had any movement...nada. Will be interesting to see what the front end shop says. Might be an embarrassing moment for the dealership if I have to bring it back and tell them what the problem is.
 

billr

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#13
Describe the "bump" more... does it happen only on turning L or R, hard turns, low speed, all speeds, while braking, etc?
 

ChevyDude

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#14
My past experience with the intermediate shaft is that it would make a slight noise when hitting a slight embankment at low speeds and also when turning left or right at slow speeds....and sometimes when going around long radius curves. Dont experience any of that in this case. Mainly when going straight down the highway and when the front end hits a "hard joint" in the roadway you can feel a fairly hard bump, bump that seems to resonate through the steering column and to the steering wheel. Other than that the truck drives and steers well. The bump almost seems like there is some end-to-end play. Tough to describe....was hoping that there was a possible second classic problem.

Thanks
 

ChevyDude

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#15
fixed

So, the front end shop looked at my truck today, and as it turns out, the intermediate shaft and the bearing were both in need of replacement. The shaft "didn't move" after it was removed is what I was told. The bearing came out in pieces. So lets think about this, the dealership had a veteran of 35yrs work on my truck and his conclusion was that the gearbox needed adjustment and they quoted me $275 and could not promise that the adjustment would solve the problem. A worn gearbox at 51k miles? Seriously? So would I have paid the money, I would have been one pissed SOB to find out that the problem still existed. I had the front end shop do the work and my truck drives better than I ever recall it driving. I called the dealership to let them know that they had misdiagnosed my problem and all the service writer could say is that they had to entrust in their mechanics and go by what they say. Here is the history:

Int shaft greased at 9218 miles on 2/24/06
Int shaft and bearing replaced at 30217 miles on 12/28/09
Int shaft seized and had to be cut to be removed at 4609 miles on 2/20/13
Int shaft and bearing replaced at 51000 miles on 3/21/14

Does the dealership get dinged by the extended warranty company for having to replace a part for the third time? My intuition tells me that they played a game with me and sent me away with a misdiagnosis intentionally.

Any comments?