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Steering gearbox moves side to side

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Old 01-06-2018, 03:59 AM
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Steering gearbox moves side to side

Recently i did a donut and locked the steering wheel all the way to the right i think and it shook like crazy and i opened the hood and power steering fluid was everywhere . First time doing a donut by the way. Now My steering gearbox moves side to side when turning the wheel in both directions realy bad. Really scary , I feel like its gonna break any second. I know it has a crack in the frame as i checked it before but now it just moves side to side like crazy and my front steering components seem real loose. How do i go about fixing this? Any way to fix without welding>?
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:01 AM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

No. The damaged frame needs to be weled to make the proper repair.
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:55 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

dude don't half a$$ this. a cracked frame WILL fail and if it happens when your on the highway or in traffic it could be fatal to you or someone else. if its not fatal to a person it will still murder your car. if you cant weld find someone who knows how to correctly fix this. it wont be a big deal if you do it before it fails.
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Old 01-06-2018, 02:51 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

Yeah i know bro. Gonna do it the right way.
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Old 01-06-2018, 07:35 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

Well I got everything out of the way to see the extent of the damage and its pretty bad. For a v6 car from 92 its pretty bad. I installed a wonder bar like a year ago. They should have came with these reinforcements from factory. Damn GM. I have a buddy who welds and said he'd do me the favor but I was thinking doing it myself since i wanna get it done asap.I have a harbor freight 90 amp flux wire welder was wondering if the weld will hold up. Let me know what you guys think on the damage? Not gonna be doing any donuts ever again.
Attached Thumbnails Steering gearbox moves side to side-img_20180106_135304.jpg   Steering gearbox moves side to side-img_20180106_135121.jpg   Steering gearbox moves side to side-img_20180106_135217.jpg   Steering gearbox moves side to side-img_20180106_135125.jpg   Steering gearbox moves side to side-img_20180106_135214.jpg  

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Old 01-06-2018, 08:29 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

I'm not saying it can't be done with your HF welder, but tig welding by a professional would be best here.
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:03 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

There has to be someone who has done it with the hf welder? How does it hold up? Ive read a lot of good reviews. And after i weld it up anybody have any ideas on how to keep it from cracking again?
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:39 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

If you know what your doing you can fix this with a stick welder so yes, your welder will work provided you or whoever is doing the welding is proficient at the skill. The metal involved is rather thin.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:11 AM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

Yeah that's what I noticed it's rather thin. Ill be getting back with the results. Anybody know how to reinforce that area besides the wonder bar and the chassis braces?
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:07 AM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

Well I finished the job and it wasn't too bad. Forgot to take pics but it came out pretty good. First I grinded away all the cracks down to pure metal
and beveled them a bit. Then layed the welds down. One of the cracks went up like a good 4 inches towards the cruise control unit. The welds weren't that pretty as this was my first time really welding something critical but its pretty strong now. Well see how long it lasts, meanwhile ill practice more welding. No more flex from the gearbox. 0.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:52 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

I hope the repair lasts.
Usually, you drill a hole at the end of the cracks to stop it from migrating, before welding.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:39 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

Originally Posted by NoEmissions84TA View Post
I hope the repair lasts.
Usually, you drill a hole at the end of the cracks to stop it from migrating, before welding.

Dam I didn't know.. Thanks for the info bro. Yeah I hope it lasts too. My front end feels stiff as hell now. Lets hope it lasts. Thanks for the help my dudes.
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:24 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

Don't mean to come across like an *** here...but seriously, you took the cheap way out fixing a major issue. You sound like you are not very knowledgeable about welding at all, and you decided to fix a VERY critical frame crack with your limited knowledge. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the car holds together, but in my humble opinion, you are playing with fire on this one. I hope that gearbox doesn't break loose while your out driving and seriously injure you or someone else on the road. A steering box puts a considerable amount of pressure and stress on the frame, so just "thinking" you did a decent job welding the cracks is not really good enough in this situation.
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Old 01-13-2018, 06:20 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

Originally Posted by whitedevilTA View Post
Don't mean to come across like an *** here...but seriously, you took the cheap way out fixing a major issue. You sound like you are not very knowledgeable about welding at all, and you decided to fix a VERY critical frame crack with your limited knowledge. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the car holds together, but in my humble opinion, you are playing with fire on this one. I hope that gearbox doesn't break loose while your out driving and seriously injure you or someone else on the road. A steering box puts a considerable amount of pressure and stress on the frame, so just "thinking" you did a decent job welding the cracks is not really good enough in this situation.
I agree 101% .

In situations like this , I give it what I call the "loved one" test . As in , would I let my Son or Daughter , Wife or Mother & Father , or any other family relation I care about , ride around in a car repaired in such a manner ?

Most certainly not !
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:20 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

[QUOTE=OrangeBird;6194638] I agree 101% .

In situations like this , I give it what I call the "loved one" test . As in , would I let my Son or Daughter , Wife or Mother & Father , or any other family relation I care about , ride around in a car repaired in such a manner ?

I agree 102 % with you guys and I appreciate all you guys concern but I just cant afford to drop big cash on my car at the moment. So yeah I know the risk. But if it cracks again I WILL do it the right way . Besides it wont completely break loose like you say, especially not now, Also its a v6 which is much much lighter than a v8 which means less stress. And nobody rides in my car but me so that's not an issue. But Like I said my front end feels like new its stiff *** hell . I will be keeping both eyes on that gearbox checking for movement, but so far its solid as a rock. And I do know how to lay some welds down, just wouldn't call myself a pro or even experienced .
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Old 01-14-2018, 05:53 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

[QUOTE=maroe624;6194753]
Originally Posted by OrangeBird View Post
I agree 101% .

In situations like this , I give it what I call the "loved one" test . As in , would I let my Son or Daughter , Wife or Mother & Father , or any other family relation I care about , ride around in a car repaired in such a manner ?

I agree 102 % with you guys and I appreciate all you guys concern but I just cant afford to drop big cash on my car at the moment. So yeah I know the risk. But if it cracks again I WILL do it the right way . Besides it wont completely break loose like you say, especially not now, Also its a v6 which is much much lighter than a v8 which means less stress. And nobody rides in my car but me so that's not an issue. But Like I said my front end feels like new its stiff *** hell . I will be keeping both eyes on that gearbox checking for movement, but so far its solid as a rock. And I do know how to lay some welds down, just wouldn't call myself a pro or even experienced .
it does't have to. It only has to break loose enough that your steering inputs become irregular. This will cause you not to be able to maintain your lane.

And when it cracks it will do so in a high stress situation, so you will ahead hav the steering loaded up. Which may occur during a highway on-ramp if unlucky.

If you are lucky it will happen at 5mph in a parking lot. If it happens at speed I doubt you will be able to correct your path before you drift out of your lane or into something else.

A cracked frame isn't like blowing a tire at speed. Blowing a tire at speed will cause the car to always pull to one side. And once you adjust for it, you can keep it driving straight while you slow down and pull over.

If that frame lets go your steering inputs will be all over the place and you will wander bad.

This is one of those things where if you can't do it right, you shouldn't do it at all.
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Old 01-14-2018, 06:21 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

This is pretty much a discard and start over failure. As in crush the car, get another one.
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Old 01-14-2018, 06:53 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

Wow, does anyone here have any idea of how many 3rd gen frame rails have been welded due to cracking around the steering box? It is a common failure (and way too common at that).

After welding add the wonder bar (frame brace) and don't worry about it.

Heck, even the rear shocks pull out of the body on these cars. Then we have folks cutting up the 'hump' for fuel pump access.

Jeez, welding up the frame rail is the proper repair for cracking around the steering box. It would be nice to have a reinforcing plate/panel to help. But maybe they aren't really required, which is why they aren't offered.

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Old 01-14-2018, 09:50 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

Yeah all this talk about it cracking again is making me realllll paranoid. When I did the donut and locked the steering wheel It cracked real bad . But I didn't notice it till I drove from la to lb, I would hit bumps going like 80 and I could feel something go up and down. So I got out and moved the steering wheel side to side even the slightest bit and it would move side to side like a good 5 inches maybe more it was ridiculous, and if that's not irregular enough I don't know what is, I mean I didn't really think I would make it home, Lucky I caught it and parked it and started disassembling that area.
The gearbox has three bolts that hold it to the rail. In the pic you can see that the two holes had cracks around it and you can even see were the metal broke off. The third bolt closest to the bumper was the one putting in work. Was solid and didn't have any cracks anywhere in the vicinity . Grateful for that. And yeah Ive had the wonder bar on there for like a little more then a year now. So yeah now that its 'solid' I'm gonna drive it to my buddy's house were he has a mig welder and have him work his mig magic on it . I will getting back to all my thirdgeners with photos on how its done the proper way. I appreciate all the feedback my dudes, Thanks for worrying. And if anybody has added a reinforcement plate post a pic so we can have a good idea on how its done.

Last edited by maroe624; 01-14-2018 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:01 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

My sixer has never let me down and I wont let it down.
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Old 01-17-2018, 08:12 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

So I just bought a "new" Reman gearbox, new power steering pump and new hoses. My pressure hose which was on there for like 3 years now blew out the other day. So I decided to get all new everything. I have a question about the power steering pressure sensor that connects to the high press hose. I was reading a thread and saw this...



"That's a "Power Steering Cut-out" switch.

It was only used on V6 cars & it's NOT connected to the ECM in any way. It will 'open' to shut off the
AC compressor AC compressor
. The shop manual says that "This relieves the engine of excess load when the power http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/search/?Ntt=steering requires maximum power."

If you don't have AC after converting to a V8 - you don't need it.



Is this true? Can I just plug it? I removed ac from my car a long time ago.
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:12 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

Mostly... Some 305s have it too. It is related to the A/C.
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:35 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

Originally Posted by Drew View Post
Mostly... Some 305s have it too. It is related to the A/C.

Cool I'm going to plug it.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:18 AM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

Originally Posted by maroe624 View Post
So I just bought a "new" Reman gearbox, new power steering pump and new hoses. My pressure hose which was on there for like 3 years now blew out the other day. So I decided to get all new everything. I have a question about the power steering pressure sensor that connects to the high press hose. I was reading a thread and saw this...



"That's a "Power Steering Cut-out" switch.

It was only used on V6 cars & it's NOT connected to the ECM in any way. It will 'open' to shut off the AC compressor. The shop manual says that "This relieves the engine of excess load when the power steering requires maximum power."

If you don't have AC after converting to a V8 - you don't need it.



Is this true? Can I just plug it? I removed ac from my car a long time ago.
On the '86 - '92 f-body MPFI V6 cars it does go to the ECM (same with '89 - '92 TBI cars). On the MPFI cars the ECM cuts the A/C compressor off when the P/S pressure gets high and the engine RPM is low. Such as a parallel parking situation. Its purpose is to help in preventing stalling along with surges in RPM.

On the TBI cars it tells the ECM to add some IAC steps for the same reason. Since the TBI ECMs don't control the A/C compressor, they can't cut the compressor.

Yes, you can remove the switch or what-not.

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Old 01-18-2018, 11:43 AM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

and on the 87 LG4 it cuts the AC compressor out when power steering pressure drops (normally closed). If AC is not installed, it engages the idle bump solenoid (normally open). Both harness switch connectors can be found near the box. The appropriate switch was installed in the high pressure line. The switch connectors are not the same.

I have not seen it on 86's but haven't looked at that many. Evidently I can't say it is on EVERY 87 but I've looked at quite a few.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:23 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

Well I mentioned I bought a "new" reman gearbox from Oriley's and I'm just wondering if the play on the sector shaft, side to side play, is normal? I called the oriley dudes and they said it was normal that they test every unit. But I don't recall any play on my old gearbox. Then I started digging and found this,
Steering Gear Pitman Shaft Movement
Vehicles with power steering gear boxes.


Observed side-to-side movement of the steering gear box pitman shaft.



The majority of power steering gears are built with a roller bearing that
supports the pitman shaft and allows it to rotate; the force that is placed on
the pitman arm transfers to the pitman shaft. This roller bearing is designed
to absorb that type of movement, however, for some applications a
noticeable amount of lateral movement can be observed (see graphic
below). This is a normal characteristic of a roller bearing when used in
this application.
IMPORTANT NOTE
• This is not the result of a defective steering gear and/or other related
internal steering gear components.
• This type of play is not related to excessive steering wheel play or vehicle
drift and wander.
Diagnosis and repair of steering wheel play, vehicle drift or vehicle wander




http://my.cardone.com/techdocs/PT%2027-0003.pdf


It's a pdf I found online. Should I get a different one or am I good to go with the one I have.?



Last edited by maroe624; 01-18-2018 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:14 PM
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Re: Steering gearbox moves side to side

Nvm its all good.
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