Fixing Loose Steering, Rag Joint Replacement

by birtanpublished on August 16, 2020

Bringing zeros and thank you for tuning in today to this episode of Eric the car guy now when I Drive dad's truck down the road I noticed that I can go straight but the steering wheel sort of you know can I can move it back and forth it's still really loose I've

Replaced the inner and outer tie rods I've also got new ball joints up front and in fact the whole suspension up front has been renewed yet I still have this blue steering so there's only one thing left in this chain and that is the

Rag joint which is the connection between the steering column and the power steering box so I'm gonna replace that today in hopes that it tightens up my steering so if you have a GMT 400 or an OBS truck that has loose steering

This video may be of use to you I'm not gonna lift the truck up at all and I don't believe you need to in order to replace this part on my truck there is this plastic cover over top of the rag joint which will be down underneath here

In order to get to it I'm gonna have to remove this part of the steering column there is a fastener right up here a through bolt then I'm going to remove and then this steering column can collapse a bit so I'll be able to push

This in and move this plastic cover up and out of the way so that I can release it from the power steering box down here I'm gonna start with this through bolt it is a 15 millimeter now one thing I've done and I probably really should

Mention this now one thing I've done before I've gotten to this point is I made sure the steering wheel was straight when I pulled it in so that when I put all this back together the hope is the steering wheel is still

Straight but make sure your steering wheel straight before you get started on this and just pull this through to keep my parts together I'm gonna do that set these aside how easy this next part is going to be well that's that's debatable

But the idea is to pull the column back in this direction push it down and get it up off of the steering mechanism I've had mine apart fairly recently so hopefully this won't be too terrible but you can use like a mallet or

Something like I'd be careful of using a hammer you don't want to damage it no steering do not drive it this plastic cover sort of hooked around this top power steering line here just plastic you can pull it

Up and move it back you can see my rack joint is basically totally wasted and we'll get a better look at it when it's out but I can already see what the problem is and it's really weak you got to take this bolt all the way out might

Be the next step this guy's an 11 millimeter I thought it might be but 11 is like a weird size you just you don't see it often I probably don't have to take the bolt all the way out but I'm going to

Well actually I might there might be a slot in the top of the steering box come to think of it I'll show you what I mean by that in a moment yeah this looks like it's got some Loctite on it now I'm gonna see if I can pry that up off the

Steering box this is what I'm referring to so when this bolt is in here it sort of fits in this area and locks it into place so it'll never come off with this bolt in there so make sure you take this bolt out here's my new rag joint and I

Will link this in the description for you just pull this out to extend it now this one is I believe yeah it's riveted on for now but you can sort of see that there's like rivet heads here so I'm gonna meet this is where I'm gonna bolt

The new part on to so I will need to grind these rivets off and get these out actually it's probably going to be easier to do it on this side but I mean even here you can see a lot and what why did they do this joint well when you go

Over bumps and things the entire suspension is jiggling and moving around and they're trying to avoid transmitting that up to the steering wheel for you so this is consider it something of a shock-absorber if you will so that as

You do go over bumps and things not all of that is transferred up to the steering wheel so that's why this is here but you can clearly see that over time they get a little worn it's basically just like the same kind of

Stuff at tires made out of I have my safety glasses on I'm going to use my cutoff wheel these are the guys I'm going after here might do something similar to what I did when I did the rivets on the leaf springs and just sort

Of cut the top and then use my air chisel to take it the rest of the way I suppose you could also drill them if you needed to but whatever you do this needs to come out why does it seem like I have no air

Pressure today like none seriously let me go check my air pressure situation I'll be right back then maybe it's cold I don't know reeve just being that guy aren't you

These have to come out how you get them out well do not damage the steering shaft when you do that's that's the advice I will impart to you now finally

I can't really come in here to cut this rivet off they said no I think I can now that's kind of loose there wasn't not loose on the outside I'm gonna cut these off flush and then try to drive them through finally yeah I

Got that piece out and I'm good with that no no obviously I need to fasten this to the column I want to make sure that I get this on relatively the same as it was when it was on the truck so if

Memory serves this column was up in the truck like this because this square part of this thing part of this bolt it passes through here went through like this and then I tighten this up at the top so this was in the truck like this

And this is important because I want to get this on here in such a way to where I can still get to the bolt head so if it was in the truck like this then the bolt head like this side is the threaded side in this size where the bolt would

Go through so it would theoretically go together like this if you're wondering why I'm not making much of an effort to clean this up it's gonna get covered I don't believe that's going anywhere that looks a lot better than what was on

There doesn't it but I made sure that the bolt was sticking out roughly the same amount on both sides by the way this is master spline and what I mean when I say that is I feel note like there's a big flat spot up here that you

See like there's all these gear teeth and then there's this flat spot in other words this can only go on one way so it's master spline don't be thinking you can fudge it around because it looks like it only

Goes on in one direction just littering on there I'm gonna take a little bit of Loctite and put it on this bolt before I install it just a little bit I don't want this working loose and there's a lot of vibrations here I got some red

Loctite on there I don't have a torque spec for this but you know tighten it down now for the fun fun part I think first I'm gonna reposition this plastic piece give that out of my way

Hopefully I can slide this back up on here this had some blue loctite on it I'm gonna add a little bit more with steering components like this there's or just suspension components in general there's potential for vibrations which

Can all work things loose we don't want that happening so the whole thing about speeding wheel being straight well I suppose that makes it easier to well it puts it in the correct location so that you can remove all these parts so in

Other words this bolts and everything's lined up so you can get them off of there but that being masters blind like that it's only gonna go out one way well let's drive it to see how good it is now it's better like the truck moves when I

Do this now the whole truck is whereas before I could do this and it wasn't doing anything also interestingly when I go over bumps it's I don't feel miss much so I used to feel it more in the steering wheel when I was going over

Bumps but now I don't there's more on what I mean with these railroad tracks like I hardly felt that at all through the steering wheel it's certainly been an improvement personally I feel like the return on investment with this part

Replacement is pretty stinkin high I mean yeah you've got a fight with those rivets a little bit too you know we either grind them or drill those out but once you get past that point you don't need a lift

This isn't that expensive a linic lick it down in the description for you and the improvement is certainly noticeable so you know just something you might consider if you're trying to tighten up the front end on your OBS or GMT 400

Pickup truck anyway like I said I'll put links in a description to this as well as additional information tools and all those kinds of things if you want to check those out down in the description if you have automotive questions not

Covered in this video eric the car guy comm is where I ask you go also linked in the description be sure to LIKE comment subscribe share this video with the world appreciate it when you do that stuff be safe have fun

Stay dirty I'll see you next time thanks for watching you

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