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2004 Buick Lesabre steering

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Avatar none 2 months ago.

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  • #953658
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    BlackGPGT
    Participant

    Bought this 2 1/2 years ago just as a work car. Since then the steering has always been kind of loose on it. Over time the issue has gotten worse and now it drives like an old dump truck. I’ve changed the control arms with new ball joints only because the bushings were shot.

    Couple weeks ago, I changed inner and outer tie rods both sides. I could see the inner tie rod had alot of play in it so I thought for sure that was the problem.

    Just today, I crawled underneath and checked the subframe(engine cradle) whatever you want to call it. The bolts are tight and the bushings are in good shape, no rotting etc…

    The tires are brand new, struts are fine, car passes the bounce test with flying colors and rides just fine. The only thing I can think of is a sticking caliper but the car brakes and tracks straight both regular driving and stopping.

    Bottom line, the car feels as if something underneath is moving independently from the rest of it. Sometimes feels sketchy and I’m not sure what’s next for it. The car has 101K miles and 3.8 engine.

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  • #953675
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    Richard Kirshy
    Participant

    Have you checked the steering rack, steering flex link(s), rag joint (if equipped).
    Also bearing hubs.
    Might suggest you jack up the front end and support it, then grab one of the tires and work it through its motion and look for any excessive play along the steering components.

    #953761
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    BlackGPGT
    Participant

    Wheels and suspension have no play. Nothing obvious or abnormal noises either while driving. I am suspicious of the steering rack however symptoms I’ve learned don’t point to it(doesn’t mean it’s fine) It’s not leaking either. Wheel turns lock to lock with no binding or issues

    What’s the best way to check it?

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Avatar BlackGPGT.
    #953770
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    Richard Kirshy
    Participant

    Jack up and support the front end.
    Have someone turn the wheel 180 degrees in one direction while watching the inner tie rod movement compared movement of the input shaft of the rack.
    There should be minimal backlash between the two.
    If you see excessive movement of the input shaft with minimal movement of the tie rod, then you have worn gears in the rack and pinion.

    #953772
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    none
    Participant

    Considering everything is new in front, check your tire pressures first. That’s an easy place to overlook the obvious. If that doesn’t solve anything, put some time into inspecting your rear suspension. If you’re still content it’s in the front end, then it’s time to shake the front wheel bearings for play and, likewise, check the joints in the intermediate and lower steering shafts for play. At least one Wheel bearing is probably due given the mileage. Prove them faulty before you just go replacing either of them. But, if you find a problem in a steering shaft or its joint, it’s a one in a million fault.

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