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Old 05-09-2006, 10:46 PM
dp6fan dp6fan is offline
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1997 chevy z71 power steering problem

Hello everyone. I recently bought a 1997 chevy silverado z71 extended cab with 164k miles. there were several small issues with the truck that i have addressed such as the blower motor, wiper circuit board,and broken door handles. The power steering pump was growling and groaning and it was very hard to turn the steering wheel after the truck had been running for a short while. the steering would barely turn at all if the truck was stopped. if i put the truck in neutral and gave it gas it would turn but was still groaning and growling. after adding fluid due to a small leak the steering was still hard to turn.
So, today i changed the power steering pump. well the noise is gone but after a while the steering still becomes hard to turn, unlessI run up the rpms a bit. I have flushed and blead the system still no help.

Has anyone experienced this same problem or have any suggestions.

I am new to the forum it looks like there is a wealth of knowledeg here. I am looking forward to using this site.

TIA dp6an
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:52 PM
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Things to check out

I guess you should make sure your hoses are good and no kinks. A collapse hose can cause trouble. Some K1500's came with a steering stabilizer. If that stabilizer has a problem, You would have a hard time steering. While your underneath you want to check and make sure the steering components look good, and not bent and rubbing up against each other. Or pinching it's self. There is also a steering gear and Rotary Valve that should be operating freely.
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Last edited by justen; 05-10-2006 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 05-10-2006, 07:03 AM
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Here's a page from my 1998 Chevy S-10 shop manual. The diagnostics should be the same for the problem you describe, maybe. Hope this helps.

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Old 05-10-2006, 03:46 PM
dp6fan dp6fan is offline
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thanks for the input. i think the key to this problem is the fact that it only gets hard to turn after driving the truck for a short while maybe 10 to 15 minutes. I did inspect the pitman arm and idler arm. the pitman arm is worn but not hitting anything.

regarding the tech page, i see that it mentioned the seals in the steering box. that makes some since in that after the fluid warms up it is less viscous which would allow it to bypass the seals easier,(I think). what do yall think about that and then what do I do about it. is the steering bax hard to change?

Oh well just thinking out loud really. thanks for yalls input.

Oh and how do I get to the pitman arm to pull it since there is a cross member blocking the bottom side of it. On my two wheel drive truck it is in the open. I just canged it in fact. Im sure it has the info in the haynes manual but i dont have one for the z71 yet.
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Old 05-10-2006, 06:58 PM
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If the steer gear, or rotary valve is bad, it will be hard to turn. It's not building enough pressure to help any.
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Old 05-10-2006, 08:23 PM
dp6fan dp6fan is offline
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Im not familiar with those items. where are they located?
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Old 05-10-2006, 10:04 PM
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Power steering gear c/k

1. Raise and support the front end on jackstands.
2. Set the front wheels in the straight ahead position and disconnect the battery ground cable.
3. Place a drain pan under the gear and disconnect the fluid lines. Cap the openings.
4. On C/K series, remove the adaptor and shield from the gear and flexible coupling.
5. On C/K series, matchmark the flexible coupling clamp and wormshaft.
6. Remove the flexible coupling pinch bolt.
7. Mark the relationship of the pitman arm to the shaft.
8. Remove the pitman shaft nut and then remove the pitman arm from the pitman shaft, using a puller.
9. Remove the steering gear to frame bolts and remove the gear assembly.
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