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Old 07-22-2023, 05:08 PM #1
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Clunk when steering

Hey all,

Looking for some help diagnosing this issue. This seems to happen mostly when when moving. Basically when I turn slightly off center to the left and then turn back right again I can feel a clunk through the steering wheel. This doesnít happen when I turn back left after turning right. Any idea if there is some component I should take a look at or does my steering rack just have some play in it due to its age
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Old 07-22-2023, 10:06 PM #2
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You can check your steering components with a jack and a pry bar. Place the jack under the lower control arm and raise the vehicle until the tire is off the ground enough to get your pry bar under it. Make sure the vehicle is stable on the jack. Place your hands on tire at 3 and 9 o'clock and push and pull on both sides. Any moment here wound be steering linkage/gear or wheel bearing. If it is coming from the steering linkage you can isolate by holding the tie rod while pushing/pulling. Prying up from under the tire will check the ball joints. Pushing/pulling at 12 o'clock will check the upper ball joint and wheel bearing.
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Old 07-22-2023, 10:08 PM #3
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Last part that clunked in mine was the intermediate steering universal joint shaft. Was about $180 from a dealer for the whole part even though just the U joint is bad.

A little bit of a pain to put on only because the splines get seized together, but some hammering and it's off.

A couple bolts in the engine bay and a bolt or two under the steering column.
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Old 07-23-2023, 11:58 AM #4
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+1 for intermediate steering shaft. Mine went at 190k. You can try spraying some lubricant on the u joint and drive around for a bit. If you don't feel the clunk or feel it less, that's your culprit.
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Old 07-24-2023, 06:41 PM #5
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I would also look at the intermediate steering shaft first. If in the past you had hard notchy steering then that would be the first step of it wearing. Worn inner or outer tie rods can also give a side to side clunk. Best bet is with the key on and engine off, have someone turn the wheel side to side a bit so you can listen for clunks. When you have the area the noise is coming from to focus on, you can often see the loose part.
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Old 07-26-2023, 08:47 AM #6
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intermediate steering universal joint shaft fixed mine
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Old 07-26-2023, 09:53 AM #7
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are you only able to reproduce when moving? Or will sitting still in the driveway cause the same noise? if you can reproduce it in the driveway my suggestion would be to have some one steer it for you while you look and feel around. Otherwise, I would likely start with the intermediate shaft as already stated, but balljoints are also very likely to clunk during steering as they start to wear. Assuming you're on factory lower and upper arms?
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Old 08-16-2023, 07:25 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinNH67 View Post
I would also look at the intermediate steering shaft first. If in the past you had hard notchy steering then that would be the first step of it wearing. Worn inner or outer tie rods can also give a side to side clunk. Best bet is with the key on and engine off, have someone turn the wheel side to side a bit so you can listen for clunks. When you have the area the noise is coming from to focus on, you can often see the loose part.
Thanks for all the input everyone! After posting this, I took the truck to an alignment shop. I let them know the issue. They did an inspection and aligned it. They told me they saw no issues with the control arms, ball joints, tie rods, etc. and they too thought it would be in the steering somewhere. I got the parts and Iíll replace the intermediate steering shaft and see what happens
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Old 08-16-2023, 11:12 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrdvs277 View Post
Thanks for all the input everyone! After posting this, I took the truck to an alignment shop. I let them know the issue. They did an inspection and aligned it. They told me they saw no issues with the control arms, ball joints, tie rods, etc. and they too thought it would be in the steering somewhere. I got the parts and Iíll replace the intermediate steering shaft and see what happens
Outer CV axle joint. Check for lateral play.
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Old 08-17-2023, 05:19 PM #10
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Subscribing to this thread to see if the clonk issue is fixed with a new intermediate steering shaft.
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