Originally Posted by Jim Salko
Originally Posted by compyelc4
Anyone heard any more about this recall? As the cold sets in here in Ohio my intermediate is getting worse as the days go buy. Don't you just love that crunching, crappy feeling in the wheel. Feels like the shaft is wood, turning in a tight wooden hole.
They will not recall because it is not deemed a safety issue by the Feds. Pull the item and grease it with a good axel bearing grease and the problem will be solved. Both ends of the piece (u-joints) should flex smothly otherwise grease theseareas too and make sure you pull the actual piece apart and grease it internally as well. (Sort of like pulling a shock absober apart to grease it properly. Removal not bad but hard on the back for us older people. Send email if you need step by step to do the job. About 1 hours work under the hood and under the drivers side steering wheel.
Several of you all have emailed for the repair procedure so I will post it here for you all. First off ths problem affects all GM product lines that use the second intermediate shaft steering coupler-trucks and cars. I found on a Chevy Impala webb site the GM procedure that is simialr to the Bonneville cupler. While the procedure shows the coupler in some detail it does not tell one how to actually remove the coupler-so I will attempt to do so here and suggest you pull the Impala description to see how the coupler is greased after it is removed. I suspect that the actual grease that GM is using is silicon based but I used actual wheel beariing grease and it has worked just fine. Wheel bearing grease has a gummey property and tends to stick to the components better than the thinner silicone based grease. I had the dealer use the same grease that the TSB recommends and the first time they did the job the grease did'nt work thats why when I re-did the job I used the thicker grease. So far so good with the substitute grease. The Impala Webb site is http//www.impalahq.com/TSB/TSB01-02-32-001A.html.
Make sure the front wheels are pointed straight forward before starting. Start the shaft removal by going under the hood and look for the neopreen boot that encloses the actual secondary shaft. It should be a clear rubber boot located under the brake master cylinder (very low down) and will appear to be connected or covering the point of entry into the steering arm. Pull the lower part of the boot up to expose the lower part of the arm where it attaches to the steering gear system. You will see a bolt that attaches the lower part of the secondary shaft. Unbolt it and set the bolt aside. Pull up on the shaft end to compress it and clear the attachment point. (This is just like one would do to compress a shock absorber)
Next go inside the car on the drivers side floor and remove the two screws that hold the plastic shield that covers the underside of the dash. The panel will then drop down and you will see a temperature sensor and wire that is mounted to the inside of the panel. Unclip this and place safely aside. Now pull the panel out from this area and set it aside. Lay on your back and look up abovethe safety brake lever and located the upper shaft rubber boot that seals the upper shaft connection point to the steering wheel. My boot was a solid black rubber type. Pull the end of the boot closest to the firewall back to expose the connection point. If it is difficult to do so take a rozor blade and make a few slices in the end of the boot (I'd suggest from 12 oclock to 3 oclock position) to allow you to better insert the socket wrench you will need to free the bolt). The actual cuts need to be about two inches long. The dealer who had originally fixed mine had did this but subsequently had forgotten to tapethis joint up after re-installation was completed and I never figured out why my feet were always cold last winter. Problem corrected once I saw where the cold air was really coming from-or hot air as reported by those who are always in a warmer climate).
The bolt and retainer clip youwill need to remove to pull the secondary shaft out of the car will bedifficult to remove as you are now viewing it with the rubber boot opened. Take your free hand and move the steering wheel from its normal resting-straight ahead position and turn it one way or the other until the bolt is easy to afix with the socket or wrench. Remove the bolt and the retaining clip and set aside. Before you now get out of this ackward position notice that the shaft end is tapered where the bolt affixes it to the upper steering shaft. The two ends need to be matched up in this manner whe you go to re-install the shaft after pulling it out of the car.
Now go back under the hood and pull the secondary shaft out of the car. It will be a little hard but you will get it eventually-make sure you re-install the shaft from under the hood and re-assembled the entire piece in the exact opposite manner as you have removed it. The important thing is to not reconnect the under hood bolt until the very last so that you can re-align the steering wheel on the inside of the car one the inside bolt was secured as decribed above.
Once the shaft is out flex the two universal joints. If they are stiff-as mine was-use WD-40 or similar to spray lubricate them and work the joints as the stuff penetrates each part of the joint. Clean and then take a small pen knife or razor blade to force bearing lubricant in eack part of the joint-working thejoints periodically to force as much grease in them as possible. Once you feel the joints are as free as possible move onto the actual lubicant of the arm. Pull the end out as you would a shock absorber and either add more silicon grease or the axel bearing grease until you feel there is enough in the shaft to ensure proper lubercation. Clean up excess and re-install the secondary joint back in the car starting at the underhood point. Follow the exact referse steps outlined above for the removal of the item.
Some of the dealers suggest that the secondary shaft be replaced in lieu of re-grasing it. So far I have not found that necessary.
One final note-make sure both boots are reinstalled properly or you will not keep the floor area of the drivers side comfortable. Use duct tape if needed after the inner boot is installed if you had to cut the boot as mine was.
Good luck all you shade tree mechanics!