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Old 11-15-2004, 08:37 PM   #1
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Default Dealer shaft problems...

Well, after three trips to get the intermediate shaft replaced, and they somehow popped my high pressure line and tried to deny it...long story...I have a new intriguing problem.

Whenever I start the car, or hit the pedal, I can hear the engine, really well. Sounds kind of like an exhaust leak, except it'* the whole engine, not just a ticking from one cylinder. I checked the airbox, but all seems tight there.

Has anyone experienced something like this after getting their shaft replaced? Is there some kind of shield or something that the dealer may have left off? The r/r procedure in the service bulletin doesn't show any need for something like that, so I am at a loss so far, without getting under and inspecting for any damn thing wrong. The shop foreman insists that the car is 100%, though it clearly is not.
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Old 11-16-2004, 12:21 AM   #2
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Default

Sounds like a header-to-exhaust pipe leak. Let the engine cool down to the touch. Start the engine, pop the hood, and reach way down behind the engine (driver side) and place your hand around the spring-loaded coupling for the exhaust. You may feel leakage there. There is a good chance that this coupling could have been disturbed in some way by someone is a hurry to break for the day! That coupling is fairly close to the intermediate shaft.
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Old 11-22-2004, 05:21 PM   #3
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Default Missing Parts

Well, it turns out that the dealership left off the lower silicone boot that is supposed to go around the intermediate shaft. Now I have a hole the size of a small coffee can from the engine compartment to the cabin.

This, in turn, was directing hot air from the rear exhaust manifold to under the dash, near the cabin air temp sensor, which caused the heater/ac unit to only put out cold air or massively hot air. Plus, there is hot air coming out around the column all the time. If it were raining, I could only imagine what mess would come up through that hole.

The dealer stated that there was never a boot there, but I took pics of the engine bay before, and have the proof. I took after pics, as well as videotaped the inside and outside of the work area. The top nut/bolt securing the steering shaft to the intermediate shaft was also loose, which is where the play in the wheel was coming from. Torqued that, play gone! Dealer said they couldn't feel the play, ridiculous.

Today, I stopped off at the parts counter first, and got the part number and diagram for the lower boot. I then walked over to the service advisor and told her about the continuing problems, and she told me the tale again about how that part didn't exist on my car before, so I pulled out the diagram with part number and price, and said: "This is the part I need put back on my car."

Too much other crap to list here, but just be wary of some dealers trying to pull a fast one on you.

As a side note, now that I can see how hot it gets near the intermediate shaft, I am seriously considering putting some thermotec or other wrap/shield up to protect the intermediate shaft from this heat. I bet that is a huge contributer to the early failure of the shaft. I bet that white lithium grease literally melts off and leaves the shaft bone dry and prone to an early demise.
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Old 11-24-2004, 12:53 AM   #4
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Default can't believe it!

Gosh! What a mess. What is wrong with these dealers? I had the same problem with my 2004 SE. Had my steering shaft replaced (so they tell me, I hope they didn't just grease it) at 4000 miles. Now I worry, after reading all your experiences, that mine was put back together right. Haven't seen, heard or felt any problem yet. So tell me, where do I look, inside the engine compartment, to see this boot? Can't believe you took pictures before the repair...how did you think of doing that? Never thought anyone would have to babysit these dealers to make sure they actually fix things. Must be because any warranty work they don't care about as much as the big buck repairs.
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Old 12-03-2004, 02:59 PM   #5
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Default Boot over intermediate shaft

The engine compartment end of the boot can be seen directly under the power brake booster, from the firewall to the steering unit. The rack end slips into a circular groove, and the other end slips inside of the rubber coming from the interior of the car. Not a real good description, so here is a pic.
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Old 12-03-2004, 03:19 PM   #6
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Default thanks

chili_1
Thanks for the picture. I went out and looked at my Bonneville, and yes...the boot is there. So, kind of peace of mind at this point. There is another black boot down further on the rack, accordian looking, that looks like it'* not exactly straight. Not sure is this is a concern, but I'm not feeling anything thru the steering like before the repair, so hopefully this is ok. (New subject: Have you or any of the other people reading this, seen the www.gminsidenews.com posts about the Bonneville going away after 2005? A lot of people posting would want the Bonneville to go to rear drive, and some don't care for the current version at all. Kind of surprising, since I've always thought Bonnevilles to be good cars. ) Sorry to get off topic ...thanks again for the pics of the steering shaft boot.
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Old 12-15-2004, 03:59 PM   #7
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Default GM taking sides now...poor service to blame

As it turns out, and to make an extremely long story short...

Wife driving car...

Steering totally goes out on car...

Wife skillfully able to avoid four lanes of 45 MPH traffic...

Hall Pontiac of Virginia Beach flat-bed tows to dealership...again...4th time for same problem.....

States the car just "lost its fluid from the rack"...adds fluid back and calls it good...

Better Business Bureau notifiied...case number assigned...

NHTSA notified....case number assigned...

GM/Pontiac Headquarters Notified...case number assigned...

Dealership owner notified...(lack of appropriate, if any, response)....

GM calls back to say they will probably buy back the car, will know on the 22nd of Dec...

The sad, sad, saga continues...
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Old 12-16-2004, 08:41 AM   #8
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Default

Sorry to hear of all your woes, Chili...

How important is it to get that shaft lubed/replaced if you think there is a problem? I just had some front end work done (tie rods, hub) at the dealer and still am having a slight clicking/loose feeling when the wheel is near center at lower speeds. Not sure if it'* the shaft or if I'm just not used to the magna-steer yet. It just seems like such a pain to get to the shaft and too many opportunities for human error. Is it really that important? What would happen if that bastard snapped?
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Old 12-20-2004, 11:46 AM   #9
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Default popping/clicking

The loose feeling towards center with the popping clicking sounds like the top bolt holding the intermediate shaft to the steering column shaft may have been left loose. This was also done on my vehicle on my second visit to the dealership. I don't know if their torque specs were off, or what, but I was able to move my bolt with my fingers. I took video of that, so one can see the effect as well as hear it. I tightened it down, and the problem was gone.

There should be absolutely NO play or noise associated with the magnasteer. This variable effort unit just uses a large electromagnet collar to help you move the rack under heavy loads, i.e., parking maneuvers. I had mine adjusted from stock to firm, by the dealer, and really didn't notice much. Maybe if you could compare two side by side you would notice. The adjustment doesn't change the internal pressure of the hydraulic unit, just stops the magnetic assist at certain levels.
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Old 12-20-2004, 01:53 PM   #10
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by EasyE
Is it really that important? What would happen if that bastard snapped?
It'* kinda important... without the shaft you can't control the steering...
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