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Is my steering box bad?

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Truck is a 2011 2500hd gasser, I bought it three years ago at 90k and now it’s at 150k.

The steering got significantly sloppier the first year I had it. It hasn’t gotten much worse since then I feel, but it hasn’t gotten better.

I have been doing all my normal checks of tie rods, ball joints, and wheel bearings and haven’t been able to find any slop. Today I had the drivers side battery out for a headlight change which gave me a good view of the steering box’s input and output. With engine off I seem to be able to get excessive/noisy movement out of the steering shaft with no movement of the pitman arm. I don’t think I’ve ever checked a steering box before, are they a weak spot on these trucks? My truck is all stock and everything is still original I think.

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  • 2 weeks later...

First time I've made a peep here since signing up the other day...


I' m curious about this one as well.  Bought a truck from my brother and I suspect an issue with the steering box.  That's OK, he warned me about it and priced it accordingly.


BTW - Hello everyone!

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The box in the video does appear to have excessive play.  The 2011-up steering boxes are significantly larger and stronger than the 2010 and earlier boxes, and are not known to have common problems.  That having been said, I have seen a few where the pitman arm shaft adjuster locknut backed off, causing the adjuster to loosen which can cause excessive steering play.  This often also results in a fluid leak on the top of the box.  You can easily check for this condition by making sure the adjuster nut on the top of the box is still tight.  If it isn't, follow the procedure for adjusting the pitman arm shaft lash.  Otherwise, the box could be worn out.      

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