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GMC Forum: 1998 GMC Jimmy play in steering wheel, all over the road, dealership says its...
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  #1  
Old 01-11-2010, 11:48 PM
sportykat66 sportykat66 is offline
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Default 1998 GMC Jimmy play in steering wheel, all over the road, dealership says its...

...normal, is it? I just recently bought a used Jimmy, excellent condition, 4x4. Test drove it and the steering was firm, no play, when i turned the wheel the truck went the same way. 2 days ago, I noticed that the steering is off, that there is quite a bit of play in wheel. There are some noises underneath that I can't describe just sounds like something not right. Took to mechanic at the dealership, told him the problem, he drove it, said that it drove fine. He told me that GMC's have a floating suspension and the play is normal. When traveling on a slighty bumpy road, the truck will rock side to side, and if you trun the wheel it feels like your going to tip. I think when he looks at me he probably thinks becasue i am a female, that I don't know what I am talking about. I have driven trucks bigger than this one and never felt unsafe driving like I do with this one. ( I have a 30 day/1000 mile warranty on it ) I have had someone else drive it and they too feel like something is not right. Could be the Pitman arm, a wheel bearing...or something else. They didn't tell me about this when I bought it and when I drove it, it didn't act this way. Any help here?
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:46 AM
Molson02536 Molson02536 is offline
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It's common for the sway bar link bushings in the front of the Jimmy is worn out and needs to be replaced. You can buy a new set for around $37.00 for both and there made of urethane bushings which will keep your front end from wondering. Also worn front shocks will do this also, i do know the ball joints on our Jimmy has a high tolerance for movement which make it hard to do a wheel alignment. When you took the Jimmy out for a test drive, the ball joints was full of grease eliminating mist if not any play. As you have been driving it, the grease have worked it's way out giving you more play. inspect the ball joints for excessive play, you can do this by jacking up the front wheels off the front and try moving the wheel around feeling for play. As the wheel is hanging down, you can place a large screw driver or tire iron under the wheel and see if you can lift the wheel up and down looking and feeling for play. Excessive play means, ask to have it replaced.

This is what i have done on my Jimmy to get the front steering more stable. Replace the front sway bar link with the urethane bushings, use Monroe mono shock Reflex, keep the ball joints greased with marine grease (marine grease last longer and resist water better), have the front wheels aligned with a greater caster setting then stock. I find this to me more stable on the Hy-way. Also found the idler arm to go bad faster then the Pitman arm.

Also take note: the boost valve on the Jimmy is know to weaken after a few years and will need to be replaced. Yours being 11 years old, you should have the boost valve replaced when you get the transmission oil and filter replaced. replace it with 0.490" size boost valve and take about 5 min to replace when the transmission fan is dropped and part cost about $45.00. A worthy investment compared to a $1,900.00 transmission replacement. Good luck and keep us posted please and enjoy your new Jimmy. P.S inspect the fuel line by the frame at the drivers side rear door, common for the fuel line to corrode and leak where it's held on the frame by the plastic clips. Since you have warranty.
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:11 AM
98JimmyKat 98JimmyKat is offline
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Thanks, I have a service appointment Friday with a certified Mr. Goodwrench, I hope he/she points these issues out when they look at, will keep you posted. Thanks for the heads up.

By the way, this is sportkat66, I changed my username.

Last edited by 98JimmyKat; 01-14-2010 at 10:15 AM. Reason: Username change
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:36 PM
Molson02536 Molson02536 is offline
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Thanks kat66 LOL, keep me posted and keep up the great work on your jimmy. Feel free to ask any questions here. My Jimmy is almost to the 400.000 miles, so i may have replaced things on it more then twice LOL
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:20 PM
98JimmyKat 98JimmyKat is offline
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Exclamation what an actual gmc dealer said

Thanks Molson!

I took my Jimmy to an actual GM dealership, they looked it over and came to the conclusion that its unsafe to drive. They "found" these issues:

idler arm, pitman arm, upper and lower ball joints and steering gear has play.
engine oil cooler lines are leaking.
an estimated $2500 in repairs. so i took the estimate back to where i bought it and was told ok maybe there is an issue with the steering (he told me there was nothing wrong, it was normal in the way it handles) but he doesn't think that the other stuff is wrong. So Tuesday, he is going to look at it while I and a friend watches. and i hope that what GM said is true because they(where i got it) supposedly inspected it and placed an inspection sticker saying it passes on my truck and never told me there was any issues with it. And if there is, their reputation is going to be ruined least for a little while, because I like to write and have awesome skills with a computer and have the knowledge to get the Dept of Motor Vehicles, NY State's Attorney General, The Consumer board folks in on what is going on. Hell I may even call up the local news. I can threaten them with all this knowledge.

I don't want to give up my Jimmy, they need to fix it so that I can feel safe driving it. Plus, it is my birthday present from my mom and she would be pissed to spend all that money on a worthless vehicle if nothing gets done, you know?
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:24 PM
98JimmyKat 98JimmyKat is offline
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Also, I just wanted to add: After all this is solved with my Jimmy, is there an inexpensive way to spice up the engine, for maximum performance, gas mileage...etc. Just curious. I want to add things here and there to customize it to my prefered liking.
Have a great weekend everybody~now excuse me there is alcohol and friends waiting for me...a birthday party~
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:52 PM
Molson02536 Molson02536 is offline
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Happy birthday, to the birthday girl. You can start simple and add a K&N air filter and a 2.5 exhaust system. After that you can work on the transmission as to replacing the boost valve with a 0'490" boost valve, and the replacing the servo with a corvette servo in you transmission. Yes it will give you more of a firm or say harder shift, but will make your transmission last longer. Still have the original one in my jimmy and has over 365,000 miles on it now. After that you can remove the Screen from your MAF sensor. Just remove the MAF from the air intake tube and place it on the bench screen side down. With a screwdriver, snake it through the MAF without touching the firmament and tap the screw driver with a hammer to break the screen free working your way around the MAF. After place the MAF sensor back on and reconnect the wires. This will give you more HP and free to do. There is another mode to your throttle body blades, but your going to have to get your hands dirt and consist of cutting the throttle blade restricter plate out. You can ask me more about that if you would like to do that, other then that, having the engine dyno tuned. Dyno turning is expensive and you really don't need to do that if your just in to being above the rest without spending to much money. I work part time at a speed shop so i get to play after work LOL.

Things done on my jimmy.
Dyno tuned
MAF and throttle body blade mode
Swapped the rocker ratio with 1.6:1
Transmission mod 0.490" boost valve, Corvette Servo
Re-calibrated shift points. 1-2 / 3,800 RPM, 2-3 / 4,400 RPM, 3-4 / 4,800 RPM at WOT
ZQ8 steering box and Corvette vacuum boost for the brakes
cross drilled rotors and ceramic brakes.

Last edited by Molson02536; 01-18-2010 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:22 PM
98JimmyKat 98JimmyKat is offline
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Cool Well Guess What?

Well, took Jimmy back to where I bought it, and physically inspected the underneath, with the mechanics. They found that indeed there is some play in steering and the right idler arm is loose. And they told me nothing was wrong...so this Thursday, they are taking into shop and fixing the damn thing...finally. But who knows what they may find after they take it apart...hopefully they are smart enough to put it back together right...lol. I think next time when a woman comes into their place and says that something just doesn't feel right in their car/truck, they won't look at them like we don't know what the hell we are talking about....jerks. Anyhoot, I like this forum....thanks for the birthday wishes...and you all have a great night...
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:48 PM
98JimmyKat 98JimmyKat is offline
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Update! It is fixed, my steering is controlled. Yay! Thanks for the support here...you rock!
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:50 PM
Molson02536 Molson02536 is offline
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You welcome kat and take care of your new Jimmy, and did you remember to address the fuel line on the frame by the rear drivers door. There common to corrode and rust through where the plastic clips holds the line to the frame, just looking out for you since your jimmy is still under warranty. They should cover it since it's a fire issue if there is corrosion.
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