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Dan
Dan, Auto Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 3490
Experience:  GM Mark of Excellence/ Service Guild Participant with 13 years experience, ASE Master Certified
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I have a 2004 Silverado 5.3l 4WD that is making a rubbing noise when I

Customer Question

I have a 2004 Silverado 5.3l 4WD that is making a rubbing noise when I turn to the right (not the left). Please help!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.
Have you lifted the front of the truck up and checked the front wheel bearings for excessive play in and out? These trucks are known for the wheel bearings to loosen and cause a noise especially when turning.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Completely stock. No lift. I have not noticed any vibrating from the front end. The rubbing is only when I turn left. Does not seem like a power streering pump because it does not occur when I turn left.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Can you help me? I am hoping to fix the truck in the morning. Thanks! Joe
Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.
By lifting I mean support the front of the truck to check the hubs/wheel bearings for play/wear.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No, I have yet lifted the front end to check for excessive play. Would the idler arm cause this? I bought the truck new and did not discover the idler arm grease zerk until 70k miles (truck now has 85k). Wouldnt a loose wheel bearing cause a wheel vibration when driving straight or a vibration while turning? I can make the rubbing sound by moving the wheel to the right. Once it is in a position to make the noise, I can fepeat the noise by slightly moving the wheel to the left then when I move the wheel back to the right it will rub again, and can repeat repeatedly.
Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.
Check the wheel hubs/bearings, idler and pitman arms for wear and also the inner tie rods as they can loosen.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

How do I check the wheel hubs and bearings for wear, jack up the vehicle and wiggle the wheels and check for looseness?

 

What is the best way to check the idler and pitman arms for wear?

 

What is the best way to check for the looseness of the inner tie rods?

Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.
To check the hubs/bearings there should be no movement in and out at the top and bottom of the wheels. To check the idler, pitman and inner tie rods there should be no play side to side in the wheels. Sometimes it's necessary to have another person move the wheels in and out side to side and top to bottom so you can check for wear and if so see what's worn.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I jacked up the truck today. There is no play in the wheels. Upon closer inspection, I think the rubbing is coming from the steering column in the dash area. Have you heard of this problem before on a 2004 Silverado 5.3l 4wd? How much would the Chevy dealer cost to repair the steering column?
Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.
Oh, ok. That noise is usually from the SIR clockspring coil behind the steering wheel. They can squeak or rub when turning the steering wheel. Also, the steering column upper and lower shroud can be contacting something like the steering wheel if not exactly in the correct position. The best way to determine the cause would be to remove the upper and lower shrouds and turn the steering wheel listening for the noise. Check these things out and let me know what you find.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

How do I remove the steering column covers? I pulled the tilt column handle out. The Haynes manual says there are two screws holding the lower cover in place. There appears to be two holes for screws in the plastic place, but when I look in the holes, I do not see any screws.

 

Thanks, Joe

Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.
Steering Column Trim Cover Replacement

Removal Procedure

    Caution: Refer to SIR Caution in the Preface section.


    Object Number: 692091  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  1. Disable the inflatable restraint steering wheel module. Refer to SIR Disabling and Enabling in SIR.
  2. Disconnect the battery negative cable. Refer to Battery Negative Cable Disconnection and Connection in Engine Electrical.
  3. Remove the steering wheel from the column. Refer to Steering Wheel Replacement .
  4. Remove the gap hider. Refer to Instrument Cluster Replacement in Instrument Panel, Gages, and Console.
  5. If tilt column, remove the tilt lever from the lower trim cover. Refer to Tilt Lever Replacement .

    Important: You must check for 2 pan head tapping screws (1,2) in the lower trim cover before removal.

  6. If necessary, remove the 2 pan head tapping screws (1,2) from the lower trim cover (3). Remove the lower trim cover (3).

    If screws are not present in the lower trim cover, proceed to the next step.


    Object Number: 723623  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  7. Gently unsnap the lower trim cover from the upper trim cover.
    Object Number: 692093  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.

    Important: You must check for 1 TORX® head screw (1) in the upper trim cover (2) before removal.

  8. If necessary, remove 1 TORX® head screw (1) from the upper trim cover (2).

    If a screw is not present, remove the upper trim cover (2).

Installation Procedure

    Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in the Preface section.


    Object Number: 692093  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.

    Important: If the snap on/off feature on the trim covers was damaged during the removal procedure, you MUST use screws for the installation procedure. If screws were present in the trim covers before the removal procedure, you MUST use the screws during the installation procedure.

    If there was not any damage done to the trim covers during the removal procedure and no screws were present, proceed to step 2.

     

     

  1. Install the upper trim cover (2) onto the steering column. Install 1 TORX® head screw (1) into the upper trim cover (2).

    Tighten
    Tighten the screw to 1.5 N·m (13 lb in).


    Object Number: 723623  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.

    Important: If column shift, the shift lever seal must be seated in the trim covers.

  2. Slide the shift lever seal down the shift lever.
  3. Gently snap the lower trim cover to the upper trim cover.
  4. If screws were not used in the installation procedure, proceed to step 6.
    Object Number: 692091  Size: SH
    Click here for detailed picture of above image.
  5. Screw the 2 pan head tapping screws (1, 2) into the lower trim cover.

    Tighten
    Tighten the 2 pan head tapping screws to 3.5 N·m (31 lb in).

  6. If tilt column, install the tilt lever into the lower trim cover. Refer to Tilt Lever Replacement .
  7. Install the gap hider. Refer to Instrument Cluster Replacement In Instrument Panel, Gages, and Console.
  8. Install the steering wheel onto the steering column. Refer to Steering Wheel Replacement
  9. Connect the battery negative cable. Refer to Battery Negative Cable Disconnection and Connection in Engine Electrical.
  10. Enable the inflatable restraint steering wheel module. Refer to SIR Disabling and Enabling in SIR.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Wow... remove the steering wheel? I got them off without having to do that. The upper and lower covers are now removed andd the rubbing is still there. The rubbing seems to be metal to metal (ie steel to bushing or something). The rubbing does not seem to be plastic to plastic or plastic to metal.

 

What do I need to look for now?

Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.
Glad to hear you were able to get the shrouds off...I was giving you the official directions and I never need to remove the steering wheel. As for the noise, can you put your hand on the SIR coil/clockspring to determine if the noise is coming from inside that? If not listen down at the base of the steering column for the noise and let me know what you find ok.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The noise is definately coming from the shaft between the steering wheel and the tilt column's universal joint. I tried changing the tilt column angle and making it straight and it did not help or hurt the noise. Is there anyway to lubricate that shaft without removing the steering wheel? Is there anything else it could be besides hte SIR Coil / clockspring? What does the SIR coil / clockspring do?

Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.
That clockspring supplies power to the airbag, steering wheel controls and horn in a way so the steering wheel can be turned and the wires don't break. I had another truck doing the same thing and we ended up putting an entire steering column in the truck for the noise. That one was covered under factory warranty at the time. It had something to do with the center shaft, bearings and races making contact causing the noise.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Can you take a guess what I would pay to have the same work done out of warranty that you did to the previous truck?

 

Is there any poor man's fix you would recommend such as lubricating anything? My truck is out of warranty.

 

What you said makes sense. One of the lights on the steering wheel buttons went out (lower right), although the button still works. A different button did the same thing (no light but the button worked - lower left) until the light came back on.

 

Would replacing the clockspring fix the problem?

Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.
You can try lubricating the inner steering shaft and ball socket. As far as pricing you would need to contact your local GM dealer...I have no accurate idea how much. It's a 50/50 shot between the clockspring and steering wheel switches. I usually just replace the steering wheel switches and that fixes any problems with them.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Any kind of spray lubrication you recommend? I don't want to short out any wires.

 

Thanks, Joe

Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.
White lithium grease...it sticks to components rather than sliding off like WD-40 would.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What are the chances this will work?
Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.
As long as there's nothing worn in the column but rather just a dry bearing lubing should fix the noise.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

No luck with the white spray lithium grease. I sprayed all the ball joints in th e shaft and a ton on the ball joint and into the column from the back and from the front, behind the coilspring.

 

Can other ideas?

 

Also, can you me the info on what the inside of the column looks like, ie where the bearings and or bushings are so I know where to try to spray if there is someplace I have missed?

 

I promise I will click Accept very soon :)

 

Thanks, Joe

Expert:  Dan replied 5 years ago.

No problem. Here is that picture.

 

Steering Column Disassembled View (Column Shift Lean Shaft)
Object Number:(NNN) NNN-NNNN Size: LF
Click here for detailed picture of above image.

(1)Steering Column Upper Trim Cover
(2)Steering Column Lower Trim Cover
(3)Automatic Transmission Control Lever Housing Seal
(4)Automatic Transmission Control Lever Bolt
(5)Automatic Transmission Control Lever
(6)Steering Wheel Nut
(7)Snap Ring
(8)Inflatable Restraint Steering Wheel Module Coil
(9)Inflatable Restraint Steering Wheel Module Coil Washer
(10)Steering Shaft Lock Plate Retaining Ring
(11)Turn Signal Switch Cancel Cam Position Plate
(12)Turn Signal Cancel Cam
(13)Steering Shaft Upper Bearing Spring
(14)Steering Shaft Upper Bearing Race Seat
(15)Steering Shaft Upper Bearing Race
(16)Ignition Lock Cylinder Case Bracket
(17)Steering Column Upper Cover Bolt
(18)Ignition Lock Cylinder Case Bolt
(19)Ignition Lock Cylinder Case
(20)Ignition Lock Cylinder Case Bolt
(21)Ignition and Start Switch
(22)Turn Signal Switch Bolt
(23)Turn Signal and Headlamp Dimmer Switch and Windshield Wiper and Windshield Washer Switch
(24)Steering Column Housing
(25)Steering Column Spring Guide
(26)Steering Column Tilt Spring
(27)Steering Column Tilt Lock Release Lever Pivot Pin
(28)Steering Shaft Upper Bearing
(29)Steering Shaft
(30)Steering Column Tilt Wheel Release Lever
(31)Steering Column Lower Trim Cover Bolt
(32)Automatic Transmission Control
(33)Automatic Transmission Shift Lock Control Bolt
(34)Steering Column Housing Support Bolt
(35)Steering Column Pivot Pin
(36)Steering Column Housing Support
(37)Steering Column Jacket
(38)Automatic Transmission Shift Lock Control Actuator
(39)Steering Shaft Lower Bearing Adapter
(40)Steering Wheel Position Sensor
(41)Steering Wheel Position Sensor Retaining Clip
(42)Steering Gear Coupling Nut
(43)Upper Intermediate Steering Shaft
(44)Steering Gear Coupling Bolt

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Dan
Dan
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GM Mark of Excellence/ Service Guild Participant with 13 years experience, ASE Master Certified