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Discussion Starter #1
After lurking through various old threads on the forum, most steering problems have been resolved by changing inner tie-rod bushings, tension strut bushings, lower control arms, and the steering rack itself. But has there ever been an instance where the coupler/intermediate shaft was the culprit and required replacing?

Let's discuss.
 

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How's your research so far? See if the instruction on this thread could help:
My buddy's uncle got a 1997 Intrepid, I'll come over soon to help him install the bumper on his Jeep along with some parts from 4Wheelonline. I'll ask if he already replaced the intermediate shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I stumbled upon this old thread from 2009: Strange Steering Wheel Sound. User Peva mentions having to replace the steering column due to a knocking u-joint in Post #4.

Another thread from the 300M Club forums (dated 2006) attributed a steering wheel clunk from a worn input shaft in the steering column: Steering wheel clunk (attention EZ) - Chrysler 300M Enthusiasts Club

In my case, I have some considerable play in my steering wheel even though the underbody suspension components and bushings are tight and in good condition. Rack is fairly new, too (albeit aftermarket). There is a noticeable knocking sound if I rock the steering wheel back and forth both when the engine is on and off. Sometimes the steering magically firms up and I have also considered the pump and speed proportional solenoid.
 

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Have you been able to look at, feel, and listen to the different motion coupling points of the steering components while you duplicate the knocking noise by rocking the steering wheel back and forth? You can observe some of the points, such as the steering column, under the dash while moving the steering wheel yourself, while for other points (tie rod ends, etc.), you'll need a helper to be moving the steering while while you look at, feel, and listen.

One of the points that can develop play and knocking is the rack mount bushings, which allows the rack itself to knock back and forth side-to-side as the steering wheel motion is reversed. The bushings on one end of the rack are on a slotted bracket and don't provide stiffness against side-to-side movement of the rack, but the bushings on the other end do locate the rack and could be the culprits if worn/deteriorated. Some side-to-side movement of the rack is normal due to the rubber in the bushings, but worn out bushings will have a not-normal air gap that allows the sudden shift and hitting at motion reversal and produce a knocking noise - true of any of the coupling points, including the intermediate shaft joint.

As mentioned in the 300M Club post, it helped me to isolate the suspected point of lost motion of a joint by locking the downstream part of the shaft against motion using vice grips.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I can't see much of the coupler as the knee bolster covers a good chunk of the shaft mechanism. In terms of noises, I can hear a loud rattling noise from the column when the weather is cold. Also, when I park the car in tight spaces, or reverse, I can sometimes hear a "whomp whomp" noise at the bottom of the dashboard (left side).

Regarding the rack, the rubber bushings that attach the rack to the upper crossmember near the firewall are solid and exhibit no movement. Inner tie-rods are fine as well, although I will note that I did switch to the revised 15mm head bolts supplied by Chrysler.

I think at some point I will just swap out the entire column for a new"er" unit if I can find one in good condition. I wonder if the LH column is compatible with other GM vehicles.
 

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You'd remove the knee bolster to check under the dash. I think there's a metal plate under the column that also needs to be removed.
 
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