Clunk from pulling down steering wheel

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by RepoweredRookie, Feb 22, 2024.

  1. RepoweredRookie

    RepoweredRookie Light Load Member

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    Here we go again. 1999 Freightliner Century 12.7 detroit with 1.5M miles. I grab the steering wheel when climbing in and out of the truck, and now it makes a “clunk” sound when pulling down on steering wheel. Research seems to suggest it is a bad steering shaft, but could also be u-joints. What have you guys experienced? Thank you for any info.
     
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  3. JoeyJunk

    JoeyJunk Road Train Member

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    Steering shafts are easy to replace. They do wear out. The U joints are part of the shaft. Without looking I don’t think they can be replaced separately. Steering assembly is not easy. Not hard, just annoying. This was on a 98 FLD. Yours shouldn’t be too much different.
     
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  4. RepoweredRookie

    RepoweredRookie Light Load Member

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    I appreciate the reply Joey. I’ve been looking at it. When steering wheel is pushed up/down in certain parts of rotation the steering wheel clicks/clunks. I don’t see any gaps, damage or anything. It’s just annoying going over bumps. Do you think it would be unsafe driving like it is, until I can definitely see damage? I think it’s just a loose shaft from climbing up/down the steps.
     
  5. RepoweredRookie

    RepoweredRookie Light Load Member

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    Just looked at another guy’s thread. On Freightliner Century, the u-joints are non-replaceable and come as part of the shaft. Shaft (upper) is $650. Guy in other thread ssid Freightliner wanted $1200 for upper and lower.
     
  6. JoeyJunk

    JoeyJunk Road Train Member

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    I ordered mine offline. I get decent pricing at Freightliner but some things are just ridiculously overpriced. See if you can get part numbers and buy elsewhere.
     
  7. JoeyJunk

    JoeyJunk Road Train Member

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    My entire steering column is loose. I got one from a junkyard because my other one was really bad. Now this one has become looser. I think it needs tightened somewhere that I haven’t tried.
     
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  8. 201

    201 Road Train Member

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    Oh, I wouldn't mess with anything steering, pretty important. Pay whatever, get the new shaft, before YOU get the shaft. Clunking or clicking is a U joint or spline going south and you may not see it. Years ago you could replace just the u joints, but seems an easy fix for something that could be a disaster.
     
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  9. exhausted379

    exhausted379 Road Train Member

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    I'm not trying to be a wiseguy by any means because there's enough of that on this forum the way it is. But you might want to find something else besides your steering wheel to pull yourself up in the cab. I'm pretty sure you can put grab handles on. Just my two cents.
     
    RepoweredRookie, Long FLD and 062 Thank this.
  10. bad-luck

    bad-luck Road Train Member

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    The steering shaft in the cab has u-joints. Most people don't service them (grease them) including myself. They do go bad, also the shaft wears out as well. You have to take the lower dash apart, and check for play.
     
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  11. Short Fuse EOD

    Short Fuse EOD Road Train Member

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    Lubricating the intermediate steering shaft with white lithium grease has helped me out in the past with “light” clunks.
     
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