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2004 CTS-V
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103 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Weird thing started happening the other day. I began to notice a slight knock, or looseness in the wheel when turning sharp left. It's abrupt and seems to be only present at one point in the clock. Happens when taking a 90 degree turn and such. Recently, it has continued to get worse and now I have the same symptoms turning both left and right. The steering itself still feels tight. No wandering or delayed response from the rack. It almost feels like the joint/knuckle in the steering column is loose, but I doesn't appear to be upon inspection. Also, I just had my intermediate shaft replaced abiout 5K miles ago.

Thanks for any insight.

JP
 

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2004 CTS-V
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103 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Darkman. Power steering system seems to be operating normally. I had the lines replaced, fluid flushed and pulley inspected no more than six months ago, along with the intermediate shaft. Checked the systems again for good measure, and all seems OK. I'm wondering if this has something to do with my suspension. About a month ago I put new FE4's front and rear on the car, along with new sway bar bushings and endlinks. I believe I did everything correctly as the car is riding and tracking normally, but perhaps I missed something. Looks like I have a trip to the dealer in my future, I'm past my pay grade with this one!
 

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2005 CTS-V
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8,363 Posts
One other possibility that can result in a loose feeling in the steering (but without any audible "knock") involves the variable effort steering. A failing wheel speed sensor can cause the variable effort steering system to suddenly decrease steering effort during a hard corner. The system usually self-corrects quickly such that its like a steering component is loose, but only momentarily. The variable effort steering system requires a GM Tech2 scanner to diagnose correctly.
 

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2004 CTS-V
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103 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
OK, so the dealer (and mechanic I trust) took a look and determined that it is not the intermediate shaft, nor the bearing in the firewall, nor the pump or lines. it appears the steering arm is loose where it connects to the rack and pinion. Moreso, that it's loose (presumably where the rack and pinion gear is) inside the rack. Has anyone ever had this? He mentioned it was safe to drive, so now I'm wondering if this is something I can rebuild or do I just need a new rack and pinion?
 

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2004 CTS-V
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103 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Darkman. Looks like I'm in it for a "new steering gear," which from what I can gather means replacing the rack and pinion. Can anyone who has done this comment on the level of involvment? I'm comfortable doing the work, just need to budget the proper amount of time. Thanks!
 

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Thanks Darkman. Looks like I'm in it for a "new steering gear," which from what I can gather means replacing the rack and pinion. Can anyone who has done this comment on the level of involvment? I'm comfortable doing the work, just need to budget the proper amount of time. Thanks!
Care to replace mine once you get yours done? I've had a 'service steering system' warning in the DIC for six months and had no electronic steering assistance at all.
 

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2004 CTS-V
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103 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Darkman, looks like walk in the park next to the clutch. Much appreciate the .pdf.

Darien, drive on down to Cincinnati and we'll throw her on the lift!
 

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CTS-V 04 LS6
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412 Posts
So I am about to do my clutch here pretty soon and that is not something that I want to hear! I need to investigate some steering play a little bit and I hope it is something as simple as just checking to make sure I got the bolt on the knuckle securely on. I had to take it off to do some exhaust work and when I put it back together it feels like there is a slight dead spot in the middle at the dead center. Go figure.

BDV
 

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Having researched my options, the biggest challenge here is getting the right rack. You can buy brand new which is pricey or buy a rebuilt unit from one of several sources but you just want to make sure you get the one with variable assist as there has been some confusion. Beyond that, I haven't seen any documentation that suggest the the CTS Sport rack is the same or different than the CTSV rack and while they look the same, they may not have originally shared the same part numbers....don't know.

http://ls1tech.com/forums/cadillac-cts-v/1693254-steering-rack-failure.html[/url]
 

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CTS-V 04 LS6
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412 Posts
so if there is no leaking from the rack itself but the boots look like they have some grease or oil on them one could say just get the rebuild kit and get it fixed that way instead of replacing the whole rack?

BDV
 

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05 Stealth Gray V
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991 Posts
There should also be some bushings in the rack that act like "slides" for the rack mechanisms to work against. Don't know if those are avaliable or not or whether they even go bad on this platform bit on some cars, they can be an issue.

If you follow the link in my original post, that thread makes reference to a company that will rebuild YOUR rack and send it back to you. There is also a part number labeled on the rack pictured so when I saw a genuine V1 rack show up on ebay, i snatched it up and will have that one rebuilt when the time comes. I've had mediocre luck with parts stores rebuilds.....

We're still learning about the long term V1 maintenance nuances so I'm just trying to hedge my bets a little but my guess, a junkyard CTS Sport rack would work fine...just can't prove it with the info we have.
 

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2004 CTS-V
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103 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Hey ctsv247, that was my issue with just ordering a rebuild kit. With so much play in the steering arm (where it enters the rack), I imagine it has to be somthing in the gear itself, but I've just never heard of that happening. Also, the rack is showing no signs of leaking. Boots are clean and the resevoir filled. I'm wondering if a "low" miles used rack or perhaps even new V rack is the way to go.

BDV, sorry to hear about your steering issues as well. They can be frustrating to diagnose for sure. As for the clutch, it just takes an extra set of hands (ideally) is all. At least I think so. I'm sure you've read all the advice, but the one I'll preach on is the remote bleeder. Gettin' down under there after a long day of work is the last thing you want to do.
 

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2004 CTS-V
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103 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
The column. Sorry, I wasn't sure what to actually call it. In modern cars I always think of the column as the entire assembly.
 

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05 Stealth Gray V
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991 Posts
Sounds like a rotary valve going bad and no rebuild kit will fix that. If you're low on bucks and tight on time, I'd go to the junkyard and get a rack out of a CTS Sport (which comes with variable assist steering AFAIK) which should bolt right up and call it a day. There may (or may not) be some slight performance difference between the V rack and the CTS Sport rack but if there is, you probably wouldn't notice it.
 

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2004 CTS-V
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103 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
So I finally got around to (attempting) to order a new steering gear assembly, but GMParts Direct, among others, is showing it as a discontinued part? I'm assuming the dealer has access to this part still though? Online it was $396, so I'm assuming the dealer will be more?
 
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