Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:32 am Post subject: ISS Intermediate Steering Shaft Fix Sticky
It's time for a new sticky. Seems the info in the old one has gotten a little diluted.
The main issue with a faulty ISS is this: You will notice popping/clunking coming from your front end when turning. Especially when turning at low speeds. You can feel the popping and clunking through the steering wheel, almost like there are some small rocks in the steering column. If you feel something like this, you need to lube/replace your ISS.
From Elmer on 09/29/04:
I used the easy method! But instead of the GM lub I used spray lithium based grease and put wheel bearing grease on the universal. Within two days the “clicking” completely stopped! If it comes back I plan on using my air compressor to force the lubrication down the ISS by using flex hose. Chevy wanted $400 to “fix” their mistake. Using this method it cost @ $.40! Thanks!
I followed up on this a few months later, the clicking is still gone.
Easy Way: 20 Minutes (what some dealerships do)
1. Turn the steering wheel from center 1/4 turn left so that you can more easily access the ISS yoke.
(Turn the steering wheel from center 1/2 turn left (upside down) so that you can more easily access the upper bolt on the ISS.)
2. Remove the black trim panel, disconnect the light and then remove the fuse panel cover. Remove two screws holding the lower dash panel, pull to the rear of the car and away from the dash. If you try to move it up or down and not straight back you risk breaking the tabs. Unplug the trunk switch to remove the panel from the car.
3. Pull back the black boot that covers the ISS and spray the grease down into the opening.
4. Reassemble the lower dash.
5. Drive, be happy.
here's the boot:
here's the knuckle you need to get to
Basically if you can contort yourself, you don't have to remove the black backing piece. Best thing to do of course is use the white lithium spray grease, fit the tube inside the knuckle and spray like crazy.
Here's some more information that has been posted in some newer threads:
The redesigned shaft has just as much chance of being defective as the old shaft.
There is a possibility of synthetic waterproof greases, such as Belray or Mobil 1 working just as well or possibly better than white lithium spray grease. We're waiting to hear on someone's results with these lubes.
Last edited by redimpulse on Mon Oct 16, 2006 3:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
Joined: Mar 12, 2004 Posts: 108 Posts per day: 0.02 Location: Syracuse, NY
Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:29 pm Post subject:
For those of us too old & decrepit (or just plain lazy) to do the repair themselves, I just returned from having my 2003 LS done at my local Chevy dealer. They did remove the shaft from the car , lubricated it, compressed it, and replaced it all within 40 minutes for a total cost of $68. I'm pleased, and I'm not dirty. The car drives like new again.
Joined: Dec 02, 2005 Posts: 62 Posts per day: 0.01 Location: New York City
Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:54 pm Post subject: Just backing up this post / sticky
Yes this really does work...I just put in the Lithium grease (maybe $2-$5) at autozone over two years ago when I first bought the car used...its a 2001 with 108k on it...bought it at 79k in 2005.......So anyway...I only did it that one time and haven't had any problems what so ever...Not much contorting to do...just sit on floor (actual floor not car floor) on driver's side remove the cover, pull back the black tube half way towards engine and spray ....I probably sprayed a little extra than suggested but no leaks or anything....Just make sure you especially get at any joints you can possibly see with naked eye or use of cell phone camera.. Knocking started going away same day and was completely gone within a few days (maybe 3 or 4 days)...So follow the instructions word for word....buy the lithium greese..don't be too cheap....it only takes maybe $5 and about 5 to 10 minutes of your time if you study the intructions carefully before you start........Good Luck....
I just did this procedure, and used belray super clean chain lubricant (motorcycle chain lube), and with in 20 minutes of driving the poping and clunking hand quit. I sprayed probably 30 seconds of oil onto the knuckle and shaft. Thanks for the info guys.
_________________ 4 wheels
2004 Impala - Stock, mods to come
2007 Equinox - Stock - wife says it will stay that way
1995 Grand Am - Gone but not forgotton, very not stock
1999 Honda VFR 800 - Very not stock
Just wanted to let you know I just did this today. All this time I thought something was seriously going bad with my axles or something...but this description is exactly what I was experiencing. Mine was a popping and creaking sound that I could feel through the steering wheel during low speed wide turns.
I went out there today, and was able to grease it up with only taking the bottom black kick plate off. I'm a pretty big guy, too (apparently I have lost 30 pounds since last year though...I just checked, lol). 5'11" and 210 pounds if you want to judge if you can fit in the way I did, lol.
Anyways, if you aren't claustrophobic, move your seat all the way back, tilt your steering wheel up, and you can slide in upside down and get right under there with full access to the ISS boot. I slid it down and sprayed downward like crazy. Turned it on, turned the wheel slowly all the way in both directions to spread it out, and it feels really smooth.
I'll update you again when I take it out for a spin. This is why I love NAIOA, I'm glad I picked a car with such a great community.
Update: I think this did it. I took it out for a spin in the fire department parking lot. Did wide and narrow turns, left and right, about 5-15 mph, and it's smooth as can be. I used WD-40 by the way.
Oh, don't forget to put the light back in the kick plate...after I closed my door, I saw a wire hanging down, and I couldn't see my LED and thought "crap I smashed it in the door". Luckily it was a fraction of an inch closer to safety and was alright, lol.
Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:50 pm Post subject: Steering Shaft solution
Thanks for the solution for the steering shaft noise. Took my 02 39,000 to the dealer they told me I needed a new steering shaft cost $235. Took the advice here and knocking stopped immediately after adding the grease. Caution it will leave a puddle on your garage floor. Also be careful not to lose those red nozzle extenders down the black sleeve. Mine gobbled up two of them. Thanks again
Once I had my results I've been meaning to update. I mentioned the lube wasn't working for me anymore. I was using Liquid Wrench brand white lithium grease.
On a whim, I switched to CRC brand white lithium grease (found it at Oreilly) and it works again. Not sure why the stuff I was using stopped, but if you encounter a similar issue switching brands may help.
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