Re: 2005 EQUINOX FRONT END RATTLING
The **** with it, here you all go.............hope it helps some of you!
It is highly recommended you bring your vehicle to an authorized dealer to perform these repairs in a safe environment with proper safety equipment to avoid personal injury. I by no means claim that this will fix everyone’s problems with the front end rattles but I have fixed mine in my driveway and didn't spend a dime! You assume all risk and responsibility in attempting these repairs.
The intermediate steering shaft appears to be causing the rattling in the front end. Seems that GM didn't give much room for the shaft to move with the vehicle as the suspension travels.
Under the steering wheel/column area there is a black panel. Remove the 2 screws and 1 nut to remove the panel. Next locate the steering flex joint that attaches to the steering column. There is a pinch bolt that attaches the intermediate shafts flex joint to the steering column. Loosen, but do not remove the pinch bolt until you can freely move the flex joint up (closer to) the steering wheel/column. You won't get much movement at all because the shaft has a machine groove in it where pinch bolt goes, but you will get some. The tricky part is to hold the flex shaft while you retighten the pinch bolt so it does not side back down to where it was.
Now before putting the panel back on, take a test drive. If the rattles are gone you are done (that is after you get back home and put that panel back on). If you still have some rattles you'll need to dig a bit deeper. Jack up and support the vehicle in a safe manner to gain access to the steering gear area where the lower intermediate shaft meets the steering gear.
Note: it is important to place a suitable block of wood or ramp under the driver’s side wheel/tire that will allow you to return the weight of the vehicle back on the wheels as full suspension travel must be avoided in order to gain the free movement of the intermediate steering shaft when the vehicle is on the ground during its normal operation/driving.
Locate the pinch bolt on the flex joint and loosen but do not remove it. When you get free movement, slide the flex joint a hair closer to the steering gear and retighten the pinch bolt. Jack the vehicle back up to remove the block from under the drivers side wheel and lower the vehicle back on the ground. Test drive. Rattles should now be all gone.
The intermediate shaft appears to be making the rattling due to loose tolerances within the steering column and the steering gear itself as well as tight tolerance within the intermediate shaft. As you drive over bumps the intermediate shaft is apparently bottoming out and ever so slightly between the steering column and steering gear causing what sounds to be a host of other suspension items causing the rattling. GM has a free play adjustment (interference fit) that can also be performed on the steering gear but that requires its removal.
United States Air Force Aircraft Mechanic 32 years, ASE Certified Mechanic 15 Years.