I purchased a used Tracker May of 2013, mileage @ 65,800, (now about 67,000) considerable amount of those being towed behind a motor home. I also tow the Tracker. Since I’ve owned it I have replaced the timing belt, water pump, flushed the tranny, replaced fluids in transfer case and gear box. I noticed that when driving on the freeway the front end seems light (like there is a big load in the back-not so). My mechanic, after awhile, indicated that the lower steering shaft has play in it a needs to be replaced. He can grab it by the large black boot and move the shaft up and down. That part has been discontinued. The only alternative is to find a used one online. I went to seekautoparts.com for inquires. I received three hits for a steering column as they will not separate the lower steering shaft from the steering column. GM part #30019584 shows the part needed. Cost with shipping $190.00
I had a similar model made by Suzuki. These babies wander like heck regardless of what you replace. I’m not saying the replcement won’t help, but don’t expect it to handle like a champ on the interstate. It will always be a handful especially in a cross wind. It is what it is; A third world vehicle you can run around town and through the wilds. But a comfy cruiser over 55 it isn’t.
I agree with dagosa. In fact, I’d go further in calling this vehicle a roll-over deathtrap.
You might consider looking for an independent mechanic who might be able to rebuild the part or fabricate one for you.
These babies are tough and last a long time. There might very well be a part in a local Salvage yard. It shares much with the Sidekick by Suzuki. But, once installed, I wouldn’t be surprised if the “new” part had some play in it. These things are excellent off road and in the Sidekick I had, my steering obsorbed a lot shock bouncing over rocks. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of it was designed in. The only way to tell would be to examine others in a yard for sure before you spend your “hard earn money”.
Assume you have had the alignment checked too ?
These models aren’t the same as the Suzuki Samuri. They were redesigned not to be a “roll over death trap.” They were instead a “wandering into the other lane in a cross wind” death trap. With their rwd and very short wheelbase, they can spin like a top in slipper going too. But, none as been known to loose control while being towed. Just keep it there.
I thank both of you for your comments. There are no used parts locally, only out of state thru brokers. The three that contacted me, two had an F rating from BBB and the third had insufficient information. BBB’s mail to them was returned and phone number disconnected. I would feel uncomfortable ordering online with high potential of missing parts, wrong parts or incompatible parts plus the hassle of obtaining a refund and cost of shipping twice for receiving and returning.
Don’t know what to say other then Whitey’s suggestion about fabricating something. It would have to be someone you can really trust to do a good job an such an important component. Maybe your mechanic knows a good machine shop ? This is the ongoing problem with any Suzuki made product IMHO.