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I noticed while driving today that if I were to rock the wheel back and forth maybe about a 1/4" there's a slight knock. So I checked under the hood and there's some in and out play on the upper shaft, near the hole the shaft goes through. Does anyone have any sort of diagnoses so that I may remedy this problem? Would anything "drastic" happen if I left this alone for a few months?

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Check the coupling at the u-joint just below the master cylinder where the center bearing attaches to the frame. My 00 was doing the same thing and I found the coupling to be just slightly loose. Tried to tighten the bolt but couldn't budge it so I loosened it a little and tightened again and the play is gone.
 
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