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Dog-legging?? - Please Help!!

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Brian 89KBlazer, Jan 3, 2001.

  1. Brian 89KBlazer

    Brian 89KBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    Two questions regarding wheel alignment:

    1. My Blazer is tracking a little sideways down the road and if we assume the frame is not the culprit; what else would it be? Also, what would be the fix??

    2. With all the problems the Blazer/Jimmy frame is known to have (steering box mount, engine mounts, shock mounts, etc) I am considering building a new frame out of boxed tubing. My only concern is mounting the spring hangers so that it tracks straight (unlike it does now [​IMG]). My best guess on how to solve this at this point is to take the new frame, axles, and suspension to a wheel alignment machine with the spring mounts clamped in place and when everything is straight, tack weld the mounts in place and bring it home to weld it up properly. Am I too paranoid about the spring hangers and criticalness of the alignment?? Any ideas on how to do it any simpler??

    Thanks
    Brian
    89KBlazer

    P.S. Another reason I like the custom frame idea is that I see it as an easier way to tie a custom rollcage into the chassis and it saves me the trouble of making and welding in plates to box the already weak stock chassis.


    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by Brian 89KBlazer on 01/03/01 12:18 PM (server time).</FONT></P>
     
  2. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    How much is a little? Does it have a lif that uses the blocks that are hollow? When my friend installed his lift blocks in the dark, he accidentally missed the pin hole to align the springs, and it tracked crooked. His was visible without measuring, however, measuring tire to front or rear of wheel well clearance would probably at least give you an idea if it is off badly. Tire tolerances and body tolerances will affect this measurement though. Have you ridden behind the truck and watched it? My friends was off so bad the front tire would be in the lane the rear would be well onto the lines/bumps of the lane markers. I think most vehicles if looked at closely, either appear to, or actually do, track a little crooked. Just annoying knowing its there.


    Dorian
    My K5 and Chev/Olds links: <A target="_blank" HREF=http://yeagerd.home.mindspring.com/index2.html>http://yeagerd.home.mindspring.com/index2.html</A>
     
  3. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    When I got my Jimmy it dog tracked a ways. I guess it hadn't been very well looked after because after some investigation I found the rear u-bolts were loose and the center bolt of the spring had slipped out of the hole [​IMG].
    Secondly if you follow any Blazer or Jimmy it will appear to be dog tracking a little even if it is perfectly straight. The rear axle is 3 or 4 inches narrower than the front and it will give you the impression of dog tracking.

    If you ever do build your own frame you don't need to go to an alignment shop with the perches tacked, it is easy to check yourself. First of all you'll have to make sure your frame rails are square to each other and the same length. once your cross members are in and tacked measure the frame diagonally from front corner to rear corner. Do this both ways and if it is square your diagonal measurements will be the same. Its the same procedure for spring hangers, tack them where they are supposed to be (distance from front hanger to rear hanger) Now measure the diagonal from a front hanger to the rear hanger on the opposite side, do that both ways and compare. If the diagonal is the same it is square.

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Check your springs to make sure that they are the same arch left and right. It is common for one to be weaker. As the spring changes it's height, it moves the center bolt slightly forward and backwards, which can cause a crooked axle. It's not uncommon on Chevy's of this vintage and the effect is magnified if you have lift blocks.

    Also check the ball joints, wheel bearings, tie rod ends and spring mounts.

    A lot of older cars dog-track a little, but you can see it a lot more if the vehicle is high enough that it's easy to see all of the tires. Make sure that whoever is watching the vehicle from behind is moving their vantage point around, becuase as it was mentioned above, the difference in front and rear track widths often creates the deception that the whole frame is crooked.

    "Big? No, these tires might be big for your Jeep, but they're just temporary for my K-5" [​IMG]
     
  5. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Look at it from the side and notice if the tires line up the same in the fenderwells on both sides. I noticed one back tire looked offset in the fenderwell of my '77 K5. Turned out that the center bolt in the spring pack had broken on one side. This let the axle slip back an inch or two, just on that side. Replaced the bolt and it was good as new again.

    What was left of the bolt literally looked like stair steps. The motion of the springs moving back and forth over the years had deformed the bolt. You could see where each leaf had been pressing against it. Over time instead of pointing straight up and down, it was on about a 15-20 degree slant! [​IMG] It had finally broken from the stress.

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com>http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com</A>
     
  6. Jason73K5

    Jason73K5 1/2 ton status

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    Double check to make sure that your truck does indeed track sideways. Are people just telling you this by driving behind you? I have had many friends tell me that both of my Blazers tracked sideways but the real culprit was just an optical illusion due to the narrower rear axle. Looking at it from another vehicle folowing my truck, from the drivers seat it looks like it's tracking one way, then from the passenger seat it looks like it's the other way. Follow any other Blazer you see and see if you notice the same traits.
     
  7. Brian 89KBlazer

    Brian 89KBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the help guys!

    A couple of things you mentioned could be the cause. First of all, it's not lifted and has the stock 10-bolts and 30x9.5R15 tires. It is definitely tracking sideways. I followed it myself and checked to make sure it wasn't just the width of the rear axle.
    However, the steering is sloppy and it didn't receive the best care by it's previous owner. On top of that, the front driver's side is sagging a little so it could be that too or maybe a pin in the rear springs which are stock and I doubt if they were ever removed.

    Oh well, a new custom frame, springs and 14bolt/Dana 60 will rid me of all that!![​IMG][​IMG]

    Thanks again
    Brian
    89KBlazer
     

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