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Drifting after bearings/ball joints

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by ascuro, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. ascuro

    ascuro Registered Member

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    After a few days of beer, cussing, and waiting for replacement tools in the mail, I got my Blazer's (70 k5) very worn front bearings and ball joints all changed out. Now, the truck feels much more solid up front (the old bearings were so worn you could hear them grinding along, and two of the four ball joints had almost a half inch of play in them).

    The new problem I can't seem to fix or find is that the truck seems to wander/pull off in either direction. The steering feels very loose, and any slope in the road is extremely noticable (I have to turn the wheel a good 1/8th to accomodate for even the slightest sideways grade). It also seems like it pulls in whichever direction the wheels are facing towards, and it's quite a challenge to keep it in a straight line.

    I've double-checked all my bearings/hubs (stripped them down and reassembled/retorqued everything), ball joints, u-bolts, spring eye and shackle bolts - nothing seems to be the culprit. Could my alignment/toe/caster possibly cause this type of behavior? Or maybe some badly worn tires? I'm running out of ideas, hehe. Oh, also, I can turn my steering shaft about 1/5 of a turn without any noticable movement or resistance from the linkage/tires - is that normal? I can't seem to find the specs anywhere.
     
  2. chopped&bobbed77burb

    chopped&bobbed77burb 1/2 ton status

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    It sound's like your toed out a bit (v) . that would explain darting from side to side . I try to keep my rig toed in about 1/8 -1/4 inch . this help's when running my 42 inch swampers . now that you have replaced everything and you don't have so much slop You notice the wandering more . also , How old is your steering box ?? they can get pretty sloppy with age . check your toe in and adjust it in about an 1/8 . check your spring bushings too . goodluck ,
     
  3. ascuro

    ascuro Registered Member

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    Ah, thanks, I'll try adjusting my toe a bit, see if that helps.

    My steering box is "very very" old, hehe (I'm not sure, might be original) - are there any specific checks or measurements I can make to see if it might need replacing?

    My spring bushings (and springs) are about a month old, so I'm pretty sure they're not at fault :wink1:
     
  4. chopped&bobbed77burb

    chopped&bobbed77burb 1/2 ton status

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    have someone turn your steering wheel back and forth and you watch at the steering box for any slop in the drag link and your steering link from knuckle to knuckle . If your steering box is the original it's best to just get a rebuild one or better yet if you don't have cross over steering now would a good time to do it IF you have the fund's . also check the rag joint from your steering box to the steering column . usually a worn out rag joint can cause some slop between the steering wheel and steering box . They are just basically a thick round rubber washer :eek1: and they are pretty easy to replace . hope that help's , Bruce .
     
  5. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Replacing my drag link fixed about 90% of my wandering issues.......
     
  6. fatdog

    fatdog Registered Member

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    Also make sure your steering box is centered by checking the number of turns lock to lock. Mine was a half a turn off center and it drives much better since correcting it.
     
  7. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    1) Learn and understand "balljoint preload"

    2) Check the toe

    3) Make sure the steering box is centered (by adjusting the drag link).
     
  8. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    # 1 looks firmiliar :D


     
  9. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Don't know why :doah:
     

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