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Have side to side body sway... shocks or what?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Skigirl, Mar 8, 2002.

  1. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Having side to side body sway, but none front to back. 5 leaf spring front and 6 in back, don't know how old. New Bilstein gas shocks. Have sway bar with disconnects, new HD front shackles, 4" lift, block in rear. No bump steer, no problem with motion front to back, some wander (front is higher than back, which I'm correcting and may contribute to slight wander, along with 35's). Have new poly greasable spring eyes in front. Rears aren't installed yet.

    I'm thinking the shocks, tho new, may be too soft with the poly bushings in there now. It's just the body itself that rocks from side to side, pretty badly at highway speeds.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. 55Willy

    55Willy 3/4 ton status

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    How about body bushings?
     
  3. slodawg

    slodawg 1/2 ton status

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    Id check the body mounts.
     
  4. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    If you stand one the side of your rig and rock it hard sideways and keep at it for a bit, that's what it's like. If it was body mounts, would the whole front (in front of the cab) rock too?
     
  5. 55Willy

    55Willy 3/4 ton status

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    Theres a lot of moving point when rocking side to side. Tires on the road, tires and rims, springs, shackles, then the body mount with the body. not all mounts could be bad but some could be. just take a peek and see if you have any visual damage. like chunks of rubber missing or something.
     
  6. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    OK, I'll take a look. Thanks!
     
  7. TopOff

    TopOff 1/2 ton status

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    What tire pressure are you running?

    Do you have a spare on the roof? Or other heavy item(s)?
     
  8. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Nothing on the roof, tire pressure just a hair below max.
     
  9. TopOff

    TopOff 1/2 ton status

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    What recently changed when you noticed the sway?

    Shocks?

    Greasable spring shackles?

    Can you recall what was changed and when you noticed the sway?
     
  10. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Drove it for the first time (for more than a mile or two) when I took it to Utah. So, unfortunately, nothing changed that i would know about. Body rock is minorly noticeable on street, and heavily magnified as speeds increase. Not much help, sorry.
     
  11. TopOff

    TopOff 1/2 ton status

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    well I don't know... /forums/images/icons/frown.gif

    If not the body mounts... put the old shocks back in and see...

    What brand/type 35" tires? What size rims?

    Sorry.
     
  12. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    BFG AT's on 15" rims. Rides smooth except when I hit stuff that makes the rocking start.

    Changed the old shocks out when I first got the truck, old ones are long gone (the previous owner had totally trashed the rancho 5000's that were on there. It was like there were no shocks at all).

    How do you know if the springs are shot?
     
  13. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    I would have to say the shocks...funny though because they test them and have specific shocks for every truck not the "one size fits all" valving of everyone else. Maybe if you installed a rear swaybar (or a heavy front swaybar) it would help your problems.
     
  14. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Thought about putting in rear sway bar. If the body mounts are OK, maybe I'll try shocks, then if that doesn't handle it... sway bar or springs. Don't want a stiff ride, just don't want to get seasick driving down the road /forums/images/icons/crazy.gif
     
  15. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    If everything is stock, check all bushings, especially the sway bar bushings. Did you by chance get the wrong shocks? Maybe they gave you shocks intended for a dual shock application? Is it possible your just not used to a lifted full size on oversize (tall side wall) tires?

    If you can't come up with anything else, you can do what I did for an old 1/2 ton 2WD street truck that I had. I had upgraded to essentially a "heavy half" and hauled some serious weight. I also upgraded to the much heavier/stiffer 3/4 ton sway bar. Maybe you could do the same? Just get the bar and the frame brackets. If your ever in the Phoenix area, you can have my 1 ton sway bar. Hmmm, I wonder if the 1 ton will work on a light truck? Not sure, but I know the 3/4 will. I think you can also use the rear sway bar off trucks with "camper special" type options. Obviously this would ONLY work from a 1/2 to 3/4 ton truck (weren't all camper specials 3/4 ton and up?). One tons, vans, and Class Cs will not work since they have different pad spacing. I don't know the details but I've seen them and I doubt it's any trouble to adapt (after all, it is a GM truck).
     
  16. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Sway bar bushings are poly, and were on there when I bought the rig. The first thing i did was put shocks on, and the dorky mechanic who did it was a bit of a loser, but they aren't meant for duals.

    I had a couple friends who used to be mechanics drive it and both thot the side to side rocking was excessive. One thot it was shocks, the other guy didn't have a chance to look underneath much. But, no I'm not at all used to taller tires and a lift, but since my Utah trip, I've become more accustomed to the rig and can discern when the tires are wandering a bit, and I know what bump steer feels like. This is different.

    Heavy duty sway bar could help. And maybe those bushings are trashed. I don't know how to tell. Looking at them, they look OK (not falling apart or anything.

    It's a little odd tho - I have kind of what everyone else does, the usual somewhat modified K5 and I don't hear much about severe rocking.

    Thanks for your suggestions! I'll update as I go through the possible problems.
     
  17. Bigmeats

    Bigmeats 1/2 ton status

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    Mine started to do the same thing after i broke a leaf in one of my rear spring packs.
     
  18. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

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    I'd say shocks. It sounds like you're describing body roll instead of side to side motion in the horizontal plane. The things that control body roll are springs, shocks and the swaybar. The condition of the bushings in all of those can make a huge difference. If it continues to rock after you hit a bump with one side of the truck, best guess is shocks. They make it quit rocking. You could check your swaybar diameter, GM trucks supposedly came with 1 1/8" and 1 1/4" swaybars. I've only heard of one truck that had the small bar so chances are slim that you have the small one but if you do you could put in the larger bar and help it out a little.

    If it's actual side to side motion (horizontal) then check all the bushings, ubolts, etc. There must be something loose to let it move laterally.
     
  19. 4x4k20

    4x4k20 1/2 ton status

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    i have this same problem with mine i was told that it is caused by the rearend that it is not as wide as the front which makes sense you can buy spacers to make the rear as wide as the front
     
  20. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Yea, it rocks, doesn't shift side to side horizontally. My description was off. Only questionable bushings would be in the swaybar, as they were in there when I bought the rig. They're poly.

    "If it continues to rock after you hit a bump with one side of the truck, best guess is shocks. They make it quit rocking."

    That's exactly what happens.

    How do you know if it's shocks and not springs?
     

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