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Help me solve my front end mystery.........

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Can Can, Mar 25, 2001.

  1. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I'll start by saying that my 84 is getting the front end redone within the next month- new upper and lower balljoints both sides, new inner and outer tierod ends, and new ends on the connecting rod- All the parts are showing a little bit of wear, and I figured I may as well replace everything while I have things apart.

    I'm not sure when i first noticed this, but lately my front end has developed a wierd little quirk. I'll be rolling down the street, correcting my steering every so often, but it seems like I have to correct MORE to the left than the right, almost like the right tire is steering the truck. It also seems like it takes less turn of the wheel to correct back to the right, and feels like the truck is driving as little off-center, like the rear wheels are left of the front wheels. A local shop checked the alignment, and said although the front end is a little tired, it lined up pretty nicely.

    Is there any particular reason that the truck is doing this, other than worn out parts? Any particular part that could cause this?

    Sorry for the novel....................


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  2. gokartergo

    gokartergo 3/4 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    If you have radial tires it could be radial wear. Just switch the front two tires. Mine was doing some of the same things and I switched the tires and it took care if it..Then I bought new tires two weeks later..........

    Become one with nature............Then marinate it
     
  3. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I had a few guys say the same thing, but the tires are pretty new and there doesn't appear to be any uneven wear or cupping on them.

    The only thing I can remember doing around the time I first noticed the problem was replacing the steering shock. Could a new shock make things seem worse?



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  4. 500HP1TON57

    500HP1TON57 Registered Member

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    Most roads are made with a certain crown to them to enable rain to run off causing your truck to naturaly want to pull to the right...My friend the alignment expert told me that in rural areas where there are no curb and gutters and extreme crowns in the road that he would recomend adjusting the alignment to compensate for road crowning if you were running large diameter tires

    NOTHING ORDINARY ABOUT IT
     
  5. Blazer79

    Blazer79 1/2 ton status

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    Check your frame for cracks near the steering box and the front crossmember. I recommend you install an ORD steering box brace kit.

    <font color=blue>//////
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  6. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Dragging caliper can do that also. Check the wear between right and left and if the right one has significantly more wear you might want to look at rebuilding/ replacing the calipers. also check that the rear brakes are adjusted properly.
    Other than that it would be alingment (possibly due to worn parts your getting read to replace) or Crown on the road.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
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  7. pr1aw

    pr1aw 1/2 ton status

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    This might sound stupid, but did you get a steering stabalizer or a gas charged shock. They might have given you the wrong part. Take it off and see if it expands the piston. It should stay in one place.
     
  8. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    HMMMMMM...........I'll have to check that out. That's kind of the way the front end feels- more "pressure" from the left side. Sort of like a constant forced oversteer. I'll take a look at that.

    Blazer 79, I checked out the steering box and surrounding frame area, everything look tight and solid with no cracks. I have yet to look at the brakes, Grim, maybe this weekend I'll get a chance to pull the wheels.

    I know we've discussed the ORD steering brace over and over, but could I really expect to see a big difference when I'm only running 31s? I was under the impression that frame flex becomes a bigger issue when you're running larger tires.......


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  9. Blazer79

    Blazer79 1/2 ton status

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    Canmore, as I posted in another thread, my frame AND crossmember cracked. My Blazer has had 31" tires all her life and the worst wheeling was a few gravel roads. After I welded the cracks and installed the brace, it was a HUGE difference.

    Hope this helps you make up your mind.

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  10. mattman

    mattman 1/2 ton status

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    Have you checked your wheel bearings? If one side is loose it will feel like a worn out tie rod and cause a pull. Had this on my Bronco II, once I adjusted the bearings tracked straight.
     
  11. bigdaddy89

    bigdaddy89 1/2 ton status

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    Grim,

    How can you tell if the rear brakes are adjusted correctly?

    GOT ROCKS?
     
  12. taterblazer

    taterblazer 1/2 ton status

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    Suspect the road myself. Mine does it some also. Get those front end parts replaced. Get a new alignment. Bet it works better.
     
  13. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    My dads truck would "wander" much more one way than the other...you could turn the wheel slightly one way, and it would respond, but turning to the right, you would get maybe a full 1/8th turn before the wheels would react. His drag link ends were so worn you wouldn't believe it. Theres a bunch of stuff you can check easily, including cracked frame, steering stabilizer, and the drag link ends.

    Dorian
    My K5 and Chev/Olds tech/links page: <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html>http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html</A>
     
  14. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Good job!!!!!! You just kinda explained it differently than I've been doing, and your way is a lot easier to understand than my cryptic explanation. Can't wait to get all these stupid ends done!!!!

    Which reminds me- which brand would you guys suggest using? I'm leaning towards MOOG parts, but are there any others I should look at? I've been told by a bunch of guys to avoid VERTIC brand stuff.............


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  15. Eagle86K5

    Eagle86K5 1/2 ton status

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    Hey Canuck! How ya doin?
    Well I went through the same thing last year and it started again, but this time I knew what to look for and how to test. If your truck decides to just go where it wants to and you are correcting a bunch, try locking in the hubs and see if it changes. If it does, you have a u-joint in one of the front axel's going bad. And it will tell you what side by the way it veers when it wants to.At first mine would just take off to the right quick enough to make you spot the front seat. Found out the u-joint was frozen on one side, it would bend in one direction only. Arbitrarily the axel will turn and cause the wheel to pull to the right. I had the whole front end looked at by dozens of mechanics and none could find a problem, till it finally wore other parts like the ball joints and tie rod ends...it was then they found the problem with the axel u-joint. Now the left side is starting the same thing, with the hubs locked in you can still feel it a bit but it does not take off on you. And before 10,000 folks start in on me, I have had it completely checked, all bal joints and tie rod ends have been changed the only thing left was the ujoint...and once it was replaced the problem disapeered. The left joint was indeed frozen.
     
  16. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Ray, you old dog!!!!! Good to see you on the boards again!!!!! I'm going to have the whole front apart when I do the job, so I'll have a chance to take a good look at the u-joints as well. In the meantime, I'm going to try engaging the TC and see if makes a difference. Thanks for the tip!!!!

    BTW, when are you planning on coming up our way again? I believe you told me a LONG time ago that you had family in the Edmonton area, and that you paid a visit to them once in a while.........Keep me posted, and remember that your dollar is worth $1.50 on this side of the border. Gee, seeing me AND saving cash, what a combo!!!!!


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  17. Corey 78K5

    Corey 78K5 1 ton status

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    I had a similer problem a few years back. I had a seal go bad on one of the calipers that let in dirt mud and water which led to rust and sandy grit. This ended up scoring the brake piston and cylinder causing it to drag and basicly apply a little brake on one side causing it to pull to one side untill it just locked up one day, opps. Only cost $52 for a set of rebuilt calipers with new pads included to cure the problem. Might want check the brakes.
    Corey 78K5
     
  18. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This job is getting more complicated(and more expensive[​IMG])every second..........Thanks a lot for all the great responses, brothers!!!

    Any thoughts on my question about what brands of front end parts are best?


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  19. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    Moog is the only thing you should put on your K5 IMO. It is all I ever use on my own or friends vehicles and just about all we ever use at the shop.

    [​IMG]
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
     

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