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high mileage 94 front suspension

Discussion in '1936-Present Suburban' started by tp85, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. tp85

    tp85 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Hey guys,
    I have a 1994 K2500 Suburban with 160,000 miles on the clock. It is a great vehicle, and my wife still loves it..so I gotta keep it rolling. It certainly has had it's share of problems over the years...mostly little electrical stuff and normal wear items. I just got done replacing the intake manifold gasket for the second time (first time was at 80K) and, of course, that egg-shell heater hose connection on the manifold. The drivetrain has been solid.

    After 160K on the original hardware, I'm starting to get a little worried about the front suspension/steering. 160K just seems incredible to me...not needing to replace any front end parts (other than the idler arm/pitman arm). But I guess the 3/4 ton parts just can handle a lot more than 1/2 ton parts.

    Currently, there is a faint click coming from the front end during tight turns over a bump and my lower ball joint boots have small splits. Given the miles, I'm thinking that a complete rebuild may be a good idea. I'm talking upper/lower ball joints, tie rods, upper/lower control arm bushings, sway bar rubber, etc. Am I crazy? I have seen that there are kits available (e.g. http://www.p-s-t.com/), but I have always used GM parts. So I'm not sure about the kits. How about the half shafts...I'm sure the CV boots are about to splits after turning all these miles. How about the differential output shaft seals? I sort of figure that, once I'm into the area, perhaps it would be wise to just do everything.

    Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated.
    Tom
     
  2. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Well, I'll give you my opinion. I believe in replacing any items that are remotely questionable, and having only one breakdown, I attribute it to that philosophy. If it were my truck I would inspect every component, front and rear, very carefully. If you do one ball joint do them all. If you do one tie rod, do them both. Don't replace any unneccesary parts. With a quick check over of the vehicle at every oil change, 3K miles, you will be able to see if any front end components are starting to exhibit signs of wear and replace them at that point. The ball joints are easy on those trucks, but even with a press or an air hammer the control arm bushings can be a real PITA!
    I am also a firm believer that OEM parts are superior to aftermarket. I know I will probably catch alot of flak for that, but thats my opinion. If the original GM parts lasted 160K why not put in replacement GM parts and be good for another 160K miles. To me it doesn't seem worth the risk of redoing the job down the road due to faulty or poorly manufactured aftermarket parts.
    Also, if you do remove the halfshafts, replace the output seals cause they may leak after reinstalling the halfshafts.
    Sorry this is so long, just my $.02
     
  3. tp85

    tp85 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    thanks for the input. i agree regarding the use of GM parts. i have been bitten by using aftermarket parts in the past.

    so i may just let things ride until something really needs fixin.

    one thing, though, is that my lower ball joint boots are slightly torn. is there a trick to replacing just the boots on these joints without replacing the joint itself? the ball joint jobs that i have done in the past (toyota) have involved both the joint and boot. just wondering if i can just repair the boot.
    tom
     
  4. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

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    I don't think you can get just a boot. To replace just the boot is pretty senseless. If you've dissasembled enough to get the boot off, spend the extra 15 minutes and install the whole new joint. Most of the time if the boot is ripped contaminants, water, sand, etc., get into the joint and speed up the wear on them requiring replacement.
     

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