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high mileage 94 front suspension

Discussion in 'The Garage' 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. bluejeep

    bluejeep 1/2 ton status

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    I have a 1990 K2500 that has 270,000 miles on it and has most of the original suspension under it. It's had multiple idler arms on it, but other than that all the TRE's, bushings, and even the balljoints and wheel bearings are original. It was greased every 2500 miles, with every oil change. It does have slop in the steering now, but not enough to be unsafe. I'm about to cut it out and put in a solid axle and leaf springs, but the front IFS has served me well. I'd replace it all at once like you presented, that way it's ready for another 200,000 miles of service.
     
  3. tp85

    tp85 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Well, maybe these parts do last a long time if frequently greased. I usually hit them every 6K, though. My wheel bearings have no slop...even though they have never been greased (non-maintenance type). Since you are 100k past me, maybe I'll wait at least until 200K before the major rebuild. Thanks for the input.
     
  4. fly_n_hi_yukon

    fly_n_hi_yukon Registered Member

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    While you're at it, you may as well change the front axle seals...they are notorious for leaking on these trucks. Your clicking could be the CV shaft, since these are always spinning. My '92 'Burb has 176k on it with all the original suspension (except for one CV shaft which ripped a boot). It's tight as a drum yet. If you don't have any play in your balljoints or steering, I'd say don't worry about it too much.
     
  5. tp85

    tp85 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    is there a trick to replacing just the boots on the ball joints? ball joint jobs that i have done in the past have involved both the joint and boot. now i just need to replace the boots.
    tom
     

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