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Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Grim-Reaper, Sep 27, 2000.

  1. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Last week I ordered a Steering brace from Stephen Watson at http://www.OffroadDesign.com and it arrived today. I was very impressed with the quality of the product. The welds were top notch and it fit exactly the way it was supose to without any need for modification unlike most of the products I have put on my truck. It went on without a hitch and took me only about a hour to install. I wasn't really expecting to notice anything different about the truck on the street, I was just trying to do some preventative measures to save the frame from damage from the Dreaded cracked frames that out trucks are so famous for.
    For a goof I took the truck for a ride around the block and before I got 3 houses away I noticed something different, My steering wheel was not in the same position as it was when I came home from getting my tail pipes fixed just a few hours before. Over the last year every time I wheeled the truck the steering wheel was a few more degrees off to the left to the point that it was almost a full 90 deg off center. This was one of the reasons I got the brace was I knew this was not due to the alingment of the front wheels getting wacked. I figured most was shifts in the springs. Well the brace took about 45deg of this out of it. I was pleasently surprised by this.
    Now my truck has to be kept after when going down the road. I long ago wrote this off as a 25 year old truck with a worn steering box, No sway bar, 4 inches of lift. loosend up frame and mud tires. MAN WHAT A DIFFERENCE. the truck actully feels much better just going down the road. Most of the wander is gone. I can't wait to see how it does on the hwy. At speed when you hit a bump the truck would dart right then you would correct and it would rebound and you would have to correct again. On a good bump it looked like a had a few to many I'm sure. My bet is most of this is gone from how much better it felt on surface streets.
    This is a product that I can honestly say was better than I was expecting. It is really well worth doing not only to try to prevent frame damage but just to make the truck more drivable on the street. Next time I have some spare cash My wifes 79 Blazer is probably going to get one and it doesn't go on the trails anymore. Move this to the top of your want list. It was worth every penny. Tell them Grim sent ya.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/
     
  2. Butch

    Butch 1/2 ton status

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    Grim,
    I noticed the same things with mine. Especially the extra tightness in the steering when hitting a bump. I would say it is one of the best things for 100 bucks that I have bought in a long while.
     
  3. Jason73K5

    Jason73K5 1/2 ton status

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    This is the way they should have left the factory! I love mine too.
     
  4. Blazer79

    Blazer79 1/2 ton status

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    I totally agree with Grim-Reaper. I installed mine about two months ago. It helped me discover that my brakes were in bad shape. After installation, when braking, my Blazer pulled to the left. Before the installation I could feel something weird, but couldn't tell what it was. Now I know that a caliper piston was stuck and that the frame flexed everytime I braked, hiding the problem.

    I definitely recommend it. It will help you drive safer.

    <font color=blue>//////
    http://blazer79.coloradok5.com
    </font color=blue>[​IMG]
     
  5. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    Grim is speaking the truth. The LAST thing any of us want is a cracked frame..........I know, I had that problem with my 75 with the 454. Got so bad (didn't notice it.........[​IMG]) that I had to put in a whole new front frame section! NOT CHEAP. Better to spend this $100 now and never think about it again.

    <font color=black>'79 - 406 TPI -<font color=orange> K5#5 - <font color=blue>http:// www.blazzinor.coloradok5.com
     
  6. Boss

    Boss 1/2 ton status Author

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    I also agree with you Grim. I did this a while back and it definately offers what I feel is the most important thing, a "peace-of-mind." I now know I can hit the trails and not have to worry about loosing my steering to a cracked frame. Worth every penny sums it all up.
    Boss
    http://www.boss.coloradok5.com

    [​IMG]
     
  7. 89K5

    89K5 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the post Grim (and everyone else). I've been thinking of getting one of these but after hearing all that I'm definitely getting one.
     
  8. JunkYardCrawler

    JunkYardCrawler 1/2 ton status

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    it was one of the first things i put in my truck. my cross member was bent or something down there so it took me longer to put it in. and to bendt something to fit and it wasn't the brace. gose to show the craftsmenship quality of it. but now my truck gose in a strate line i lost alot of powersteering noises.

    <font color=red> My rear end blowed up </font color=red>
     
  9. K5XLR8R

    K5XLR8R 1/2 ton status

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    How much does this cost?? Anyone know??..
     
  10. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    It's $95 plus shipping form CO to where ever you are. To Atlanta 3 day it was $109 total.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/
     
  11. K5 NUTT

    K5 NUTT 1/2 ton status

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    Grim...same here bud! Drove home from the shop after work after i installed the brace...my wheel moved a bit and i just adjusted the drag link a bit...but man what a big ole difference in the steering....my whole front end has been gone thru and replaced and it still had sloppy steering so i to wrote it off as old truck syndrome....lol. Excellent product...we really got to had it to steve over at ORD!!!

    AZBLAZER

    1979 K5
    1976 K5 Chalet
    1972 K10 Suburban
     
  12. stephan van leir

    stephan van leir 1/2 ton status

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    I`d like to say that Steve Watson is a master at what he does. The shop is small, and he builds this products as though they are going onto Thumper ( his big green k5). All of his products have been tested and improved for years befor you get the chance to buy them. This is also the only shop that specializes in K5s. Please give ORD a try, you will NOT be disapionted.
     
  13. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    Yet another thumbs-up... Not only is the brace a quality part (just received mine, not installed yet), the customer service is outstanding. I had a couple dumb questions on different occasions about the part, and Steve answered them promptly by email, gave a few tips, and didn't treat me like a number, especially <font color=blue>after<font color=black> the sale like many places do. As I told Steve, I WILL be a repeat customer!

    [​IMG] Semper Maintenance!
     
  14. tom

    tom 1/2 ton status

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    Has anyone put one of these braces on a '91? The cataloge only mentions through model year '87. Do they fit the later models?
     
  15. greybeard

    greybeard Registered Member

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    I have one on my '91. If I remember right, their web catalog indicated it fit up to an '87 pickup but up to a '91 K5. Call them up and get one. Like everyone else, I noticed a definite imporvement and I also think it was a great addition.
     
  16. tom

    tom 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks greybeard, I just got off the phone from ordering one. The previous owner spent a ton of money for new ball joints, steering arm, tie rod ends, steering box, and pump. If this fixes it, he is going to be p***ed!
     
  17. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Move this to the top ....update

    Well he is going to be pissed then [​IMG]
    I wheeled my truck hard for 3 days at Dixie run! took it down upper 2 ,trail 3, trail 4 , Trail 5 (Rough water, jeep eating tree), trail 6, trail 11 to School bus (didn't do it was way to tight if you like your doors). Got the truck on the road with the tires aired up and it was the first time EVER that my steering wheel was in the same position after trail riding that it was in before. Rode great on the hwy and like I guessed most of that crazy bump steer is gone. I sailed down the hwy at 70 mph with much more clean steering control than ever before. It's now a much more pleasent ride all the time (except the mountain twisties, no sway bar) in my lifted 75 than my wifes stock 79. I again have to say I'm impressed. It did what ORD said it was going to do. Thanks Stephen! Hurry up and get the new stuff ready! I'm working 60 hours a week for toy money!

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/
     

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