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Steering "looseness" since installing my lift

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by txbartman, Jul 9, 2001.

  1. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Steering \"looseness\" since installing my lift

    I installed a Rough Country 4" lift with new steering arm. Since this installation, my steering is very "loose". When I am sitting still and I steer the truck, I have noticed that my suspension lifts and compresses (depending on which way the steering box is turned). It really "delays" the actual turning affect. It is kind of scary at speed on the highway. I have an ORD brace waiting to be installed. Will installing the brace help this? I have also really extended the drag link to try and re-center my steering wheel after the installation. Have others experienced this? Is this just a result of installing a lift? It had the same tires as before the lift when I first started having the problem. I also installed a dual steering stabilizer. Could that be providing too much resistance and causing the suspension to react? Help me please!

    85 GMC Jimmy, 305 w/TH700-NP208, 4" lift, 35X12.5 BFG MTs, 15x10 Hellcats, Smittybuilt tube nerf bars and bumbers
     
  2. rampage

    rampage 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Steering \"looseness\" since installing my lift

    I'm not an expert, but it sounds like the steering geometry has changed and this is why there is a "delay". Someone else?
     
  3. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Steering \"looseness\" since installing my lift

    Have you double checked eerything to make sure it is tight? You should go through and re-torque everything think again after a couple aboot 200 miles and then again at 500 and then maybe 1000 if you are still finding things loosening up. Actually you should check most things after each wheelin trip or so...

    One other thing, do you have any bad tie-rod ends or ball joints?

    <font color=green>MIKE</font color=green> - "Hukd on fawnics,werkd fer me!"
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.geocities.com/emmettology101>http://www.geocities.com/emmettology101</A>
     
  4. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Steering \"looseness\" since installing my lift

    Everything is tight. I have checked it a couple of times. And the drag link is sitting real level. What is going on is when I turn right, for example, the pitman arm from the box moves toward the rear of the truck pushing the drag link which in turn pushes the steering arm pivoting the left wheel. What happens is that the pitman arm moves correctly but, instead of the drag link pushing the steering arm, the suspension "lifts". This causes the "push" to be absorbed not by the drag link and steering arm moving, but by the frame lifting and changing the geometry which causes the movement at the actula steering arm to be minimal. The stock suspension did not do this. Hence, all the push from the pitman arm was reflected in movement of the steering arm. Any more thoughts? Are the springs just that soft?

    85 GMC Jimmy, 305 w/TH700-NP208, 4" lift, 35X12.5 BFG MTs, 15x10 Hellcats, Smittybuilt tube nerf bars and bumbers
     
  5. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Steering \"looseness\" since installing my lift

    Try taking off one of your stabilizers and see if there's any difference. It may be a little tight yet to run two.

    <font color=red>Cripplefight!!</font color=red>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://pugsley.alloffroad.com>http://pugsley.alloffroad.com</A> Updated finally[​IMG]
     
  6. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Steering \"looseness\" since installing my lift

    I was going to try that tonight. That is my first thought. The springs may be too soft to run with two stabilizers in the configuration I have. I will update tomorrow. But I thought I would first check to see if there were any other ideas.

    85 GMC Jimmy, 305 w/TH700-NP208, 4" lift, 35X12.5 BFG MTs, 15x10 Hellcats, Smittybuilt tube nerf bars and bumbers
     
  7. muddin4fun

    muddin4fun 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Steering \"looseness\" since installing my lift

    Mine did this also. Turns out the drag link got damaged when I was doing the steering arm. Also, did the plates that the u-bolts go thru fit flat against the springs? Mine didn't. I had to cut some of the center bolt that goes thru the spring pack.

    I've got a mind like a . . . a . . . what's that thing called?

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.geocities.com/muddin4fun79blazer/>http://www.geocities.com/muddin4fun79blazer/</A>
     
  8. Espen88k5

    Espen88k5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Steering "looseness" since installing my lift

    I was anctious to clean all the gunk of the axles and shocks that where now showing because of the lift. The power washing and degreasing helped "dry" out the joints so the friction was more than doubled.

    I got the grease press out and pumped new grease in and all the old grease out of the steering joints. that made a big diffrence![​IMG]

    It got alot bether to drive after this.

    <font color=red><A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.espen88k5.alloffroad.com>http://www.espen88k5.alloffroad.com</A></font color=red>
     
  9. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Steering \"looseness\" since installing my lift

    ** UPDATE **

    Well, my problem was a bad drag link end. Funny thing, it was the one on the pitman side, not the steering arm (the end I remmoved for the lift installation). Anyway, it had enough slop in it to make things real dangerous. Replaced it and she is now tight as can be again!

    85 GMC Jimmy, 305 w/TH700-NP208, 4" lift, 35X12.5 BFG MTs, 15x10 Hellcats, Smittybuilt tube nerf bars and bumbers
     
  10. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Steering \"looseness\" since installing my lift

    My truck does the same EXACT thing. I have 6" SkyJacker and 3" body lift. The truck lifts as I turn to the left.

    You say that yours was fixed by replacing the Pitman side of the drag link? How did you determine this was the problem? I don't just want to toss one in if I can't verify that mine is bad. Sorry for the suspension ignorance...

    <font color=red> Check out my truck @ </font color=red>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://24.10.209.54/bigolk5.htm>http://24.10.209.54/bigolk5.htm</A> [​IMG]
     
  11. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Steering \"looseness\" since installing my lift

    Mine was pretty easy. I had my girl get inside and crank the steering back and forth as I watched all the linkage. The front bolt on the drag link had "wallered-out" its hole. It was obvious as I watched it all move. You could see the massive slop in the linkage. As far as the suspension moving, that is normal (and I thought it was). The slop I had was from the bad link.

    85 GMC Jimmy, 305 w/TH700-NP208, 4" lift, 35X12.5 BFG MTs, 15x10 Hellcats, Smittybuilt tube nerf bars and bumbers
     

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