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steering stabilizer/death wobble new one..

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by stevewix, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. stevewix

    stevewix Registered Member

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    ok, i just put a d60 front and 14bff rear on my blazer, and got the tires on it, now it death wobbles.

    the steering stabilizer, which i completely overlooked, has a hole in it. (should solve the problem, replacing the stabilizer)
    what stabilizer should i buy? there are about 3 or 4 from rancho that will all work, suggestions?

    also, the pass front caliper is dragging as i let off the brakes. (i don't have a lot of experience with disc brakes, do i simply replace the caliper?)

    the steering wheel has about 1/4-3/8 of a turn of play in it. i know how to tighten a steering box, but i had someone tell me that on those specific trucks the Power steering pump is easy to knock out by overadjusting the steering box. does anyone know the procedure to this?

    it's not a caster problem, i'm positive of that. 2.5" lift springs, thats all.

    scenario:

    i'm driving, i hit the brakes then let off. the slack in the steering box lets the tires get away a little, (probably more a bad combination of toe-in and braking forces) then the whole situation goes to hell. the truck didn't do this with my temporary 245/70/17E pizza cutters.

    ideas?
     
  2. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    A front end should not wobble even with no stabalizer.



    I would start by replacing the brake lines. The inside of them can go bad and the fluid can get out but not back, kind of like a check valve. To test - have a friend push the brake pedal and let off. Open the bleeder and if fluid shoots out is is a bad brake line, prop valve, etc. If no fluid shoots out and it is dragging then it could be a stuck caliper.
     
  3. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I'd check tie rod ends and drag link ends, then check the box is actually tight to the frame and that the frame is not cracked. If all that checks out and you still have play in the wheel then I'd adjust the box. There are just so many more common reasons for play in the steering.

    Larger tires often have enough extra weight and leverage to over-burden the king pin springs...which leads to wobble. If you haven't already throw some new king pin bushings and springs in. If you still have death wobble try adding one or two 1/2" fender washers on top of the king pin springs. This increases the pre-load on the springs and does a good job of killing death wobble.

    Rene
     
  4. stevewix

    stevewix Registered Member

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    does anyone know the 'correct' procedure for adjusting the steering box? if not, one that works as good :D ?also, what is considered within spec, or favorable as a figure for caster?
     
  5. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    I don't know the 'correct' way because I have never had to adjust one. I always check the things that Rene has mentioned and also the rag joint.
     
  6. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    A steering stabilizer will only mask some of the death wobble. You still need to fix what is causing the wobble in the first place.

    When I first installed my D60 and 38" TSL's my K5 had pretty bad DW at around 30-40 mph. Installing a couple of washers under the spring cap solved all DW issues since and I have never ran a stabilizer.

    For play in the steering wheel, most likely it is something else besides the steering box that is causing it.
     
  7. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    toe can affect a D60 in alot of ways including DW. D60 are very picky about the toe they have.

    Harley
     
  8. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    Yes, the correct procedure is as follows;

    DO NOT TOUCH IT!!
    There is a lock nut on the top of the steering box. This sets the engagement of the mesh gears inside the box. You don't want to mess with it at all. If you do, you run the risk of them binding up and not turning, or binding during a turn and not being able to straighten out. Sounds like fun times eh?

    You need to jack the ruck up and put the front axle on stands. Then trouble shoot starting with the rag joint on the steering box. If that's in good shape, have someone move the steering wheel back and forth approx. 1/4 turn at a constant pace. Follow the the movement through the components until you see where it reduces or stops. I had the same issues w/ mine and I had a combination of issues. My pitman arm had come loose and was pivoting on the steering shaft. Also, my bearings had gone bad in the drivers side front and was playing havoc w/ my steering. Check everything in the front end, then check it again. More often than not you have 2 or 3 issues at once when it comes to steering problems. Whatever you do, DO NOT ADJUST THE STEERING BOX!
     
  9. stevewix

    stevewix Registered Member

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    OK! here's what i've tried.


    check and repl. steering stabilizer.

    check toe in, 3/16" set.

    check caster, 9.5-10 degrees (i'm thinking too much?)

    wheel balance. noticed the front tire that was starting all of this was missing a large wheel weight, plain as day. then i noticed that on my 2.5" BS 10-in wide wheels that the weights were on the inside. shouldn't they be on the outside? swapped front for rear, (put the off-balance one on the back) road test, EXACT SAME PROBLEM.

    tomorrow i'm going to shim the kingpin springs, add 2.5 deg negative caster to bring me into the 7-7.5 deg range,

    maybe now is a good time for santa to bring a crossover steering kit and a 2wd box?

    i haven't checked where the pitman arm meets the steering box, but it sure feels like the slack is direct, and the shock is felt in the steering wheel when checking play.
    there IS side -to-side play in the front steering system, except all ball joints are tight, it seems to be coming from the steering box.
     
  10. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Did you have someone cycle the steering wheel back and forth while you watched each component? I have found bad drag link ends and tie rod ends that way...as well as a loose steering box, loose steering arm.

    I run 39.5" TSL's that have no weights on them...never been balanced. They're bias ply, and my truck now runs down the road with next to no wander and no death wobble.

    I can almost guarantee the slop you have is not in the box itself. That is the last place you'll have problems like this.

    I'd do the fender washer shim trick before messing with caster too...

    Rene
     
  11. stevewix

    stevewix Registered Member

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    thanks for the suggestions, i've triple checked the steering, it IS the box. going to try a reman unit this week, also i found a rotor that was badly warped. the pulsating of the brakes combined with the shallow offset of my wheels and the slack in the steering i believe is what's causing it.
     
  12. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    If you have identified it for sure as the box, then either a reman unit, or getting yours rebuilt is the way to go. Adjusting the mesh gears won't do any good when there is a ton of play in it. They do wear out. Mine lasted almost 30 years. Not too shabby. I figure by the time I'm done, I'll have a brand new 1974 blazer. But it'll be one hell of rig that you definitely can't buy from a dealer.:cool1: Heck, I'm even going to reinstall the AC get it working.:cool:
     

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