Vehicle wandering - Thinking maybe control arm?

Discussion in 'Street Suspension' started by Matahoe, Feb 15, 2017.

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  1. Matahoe

    Matahoe Full Access Member

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    Looking for some suspension advice here on the forums . My Tahoe's been aligned but every time I go back to the shop they say it's out of alignment a bit. Also the truck wanders a bit. So I looked at the bushings and they all look dry rotted. I have a 2005 so I guess its time to replace all control arms or just replace bushings and ball joints? Which option should I go with? I am not scared to press out bushings or ball joints, (I have done it before) but the vehicle has been in 2 low speed impacts during its life to the left and right wheels. Im guessing just forgo the labor and spring for the control arms?? Just wondering what most people here do.
     
    DDenali likes this.
  2. Matahoe

    Matahoe Full Access Member

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    Update: I had the Tahoe out and about and noticed a bit of wandering again. I would be holding the steering wheel still on a level road (maybe a little crown) and then all of the sudden it would jerk over to one side. Not that drastic but it would pull.

    So I had the drivers side jacked up (had to look at the brakes again) and tried to move the tire at the 12 and 6 positions. It wouldn't move at all. So this means my wheel bearing and ball joints are good. However when I tried to move the same wheel at the 9 and 3 positions it moved about 2 inches. I didn't have time to inspect but I am going to jack it up again tomorrow and crawl under to see what the problem could be. If I had to guess it will turn out to be the pitman arm. Just about every other piece of the steering was replaced within the past 2 years.
     
  3. jaywoo65

    jaywoo65 Full Access Member

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    Could also be tie rods, especially if you only had the drivers side jacked up and the passenger side wheel was still on the ground (only one tire able to move).
     
  4. Matahoe

    Matahoe Full Access Member

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    Solved!

    I confirmed that the wheel bearings and upper and lower ball joints were good. Also took the steering gear out and cleaned it up and inspected seals, adjusted backlash etc. Looked good, no leaking. Let me tell you that was a bit of a job! Not as bad as removing a rack and pinion though.

    When the steering gear was out I decided to replace the pitman arm. Bingo! Turns out that was where most of the slop was from. The pitman arm ball joint didn't seem that bad but it was clicking a little. I guess the small amount of movement at the pitman translates to a whole bunch at the wheel.

    I also found that a new ACDelco tie rod I just installed 6 months ago has a few mm of play. Guess I need to replace that a well. Part should be in tomorrow. I wouldn't have found that tie rod unless everything else on the steering linkage was new and tight.

    So problem solved for now. Now it's on to the control arms I think. I guess I am just rebuilding the whole front suspension. Didn't want to but it's piece of mind I guess.
     
    Red Rocket and 08HoeCD like this.

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