98 Yukon 4x4 steering wobble at 50+

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olliec420

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I picked up this super clean 98 Yukon 4x4 off a guy. During the test drive I knew it was shaking but I was guessing a balance issue. I got it aligned and balanced and its still there. I watched some youtube
and apparently its an issue with the steering. Which is fine, I expected to put some money in.

So basically I'm thinking of doing new steering box, pittman arm, idler arm, inner and outer tie rods. Some sellers on eBay and amazon have bundle packs of all front parts for like $95 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/161751100750). Does anyone have any experience with that type of stuff? Cheap & ******? Any brands anyone recommends? Also, for others that have gone though it... am I on the right track?

I read posts about the EVO and rag joint but I put it on the lift today and the passenger side wheel was loose right and left but tight top and bottom. Someone suggested stabilizer as a gas cylinder but I don't see anything like that under there. Could something missing? Everything looks good visually, the loose right wheel was the only thing I could find which leads me to believe pittman, idler and or steering box, which I would change while I'm in there anyway.
 
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east302

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You found it. Get a different alignment shop.

No kidding. Find an old-school local shop where they still smoke in the lobby. Those are the guys that I’ve always had the best experience with.

To your questions, a bad EVO will feel like you hit a patch of ice while taking a curve in the road. That doesn’t sound like your issue. No, these did not come with steering stabilizer shocks but there is the stabilizer bar up front on two doors, a rear one on the four doors. They just keep you from feeling too top-heavy like a hippo running in mud. Your front one may have worn bushings, a visual check will decide but it wouldn’t cause the vibration shown in that video.

As to your eBay link, I’d truly skip anything like that unless you are just trying to get by for a while and kick the can down the road.

Moog Problem Solver, Proforged and Delco Professional (not Advantage) are what I would use, probably the first two first. Check RockAuto.

If you’re doing the steering gear, check out RedHead or BlueTop and skip the other remanufactured boxes. Not being facetious, but too many are bad from the get-go. They don’t sell new Saginaw boxes, so you’re relying on the quality control of the rebuilder. Redhead and Bluetop are local companies that have real people answering the phone. I’ve used both without issue. I had a Delco reman that I yanked and returned after driving 1/4-mile. Not a happy camper and they’re a “better” brand so I’d hate to see what a cheap rebuild is like.

If there’s nothing wrong with it, I’d probably leave it be, though.

If you don’t have one, get an impact. Makes life so much easier with suspension work.
 
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olliec420

olliec420

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As to your eBay link, I’d truly skip anything like that unless you are just trying to get by for a while and kick the can down the road.
Yeah so its like a sunday driver for me so Im not going to be pouring miles on it. Also, I really want to find one with rear air and leather. But this one was nearby, so clean and the right price so I just wanna get it dialed in so I can enjoy it and be able to sell it if I find another one.
Moog Problem Solver, Proforged and Delco Professional (not Advantage) are what I would use, probably the first two first. Check RockAuto.
I'll check them out. Thanks.
If you’re doing the steering gear, check out RedHead or BlueTop and skip the other remanufactured boxes. Not being facetious, but too many are bad from the get-go. They don’t sell new Saginaw boxes, so you’re relying on the quality control of the rebuilder. Redhead and Bluetop are local companies that have real people answering the phone. I’ve used both without issue. I had a Delco reman that I yanked and returned after driving 1/4-mile. Not a happy camper and they’re a “better” brand so I’d hate to see what a cheap rebuild is like.

If there’s nothing wrong with it, I’d probably leave it be, though.
Well I was goin to re-do everything because I wasn't sure where the problem is and with 190k figured it could all use it. But if its as simple as one side tie rod I don't think I will bother with anything else.
 

Eman85

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190k and 20+ years things wear out. To check the ball joints jack one side under the lower control arm as far outboard as you can. Take a block of wood and use it as a pivot point and take a long bar and place it so you're lifting up on the tire. Any play in the ball joints will be seen, it will take 2 people. Idler arm and pitman arm are the most common to wear, most never grease them. Upper control arm bushings will fall apart eventually.
 

96-2D-Hoe

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Re shaking, are the wheels balanced? If not you have some serious play and it will need more than a tie rod.
Mine got dangerously bad. I replaced everything on the steering apart from the lower ball joints and lower control arm bushings as that was more than I could manage alone in a parking spot.

Inner and outer tie rods, pitman, idler, complete upper control arms with upper ball joint, steering box and the rubber joint in the steering column that I can't remember what it's called. Mostly moog problem solver and mevotech control arms. Wasn't that difficult and I did most of it with the truck on the ground. Used a reman box from Lares and have had no issues.
Also replaced stabilzer bar bushings and end links. That was about 5 years ago and I'm just starting to notice a little play when I'm driving on rocky, rough dirt roads, but some of that could be lower ball joints and lower control arm as they are still original. (Must get them done one of these days.)

Don't forget to grease them all up at least once a year. There are 11 grease points on the steering
 
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olliec420

olliec420

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Re shaking, are the wheels balanced? If not you have some serious play and it will need more than a tie rod.
Mine got dangerously bad. I replaced everything on the steering apart from the lower ball joints and lower control arm bushings as that was more than I could manage alone in a parking spot.

Inner and outer tie rods, pitman, idler, complete upper control arms with upper ball joint, steering box and the rubber joint in the steering column that I can't remember what it's called. Mostly moog problem solver and mevotech control arms. Wasn't that difficult and I did most of it with the truck on the ground. Used a reman box from Lares and have had no issues.
Also replaced stabilzer bar bushings and end links. That was about 5 years ago and I'm just starting to notice a little play when I'm driving on rocky, rough dirt roads, but some of that could be lower ball joints and lower control arm as they are still original. (Must get them done one of these days.)

Don't forget to grease them all up at least once a year. There are 11 grease points on the steering

I had a friend pull back and forth on the wheel and I looked under and now I'm 90% sure its the idler arm. I went and got it and the bracket from autozone but haven't put it on yet. I jumped in it to go get breakfast and the air wasn't working. Just learned how to charge that up with proper gauges. That was easy. Its not my daily so I haven't been in a rush. Hopefully going to do it this week. Will update with how it goes.
 

96-2D-Hoe

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I had a friend pull back and forth on the wheel and I looked under and now I'm 90% sure its the idler arm. I went and got it and the bracket from autozone but haven't put it on yet. I jumped in it to go get breakfast and the air wasn't working. Just learned how to charge that up with proper gauges. That was easy. Its not my daily so I haven't been in a rush. Hopefully going to do it this week. Will update with how it goes.
It's my daily driver and was pretty much all original, prices were considerably lower than they are now and I didn't want to revisit it, so I bit the bullet and changed it all.

I'll keep my fingers crossed the idler fixes your issue
 

tom3

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Just crawl under the front, have someone turn the wheel back and forth and look for slop in the components. My first guess would be the idler arm though. Those seem to be underdesigned on these machines. Idler arm should move back and forth, not up and down.
 
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olliec420

olliec420

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It was indeed the idler arm. 95% better! There’s still a tiny little bit of vibration I can feel but I’m sure it has something to do with another suspension component that was affected by the sever wobble for who knows how long. Was like that when I got it. Anyway, it’s not enough to worry about. now just wishing it had a rear air! Haha
 

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