How to test steering, front suspension, and brakes

Discussion in 'Tech Info' started by ravingmadman, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. ravingmadman

    ravingmadman Chief Knuckle Buster

    Age:
    37
    Posts:
    659
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Greater Seattle
    Name:
    Kjell
    It seems like everyone eventually has problems with a death wobble, or brake pulsation, or something in the steering linkage. Here's how you check everything. :headbang:

    Steering:
    Jack one front wheel off the ground. Pull it side-to-side, trying to rotate it through its arc of steering. If it moves, clunks, or rattles, you need a new pitman arm, and probably a new idler arm. Find those instructions here.

    Pull the wheel top-to-bottom, and see if you can get the top of the wheel to move in and out. If it does, there's a good chance you need new ball joints. If you need new ball joints, you must remove your control arms, and take them to a shop with a press. You might need new wheel hubs, if you have excessive play in all directions. This is an easy job. If your wheels are tight in all directions, check your brakes...

    Brakes:
    You'll know you have a brake problem if you have a wobble or lurching that happens when you hit the brakes. Really, really poorly maintained brakes can cause a wobble all the time, if the disc is badly warped. Don't rely on brake squeal to tell you there's a problem. Replacing the front brakes is a super easy, super cheap job to do yourself, and will completely change the way your rig performs, and corrects most problems caused by brakes. Directions are here. You can test your rear brakes by using your parking brake. Your parking brake only applies the rear brakes, so if you have a wobble or pulse while applying the parking brake at about 20mph, you know you have warped drums. I don't have a good how-to for rear brakes, because it requires pictures, and I don't want to cover my phone in brake dust.

    Most times, if your brakes feel soft, or if the pedal goes almost all the way to the floor, your rear brakes are out of adjustment. Remove the wheel and drum, and turn the ratchet wheel a couple of times so that the drum just barely goes back on.

    Suspension:
    Suspension is hard to troubleshoot because there isn't much to it. Look for obvious damage or leaks on the outside of the front/rear shocks. Check the sway bar linkage. It never hurts to replace your shocks with an upgrade, and it is cheap/easy to do yourself in the parking lot (not even worthy of a how-to).

    If your rig feels like it wants to roll over going around corners, your sway bar sucks. If the rear of your rig squats when you accelerate regularly, your rear shocks are blown. If your rig does a nose dive when you apply regular brakes (like approaching a regular stop light), your front shocks are blown.

    If everything checks out, and you still have a wobble or vibration, have your tires balanced and rotated, and check your u-joints by pushing/pulling on them and checking for any movement.

    Happy hunting!!!
    :drunk:
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  2. bowtiefreak

    bowtiefreak No Quarter Supporting Member

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    5,398
    Likes Received:
    52
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2009
    Location:
    Near Philly
    Name:
    Kris
    Bravo, and thank you.
     
  3. Mazdarx

    Mazdarx TYF Newbie

    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Thats definitely good to know, I am looking at buying a 95 Tahoe and the brake pedal sinks almost to the floor before it stops definitely a little scary. I would have just replaced the master cylinder in hopes of fixing it.
     
  4. BlizzardX23

    BlizzardX23 Elite Member Supporting Member

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    4,365
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento, California
    Name:
    Chris
    MOTHER F'ING STICKY Material!!!! Great job my man :Handshake:
     
  5. NJ04HOE

    NJ04HOE Elite Member Supporting Member

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    1,516
    Likes Received:
    73
    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Location:
    Paterson, NJ
    Name:
    Previs
    +1
     
  6. STXTahoe

    STXTahoe TYF Newbie

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Location:
    Pharr, Texas
    Name:
    Leo
    Hey can anyone help a me with problem I have. I engage the brakes and the pedal surges forward and it feels like it slides forward "the brake pedal". any help will be welcomed.
     
  7. piranah

    piranah TYF Newbie

    Posts:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Name:
    gabe
    Did my brakes this weekend thanks to this....first time doing brakes and worked like a champ...

    I will say that the old lady who stopped short in front of me at a green turn light pushed me over the edge to get em replaced.
     
  8. canwebfriends69

    canwebfriends69 TYF Newbie

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Location:
    antioch,ca
    Name:
    vince
    my steering isnt the same as used to be ,been looking at different post and said something about a evo sensor , i wanted to know does a 95 gmc yukon 1500 with a 5.7 have one of theses and if so i can i check if theres one on my truck

    ---------- Post added at 03:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:21 PM ----------

    i need help with this steering problem want to know if my 95 yukon has a evo sensor cause i cant find it
     
  9. SunlitComet

    SunlitComet OBS Jedi-Do Good

    Posts:
    16,110
    Likes Received:
    142
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Location:
    bay area, CA
    Name:
    none
    1995 did not use them. Please start a new thread in general discussion so we all could help.
     
  10. w140amg

    w140amg TYF Newbie

    Posts:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Name:
    Jay
    Nice write up

    Great work!
     

Share This Page