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  1. #1
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis Area
    Posts
    67

    Default Excessive Steering Play & Shakes diagnosis & repair

    My 92 Sierra has significant play in the steering and also shakes at low speeds. It appears that they is a fair amount of slop in the idler arm and both tie rods. I’m thinking about replacing all of them myself.

    When pricing parts, they cost is all over the map. Tie rod ends run anywhere for $15 to $50 each and idler arms range from $28 to $110. Is there a happy medium here?

    Moog>TRW>Auto Parts Int>OE Brands.

    Why is there such a range? I’m not looking necessarily for the cheapest, unless it doesn’t really make much difference.

    The job looks to be pretty straight forward according to this video.
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mL7gdLCp5Y"]YouTube- Tie Rod and Idler Arm Replacement on 1997 Chevy CrewCab 4x4.[/ame]
    Any tips, tricks, links, or suggestions would be appreciated. Anybody around here familiar with this work?

    Thanks,

    Kurt
    Last edited by auzivision; 12-20-2009 at 01:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Jr. Mechanic
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Deep River Ontario
    Posts
    100

    Default

    most parts are made by the same manufacture, and just rebranded and you pay for the name only, however MOOG are really good parts, but it will come down to what you can afford quality of the part is a plus and a warrenty

    and replacing the idler arm and tie rods is pretty easy, and depending on what you do with your truck the suspension part companys usually upgrade the stock parts for replacment

  3. #3

    Default

    Stay away from the cheap parts as easy as it may seem you're gunna spend the day getting it done and wont want to start pulling them off one by one as they wear out in a year or two always get the greasable style and give em' half a pump every oil change just dont blow the boots out or you'll be back in sooner than later (had a tire blow out and rip the boot off the solid end of a brand new $300 dollar center link,wasted it in 6 months because i was to lazy to put new boot on Almost felt guilty having the company replace it agian.He,He company truck!!

    99 tahoe 2 dr. 4x4 7.4 4L80-e NP246, SAS, dana 60 hp, sterling 10.5 rear, gibson headers, and alot of tricks of the trade !!!!!!IF YOU'RE NOT CHEATING YOUR NOT TRYING!!!!!!!!

  4. #4
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis Area
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Since I couldnít tell which parts were really worn out, I decided to replace them all. All four tie rod ends (both sides inner and outer), Idler & Pitman arm. With one tire up and one down, it look like there was slop in all of them, but no clicking noise. The ball joints are pretty solidÖ no top to bottom wheel play, just side to side.

    I went the cheap route and got all the parts. The complete front end rebuild kit was about $120 including ball joints. That plus an alignment will still be less than a pair of Moog arms. My truck isnít used to make a living or my primary transportation, so Iíd thought I give it a try. Iíll update this thread of any premature failures.

  5. #5

    Default

    Did it help the slack ??????

    On my 1996 2500 Suburban , i had the complete front end tie rods and all replaced and the slack is still there !!!!!!

    Did they do something wrong is it normal with the slack ?

    1996 Suburban K3500 SLT DUALLY
    1988 Camaro RS 383 stroker LT1
    1992 32' Aero-tek Race Boat, 600 CI BBC
    WE CAN STICK A DIESEL IN ANYTHING
    SPECIALIZED IN CUSTOM CONVERSIONS OF ANY KIND
    Scott:glasses:

  6. #6

    Default

    I've seen this daredevil i replaced a idler arm on my friends 2500 with 50,000 miles the cheap replacement had the same slop as the fact. unit

  7. #7
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Oxford, OH
    Posts
    51

    Default

    my 98's steering has always been sloppy... there aren't any solutions that i know of
    - Rachael

    98 GMC Suburban SLT K1500, 191K


  8. #8

    Default

    My 79 had quite a bit of slop and I adjusted the setting on the steering box. helped some.

  9. #9
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis Area
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Haven't had a chance to install the parts yet and the weather here has been sub 20 lately. Wouldn't mind having a day above freezing.

    I don’t so much mind a little slop; it's the vibration/swagger that bothers me. The truck wags back and forth at low speed. The steering wheel wiggles back and forth as well.

    I was concerned because there are a couple inches of play and I’m not talking in the steering wheel, but the front wheel… with one up and one on the ground. That seemed like way too much to me.
    Last edited by auzivision; 01-04-2010 at 08:35 AM.

  10. #10
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis Area
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Follow up... after replacing idler & pitman arms and not seeing much decrease in the play, I replace the tires. It's been driving smooth ever since which is about 8 months now.

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