GM Truck Club
THE PREMIER CHEVY TRUCK & SUV FORUM
Founded in 2004 ~ We're the #1 Chevy Truck & SUV Forum.
Silverado & Sierra | Tahoe & Yukon | Suburban & Yukon XL | SUV & CROSSOVER
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1

    Default Front end alignment problem 98 Suburban K1500

    While getting my Suburban ready for vacation last week, I took it in for a frontend alignment (was pulling to the right). The shop called me and said it need both bottom balljoints, idler arm, and new pitman arm. I told them to go ahead and do what's needed. It ended up being a 738 dollar bill. Should also note it has brand new tires on it as well. Went and picked it up last Saturday and immediately noticed steering wheel doesn't return to center. Also noticed the front wheels seemed like they were wandering while going down the road ( Sorry, that's the best way I know to describe it). We were leaving on Monday and the shop closed at noon, so we went ahead and loaded it. As soon as we got on interstate and got up to 70-75 mph I noticed it would weave from side to side after making a lane change. It wasn't just a little either, it would scare the holy crap outta you. After about 3 hours of driving I finally got the hang of it and it did okay. I let wife drive it and she pulled to side of interstate after about 15 minutes of fighting to keep it in one lane. Any ideas on what would cause it to weave so badly? I noticed they didn't change the caster adjustment. I've read that caster affects the steering wheel returning to center. It drove great before having work done. She was solid as a rock on interstate. Only problem was it pulling to the right. I apologize for the long post, but wanted to explain problem as best I could. I'm taking it back to shop Monday, just looking for ideas on what could be the problem. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Sr. Engineer FergusonT's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Southwest Michigan
    Posts
    398

    Default

    Sounds like one of those times I would march back into that shop and they might not like the tone in my voice....
    1999 Chevrolet Suburban LS K1500
    1991 Chevrolet S10 4.3L 4x4
    2005 Suzuki Forenza (GM/Daewoo)

  3. #3

    Default

    Oh, it's definitely one of THOSE times LOL. Just trying to get more information on what might be wrong before I take it in. I'm gonna let the manager take it out for a spin and get it up to 70 then do a lane change.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cbr900racer77 View Post
    Oh, it's definitely one of THOSE times LOL. Just trying to get more information on what might be wrong before I take it in. I'm gonna let the manager take it out for a spin and get it up to 70 then do a lane change.
    100% agree, and if he takes it for a spin..sit next to him...most of the times they tell ya , i did not feel a thing !
    Its 100% wrong aligned and the almost 800 is way to much !!!!!!!!

    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:

  5. #5
    Legend
    murdog94's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Cloquet, Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    8,198
    Blog Entries
    12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FergusonT View Post
    Sounds like one of those times I would march back into that shop and they might not like the tone in my voice....
    They wouldnt have liked the tone in my voice to begin with.... I would take a look at how much they charged you for the parts (labor is harder to account for) and then find out what your prefered parts store charges, and ask them why they charged you so much more.
    Mike

    Currently

    1997 Chevy S-10 Blazer 4X4 with 330K miles and counting (Hunting rig).

    2009 Saturn Aura XE (wifes car)

    2011 F-150 Crew 4X4

    "Hold it to the floor till you see God.... Then Brake!!!!"

  6. #6
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Any shop worth it's salt will provide you with a before and after alignment sheet. This is in the best interest of all parties involved. If they cannot provide this I would recommend having another shop inspecting their work. It may be difficult, but try to find a shop where they make money because they enjoy fixing vehicles, instead of fixing vehicles to get money.
    Last edited by GMGUY; 09-11-2010 at 03:34 PM.
    Been there, done it, got the T-shirt. Got the T-shirt dirty doin it again. Learned not to wear my good T-shirts.

  7. #7
    Legend
    murdog94's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Cloquet, Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    8,198
    Blog Entries
    12

    Default

    X2!!! There are a few out there but not as many as there used to be.
    Mike

    Currently

    1997 Chevy S-10 Blazer 4X4 with 330K miles and counting (Hunting rig).

    2009 Saturn Aura XE (wifes car)

    2011 F-150 Crew 4X4

    "Hold it to the floor till you see God.... Then Brake!!!!"

  8. #8

    Default

    I've had these guys do work for me before and they did great work. Labor was reasonable, 300 bucks for alignment, replace both lower balljoints, pitman arm, and idler arm. Parts were pricey but they only use quality stuff (Moog or something to that effect). I think I found out part of the problem. There is zero freeplay in steering wheel. It's either trying to turn left or right. I guess when they replaced the worn parts it tightened up. I loosened the set screw on gearbox and got some freeplay out of it last night. Now just waiting for opportunity to get out on interstate and get it up to speed. It feels better, but I'm used to it by now so I need my wife or someone else to drive it and see what they think. I did get a before and after sheet on the alignment but according to the sheet, settings are the same after parts replacement. I'll update soon as I can get her up to speed and do some high speed lane changes. Thanks for the opinions and replies.

  9. #9
    Legend
    stephan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Far West, Oregon USA,
    Posts
    8,606
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    CBR900,
    This vehicle sounds like it does not have enough toe in and not enough positive caster. Positive caster is what helps your steering to return to neutral position. The more positive caster you have the better it returns to the neutral position.
    Toe in keeps your car/truck from wandering all over the road. When it is toed in the fronts of both tires are pushing towards the center of the veh. and keep your veh. from wandering. When it is toed out the tires pick and choose where they want to go based on the side slope of the road, surface grip, road grooves, etc. Both of these problems are magnified with speed.

    Note: caster should not be confused with camber.
    Caster (or KPI) is the difference in angle through the upper & lower ball joints/steering knuckles per side. Standing at the side of your veh. and looking at the upper and lower ball joints (with the tire off) you would be able to see that the upper ball joint is farther towards the rear of the veh. than the lower ball joint. This is positive caster This is what your veh. does not have enough of. When viewed from the front of the tire, camber is the lean/tilt of the tire either in or out at the top.

    Your steering being tighter now, than it was before all the parts were replaced, is normal and is a good thing.
    Last edited by stephan; 10-05-2010 at 04:04 PM.
    1988 Chevy C-3500 2wd (no pic)
    350 c.i. 5.7 L Stock Block, 4 Bolt Mains
    L-31 Vortec Heads, Edelbrock Cam & Intake,
    Holley 650, Flowtech Headers, Magnaflow exh.
    Jet Trans 700R4, B&M Ratchet, 4:10 gears,
    3" susp. lift kit "shadetree"
    No rev limiter, No speed limiter lol


Similar Threads

  1. 96 Suburban K1500 Front License Plate Bracket
    By l2yGuy in forum General Chevy & GM Tech Questions
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-17-2010, 02:27 AM
  2. Fuel Problem 97 K1500 Suburban
    By Izone_Dave in forum Performance & Fuel
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-06-2009, 09:58 AM
  3. Cant do an alignment on my 95 Suburban
    By 7footone in forum General Chevy & GM Tech Questions
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-28-2009, 09:24 PM
  4. Front bumper alignment
    By DirtDog in forum Chevy Truck Accessories
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 11-07-2008, 03:46 PM
  5. Silverado alignment problem
    By VictoryRedSilverado in forum The Coffee Shop ~ Chit Chat
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-03-2006, 07:50 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •