1990 Suburban - body leaning to driver side? (long post w/pics)

Discussion in 'Lifted & Offroad Suspension' started by bigburb, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. bigburb

    bigburb Rockstar ROTM Winner 100 Posts

    *All measurements are close, but may not be exact. You should be able to get the gist of it, though.*

    OK, so here's the deal. My suburban's body leans toward the drivers side. It did this before and after the lift, so I know that's not part of it. Plus, the body bushings look to be in pretty good shape, but I don't know s%*t about body bushings or how to tell if they're good or not.

    I measured the height from the top of the tire to the trim on the fender well on all 4 tires, and here is the results:

    D. side front: 11"
    D. side rear: 9 1/2"
    P. side front: 11"
    P. side rear: 10 1/2"

    It seems to be about 1" lower overall. Here's a pic from the back:

    And the front. It seems worse in the rear, but it could just be me:

    And here's body-panel-to-floor measurements on all 4 corners:

    Left front, approx. 26":

    Right front, approx. 26 3/4":

    Left rear, approx. 28 1/4":

    Right rear, approx. 29 1/4":

    Also, this may or may not be related to the body leaning, but the passenger side front tire seems to stick out further than the driver's side. Here's some pics to compare, I have a metal ruler leaning from the outside of both tires against the trim the top of the fender well, if you can see it:

    P. side:

    D. side:

    I've kinda ignored it up until now, but it's really starting to bug me. Any help or suggestions would be great! :great:

    Thanks in advance for any help!
  2. Z-71

    Z-71 Rockstar 100 Posts

    If I were you I guess I would check the leaf springs (especially the driver side rear) for cracks,check the bushings,and check the arc of it.Its just a guess but I bet thats where the problem lies.good luck
  3. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Did you use new leaf packs with the lift, 0r did it use AAL's?
    If you used AAL's you need to check the spring arch they might be worn.
    If you used new leaf packs you might have a frame issue with this truck. Do you know the history of the truck from new?
    Was it ever wrecked?
  4. bigburb

    bigburb Rockstar ROTM Winner 100 Posts

    Well, I guess I should have mentioned that the lift cosisted of new leafs for the front and blocks for the rear. I did put AAL's that were given to me by a friend around the same time as the lift, though.

    How would I go about checking the arch?
  5. Z-71

    Z-71 Rockstar 100 Posts

    I would measure from the center bolt to the frame and compare it to the other side that will tell you right there if its in the leafs or not.I had the same thing on a 84 silverado and the rear driver side leaf had a cracked leaf in it...I bought a new set for the rear and it sat as straight as can be.I'll almost garantee you will find the problem is in the leafs.Let us know what you find.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  6. bigburb

    bigburb Rockstar ROTM Winner 100 Posts

    Hmmm... the old 'burb could use some new rear leafs. Hell, it could use new leafs all around. The rears are CREAKY (and possibly cracked, will check that tomorrow lol), and the fronts... well let's just say you would probably have a softer ride with a couple of welded solid pieces of steel spacing the axle from the frame. I mean OH MY GOD, this thing has absolutely the worst ride of any vehicle I have ridden in because of those front springs :gasp:.

    I don't know what brand they are, because the whole lift was a $150 junkyard special that I pulled off an old k5:rofl: Give me some slack, I was a senior in high school working at a fast food joint at the time I put the lift on:na:

    And to Z-71; what do you mean "from the center bolt to the frame"?
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  7. cadillacmike

    cadillacmike New Member

    Hey man. I would bet that the leaf is sagged or broken in the rear drivers side. My buddies 91 K5 did that, and we found out (after new shocks, and a bunch of other bushings ect) that the spring was sagged. We put two new leafs in, and boom, straight as can be! Hope this helps. OH. and Z-71 probably ment to measure from the center of the U-Bolt that holds the leaf to the axle to the body and compare sides. If its there, then that should tell you the leaf is sagged, unless you get under there and see its broken. All it takes to lean that heavy body is one broken leaf. Hope this helps, and BTW nice burbin!
  8. Z-71

    Z-71 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Right at the middle of the leaf spring where the u-bolts hold it to the axle measure from there straight up to the frame just make sure its straight up or your measurement will be off. Sorry about saying "center bolt" lol... I'm not very good at explaining stuff sometimes but I was talking about the little nub that helps hold the axle straight but you can't even see that with everything assembled.
  9. bigburb

    bigburb Rockstar ROTM Winner 100 Posts

    OK, this is strange... I took Z-71's advice and measure from the top of the hump in the u-bolt plate (since you can see the center leaf bolt lol) to the bottom of the frame on both rear springs, and it was the same on both sides! I even checked the fronts while I was at it, and they're both the same too. Idk if it'll make a difference, but I'll measure again after driving the 10 miles each way to and from college. Like I said, it probabaly won't do anything, but you never know :rules:

    I'll check for broken leafs during my 2 hour break between my first and second classes and report back, right now it's still too dark to tell.

    And thanks cadillacmike! I love my 'burb :party:
  10. 91Sub4x4

    91Sub4x4 Member

    I'm glad someone made a thread about this- I have the exact same problem on my 91, so much that it makes me curious every time I look at it. I was told my leaf springs are in great shape and to check the rear axle tube. Last time I changed the oil, I took a look at the axle and it almost looks like it's bent but it may be an illusion due to the body being closer since it's leaning on that side. OR...it might be closer to that side because the axle tube is bent. I haven't taken the time to find out yet.

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