2003 LT Autoride-loose steering/Clunkinng in front suspension-Ball joints?

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by J-Rod, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. J-Rod

    J-Rod New Member

    Took the '03 in for a tire rotation and the guy taking it back said it felt horrible and had a pretty big "knock" in the suspension. I've been noticing it too, being I don't drive this car as often, but the rest of the family just dismissed it as being related to it "just being a big SUV, it's not supposed to handle well". But now that someone else has mentioned it, they're taking it a bit more seriously.

    Basically there is a lot of play in the steering and some feathering on the inner side of the tires, which only have 4,000 miles on them. Front only. The tire guy suggested that it was the ball joints. And with 126k miles without any suspension work ever done, I suspect they're due for replacement anyway.

    What's the average rate for a replacement, with me doing the work myself, and where should I get the parts? Also, what should I be looking at replacing in the near future? The service ride control message is on, so I know I'm looking at some serious stuff.

    Thanks guys.
  2. stephan

    stephan Rockstar 4 Years 5000 Posts

    Hey Jrod, the fact that your tires are feathered on the inside edges indicates that you either have too much negative camber or too much toe out or maybe a little too much of both. The play in the steering could be one or both tie rod ends worn out. Since you took your truck in for the tire rotation, you probably wouldn't be up to doing the ball joints, or the tie rod ends. It's kind of labor intensive.
  3. J-Rod

    J-Rod New Member

    The tire rotation was free and we were already by the place so we had it done. haha I've restored a Mustang so I could probably handle it. Thanks for the advice!
  4. stephan

    stephan Rockstar 4 Years 5000 Posts

    Ok you restored a Mustang you can do this with no problem. You gotta watch out for those tire shops using the impact wrenches on your wheels. Tennessee Griz had his done & they ran his lug nuts on so tight & unevenly that they warped his rear drums. Be sure & watch them & if they're going to use an air gun, make them go easy & then use a torque wrench for the final tightening.
  5. Jacqson

    Jacqson Rockstar 100 Posts

    Being as how I've been down this road many times, including the Autoride, you're probably going to need Inner & Outer Tie Rods, Upper & Lower Ball Joints, possibly Pitman & Idler Arms and Control Arm Bushings. The ride control message is probably a bad shock or loose connection. Use Raybestos/Spicer Professional Grade Parts (available at Rock Auto or NAPA(NCP)). If you have bad control arm bushings replace them with ones made from polyurethane and would suggest you stay from Moog Parts. Spicer is light years better, as I've used both and the Spicers hold up way longer, especially on a truck.

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