2009 Suburban steering issues after leveling kit

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Accessories' started by E ELLER, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. E ELLER

    E ELLER New Member

    I bought a brand new 2009 4x4 Suburban about a month ago. I put some bigger tires (same rims) on it the day I bought it. Then I figured out that the front passenger side tire was hitting the inside wheel well when turning hard to the left. I took the car back over to the tire place and the guy who had done my paperwork gave me three options: a) change the tires, b) cut part of the inside honeycomb between the wheel well and bumper out (about an inch) and then zip tie wheel well back, or c) just get a leveling kit put on the Suburban.

    Well, I decided to go with the leveling kit because I thought it would give the car a better look and an extra two and a half inches in the front. So, I took the car to the most reputable place in town (Houston) and they did the leveling in about 4 hours. Later that afternoon I noticed that when hitting any type of bump, big or small, the steering wheel had an obvious sensation coming through it that can be described as something feeling loose with the steering column coming from somewhere under the hood. It drove me crazy by the end of the day. The car did NOT have that feel prior to the leveling job.

    So, I took the car back over to them and had them take a look. They went over everything and flatly stated that there was nothing wrong with the work that they had done. They went so far as to say that they have done thousands of these since 1986 and there is nothing about the work they did that would or should cause the problem. So, I decided to see if I could live with it.

    This past weekend I took the car out of town and drove on some dirt roads that had washboarding. It was during this driving that the problem became very pronounced. The steering column itself felt as if it was going to come loose. Its very hard to describe but extremely easy to feel. Not solid is maybe the best way to restate the sensation.

    I read through the posts and have a hard time believing that it was just luck that they did the work and now I have this sensation. I am just about to the point of removing the leveling kit and going back to stock although from an appearance standpoint I really like it with the kit. There are a lot of threads about packing the intermediate steering column with molly grease, etc., and am just wondering if anyone has any suggestions or has had similar experiences.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. s5belford

    s5belford Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I'd like to see what everyone else has to say too.

    I really wanted to get a leveling kit and came very close to doing so but I've heard that the leveling kit is really hard on the front end and figured I'd wait till my warranty was expired and wait to see if they cause any damange but everyone seems to think that the leveling kits don't cause any harm.

    My friend has a f-150 and had his leveling kit on for all of a week before he took it off becuase he heard so many horror stories.

    Hope it all works out for you E Eller, I know how it feels to waste money on your new truck on accessories that don't end up working out, and it's not a good feeling.
  3. tbplus10

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

    What type kit did they use?
    Having lifted and leveled many trucks over the years I can tell you when you change the front suspension geometry its common to get a feeling of loosenes or sometimes a feeling of hesitation in the steering.
    If it were me I'd probably have another reputable mechanic take a look at the steering system.
    Was the truck aligned after the leveling kit was added?
    An alignment might get rid of some of that feeling.
  4. E ELLER

    E ELLER New Member

    Guys, the leveling kit is Rough Country. Don't know if you have any experience with those, but that is what it is. They are very simple one piece blocks that raised the front end 2.5". I have to admit that I am starting to get used to the new feeling and that it is not such a shock to drive anymore...if you understand what I mean. But I can still feel the issue. The steering wheel itself does not shake, but the feeling of something being loose on bumps emanates through the steering column to the steering wheel and that is how I feel it. The feeling really only comes on the downward movement of the front end over bumps.

    The truck was aligned after the kit was installed. On any road or freeway, the car does not drift by letting go of the steering wheel, so I have to assume that it is aligned.

    tbplus10 - do you have any suggestions on what to tell another mechanic to look for other than what I have described?

    I lifted the hood and grabbed the steering column and tugged pretty hard and don't feel any play in it. So, one option would be to remove the kit and see how it feels.

    If I took it to Chevy, I have read that a leveling kit does NOT affect any warranties, but I cannot confirm this. Any thoughts on that? No doubt they will see it if I take it there.

    Thank you for your posts!
  5. DarkCherry

    DarkCherry Rockstar

    what shop in houston did you take it to? I am in Houston and have an 08 Silverado 4x4 thinking about leveling out with either a leveling kit or the bilstein leveling system.

    I had a leveling kit on my 07 ford expedition. It didnt change the feeling in the steering one bit from stock.

  6. tbplus10

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

    I'd have them look at the blocks and the tie rods, make sue everything was tightened after the work.
    From your description it sounds normal after a lift.
    A lift of any type will change how the tire rides on the road in relation to the suspension, i kinda think your very sensiive to the feed back in your steering and this is why you've noticed it.

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