99 k2500 Suburban alignment issues

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by Mr.454, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Mr.454

    Mr.454 New Member

    Hello All,

    Thanks in advance for help from anyone. :happy:
    Vehicle is a 99 k2500 Suburban 4x4 7.4l and is entirely stock. 130k miles. I bought it last week and until now have been very happy/impressed with the truck.

    First off.... After an inspection of the front suspension due to rough riding issues, I discovered that the rubber bump-stops on the front end were resting on the lower control arm on both sides all the time. I tightened the torsion key adjusting bolts to raise the front end ( they were backed out almost all the way). After multiple adjustments to ensure both sides were even I took it for a drive and it was fine. I am aware tht an alignment should be done after torsion bar adjustments and so here we are.

    For the record, the pre-adjustment height was 36" fender to floor in the front and 37" in the back so the adjustment was not that drastic, and the rubber stoppers are no longer "riding" on the lower control arm. The front is now at 37"... even with the back, and the torsion key adjustment screws have plenty of threads still showing.

    I went to get the alignment done today, after 7 HOURS at the shop and one cam kit later, the truck pulls dramatically to the right (will change lanes as quickly as you would normally). Having not had this problem prior to the *ahem* "alignment", you can probably understand my confusion.

    The tech advised me that the adjustments made are the best they can do unless I replace my UPPER control arms due to bushing failure on both sides.

    The catch is that he told me the drivers side alignment is perfect and the passenger side is the one he can't get within tolerances.

    My question is this, is he blowing smoke up my tailpipe with this nonsensical statement?

    Both need to be replaced so he can get ONE within spec? Doesn't make sense to me but that doesn't mean it isn't true.

    What else could be preventing me from getting within spec?

    Should I replace these components, or is the tech just not very good at his job?
    (*edit* the bushings in the control arms are in fact shot and do need to be replaced)
    He seemed knowledgeable enough, but I used to turn wrenches for a living back in the day, so I know how good at bull*****ing these guys CAN be.

    Thanks again for any advice!

    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  2. janikphoto

    janikphoto Rockstar 3 Years 100 Posts

    I can't speak to this specific tech, but I can say these general statements...

    Usually, if one side is bad, the other is getting close to bad. You mind as well do both. I had one toasted upper control arm on the back of our BMW, but ordered both sides just because the price was fair. When I did the side that seemed fine, I realized the part was almost as bad... I would've been replacing it sooner rather than later.

    I've found the biggest amount of errors performed at shops during alignments. One time the shop flat-out lied to me and didn't do the alignment at all. They said they did, but it still drove the same because I needed a ton of new suspension parts first. I went to a second shop and they gave me a perfect alignment in half an hour, plus said all the suspension looked great. My most recent alignment was on the '99 suburban. They aligned it, but said one said was maxed out on the adjustment and was still a little off. I drove it for a few weeks then went back and complained about the alignment. They redid it and this time it aligned perfect, though noting had changed except for adding a couple thousand miles to the truck.

    Remember that your truck is now 13 years old, so don't be surprised if it needs a few bits replaced. Are you greasing all the fittings under there? I noticed my truck drives more straight right after I pump the fittings full of grease.

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