Excessive Steering Play & Shakes diagnosis & repair

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by auzivision, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. auzivision

    auzivision Rockstar

    My 92 Sierra has significant play in the steering and also shakes at low speeds. It appears that they is a fair amount of slop in the idler arm and both tie rods. I’m thinking about replacing all of them myself.

    When pricing parts, they cost is all over the map. Tie rod ends run anywhere for $15 to $50 each and idler arms range from $28 to $110. Is there a happy medium here?

    Moog>TRW>Auto Parts Int>OE Brands.

    Why is there such a range? I’m not looking necessarily for the cheapest, unless it doesn’t really make much difference.

    The job looks to be pretty straight forward according to this video.
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mL7gdLCp5Y"]YouTube- Tie Rod and Idler Arm Replacement on 1997 Chevy CrewCab 4x4.[/ame]
    Any tips, tricks, links, or suggestions would be appreciated. Anybody around here familiar with this work?


    Last edited: Dec 20, 2009
  2. Viper

    Viper Rockstar 100 Posts

    most parts are made by the same manufacture, and just rebranded and you pay for the name only, however MOOG are really good parts, but it will come down to what you can afford quality of the part is a plus and a warrenty

    and replacing the idler arm and tie rods is pretty easy, and depending on what you do with your truck the suspension part companys usually upgrade the stock parts for replacment
  3. azdrtdog

    azdrtdog Epic Member 5+ Years 100 Posts

    Stay away from the cheap parts as easy as it may seem you're gunna spend the day getting it done and wont want to start pulling them off one by one as they wear out in a year or two always get the greasable style and give em' half a pump every oil change just dont blow the boots out or you'll be back in sooner than later (had a tire blow out and rip the boot off the solid end of a brand new $300 dollar center link,wasted it in 6 months because i was to lazy to put new boot on Almost felt guilty having the company replace it agian.He,He company truck!!
  4. auzivision

    auzivision Rockstar

    Since I couldn’t tell which parts were really worn out, I decided to replace them all. All four tie rod ends (both sides inner and outer), Idler & Pitman arm. With one tire up and one down, it look like there was slop in all of them, but no clicking noise. The ball joints are pretty solid… no top to bottom wheel play, just side to side.

    I went the cheap route and got all the parts. The complete front end rebuild kit was about $120 including ball joints. That plus an alignment will still be less than a pair of Moog arms. My truck isn’t used to make a living or my primary transportation, so I’d thought I give it a try. I’ll update this thread of any premature failures.

    DAREDEVIL Rockstar 4 Years 1000 Posts

    Did it help the slack ??????

    On my 1996 2500 Suburban , i had the complete front end tie rods and all replaced and the slack is still there !!!!!!

    Did they do something wrong is it normal with the slack ?
  6. azdrtdog

    azdrtdog Epic Member 5+ Years 100 Posts

    I've seen this daredevil i replaced a idler arm on my friends 2500 with 50,000 miles the cheap replacement had the same slop as the fact. unit
  7. zuper8

    zuper8 Rockstar

    my 98's steering has always been sloppy... there aren't any solutions that i know of
  8. billinthehills

    billinthehills New Member

    My 79 had quite a bit of slop and I adjusted the setting on the steering box. helped some.
  9. auzivision

    auzivision Rockstar

    Haven't had a chance to install the parts yet and the weather here has been sub 20 lately. Wouldn't mind having a day above freezing.

    I don’t so much mind a little slop; it's the vibration/swagger that bothers me. The truck wags back and forth at low speed. The steering wheel wiggles back and forth as well.

    I was concerned because there are a couple inches of play and I’m not talking in the steering wheel, but the front wheel… with one up and one on the ground. That seemed like way too much to me.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  10. auzivision

    auzivision Rockstar

    Follow up... after replacing idler & pitman arms and not seeing much decrease in the play, I replace the tires. It's been driving smooth ever since which is about 8 months now.

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