New member needs help 95 k1500 suburban!!!

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by Wolf1n3, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. Wolf1n3

    Wolf1n3 New Member

    I'm a new member, tho I've read quite a bit on this site over the last year.
    I am a 'shade tree mechanic, but have never had a vehicle in a service station in my 33 years of owning a vehicle. I really don't know what to put on here as to letting people get to know me (as the description states to do), but here's a bit about me.
    I enjoy keeping busy by working on or building things in my garage And I enjoy bow hunting or anything that gives me the chance to shoot my home made arrows out of my 55 pound recurve bow.
    This is my third suburban. I sold my 99 suburban, when I acquired this one. I hated selling my '99 cause I loved it, but I am disabled and couldn't afford two. And this one has emotional value. This '95 suburban was given to me by my younger brother while he was laying in his death bed. He passed on February 13, 2008.
    I've now got a problem with my suburban and need help troubleshooting. I cannot get local help because they all want $$$$, And that I am very short of. My wife left me three months ago because she could no longer handle my disability and the fact that I have to keep myself busy, which takes time away from her, thus leaving me with all the bills. I am also the Guardian, provider and 100% care giver of my 2 year old granddaughter.
    (Sorry about all the trivial info of my life, but it lets people know that I cannot afford pro help, plus lets people know a bit about me)
    The problem is this:
    3 days ago I noticed that while driving the front passenger side felt like there was a flat spot on the tire, but slight. I examined the tire and rotor, all seemed fine. 2 days ago, while driving, it almost felt like the front passenger tire went flat, There was only slight vibration of the vehicle, but in the steering wheel and brakes I felt very hard pulsating and the vehicle pulled to the side hard. I found that by turning the steering wheel all the way to the left, it made the problem disappear temporarily. It seems to start again when hitting bumps. I pulled the wheel and examined the caliper, pads and rotor. All seem to be in great shape, rotor not warped and pads worn very little and not uneven. I reinstalled the wheel and spun it by hand, after a very long time of spinning the wheel, it locked up and wouldn't spin in the forward direction, nor in reverse direction. But it would go back and forth slightly, maybe 1/4 - 3/8" at the break pad location, so the pads were not stopping the wheel from turning. The driver's side wheel spins fine, even when the passanger side is locked up. I could not even with all my strength, move the wheel forward, but I could jerk it hard in the reverse direction and get it spinning again, but then it would lock up with a few rotations in the forward direction. But, like I said previously, by turning the wheel all the way to the left then forward again, the problem would subside for awhile. And the wheel would spin without any sound from the bearings or anything else. I checked the front differential's fluid (drained it & looked for shavings), but it was fine.
    I believe it is the bearings, but as you all know, the bearings are part of a sealed hub unit which requires a special puller so I haven't removed them yet (until I buy the puller - If I have to). I just don't want to buy the hub-bearing assembly (off ebay cause it's half the price of AutoZone) and the puller, then find out that the bearings are fine and that the problem is the ABS or in the differential. Or could it be in the CV joint? I do remember that last couple of times I put it in 4wd, I heard definite grinding and clunking, which per experience, I believe to be the passenger side CV joint. But that grinding isn't heard in 2wd. I just decided that when I get the extra funds, I would change out the CV joint.
    I am looking for help. Maybe somebody knows exactly what the problem is or at least how I should go about diagnosing the problem. I cannot take it apart, without the parts to fix it - it's my only vehicle and I need it just to get to town for parts (if I get them in town).
    I truly appreciate any or all help that I can get.
    Thank you,
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  2. stephan

    stephan Rockstar 4 Years 5000 Posts

    Hi Wolf, welcome to the GM truck club. Sorry to hear about your brother. I lost my older brother in '04 due to war related injuries so I understand the hollow feeling that is left.
    On your r. f. lock up problem I think you are spot on with the cv joint diagnosis because of the fact that it locks up, & the vibration you described. A wheel bearing wouldn't feel like a flat tire, it would also be a constant droning sound, & you would most likely be able to hear it when you're spinning it by hand up on the jack. I think if you let it down off the jack the joint will unlock as you will be changing the angle of the joint. Since you need it to get to town for parts, I would drive it slow as it will only get worse.

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