Front Tire movement

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering & Brakes' started by Dutch Rutter, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Dutch Rutter

    Dutch Rutter Full Access Member

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    Hello everyone.

    Yet, again another issue that needs addressed. About a month or so ago I went in to LesSchwabs got a rotation and balance, they told me I needed a new drag link which would require me to then get an alignment. Got all that done. Truck was feeling pretty well. Took it camping through some rougher gravel roads, drove it to and from work like normal. Yesterday I thought I was feeling something odd with the steering.

    It seems to turn faster to the right then the left
    It feels to have more body roll, especially when changing lanes on the freeway (kinda skechy)

    I made an appointment to get it checked out by the same Schwabs that did the work. The soonest appointment is this Friday. In the mean time I put the front end in the air one tire at a time. The driver's side was able to wiggle top to bottom and side to side a little. While the other was quite a bit in every direction. It looked like the movement was in the half shaft of the front axle.

    I honestly have no idea about these front axles. Is this normal or am I looking at having the front end completely rebuilt? Or am I just loosing my mind.. I really wouldn't be surprised anymore :banghead:

    Thanks all.
     
  2. T-ROD

    T-ROD Full Access Member

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    Ah, been there done that, oh wait I'm still kinda wondering, I've had that issue with mine almost from the start and I've owned it for well over 9 years at this point, not sure exactly where your getting the movement but I have installed a new steering box, new ball joints, new bearings, steering stabilizer, and drag link before I nticed it still doesn't actually fix the problem, I'm sure it helped, and I'm sure it made a difference in stability but sometimes it almost feels worse about cornering, and it's almost impossible to keep straight as in it feels like the spring bushings and frame mounts are worn, mine feels good slow, but bumps just gets real sketchy and cornering I start praying, it makes me a bit nervous to be to brave in it a lot of times until I know what is making it do that especially. Either way sorry bout the book long response but in all honesty I'd start at the Springs if it's A 4x4 or control arm bushings if it's a 2WD, ball joints can be tricky sometimes, mine didn't seem worn, but after I took it all apart it seemed more and more apparent, but if it body rolls I'd be willing to bet on it that it's within ball joints or spring mounting. (That is if shocks, Tires, and obvious are good), BTW sorry if I misunderstood the question but it's all I could think of that can show much give in the front end, our front ends are among the best, I dought unless abused or very very high mileage it'd need too much.
     
  3. PrairieDrifter

    PrairieDrifter Full Access Member

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    If you have wiggle in the wheels up and down then you need to service or replace your wheel bearings in the hubs. Side to side could also be your wheel bearings. Have someone wiggle the wheel for you while you look at the tie rod ends, ball joints and the entire hub itself, as well as the drag link. You can almost always tell where you have play, if you do this. The helper is a key part! Also as said make sure your leaf spring bushings are in good condition, no cracked rubber or wallowed out holes, or rust.

    Also inspect the condition of your tires.
     
  4. PrairieDrifter

    PrairieDrifter Full Access Member

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    There is also a small needle bearing for the stub shaft in the spindle that should be checked as well.
     
  5. Dutch Rutter

    Dutch Rutter Full Access Member

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    Thank you both for the replies! My C20 had a bad steering box I'm sure of it. This K20 on the other hand always felt pretty well solid. It had the usual loose-ish steering when compared to anything newer however, it was not all that bad. This morning on my way to work I tried paying special attention to how it was handling in hopes of finding a good tell of what exactly is going on with it.

    Body roll definitely got worse. And just like @T-ROD said any corner at speed its pray and hope for the best.
    Highway driving I felt as though I was constantly fighting to stay in my lane.
    And it overall doesn't feel solid on the road which does not instill confidence in driving.
    Any bump in the road, letting off the throttle or getting heavy on the throttle would alter my direction slightly and I need to correct with the steering. (thinking this is rear end needing attention)

    I did about a few months ago tackle all of the brakes (rotors, pads, drums, shoes) and while doing the front I did replace the wheel bearings.
    When I wiggled everything last night I had each front tire in the air. Tonight I will keep it on the ground and have the wife turn the wheel instead of the tire itself. If I cannot obviously see whats going on I'll take a quick video.

    I do know my shocks are most likely shot and they have been on the back burner to getting replaced, also I have new poly sway bar bushings waiting to be installed but not because the currents are screwed up they are just old and I got the new ones on sale to get free shipping on another order. Tires all look good visually but it would not be the first time I've missed something.

    The spring bushings would not be any kind of a surprise nor would that needle bearing mentioned. Here is hoping I can get thing handling and feeling solid again without spending a fortune.

    Thanks again! I'll post back tonight after I check things out.
     
  6. Dutch Rutter

    Dutch Rutter Full Access Member

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    Well my internet friends. Poked my head down there while the wife wiggled my wheel and found this brand new drag link les schwabs installed for me a month ago, the bolts have loosened up ALOT (almost falling out) So here i sit waiting (after hours) for them to check it over for worn out new parts and tightening things up.. I'm actually kind of relieved because for a second I was really wondering if i was loosing it.

    I'll post back up with the end verdict.
     
  7. T-ROD

    T-ROD Full Access Member

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    That is dead on exactly how my truck still feels after everything was done, VB I did have a real funny issue with a ball joint that seized right after it was replaced, and it wasn't even 100miles later it felt funny, apparently even though I had greased it it didn't get into the upper area very well and it was spinning the entire stud!! I drove about 50 miles like that I guess, because I checked it and at first it was fine, for a couple days, then I went quite a ways out and it started feeling weird, then the wife turned it while I checked and sure enough, another weird story to tell, and I think the reason these trucks feel funny upon any real herd acceleration is because it's by nature that the springs retract and the geometry of it gets a pull to one side or other through drag link, because it stays stationary while the front end moves, and it's attached to the steering box which is why that steering stabilizer can help but not a real major difference, it's just better, so basically any major suspension movement seems to take a toll on handling and you were smart with any suspension component you love bought or thought about buying just because it's proplbably a little of almost everything in one especially when they are about 40yrs old lol but I know them wheel bearings are funny about tightness they can be overtightened real easy but if they're too loose they will loosen more after a few to several miles, but if you don't seem to have much sights on that being the problem it may very well not be but I'd say a few suspension components will help a bit (especially shocks, stavlbilizer, etc).
     
  8. Dutch Rutter

    Dutch Rutter Full Access Member

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    Very well put. So far getting the link tightened has brought it back to feeling safer. However, I would not say its perfect by any means. I know my gear box has play, those bushings, shocks, and stabilizer should be replaced here soon. And on top of it all I'm betting either I have some worn out bearings in the front end or just like you said the wheel bearings are getting loose. I find it strange that I was able to lift the front tires off the ground and was able to wiggle them. I do need to re try this after getting that tightened back up though. While wiggling them I was able to look and the only movement I saw at the knuckle of the half shaft. Everything else seemed solid. And I was able to wiggle the passenger side enough that I was questioning the torque of the lug nuts. This coming month I'm going to start dropping the $700 for those parts listed above and slowly make my way through this thing piece by piece. I probably wont be able to get it perfect but it'll definitely feel better. This weekend I'll be checking those wheel bearing's tightness just to be on the safe side of things.
     
  9. T-ROD

    T-ROD Full Access Member

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    Most definitely, I believe I spent around 1200 for everything, be that was for steering box and wheel bearings, plus shocks, be and stabilizer, and other various things, although it may be out of line now, it feels a lot more solid, at least I know it's not going to come apart on me while driving down the road, but I'd still like to do some other things eventually, it's just too easy to keep spending, there's always something else to find usually, the only thing that makes me happier is that eventually it will be a new truck if I keep it up, already have motor and tranny replaced with just under 20,000 miles on them, and it will still always be cheaper than a new one for the one I'd rather have even if I was rich, lol. BTW there shouldn't be any movement almost none at the knuckle unless it's from left to right, and of coarse any little variance between the two will feel major the faster you go, especially in turns, and I bought a new steering box and it still felt kinda sloppy but the power steering was quicker and easier to move, I had to adjust that screw on top, you can try it with the old one too, I don't remember the exact sizes but the screw on top can be adjusted by loosening the bolt around it and slightly turning it inward (the Alan key) until it stops, they say to back it off just a hair for lash of bearing placement, but it usually when worn will loosen a bit anyway after drove, just turn it until it just barely stops and snug it up and then just tighten the bolt back up, it should still help at least, and maybe completely fix it, Your steering will be much more responsive and it will help wonder and stability.
     

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