Front Suspension and etc Rebuild Time...
#1
Question 
Gonna have to start on this in the next few months. I am sick of the front end woes on my 2000 Cadillac Escalade. I had my local mechanic replace the steering gear box and align it about a year and a half ago. I still had to have the steering wheel held at the 11 o'clock position or while driving, otherwise it would make a mad right sweerve off the road. The tires sucked, so I saved up and bought some really nice Coopers that are the next size up about six months ago. I had it re-aligned and asked them (the tire place, which also does front end work) to check and see how all the bushings and shit looked, and if my ball joints needed replaced. They say they will look at. Come back next day and they said the front end looked okay. I was all like, "wow. it has 250,000+ miles. awesome." I pay my bill, and drive off.

The alignement wasn't any better. Instead of holding the wheel at 11 o'clock, now it's almost 2 o'clock. Dodgy I call them when I got home, and let them know what was up. They said to bring it back and they would make it right. Cool. Thats all I ever wanted. It would have to wait a few days, as I was beginning my night shift, so upon completing my last shift I drop it off and they have it done by the afternoon. They say it's all better now. It wasn't really. Instead of almost 2 o'clock, its now 1 o'clock. Not much better. Not good on my $800 tires, either. Angry

I didnt even bother calling them back. I am thinking about just rebuilding the front end and getting it over with. The techs at the tire/alignment shop assured me everything was good, but I am doubting that. How can bushings, ball joints and other moving parts not be due for replacement after 250,000 miles? Is this why the alignment could never be set right, because of failing front end or failing "technicians"? Combinantion of both, perhaps?
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#2
TL;DR
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#3
Do you only drive this vehicle the same pattern every day and for how long?

How are the crowns of the roads in your area?

Does it pull hard or gradually?
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#4
(11-10-2015, 10:59 AM)SNAFU Wrote: Do you only drive this vehicle the same pattern every day and for how long?

How are the crowns of the roads in your area?

Does it pull hard or gradually?

Same pattern, which is to and from work. My round trip mileage is about 25 miles, all county and state roads. I also drive it other places occasionally.

In FL, especially the one hwy I drive, the highways have steep crowns.

It pulls hard.
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#5
ITT.....decade and half old GM doesn't work right.
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#6
(11-10-2015, 11:42 AM)AveryBullock Wrote:
(11-10-2015, 10:59 AM)SNAFU Wrote: Do you only drive this vehicle the same pattern every day and for how long?

How are the crowns of the roads in your area?

Does it pull hard or gradually?

Same pattern, which is to and from work.  My round trip mileage is about 25 miles, all county and state roads.  I also drive it other places occasionally.

In FL, especially the one hwy I drive, the highways have steep crowns.

It pulls hard.
Jack it up and check the front end but it sounds like radial tire lead.

.Reman steering gears are also hit and miss.

Not many shops are going to lie to you and say things dont need to be replaced.

Look at your idler arm good, everyone always misses the idler arm.
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#7
(11-10-2015, 12:07 PM)FBHO Wrote: The solution is this, you need to take your truck to another shop or fix it yourself. Do a little research on the shop before you take your vehicle there. You're only going to beat a dead horse fucking around with a shop that couldn't fix the problem after the second or third attempt. Having company trucks down in my line of work cost us a lot of money, been in this boat before.

Beta post of the year. Dodgy
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#8
(11-10-2015, 11:59 AM)SNAFU Wrote:
(11-10-2015, 11:42 AM)AveryBullock Wrote:
(11-10-2015, 10:59 AM)SNAFU Wrote: Do you only drive this vehicle the same pattern every day and for how long?

How are the crowns of the roads in your area?

Does it pull hard or gradually?

Same pattern, which is to and from work.  My round trip mileage is about 25 miles, all county and state roads.  I also drive it other places occasionally.

In FL, especially the one hwy I drive, the highways have steep crowns.

It pulls hard.
Jack it up and check the front end  but it sounds like radial tire lead.

.Reman steering gears are also hit and miss.

Not many shops  are going to lie to you and say things dont need to be replaced.

Look at your  idler arm good, everyone always misses the idler arm.

Thanks, bro!
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#9
NO truck front suspension "Looks Ok" at 250K miles, unless it had everything gone-through and replaced less than 75,000 miles before the last inspection.

The only other things, aside from a bent frame, that will cause your vehicle to pull to one side, is a grabbier brake caliper, or an excessively crowned roadway.

If you live in Arkansas, you can easily remedy the situation by removing and re-aligning the steering wheel so that it looks better when driving.
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#10
Maybe oh should get a truck that isn't too heavy for it's own suspension?
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#11
does this thing have torsion bars up front? could easily be a bent bar. if this is the same suspension as the 88-98 gm 4x4 just look at the camber change on one while cornering. as snafu said every one misses the idler arm on 88-98 gm's. every single 88-98 gm 4x4 i have ever bought to resell has needed one.

using a friend to help you, the best way i have found to check a front end is;

1.) jack up one side at a time.

2.) rock the wheel side to side and then top to bottom. there should not be much movement, if it flops around replace unit bearing (or tapered in a man's truck).

3.) using a pry bar (don't try to break shit but using a decent amount of force) pry up on tie rods, and other "links" in the steering system any excessive movement is generally the bad part.

4.) on ttb ford's (and maybe other vehicles) drive vehicle in reverse (in a straight line) on a level ground, stop and look at the camber of the front tires. if it has changed this is a tale tale sign of bad radius arm bushings. sometimes it is hard to know if a lower control arm bushing is bad without taking it apart. at 250k miles just assume it is bad.

find a mom and pop type shop that has been around forever and who only does front end work. avoid chain shops. mom and pop usually retain their employees longer, and this usually means employees are not "training" on your vehicle. unless you are rich stay away from the dealership (last time i checked about 15 years ago a unit bearing was about $600 (that's per side) for the older 88-98 gm). talk to guys in 4x4 clubs. look for guys running 70's and 80's model fords as the one tons had king pins and are best worked on by a shop, and most chain shops will not fuck with em. also look for guys with lifted 80 - 96 f150 these usually require a lot of front end up keep.

if unit bearings are involved $1500 - $2000 wouldn't surprise me (if you were to go completely through this front end).
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#12
(11-11-2015, 01:24 AM)tier1bro Wrote: does this thing have torsion bars up front? could easily be a bent bar. if this is the same suspension as the 88-98 gm 4x4 just look at the camber change on one while cornering. as snafu said every one misses the idler arm on 88-98 gm's. every single 88-98 gm 4x4 i have ever bought to resell has needed one.

using a friend to help you, the best way i have found to check a front end is;

1.) jack up one side at a time.

2.) rock the wheel side to side and then top to bottom. there should not be much movement, if it flops around replace unit bearing (or tapered in a man's truck).

3.) using a pry bar (don't try to break shit but using a decent amount of force) pry up on tie rods, and other "links" in the steering system any excessive movement is generally the bad part.

4.) on ttb ford's (and maybe other vehicles) drive vehicle in reverse (in a straight line) on a level ground, stop and look at the camber of the front tires. if it has changed this is a tale tale sign of bad radius arm bushings. sometimes it is hard to know if a lower control arm bushing is bad without taking it apart. at 250k miles just assume it is bad.

find a mom and pop type shop that has been around forever and who only does front end work. avoid chain shops. mom and pop usually retain their employees longer, and this usually means employees are not "training" on your vehicle. unless you are rich stay away from the dealership (last time i checked about 15 years ago a unit bearing was about $600 (that's per side) for the older 88-98 gm). talk to guys in 4x4 clubs. look for guys running 70's and 80's model fords as the one tons had king pins and are best worked on by a shop, and most chain shops will not fuck with em. also look for guys with lifted 80 - 96 f150 these usually require a lot of front end up keep.

if unit bearings are involved $1500 - $2000 wouldn't surprise me (if you were to go completely through this front end).

Tldr
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#13
(11-11-2015, 01:33 AM)DanTSX#1 Wrote: Tldr

to gay, can't stop sucking dicks.
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#14
Good information.

A buddy is going to be helping me lift the front and check it out, as he has done this kind of work before.

The suspension is exactly that of a 88-98 GM 4x4. Makes parts cheaper and more available, too.

Thanks, tier1.
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#15
You should park it in the hood with the keys in the ignition


Then use the insurance money as a down payment on a 4runner.

Or has the allure of easy women impressed by such luxuries as a worn out "Tahoe on prom night" ?
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#16
Escalade/Tahoe>4runner

The 4 runner isn't even in the same class as a full size truck.
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#17
(11-11-2015, 06:45 AM)DanTSX#1 Wrote: You should park it in the hood with the keys in the ignition


Then use the insurance money as a down payment on a 4runner.

Or has the allure of easy women impressed by such luxuries as a worn out "Tahoe on prom night" ?

Insurance company won't pay out on a comprehensive claim for something like that. That's no different than burning down your own home to collect the insurance payout.

Thanks for your input, though.
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#18
(11-11-2015, 07:33 AM)SNAFU Wrote: Escalade/Tahoe>4runner

The 4 runner isn't even in the same class as a full size truck.

Yeah I know. It's too big. And it's GM
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#19
"It's to big" is something you're not used to hearing.

And GM sucks, just not as bad as Toyota.
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#20
You should get a Buick Exclave CSXL AWD like Flowers



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