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Username Post: Front suspension rebuild question        (Topic#360359)
frankthetank 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1176

Loc: Lodi California
Reg: 02-22-11
04-01-20 10:28 AM - Post#2789987    

My 2006 Silverado 1500 needs a front end suspension rebuild. As far as ball joints I’ve noticed a lot of places sell kits that come with all new A arms. Is it better or cheaper to go this route than just adding new ball joints/a arm bushings to the originals?

1963 Chevrolet impala sport coupe
2006 Chevrolet silverado crew cab 2wd


 
george88gta 
"16th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 2030
george88gta
Loc: new york
Reg: 04-23-03
04-01-20 01:31 PM - Post#2790017    
    In response to frankthetank

I dont know about being less expensive, but I would replace the entire control arm assemblies. All new parts and you dont have to mess with removing the ball joints ( they could be riveted in or pressed in). The bushings arent fun either, I believe that you would have to press them in place ( at least any that I have worked on). Out here on the East side, you would probably have to deal with rust as well. More great fun.



Edited by george88gta on 04-01-20 01:33 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
frankthetank 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1176

Loc: Lodi California
Reg: 02-22-11
04-01-20 02:49 PM - Post#2790021    
    In response to george88gta

Makes sense, You’re probably right about it being easier just to swap out the a arms over adding new components to the existing ones. I’ll probably be ok as far as rust I live in California but then again they’re factory originals from 2006 so who knows how much of a fight they’ll put up.

Going to order the parts soon, I’ve been pressing my luck waiting to do it for a while.

Thanks

1963 Chevrolet impala sport coupe
2006 Chevrolet silverado crew cab 2wd


 
454cid 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3152

Age: 47
Loc: West Michigan
Reg: 02-18-12
04-02-20 05:30 PM - Post#2790157    
    In response to frankthetank

Kits = cheapest parts + convenience = maximum profits for the seller.



99 K3500 RCLB


 
wreckmech 
Member
Posts: 244

Loc: Parsippany, NJ
Reg: 10-08-02
04-02-20 06:20 PM - Post#2790165    
    In response to frankthetank

When I did my 06, I decided to replace the ball joints & control arm bushings. It took me a little over 2 days with all the correct tools. I put polyurethane bushings in, and was not impressed with how they lasted. I got maybe 2 years out of them.

If I had to do it over again, I would spend the extra $150 to buy the control arms. It would probably only take a day to change out all the control arms.



 
Smitty_Chevy 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1127
Smitty_Chevy
Age: 70
Loc: Hampton, GA
Reg: 10-29-08
04-09-20 07:22 PM - Post#2790774    
    In response to wreckmech

The last vehicle I replaced ball joints and bushing in was a big block '73 Corvette. That was not a fun job but while I was at it I went ahead and took everything out and sandblasted it and repainted it. I also put new springs and shocks in. Looked like new underneath the front end when I finished.

Those bushing were a bit tough going in. I finally just put the bushing in the freezer overnight and then heated up the control arms and the bushing went in pretty easy.

Makes me tired to just think about it. But then again just about everything makes me tired anymore.

Good luck to you.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time by the blood of patriots and tyrants - Thomas Jefferson


 
frankthetank 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1176

Loc: Lodi California
Reg: 02-22-11
04-12-20 09:32 AM - Post#2790962    
    In response to Smitty_Chevy

Thanks guys. I ordered the kit which includes upper & lower A arms & tie rod ends. I also bought stabilizer end links but still need to buy pitman & idler arms. Hope to put it in soon.

1963 Chevrolet impala sport coupe
2006 Chevrolet silverado crew cab 2wd


 
frankthetank 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1176

Loc: Lodi California
Reg: 02-22-11
05-09-20 08:32 AM - Post#2793277    
    In response to frankthetank

I finally was able to instal the parts the other day(upper & lower A arms outter tie rods & stabilizer bar end links)I bought inner tie rods to but I could not free up the originals to replace them.

The ride does feel better but still something is not right. There is a vibration there in the front even after alignment. Could it be the inner tie rods needing to be changed as well?

1963 Chevrolet impala sport coupe
2006 Chevrolet silverado crew cab 2wd


 
george88gta 
"16th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 2030
george88gta
Loc: new york
Reg: 04-23-03
05-09-20 10:22 AM - Post#2793283    
    In response to frankthetank

I would hope that the alignment shop checked the tie rod ends and pitman/idler arms for looseness before they aligned the front end. You didn't mention shocks, are they new? With the weight of the truck on the wheels do you feel any play in the steering when moving the steering wheel left to right?



 
frankthetank 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1176

Loc: Lodi California
Reg: 02-22-11
05-09-20 10:31 AM - Post#2793286    
    In response to george88gta

  • george88gta Said:
I would hope that the alignment shop checked the tie rod ends and pitman/idler arms for looseness before they aligned the front end. You didn't mention shocks, are they new? With the weight of the truck on the wheels do you feel any play in the steering when moving the steering wheel left to right?



Yes the shocks are a few months old, acdelcos. As far as the steering I don’t think I feel any play at all though I’ll go double check right now. If there were play in the steering would that suggest bad idler/pitman?

Side note: I verified there is no play on the truck when steering left-right.

1963 Chevrolet impala sport coupe
2006 Chevrolet silverado crew cab 2wd


Edited by frankthetank on 05-09-20 10:48 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
djw1960 
Newbie
Posts: 48
djw1960
Reg: 09-10-14
05-09-20 01:02 PM - Post#2793297    
    In response to frankthetank

I just redid my front end on my 2001 2500HD yesterday. It took a while, but pretty reasonable weather made it ok. I purchased all Moog parts, including, innner and outer tie-rod ends, pitman arm, idler arm and bracket and two upper control arms. If I could post video of how bad they were you would be amazed! The ride was sooo bad before the redo, it was pulling to the right really bad and there was bit of a delay when turning the wheel.

I am very happy with the new upper controls, they were pretty easy to remove and reinstall. Here are a few things that might help you.

I had to use an old hanger to secure the hub to the truck before releasing the tie rod end and the upper ball joint. This helped to prevent the axle from being pulled out.

Before loosening the upper control arm bolts, 21MM, clean the dirt off of the caster, both sides of the nut and bolts. Then take a black sharpie, or something else that wont get wiped away, and mark the current location, so that you can reinstall the casters back into a position as close to what they were. This will help keep it driveable when you take to get it aligned.

Also, the bracket for the brake line does not quit fit the new control arm. Had to use a 5lb sledge to adjust the bend on it a bit to align the hole on the bracket with hole in the control arm, that the screw attaches too.

Measure from the end of the inner tie rod, where it connects to the relay bar, to the outside edge of the outer tie rod. Write that down, because when you are reinstalling the ends, it will once again get you in the ball park for the alignment. Each side will probably be different, mine were by 1/4".

I had to cut the inner tie rod itself, to get the outer tie rod off of the truck. It may have been easier if I used some penetrating oil to help loosen them up. If you are leaving the inners inplace, I would recommend putting some of this on a few days prior. I went to O'Reilly's and they lent me the tie rod tool to loose and remove the inners. It also worked for the new ones being installed.

Loosen or remove inner tie rods before dropping the relay bar down, to install the pittman arm and idler arm. I forgot to do that and had to reinstall the bar with the tie rods still inplace drooping down.

On the idler arm braket use the hose and fitting that come with the bracket for the new grease fitting. Easy peasy on that one.

I had to use pickle forks to get the ball joints to pop, and on the idler arm ball stud. My pittman arm nut was pretty loose as was the arm itself. I used a pickle fork to lightly pop it off. If not the pittman arm puller would have come into play. I loosened the gear box to help me reposition the pittman arm but as it turned out, that was not required.

There is, for the lack of better term, a shock absorber attached the frame and the relay bar. You can leave that attached since completely removing the bar is not required, just wire it up so as to not damage it.

In order to get a good alignment to the inner tie rod, I had to remove the sway bar bolts. Which allowed me to swing it up out of the way while dealing with the tie rods. When you start to put it all back together, it was necessary for me to partially attach one side, then go to the other side to attach that one. Then I tightened them down per torque setting.

Over all pretty straight forward,

I would purchase good parts and go from there.

My vehicle has over 250,000 miles on it and this is the first time doing this type of maintenance! Long over due.

New tires and lower control arms are next.

Have fun.



 
george88gta 
"16th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 2030
george88gta
Loc: new york
Reg: 04-23-03
05-09-20 03:42 PM - Post#2793318    
    In response to frankthetank

  • frankthetank Said:
  • george88gta Said:
I would hope that the alignment shop checked the tie rod ends and pitman/idler arms for looseness before they aligned the front end. You didn't mention shocks, are they new? With the weight of the truck on the wheels do you feel any play in the steering when moving the steering wheel left to right?



Yes the shocks are a few months old, acdelcos. As far as the steering I don’t think I feel any play at all though I’ll go double check right now. If there were play in the steering would that suggest bad idler/pitman?

Side note: I verified there is no play on the truck when steering left-right.



You could rotate the tires ( front to rear, same side) and see if the vibration changes. Maybe the worn parts caused the tires to wear unevenly?



Edited by george88gta on 05-09-20 03:42 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
wreckmech 
Member
Posts: 244

Loc: Parsippany, NJ
Reg: 10-08-02
05-10-20 04:18 AM - Post#2793362    
    In response to frankthetank

If you replace worn parts in the suspension and steering systems, I always recommend having the tires balanced. I can't tell you how many times I've had vibrations after doing that kind of work.

Think of it this way...The worn parts will lead to odd tire wear. When the new parts are installed, the worn tires now become the problem, usually manifesting as vibration.

It's something most people never worry about, thinking once they've been balanced, they're good for the life of the tire. Wheels will throw weights all the time, especially the stick on type for the aluminum wheels. It's cheap insurance to get them balanced every 10 or 15k miles.





 
frankthetank 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1176

Loc: Lodi California
Reg: 02-22-11
05-15-20 11:20 AM - Post#2793854    
    In response to wreckmech

Thanks everyone for the help. I had the wheels rebalanced & rotated, the truck feels much better now though I’m left with a vibration in the front when braking at higher speeds. Might replace front rotors & pads next.

1963 Chevrolet impala sport coupe
2006 Chevrolet silverado crew cab 2wd


 
djw1960 
Newbie
Posts: 48
djw1960
Reg: 09-10-14
05-22-20 09:49 AM - Post#2794477    
    In response to djw1960

Just and update on my truck. Less than a week after doing all of this work and getting it aligned I was in an accident. Some idiot in a Lexus turned infront of me! I was doing 45 and pulling a work trailer too! My son and I are doing ok, some whiplash and some other issues with my neck, but nothing is broken. The truck on the other hand is probably a total loss. Right now the preliminary estimate, without tearing anything off of the truck, is $7,900! The shop thinks that the front right part of the frame might be bent, and the back end was shifted over from where the trailer hit my rear tire and blew it out.

Now the battle with the insurance agency begins on what they think the vehicle is worth.

Be safe out there. This is the first accident that I have been in in over 40 years of driving, so the law of probability has caught up with me.



 
wagonman100 
Super Senior Member
Posts: 14473
wagonman100
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Reg: 11-27-04
05-22-20 02:42 PM - Post#2794502    
    In response to djw1960

Sorry to hear that. I hope you get a good settlement from the insurance company. Present them with the receipts from the front end rebuild, it should help raise the value.

Jay
Friends don’t let friends drive Fords.

1999 Silverado Z71 4X4 extra-cab short bed
1983 Malibu Fauxmad - tubbed
1978 El Camino Kustomized
1972 Monte Carlo
1957 210 handyman wagon
1957 Nomad sport wagon
1957 Cameo Carrier


 
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