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How To Replace Your Idler Arm

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Old 05-07-2006, 09:25 PM   #1
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How To Replace Your Idler Arm

First off, all of this information is based off of a 2002 Blazer Xtreme with 56,xxx miles. I have had problems with the outside edge of my tires feathering, and shaking on the freeway despite being in alignment. I am replacing the stock Idler arm with Moog K6187T $37.05 at O’Reillys


There are 3 bolts total that you will have to deal with, all of mine were 18mm. There are two on the frame and one holding the idler arm to the drop linkage. The two on the frame are easy, the third not so much.

I started by loosening the two bolts connected to the frame. You will need someone, or something, to hold a socket wrench on the other side or the bolt will just spin with the nut.









Now the third bolt is the real SOB. To make this go as easily as possible I managed to break the nut loose from the bolt.



Then in order to separate the Idler from the linkage, I used a pitman puller that I got on loan from AutoZone ($20 deposit that you get when you return it). The pitman puller is a little too large, so you will need someone to hold it into place. It will bust loose, and then you are able to remove the stock Idler Arm.



Here are some pics comparing the new Idler from the stock one.






Before you put the new one on, it comes with a new grease fitting that will need to be put on. I used a socket to make sure it was tight.

OK, I reinstalled the two nuts onto the frame. When you’re putting this back together, please be careful, you can knock those bolts down into the frame.



Then, start the third nut that holds the linkage and the idler arm together. At a certain point the bolt will spin with the nut. How I remedied the situation was using a C clamp. I put it on the linkage and the Idler.



With the C clamp still on, I tightened the nut and I was good to go! Now if the C clamp slips off don’t worry because it slipped on me several times. I got the nut tightened about ¾ of the way with the clamp falling off. Then I just kept repeating this process till it was tight. Here is the end result!






Last edited by Hammrshell; 05-07-2006 at 09:30 PM.
Old 05-08-2006, 05:43 PM   #2
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

How long did this take you??
Have to remove anything else besides tire/wheel?
Old 05-08-2006, 06:24 PM   #3
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

It took me a total of two hours, including the trip to Autozone. If you get the part before hand and have a friend to help, you could get it done in an hour. I did not have to remove the wheel, i just wedged myself under the front lip.
Old 05-08-2006, 10:13 PM   #4
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

so did it help with feathering?
Old 05-08-2006, 11:29 PM   #5
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by DailyDrivenDime
so did it help with feathering?
I am going to get it re-aligned tomorrow, I didnt get a chance to get out today. I stil feel a shake on the freeway, but I will with-hold judgement till i get everything aligned. It really tightened up my steering though. I could spin the old Idler freely.
Old 05-09-2006, 08:07 PM   #6
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Just got back from getting it re-aligned. I fought with the machanics because they said me changing the idler arm voided the warranty on the alignment. I argued my way out of that. One of the guys said he put one of my wheels on the balancer and that it was jumping around. He said it could be that the wheel warped or a bad tire, he wasnt sure. This did take care of the shake I felt in the front end while on the freeway. 90mph and still just smooth as glass!
Old 07-19-2006, 02:10 AM   #7
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by Hammrshell
Just got back from getting it re-aligned. I fought with the machanics because they said me changing the idler arm voided the warranty on the alignment. I argued my way out of that. One of the guys said he put one of my wheels on the balancer and that it was jumping around. He said it could be that the wheel warped or a bad tire, he wasnt sure. This did take care of the shake I felt in the front end while on the freeway. 90mph and still just smooth as glass!

It was probably just a bad wheel balance then...i've had that happen before... it hopped around at certain speeds because whoever balanced my wheels did them ass backwards.
Old 07-19-2006, 02:12 AM   #8
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by digital_xtreme
It was probably just a bad wheel balance then...i've had that happen before... it hopped around at certain speeds because whoever balanced my wheels did them ass backwards.
yea i have had that happen before. but last time i was at a tire shop, i watched the wheel wable just a hair on the balancing machine.
Old 07-24-2006, 09:27 AM   #9
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

hey i also replaced my idler arm not too long ago but once i did the steering felt very different and gave my truck a more solid feel. The stock idler arm looked tiny compared to the replacement and the guy at Kath Auto told me that S10 usually all have to have their idler arm fixed before the 1000000 mark... Hey could anyone tell me how i could fix a rough starting followed by an unplesent smell every time i start my 4.3L v6 2003 Crew cab?
Old 07-26-2006, 06:15 PM   #10
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

hammrshell... did it only shake at say.. 50 and up.. mine shakes liike crazy after i hit 50mph and i always thought it was cuz the wheel is a little bent but now im thinkin it may be the idler arm.. mines only shakes after i hit about 50mph
Old 07-26-2006, 07:02 PM   #11
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

make sure you have a proper alignment and your wheels are balanced correctly before going ahead with this. I will just feel bad if someone does this fix and they are still shaking at 50mph because of something else.
Old 07-26-2006, 07:05 PM   #12
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by digital_xtreme
make sure you have a proper alignment and your wheels are balanced correctly before going ahead with this. I will just feel bad if someone does this fix and they are still shaking at 50mph because of something else.
i had my alignment before hand, they are the ones that told me it was bad. just to make sure i took it back,i try to keep it balanced/rotated and aligned as much as i can
Old 07-26-2006, 07:41 PM   #13
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

yeah it might be the alignment though.. i droped my truck with coils and blocks but never aligned it cuz im baggin it in like a week maybe thats it.. i just got these wheels 2 weeks ago and it only started a week ago
Old 07-27-2006, 01:39 AM   #14
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by mattm05
hammrshell... did it only shake at say.. 50 and up.. mine shakes liike crazy after i hit 50mph and i always thought it was cuz the wheel is a little bent but now im thinkin it may be the idler arm.. mines only shakes after i hit about 50mph
sorry bud i dont know how i missed this post. above 50 there is a little shake, nothing crazy anymore. yea i would say alignment, but be careful not to drive it too much. once you feather those tires, there really is no fixin it.
Old 08-14-2006, 03:43 AM   #15
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

I think my idler arm is done for. It doesn't shake at all, but it pops real loud when I turn sharp, and the sides of my tire are feathering too. Does that sound framiliar to anyone and is the idler arm on suicidedoors.com a pretty good one, or should I just get one from AutoZone or Advanced?

Last edited by ExtCab96S_Dime; 08-14-2006 at 03:44 AM.
Old 08-14-2006, 01:28 PM   #16
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

my tires definately started to feather. i cannot tell you if it is definately you idler or not. as for the difference between SD and autozone, i dont know the difference. I used Moog and it was a hell of a lot beefier than stock. Post up a question in the SD forum here, then post those answers in here
Old 08-15-2006, 12:19 AM   #17
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by ExtCab96S_Dime
I think my idler arm is done for. It doesn't shake at all, but it pops real loud when I turn sharp, and the sides of my tire are feathering too. Does that sound framiliar to anyone and is the idler arm on suicidedoors.com a pretty good one, or should I just get one from AutoZone or Advanced?
That also sounds like it could be your ball joints rather then your idler arm... they make popping noises when their is stress on the tires being pulled away from the vehicle.
Old 08-15-2006, 01:13 AM   #18
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

good tutorial, sears told me i need new idlers, they said that there was play in the wheel and its like 170 extra to get it done. if i just had it alligned, and i replace the idler arms, will it need alligned again?
Old 08-15-2006, 12:25 PM   #19
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by mikedd_87
good tutorial, sears told me i need new idlers, they said that there was play in the wheel and its like 170 extra to get it done. if i just had it alligned, and i replace the idler arms, will it need alligned again?
did you get it aligned, then they told you to change out the idler? You will need to get it aligned once the idler is changed. But if you got it aligned then sears told you to change it, then it will void your allignment warrenty. The same shit happened to me. Stand you ground, ask them why they would have you pay for an alignment if the idler had to be changed, then they should go ahead and a align it, and continue the warrenty. Thanks for the comment by the way!
Old 08-15-2006, 11:34 PM   #20
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by Hammrshell
did you get it aligned, then they told you to change out the idler? You will need to get it aligned once the idler is changed. But if you got it aligned then sears told you to change it, then it will void your allignment warrenty. The same shit happened to me. Stand you ground, ask them why they would have you pay for an alignment if the idler had to be changed, then they should go ahead and a align it, and continue the warrenty. Thanks for the comment by the way!
well i did my lowering kit, then got it alligned at monroe, and then got new tires, and then sears told me i need new idlers and an allignment, but i dont see anything wrong with them right now, they always pull shit like this just to make more money. btw how much did those idlers cost?
Old 08-16-2006, 03:25 AM   #21
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

its at the very top of the screen part number and all: $37.05
Old 08-20-2006, 11:56 PM   #22
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

I just replaced my idler today on my 98 ZQ8 Sonoma, it took about an hour from start to finish. It made a big difference, my steering tightened up. The part that took the longest was seperating the centerlink from the idler arm. I bought my idler from Autozone for $16.99 and used an 18 mm socket and wrench to remove the bolts. I think that I might end up replacing my pitman arm in the next week or two because it gets just as much use as the idler arm does and would help with the steering.
Old 08-21-2006, 12:04 AM   #23
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by dude282807
hey i also replaced my idler arm not too long ago but once i did the steering felt very different and gave my truck a more solid feel. The stock idler arm looked tiny compared to the replacement and the guy at Kath Auto told me that S10 usually all have to have their idler arm fixed before the 1000000 mark... Hey could anyone tell me how i could fix a rough starting followed by an unplesent smell every time i start my 4.3L v6 2003 Crew cab?
You should check or have your cat checked, it might be bad. How many miles are on you truck. Do you have a rattling noise coming from under your truck? If you have less than 80k on your truck, your truck is covered under an emissions warranty. Call the nearest dealer and ask the service department about it. They should replace the cat and shouldn't cost you anything. It makes a difference in gas mileage, performance, and will allow your truck to idle better.
Old 08-24-2006, 05:38 AM   #24
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

ok i need to replace my idler arm, pitman arm, AND tie rod ends, how hard should that be,

i also have superlift 6" lift and it came with skid plate for front differential,
is that going to be a problem

and does that mean im going to need to get idler arm puller and pitman arm puller?
Old 08-24-2006, 10:42 AM   #25
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by Svenson14
ok i need to replace my idler arm, pitman arm, AND tie rod ends, how hard should that be,

i also have superlift 6" lift and it came with skid plate for front differential,
is that going to be a problem

and does that mean im going to need to get idler arm puller and pitman arm puller?
i cannot give you an answer that i am 100% on, but i would say that you would have to remove the front skidplate. You can use the pitman puller to take off the idler if your carefule with it. I am not sure about your tie rod ends, hell if your gonna take all that off, why dont you replace the linkage while your at it.
Old 08-24-2006, 07:47 PM   #26
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by Hammrshell
i cannot give you an answer that i am 100% on, but i would say that you would have to remove the front skidplate. You can use the pitman puller to take off the idler if your carefule with it. I am not sure about your tie rod ends, hell if your gonna take all that off, why dont you replace the linkage while your at it.
Hammrshell is right, you might as well replace it all while you are taking the time to remove the skid plate and do everything else. It would save sometime also and make it easier on yourself.
Old 08-29-2006, 12:19 AM   #27
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

so i should get an alignment first and if it still shakes at 60 mph its the idler arm,i had the tires rotated and balanced so ill try that and ill let you know,thanks hammrshell nice how to
Old 08-29-2006, 10:41 AM   #28
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by 02dime
so i should get an alignment first and if it still shakes at 60 mph its the idler arm,i had the tires rotated and balanced so ill try that and ill let you know,thanks hammrshell nice how to
twell thank you! im not so sure that getting it aligned first is a good idea. The way sears did it is if you change any of the suspension peices you void the warrenty of your alignment. How may miles are on your dime? Also, my steering wheel would pull depending where I was relative to the crown of the road. Say i was pulling onto a street and my right tire would be on the peak of the road. As soon as the tire would go to one side of the crown, the peak, it would pull the rest of the car with it.
Old 08-30-2006, 12:00 AM   #29
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

i just broke 80000 km its weird cuz it didnt do it till i got my tires rotated and rebalanced,and i was there when they did it,i used to work at a tire shop so i know the process and the worst rim was a half ounce out,so what do you think it could be,if i align it and it doesnt help than i just wasted 80 bucks,so what do you suggest dogg
Old 08-30-2006, 12:30 AM   #30
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by 02dime
i just broke 80000 km its weird cuz it didnt do it till i got my tires rotated and rebalanced,and i was there when they did it,i used to work at a tire shop so i know the process and the worst rim was a half ounce out,so what do you think it could be,if i align it and it doesnt help than i just wasted 80 bucks,so what do you suggest dogg
what is the possibility of a bent/warped rim. If you watched them balance it, then i guess you would have seen it wobble on the balancer. I would say somethin is loose on your front end. The linkage really likes to crap out, if thats loose at all, then it probably took the idler with it. I guess the ball joints should be looked at, control arm bushings too. how well do you keep up with keeping the front end lubed?
Old 08-30-2006, 08:02 AM   #31
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

every oil change and i dont over lube it,but who knows what the guy before had done to it,i know he must of had big rims on it cuz my front sway bar is rubbed abit,so bigger tire put more strain on the suspesion right,so i probably need to replace my ball joints cuz it pops on full left turns,but i guess one thing at a time
Old 08-30-2006, 10:22 AM   #32
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by 02dime
every oil change and i dont over lube it,but who knows what the guy before had done to it,i know he must of had big rims on it cuz my front sway bar is rubbed abit,so bigger tire put more strain on the suspesion right,so i probably need to replace my ball joints cuz it pops on full left turns,but i guess one thing at a time
ball joints is a good starting point!
Old 08-30-2006, 12:51 PM   #33
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

werd ill try that soon,how much does it run for the parts i dont want to over pay for them,i like those headlights are they the g3 projectors
Old 08-30-2006, 12:58 PM   #34
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

I am going to replace my Idler Arm today After work and I will post any trouble I have with the install and any allignment issues
Old 08-30-2006, 05:04 PM   #35
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by ajsproaudio
I am going to replace my Idler Arm today After work and I will post any trouble I have with the install and any allignment issues
great! i want to know how everything turns out
Old 08-30-2006, 05:10 PM   #36
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by 02dime
werd ill try that soon,how much does it run for the parts i dont want to over pay for them,i like those headlights are they the g3 projectors
ball joints are like 15$ a piece at any autozone or Oreillys. you will prolly just need to get the two lower ones, since the top ones rarely give out, i just replace mind about a month ago and i havent had a single pop since. and if u got the funds then get the ball joint compressor, cause it is a total BITCH to get them back in right.

and btw, heath this tutorial sucked














heath
Old 08-30-2006, 11:52 PM   #37
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by 02dime
werd ill try that soon,how much does it run for the parts i dont want to over pay for them,i like those headlights are they the g3 projectors
na the are bosch e46's
Old 08-31-2006, 12:21 AM   #38
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

sounds like i need to change my idler arm as well ...anyone think they know why this might be..--when driving ..mostly it happens wile on the interstate or doin above 50 but when i go from cruising and start to give it a lil gas the truck slightly jumps to the left and when i get of the throttle it goes to the right ..its just a slight jerk but it gets worse the faster im going ...just wonderin if anyone else gets this--2002 sonoma 4.3
Old 08-31-2006, 12:25 AM   #39
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by andocommando
and btw, heath this tutorial sucked
heath
**** ass!

Quote: Originally Posted by dustin02sonoma
sounds like i need to change my idler arm as well ...anyone think they know why this might be..--when driving ..mostly it happens wile on the interstate or doin above 50 but when i go from cruising and start to give it a lil gas the truck slightly jumps to the left and when i get of the throttle it goes to the right ..its just a slight jerk but it gets worse the faster im going ...just wonderin if anyone else gets this--2002 sonoma 4.3
does this only happen when you get on the gas? i had a simular problem, but it was when i would change lanes. whenever one of my tires would go over the highest point in the road, it would pull hard in that direction
Old 08-31-2006, 12:52 AM   #40
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

yea as soon as i hit the pedal it goes right then when i let off it goes left...but it doesent keep pulling that way just for a second ..its so wired

edit:...dude i think we have the same hood

Last edited by dustin02sonoma; 08-31-2006 at 12:53 AM.
Old 08-31-2006, 10:31 AM   #41
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by dustin02sonoma
yea as soon as i hit the pedal it goes right then when i let off it goes left...but it doesent keep pulling that way just for a second ..its so wired

edit:...dude i think we have the same hood
Man, i dont know what to tell you. Could you have a broken motor mount, and the tourque of the engine is pulling the suspension? I would post up and new thread about this, and see if someone can come up with an answer. cervini's ss hood?
Old 08-31-2006, 04:10 PM   #42
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Well I replaced my Idler arm Yesterday Afterwork and it was a Simple I used a Pickle to remove the old one and I would guess it took me about an Hour to replace. My allignment seems to be fine I have'nt had the chance to go over 60 yet but everything seems real tight and no shakes.
Old 08-31-2006, 04:45 PM   #43
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by ajsproaudio
Well I replaced my Idler arm Yesterday Afterwork and it was a Simple I used a Pickle to remove the old one and I would guess it took me about an Hour to replace. My allignment seems to be fine I have'nt had the chance to go over 60 yet but everything seems real tight and no shakes.
good to hear! does the handling feel tighter now?
Old 08-31-2006, 07:50 PM   #44
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by ajsproaudio
and it was a Simple I used a Pickle to remove the old one
like a dill??
Old 09-01-2006, 03:17 PM   #45
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Funny about the Dill, But anyways Ya My steering is very tight... Tight like a Virgin. I never thought my blazer could respond so quickly. It's almost scary.
Old 09-01-2006, 07:11 PM   #46
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by ajsproaudio
Funny about the Dill, But anyways Ya My steering is very tight... Tight like a Virgin. I never thought my blazer could respond so quickly. It's almost scary.
well dont bust the cherry too fast, or it will end up right where it was. loose.....
Old 09-03-2006, 01:04 AM   #47
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by dustin02sonoma
yea as soon as i hit the pedal it goes right then when i let off it goes left...but it doesent keep pulling that way just for a second ..its so wired

edit:...dude i think we have the same hood
I've got the same problem, I have no idea what the hell it is.
Old 09-07-2006, 01:16 AM   #48
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

well ill letcha know when i find out
Old 09-08-2006, 02:06 PM   #49
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Ok Well It has been a week since I changed my Idler Arm and I am experiencing alot of clunking when I turn when taking off or when I turn backing up. When I am going down the road I experience no such thing tho. What can cause this. I checked and Greased everything all seems to be Fine. Also I replaced My Wheel Hub Assy as well and since My ABS keeps Trippin out. I talked to a neighbor and he has experienced the same on his 95 Jimmy since he has replaced his Hub Assy.
Any help would be greatly appreciative
Old 09-08-2006, 04:11 PM   #50
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Re: How To Replace Your Idler Arm

Quote: Originally Posted by ajsproaudio
Ok Well It has been a week since I changed my Idler Arm and I am experiencing alot of clunking when I turn when taking off or when I turn backing up. When I am going down the road I experience no such thing tho. What can cause this. I checked and Greased everything all seems to be Fine. Also I replaced My Wheel Hub Assy as well and since My ABS keeps Trippin out. I talked to a neighbor and he has experienced the same on his 95 Jimmy since he has replaced his Hub Assy.
Any help would be greatly appreciative
to be honest with you, the only think i could think of is your ball joints. thats all i could think of that would be making a poping sound. other than that i have no idea!
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