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Unregistered User
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Discussion Starter #1
I've noticed this over the past month or 2.
I've been hearing the front end pop while backing up & turning the wheel right.

In February I had new balljoints & a new idler arm put in. I check them the other day & they dont seem to have any play in them. The Calipers & everything else seemed tight as well. I've been having poor "directional stability", & Memory steer mainly to the drivers side. When driving it, it seems like its all over the road, despite getting new tires & a few alignments

Does this sound like bad control arm bushings? From what I can find, thats what its leading up to? I think Im going to take it to a garage next week to be sure, but does anyone else have opinions on this matter?

Also, if it is indeed the control arm bushings, does anyone have a rough idea what it would cost to have them replaced? Labor wise I mean?

Are the ES polyurethane bushings a worthwild replacement if they are going to be replaced? I've heard poly bushings make for a crapy ride
http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?part=ENS-3-3119R&view=1&N=700+150+

Thanks for any help
 

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Molon Labe
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5,297 Posts
Poly bushings in some applications such as body mounts give a harsh ride... on control arm bushings, its more of a control type thing. Replacing them at a shop may run you $400-500. Taking the control arms off and having a machine shop press the old ones out and new ones in may only cost you parts and the $75 fee a machine shop may charge. (That's Napa's price; local shops may be much cheaper). The only real battle I've had with the poly bushings is keeping the uppers lubed, cause they squeak like a bitch. A zerk fitting on the upper bushing caps would do wonders... but I need to get around to that.
 

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I AM CANADIAN
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seems like me and everyone else are having this popping noise all at once, lol.
I've done some research and found that people say the black energy suspension bushings don't squeak as much as the red, so I bought them and they cost me $120 CND.
I just need some time to install them and see if my popping goes away because every other part seems to be ok, and people say control arm bushings can cause a popping or rattling noise.

And you mention directional stability..mine is allover the road as well, I had it aligned and the tires balanced, still allover the road, could be because I have wide tires 245 50's I donno, maybe someone knows.
 

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SlammedSonoma96
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Is the problem only happening when turning, or does it happen when the wheels are straight?
 

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Unregistered User
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well Sometimes it seems to happen when going straight, but its at random.
Most of the time, I can replicate it while backing up & making fairly quick turn.

I was looking at the uppers earlier. They look dry rotted, as normal for a truck with 115k on it... but I dont see any chunks missing.
I coudln't really get a good look at the lowers.

Part of the "directional instability" is sometimes the truck wants to pull right, sometimes left depending on the bumps in the road. When driving it the steering wheel seems to have play in the drivers side but not in the passengers. But the tie rod seems ok? But this only seems like it would be a piece of the puzzle, because if theres to big of a bump in the road it will want to throw the vehicle in the direction of the bump.
 

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it sounds just like mine before i replaced the control arm bushings...first passenger side then driver....its not to difficult to DIY b/c im no mechanic by far....but you will probaly have to get a allingment after replacing them...
 

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The black ones squeek like crazy to. I thought the same thing and went with the blacks on my 1st gen. Lubed the heck out of them before and after install and still squeeked. I took them out after a year and went back to stock bushings..much better..imo. If your gonna go with the polys drill a hole in the a-arm and add a zerk fitting so you can get even more grease in them.
 

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I had a similar issue. I retorqued the the bushing bolts and the pop went away. I know now that bushings are the problem, but I atleast isolated the problem. Also had a tie rod adjuster bolt that would hit the lower control arm on a turn and make a pop.
 

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I turn.
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And you mention directional stability..mine is allover the road as well, I had it aligned and the tires balanced, still allover the road, could be because I have wide tires 245 50's I donno, maybe someone knows.
I have the popping problem too and my truck only has about 30k miles on it - nothing to add on that really but when i put my 245/50's on i noticed it was all over the road as well. the same thing happened on 4wd's i've had when i put fat tires on them (10.5-12.5" wide), they'll just pick up a crack or a dip in the road and follow it.
 

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I AM CANADIAN
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5,647 Posts
I have the popping problem too and my truck only has about 30k miles on it - nothing to add on that really but when i put my 245/50's on i noticed it was all over the road as well. the same thing happened on 4wd's i've had when i put fat tires on them (10.5-12.5" wide), they'll just pick up a crack or a dip in the road and follow it.
your right, I think wider tires up front are bad for directional stability, but they look good.
 

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Unregistered User
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I was looking at the tie rod. I dont see any contact makes on the control arm, or the tie rod itself.

I dont think the tires are a problem, they are the stock 235s as i mentioned above. Even so, i've had the tires before this problem started.
The amount of memory steer on the drivers side is ridiculous. If I turn the wheel hard left & let go it will stay there & I will go in circles
 

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Unregistered User
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I was just looking at some more diagnostic tables/charts in the service manual I have. Under the Leads/ pulls diagnostics, I just read this part that says

"Inspect steering gear valve for an unbalance
If this is the cause, steering effort will be very light in the direction of the lead, and effort will be very heavy in the opposite direction with the vehicle parked on a smooth level surface."

This sounds exactly like one of the steering issues I was/am having now. But I while driving down the road.... I haven't tried feeling for it while it was parked, & also have the popping noise.

The next set for this condition is to: "Replace the steering gear valve. Refer to Steering Gear valve replacement - Off vehicle in Power steering System." It then goes into detail about taking apart the steering box for this valve. Im going to assume the steering box is bad since my warranty will cover it. I just have to get a garage to make sense of it first, because it has to come from their mouth, not mine.

Could the memory steer possibly be caused by the alignment or toe not being setup right? (in combination with a bad bushing?)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Didnt get a chance to update this.
After looking at it again, I took it to a garage. They said the bushings we're fine, & the front end was tight. They couldn't find anything, other than it being out of alignment....Again.. I don't go off roading or & try not to hit any abnormal size potholes, somehow it keeps coming out of alignment. This is the 3rd time in 3 months.. 1 time each month since may its been way out.

also, I've also been hearing this random banging... think metal plate hitting metal sound, when my truck was moving slowly.... I had thought the trans mount had broke... today i went to sit in the drivers seat & go somewhere, when I sat down I heard the clank. Defiantly not the trans mount. Im guessing is related to the popping noise I hear when backing up & turning? Do the torsion bar mounts go bad often on these trucks?

*scratches head*
 

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Work in Progress
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405 Posts
I've had the same type of problem.. in a way. when i turn the wheel all the way to either side it kind of pops and it sounds like something is leaking out.. I also have a oil leak. my transmission fluid leeks out. I also got the idler arm replaced not long ago and when I took it to get it aligned the guy said he won't align it until my steering gear box is fixed? so apparently this may be my problem? does anyone know if i need to buy a brand new steering gear box or something smaller than that? I know I can probably find one for under $400 but I want to make sure that it's the only thing that could be wrong? has anybody else had a problem with the steering gear box? this is what the guy at the chevy dealership said, but i'm not sure. I also have a pretty rough ride. when i first got the truck it rode rough, so I bought brand new shocks.. still rides rough? could it be possible that there is any connection? doubt it but i wish it was that easy. If anyone can let me know anything extra that'd be great
 
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