What the heck is wrong with my front end?? (1997 Silverado) - Truck Forums

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Old 11-15-2008, 05:18 AM
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Default What the heck is wrong with my front end?? (1997 Silverado)

Just over this past 2008 summerseason my truck has developed a SERIOUS front-end issue. I first began to notice the problem in May on the way to camping. The front end would shake a bit as if a front tire is out of balance. It was very mild so I basically ignored it (like an idiot). But as the season wore on and we took more trips to the hills for camping or boating, the issue has become worse....... MUCH worse, to the point now that I can't hardly driveit across town without fear that the damn thing will shake the front wheels right off the truck!

The symptoms: It happens mostly when decelerating and applying the brakes, such as coming down from a hill or coming to a stop sign. The faster the truck is going, the worse it is (duh). Hitting a rough spot in the road while on the brakes makes it worse, kinda like the bump "sets it off" and from there it progresses like feedback.The shakefeels like a tire out of balance, but far more severe at times the truck will shake so bad it becomes hard to control (I know its not a tire, because traveling at any speed on the highway is no problem).Manipulating the brakeswill usually make it stop. The shake feels more up-and-down than side-to-side, but I guess it could be playing tricks on me.

Just for information, my truck has a ProComp 6" lift and 35's, but I really don't think the kit has anything to do with it. But if I really knew, I wouldn't be here asking questions.

Any help would be fantastic. I'm no suspensionmechanic but I'm not afraid of wrenches, grease,or some work. I just need to know where to look! Thanks guys!
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:27 PM
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Default RE: What the heck is wrong with my front end?? (1997 Silverado)

It sounds to me like its a tie-rod end. Tie-rod is the linkage that connects your power steering output to your front steering knuckle (no offense if this is already obvious to you). The end that connects to your steering knuckle (part that pivots with front wheel to give you steering) has a contained ball-end on it allowing it to articulate with your suspension. In previous trucks, this ball-end has been a problem and I expect it to be very soon on my present rig, and my set-up is exact to yours. The ball-end will get corroded, rusted, loose lubricant and everything else causing it to fail. When it fails, it starts as a subtle shimmy, similar to a warper rotor, although it is sometimes noticeable without braking. Yours sounds extreme and if this is the case, I would STOP DRIVING THE TRUCK IMMEDIATELY!!!! The last truck I owned with this problem could have killed me or someone else- I had the same symptoms as you, only much milder, and as I was backing out of a parking spot with the wheel turned, the rod-end popped off the front right wheel. I don't need to tell you how serious of a problem this could have been on the highway. Get it fixed bro, if this is the problem. Or do it yourself, its not difficult and its not expensive.
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:11 AM
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Default RE: What the heck is wrong with my front end?? (1997 Silverado)

Thanks for the reply. I suspected it must be either tie rod ends orball joints, and after inspecting them a bit more closely the other night,its obvious they could all use an update. I think I'll check into thecost of parts and the difficulty of the job and go from there.Thanks again!
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:58 PM
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Default RE: What the heck is wrong with my front end?? (1997 Silverado)

I had the same problem with my 91. I liked to eat up idler arms, especially after I put on the bigger tires. Jack thr front end up, lock the steering wheel and shake both front tires up and down, then side to side. Have someone eyeball the front steering components. 9 times out of 10 its obvious what it is. Replace the part, grease the front end and repeat the test.
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2008, 97, 99, coming, driving, end, front, grease, nissan, noise, shake, shakes, shimmy, silverado, stop, truck, wheel

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