GMC 4WD Sonoma - Front Suspension Problems - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2002, 05:06 PM
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GMC 4WD Sonoma - Front Suspension Problems

Existing Setup: 31x10.5x15" tires on 9.5" rims with approx 1-1/2" offset. Front torsion bars cranked up to allow tire to fender clearance (back side). Upper control arm has offset bushings to (almost) square front tires up to the road. Rear axle has air shocks pumped up most of the way.

Existing Problems: Within the last year, have had to replace upper ball joints and front wheel bearings twice. Truck rides very hard on a smooth road. Can't keep front-end in alignment.

Looking for the real problem. Is it the offset wheels adding above-normal force to the front wheel bearings? Is it the torsion bars cranked up too much? A combination of both?

Looking for some help because this is getting frustrating, time-consuming and costly. I don't want to go back to the "standard" look if at all possible.

Thank you.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2002, 07:08 PM
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Re: GMC 4WD Sonoma - Front Suspension Problems

Save up your money and do an SFA conversion. It's definately not stock, it'll ride a touch rougher than stock IFS (in fact it'll ride loads rougher... think Jeepish ride) and it'll give you anywhere from 5" to over a foot of lift, depending on whether or not you go with leaf springs, or coils, or or or or.... [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]
post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-01-2002, 09:03 PM
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Re: GMC 4WD Sonoma - Front Suspension Problems

Well, with only 1.5" of backspacing your balljoints are completely exposed. You've probably got wicked bumpsteer.

Ideally, you want your tire to be centered over your balljoints. This eliminates bumpsteer and puts a lot less stress on balljoints and just about every piece of rubber and bearing in the front end.

If you've cranked the torsion bars a lot you'd be tearing up CV joints like a 10 year old on a KX80 does the neighbor's grass.

It's only safe to crank your torsion bars up an inch before it starts stressing your CV joints.

Go buy a Performance Accessories 3" body lift and your 31x10.50s will fit fine other than you'll be able to stop forward movement by merely turning too sharp.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-02-2002, 10:44 AM
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Re: GMC 4WD Sonoma - Front Suspension Problems

I agree to what Wrath said.. I think your problem lies with the rims.. You need more backspace.. Stock is like 5" on a 7" rim.. I have 4.5" on a 8" rim and was able to fit 31x10.5's on 3" of lift.. Very minor rubbing.. Now im up to 7" lift and 33x12.5's, medium trimming and they fit perfect.. Full lock I rub the frame just slightly.. I have done 3 bearings and will do my third set of balljoints here soon since 94.. These trucks go through them no matter what lift or not.. BTW for the balljoints only use MOOG..
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