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**DONOTDELETE** 10-11-2000 04:27 PM

Newbie has Questions:
Hello! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

I'm new to this forum and am hoping I can stop searching for a place to discuss 4x4'ing now that I've found it.

I just bought a 1984 Chevy Blazer. It has a small lift, no idea what size or even how to tell. Do I measure the shackles that lift the suspension up to tell the size of the lift? It's definitely a suspension lift and not a body lift.

It has a 350 with an Edlebrock Intake, Holly 600 4 BBL, Edlebrock valve covers, and a bunch of other stuff that I can't remember right now. I found the original owners manual in the truck and it has all the engine details hand written inside. Something about TRW bearings with an oil slot or something, I dunno. That's why I'm here ..... to learn [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

Anyway, The first thing I need to do to this thing is figure out why the truck drifts going down the road. The suspension feels very nice ie: you don't feel bumps when you hit them. This makes me think the shocks are all in good shape. I visually inspected them and they look good -- no rust; even the paint on the shock is good.

So what is going to make my truck drift? when I hit bumps, it's even worse. The truck takes the bumps smoothly, but it drifts to the right/left when it does. How can I tighten up the handling on this thing?

Any help, or even an Idea on how to start to figure out why this is happening, is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


-- '84 K5 Blazer --

**DONOTDELETE** 10-11-2000 04:50 PM

Re: Newbie has Questions:
Not being a Blazer owner but I know of two thigs.. One look at the steering box.. Verify its not coming off the frame.. Next and most likely is you need to shoot all the zerks in the steering with grease.. Have someone turn the wheel back and forth (not really enough to turn the wheels) while you look at the steering components move.. Look for play on the ends.. If there is excessive play replace them.. If this is not the problem then caster is probably out and you need an alignment..

Oh.. and welcome.. You can stop looking now..

-Troy [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]'<font color=red>WeaZle</font color=red>'[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img] McCarty

Scoobydoo 10-11-2000 04:54 PM

Re: Newbie has Questions:
Welcome aboard! and congrads on the Blazer! Sounds nice[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
Your drifting problem a couple other things come to mind right away, They may not have made a steering correction after lifting it? either a dropped pitman arm or a raised steering arm. They both do the same thing, and I have never heard that one is better, than the other (although I'm sure someone will have an opinion which is better)
or you may just need an alignment.

Scooby Dooby Doo !!!

**DONOTDELETE** 10-11-2000 05:06 PM

Re: Newbie has Questions:
Ditto to what the others said but also check a couple things.

Tires have a huge impact on handling. Makes sure tire pressure is balanced side to side. Are the tires in good shape? Any funny wear patterns?

Is your steering sloppy? In other words, is there excess play/lash in the wheel? This can be adjusted by the hex nut on top of the steering box.

Its doubtfull your caster is out, thats rarely the case. Also, the lack of a steering correction doesn't usually cause a wander. I drove my 85 K20 for a month with a 4" lift and the stock steering arm (only on pavement mind you as it is my daily driver as well) and had no problems.

Check your toe-in. Take a tape measure and measure across at the rear and the front of the wheels. The front should be 1/8 to 3/16th inches closer.

But do check all your joints as the others said - thats most likely the problem. Good luck!

**DONOTDELETE** 10-11-2000 06:34 PM

Re: Newbie has Questions:
Thanks guys, great info.

Now that I'm home, here's what's hand-written in the owners manual:

8-14-89 69,275 miles - replaced engine with 350, Blackjack headers p/n 5803, cam, blue racer wolverine p/n w6-1103, edlebrock performance manifold, holley 600 cfm 1850 4 barrell, TRW oil slot bearings, <font color=blue>can't really make this next part out, but it looks like .... </font color=blue> crowe molf pushrods, new hoses, belts, thermostat (180') & edlebrock valve covers.

I understand the intake, carb, and 350 engine, but I don't know about the rest. Is it good stuff?
read: <font color=red>opinions please ...</font color=red>

As far as the steering, I measured the distance between the front tires, and there is a difference of about a 1/2 inch with the front being wider across then the back. I assume this means I need an alignment.
The tires are brand new, but are way too small for the truck. they are 255-70-R15's. The previous owner threw them on because the 31" tires he had were shot and no one would buy it with them on.

So, do I get the alignment done now? I'm planning on throwing some 33x12.5 BF Goodrich AT's on there in about a week or so and wonder if it Would be best to hold off on the alignment until after I do that?

The steering is VERY sloppy. there is a lot of play in the wheel -- this is what causes the drifting. if I'm cruising down a smooth road, it goes very straight, but if I hit a bump, or come to a corner, thats when the drifting starts. Does this mean I can adjust it with that hex nut?

I did not notice any problems with the steering box seperating from the frame. I don't think the original owner even 4 wheeled this thing, as there is no signs of stress anywhere around the vehicle.

I don't know the proper terminology, but here is what I see when I look at the steering:
off the drivers tire there is a 'V' or 'U' shaped metal bracket -- on the end of it, is connected a long (18" ?) bar with ball joints on both ends (steering arm?) and that in turn connects to a bracket (pitman arm?) that goes to the steering box. the long bar with the ball joints on the ends is not angled up or down at all. It is pretty level with the ground as the bracket (pitman arm?) that connects it to the steering box is molded in a downward curve and comes down to meet it. -- Does this make sense?

I had someone move the wheel back and forth and all the joints look very solid -- there doesnt seem to be any play in any of them. I think this is a good thing [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

Thank again guys, and yea, I think I found my place for 4 wheel knowledge! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif[/img]


-- '84 K5 Blazer --

90K5 10-11-2000 07:55 PM

Re: Newbie has Questions:
You could measure how high off the ground it is to determine the lift or look at the front springs. If they bend up opposite the way the back ones do its probably stock. If they are more or less flat you probably have a 2.5" lift or a little less. I have a 2.5" on mine and from the bottom of the back bumper its 24" to the ground on the left and 23" on the right. (Its sagging a little) This is with 33s The stock height is probably around 20-21".


**DONOTDELETE** 10-12-2000 10:59 AM

Re: Newbie has Questions:
Welcome to the world of automobiles you now get to enjoy things like working all night in the cold, shredded knuckles, and that feeling you get when you round off a bolt.
Like the other guys said, It's probably the steering box braking off the frame, or sloppy steering linkage in the front end.
If it's not anything thats been mentioned, maybe the steering stabilizer is wasted or missing. It's easy to find just kneel down in front of your truck its a shock absorber that mounts horizontally.
also look under the hood, check the steering column. With the tranny in park, jiggle the steering wheel till it locks,
now try to move stuff on the column around under the hood. If a component looks like it was designed not to have any play in it but does, theres a problem.
Also was the previous owner of the truck very short or heavy, or both? He may have used the steering wheel to lift himself into the truck, over time this can damage the splines on the aluminum block under the steering wheel.
Just some thoughts. J

Blazer1970 10-12-2000 11:55 AM

Re: Newbie has Questions:
The first thing you need to get corrected, and it may be the only problem, is the toe-in. As the name implies, the front wheels should be closer together in the front than in the back. If you are a half inch wider in the front, then you are toed-out, which will cause the truck to wander as you have described. I assume that you measured somewhere on the tires, because a half inch of toe-out at the wheels would be almost un-driveable. Toe-in should be measured at the wheel rim. The toe-in spec for straight axle GM 4X4s is normally between 3/16" and 3/8", except for full-time (NP203) trucks, which should be set to 0". This is easy to correct, and should be cheap to have done at any alignment shop.

'70 CST Blazer, 350, SM465, NP205.
'87 Suburban 4X4, 350, 700R4
'88 Chevy PU, 4X4, 350, 700R4

**DONOTDELETE** 10-12-2000 03:36 PM

Re: Newbie has Questions:
That steering problem you have is what you call "Bump steer." How large are your tires? (you might have posted it, but I didn't really read in depth) When you lift a vehicle and have big meats under there, this is a usual thing. The only cure I know is do a "crossover steering." I'm doing this to my truck next summer after I get the Dana60 under there. If you would like some info on "crossover steering" look on the Chevy/GMC section on this page, there is an article on it. Will be different for you though, b/c the article is done on a D60 and you have a 10bolt front. I think there are other articles on it on this site that pertains to Dana 44(which is simialar to yours), but I haven't seen them yet.
The Boss now allows you to visit his site

Drew K1500 10-12-2000 04:57 PM

Re: Newbie has Questions:
In response to GetJiggys reply, I hate vehicles!!!! How many nights have I spent on the cold cement ground freezing my butt off to try to fix something only to find out that it can be removed only with a special tool, number 18737a76a4sfxx76-3354xc1-4 And only available from a dealer about 12 hours away.

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