Front End Fixes: Must Have Upgrades for GM 3/4- & 1-ton IFS Trucks
Chevy and GMC ¾- and 1-ton truck owners enjoy customizing their rides, be it with lift, larger wheels and tires, or added horsepower and torque. But, each of those things makes life much harder on the steering and front suspension components. So, before you get ahead of yourself, make sure you prep your GM’s independent front suspension (IFS) for the added load it will face.
To give you a little help, here are our top five must-haves.
The elephant in the room on ’01-’10 GM trucks (diesel and gas, 1500-3500 models) are the small diameter factory tie rods. Not only are they a hindrance at stock ride height and factory power levels, but bigger wheels and tires, rugged off-road terrain, boosted four-wheel drive launches, truck pulling, and especially extra horsepower rapidly amplify the problem. The good news is the fix is cheap and easy. Aftermarket tie-rod sleeves (from companies like Merchant Automotive and PPE) simply thread onto the factory tie rods and keep them from flexing. This simple addition makes the tie rods up to five times stronger! One last tip- spend a few extra bucks and go with stainless steel sleeves as they won’t rust or make alignments a chore.
Pitman & Idler Arm Braces
In case you didn’t know, the pitman arm on your HD links the steering gearbox to the centerlink, while the idler arm supports the opposing end. Ball joints are incorporated into each arm, but they are designed to only move horizontally. Once increased horsepower or load is present, the centerlink has a tendency to rotate, and when it does, a toe-in situation occurs at the front wheels. Pitman and idler arm braces stop the factory centerlink from twisting in this fashion, yet still allow the side to side movement that’s needed to steer the truck. They use spherical-rod ends instead of the factory arm joints, as well as utilize frame-mounted brackets. If you’ve added a suspension lift or a front locker, this is a must-have upgrade.
Torsion Bar Keys
Purple keys, green keys, white keys, orange keys, it doesn’t matter the color. In our experience, the best torsion bar keys we’ve come across are the MAXXCam 2 units from Suspension Maxx. Their hex calibrated (and patented) keys offer seven incremental adjustments—so no matter what leveling kit you’re running (or even if your truck is lowered), you get the exact height adjustment you’re after. The keys can be adjusted to virtually any corrected height, incorporate seamlessly with the stock suspension, offer no torsion bar preload, allow you the options of retaining your factory shocks (to keep costs down), and won’t reduce your truck’s ride quality.
Steering Shaft Replacement
With bigger wheels and tires comes added stress for nearly all of the factory steering components, especially the steering shaft. In short, the steering shaft connects the steering wheel to the steering box along the frame. The problem with the factory shaft is that the splined slip joint, which is greased at the factory, eventually loses its lubrication at one end of the joint due to grease settling in the end that sits lower. The result is the infamous steering column noise often referred to as a groan, clunk, or creak. Borgeson makes a complete, bolt-in ready replacement shaft (PN 000937 for ’01-’07 HD trucks), complete with a slotted double-D sliding joint and a vibration reducing machined needle bearing U-joint. It’s a permanent fix for the factory steering shaft issue and is a must-have upgrade if you’re running larger wheels and tires or venture off-road often.
Upper Control Arms
Increased ball joint wear is a major problem once enthusiasts crank up the torsion bars, install a lift, or add bigger wheels and tires. Cognito Motorsports solves this common problem, as well as several others, with its tubular upper control arm (UCA) kit. For starters, its UCA kit fixes the binding ball joint angles created by leveling kits and also utilizes bolt-in ball joints (vs. the factory pressed-in units). The bumpstop is also relocated to the A-arm in order to increase suspension travel, which alleviates the harsh ride that surfaces with the torsion bars fully cranked. And last, but not least, new shock brackets are offered for both extended aftermarket shocks or for those retaining the factory length shocks.
Timbren Front Suspension Kit - 99-06 Chevrolet/GMC Silverado 1500 All Models - GMFK15A
Timbren Front Suspension Kit, fits Chevrole, GMC, Cadillac, truck and vans
This SES Suspension Upgrade fits the front suspension of a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 & GMC Sierra 1500 pickup truck (see below for full list of applications). We’ve engineered our hollow rubber springs to deliver a progressive spring rate. In other words, the more weight that pushes down on the rubber springs (weight from a snowplow or heavy aftermarket accessories – such as a steel bumper) the harder they work to prevent front-end sag.
This kit is rated at 14,000 lbs capacity. Even though you’re increasing the spring rate by adding this upgrade, this does not increase the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating). Please make sure that the load does not exceed the GVWR set by the manufacturer.
- Eliminate Vehicle Squatting & Sagging
- Cushion Road Shocks
- Improve Handling
- Satisfaction Guarantee
- Lifetime Warranty
|Cadillac Escalade||2002-2006||4WD Only With Coil Rear Suspension|
|Cadillac Escalade EST||2002-2006||4WD Only With Coil Rear Suspension|
|Chevrolet Avalanche 1500||2002-2006||2/4WD|
|Cadillac Escalade ESV||2003-2006||4WD|
|Chevrolet Express 1500||2003-2014||2/4WD|
|Chevrolet Express 2500||2010-2021||2WD Only|
|Chevrolet Express 3500||2003-2021||4WD Only|
|Chevrolet Silverado 1500||1999-2006||4WD Only|
|Chevrolet Suburban 1500||2000-2006||4WD Only|
|Chevrolet Tahoe||2000-2006||4WD Only With Coil Rear Suspension|
|GMC Savana 1500||2003-2014||2/4WD|
|GMC Savana 2500||2010-2017||2WD Only|
|GMC Savana 3500||2003-2021||4WD Only|
|GMC Sierra 1500||1999-2006||4WD Only|
|GMC Yukon||2000-2006||4WD Only With Coil Rear Suspension|
|GMC Yukon XL1500||2000-2006||4WD Only With Coil Rear Suspension|
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Chevrolet GMC Front 15 Piece Steering & Suspension Kit TRQ PSA58738
This item is backed by our limited lifetime warranty. In the event this item should fail due to manufacturing defects during intended use, we will replace the part free of charge. This warranty covers the cost of the part only.
FREE Shipping is standard on Orders shipped to the lower 48 States (Contiguous United States). Standard shipping charges apply to Hawaii, Alaska and US Territories.
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How to Replace Idler Arm Bracket Assembly 95-00 Chevy Tahoe
Watch this video to learn how to replace the idler arm bracket assembly in a 95-00 Chevy Tahoe.
step 1 : Remove the wheel
- Loosen the lug nuts.
- Raise and secure the vehicle
- Remove the lug nuts and the wheel.
step 2 : Remove the front shield
- Use a 15 mm socket and ratchet.
- Remove the four bolts.
step 3 : Remove the Idler Arm
- Remove the 24 mm bolt securing the idler arm to the steering linkage
- Use a joint fork and a hammer to separate the joint.
- Remove the three other bolts securing the idler arm.
- Use a Tie Rod Puller to pull apart the idler arm and the idler shaft.
step 4 : Install the new idler arm
- Assemble your new idler arm to your idler shaft, threading on the bushing and nut.
- Bolt in the idler arm assembly into place, tightening up the three nuts.
- Bolt in the end of the idler arm assembly to the steering gear.
- Torque the nuts and bolts to 80 ft lbs.
- Install the cotter pin.
- Use a grease gun and fill the grease fitting.
step 5 : Reassembly
- Replace the shield with the four 15mm bolts.
- Clip the air bag harness back in.
- Put the wheel back on and lower the car
- Using a star pattern torque the lug nuts to 120-140 ft lbs
Silverado front suspension 2002
13PC Front Suspension Kit: 1999-2007 Cadillac, Chevy, GMC – #80017-13-DA
Detroit Axle suspension kits are manufactured to exceed original equipment standards. They are also the easiest way to order your suspension parts. We took the guess work out of building, the kit is listed with exact fitment and specifics you need to know. This makes sure you are buying the correct suspension kit. We are a leading supplier of ride control products to OE vehicle manufacturers Nationwide, that expertise translates to Detroit Axle’s OE-quality Aftermarket
2x Front Upper Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly X80942
2x Front Lower Ball Joint – K6541
2x Front Sway Bar End Link – K80631
2x Outer Tie Rod End – ES3493
2x Inner Tie Rod End – ES3488
1x Steering Pitman Arm – K6536
1x Steering Idler Arm – K6534
1x Steering Idler Arm Bracket Assembly – K6723
This item is backed by a warranty against defects in materials and workmanship under its intended use. If this item fails due to manufacturing defects for intended use, we will replace the part (excluding shipping charges) for the original purchase.
Front Suspension Problems of Chevrolet Silverado - part 1
1 Front Suspension problem of the 2004 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 05/18/2007
The 2004 Silverado 1500 continued to give problems. I had the speedometer cluster replaced recently to resolve that issue, but the vehicle shimmied and bounced as it went down the highway. I knew it was the vehicle because I didn't have this experience on my other cars on the same highway.
See all problems of the 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 🔎.
2 Front Suspension problem of the 2004 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 01/13/2006
: the contact stated the vehicle will not align properly. The improper alignment resulted in premature tire wear on the outside of the tires. The problem manifests itself with the right front tire showing excessive outside wear and eventually affects every tire. The vehicle has been maintained with proper tire rotation and is only driven on the highway. The front end has been aligned three times by the service dealer without getting a proper alignment. Also, with every alignment attempt the tires were replaced. The dealer contacted the manufacturer who determined this was a normal characteristic of the vehicle, although the vehicle has dual wheels.
3 Front Suspension problem of the 2005 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 10/06/2005
The contact started having problems at 1,000 miles with the tires. The tires started feathering on the outside edges. At 2,700 miles the dealer replaced the front tires on 10-6-05. The rear tires also started to feather. The dealership refused to replace the rear tires under warranty. The front end alignment was performed at that time. In regard to the alignment, the camber, caster, toe in, and toe out were all determined out of adjustment on all four sides from the factory. This was determined by the dealership. After the new tires and the front end alignment was done the vehicle still pulled to the left extremely hard.
See all problems of the 2005 Chevrolet Silverado 🔎.
4 Front Suspension problem of the 2002 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 07/14/2005
A noise was coming from the driver's side front wheel area. The consumer noticed it when turning the vehicle at slow speeds. When the consumer took it to the dealer they did not hear the noise, and did nothing to solve the problem the consumer was unsure of the exact problem. It first started occurring on 7-14-05.
See all problems of the 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 🔎.
5 Front Suspension problem of the 2005 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 05/08/2005
Front end/steering unstable - jumps around - when hitting rough spots in road surface from 5/8/05 to present.
6 Front Suspension problem of the 2005 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 04/16/2005
2005 Silverado crew cab front end is unstable on rough road.
7 Front Suspension problem of the 2005 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 02/14/2005
: the contact stated the front suspension is inadequate while driving on concrete poured road conditions. The speed of the vehicle must be decreased or the vehicle will go about a foot and half into the air. The dealership has been alerted and the shocks have been replaced twice however, this did not correct the problem. The manufacturer was alerted and a complaint was filed.
8 Front Suspension problem of the 2004 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 09/26/2004
I am an automobile mechanic and have been for over twenty years. On 9\17\04 I purchased a brand new 04 Chevrolet Silverado super sport, a truck that the gm factory lowered two inches in the front and four inches in the rear. The first night I owned the truck I noticed a series suspension problem. On Monday I looked under the front suspension and realized the factory lowered the front end right down on the bump stops, so it has no front suspension. I took the truck back to the dealer and told them the problem they said, OH yea there all like that. I was driving home on 9\26\04 doing 70 mph on the freeway and hit a little tiny bump in the road and almost lost control of the truck. When I hit a bump the front tires come off the ground. This truck is very unsafe I can go over even the smallest bump and feel the front end come off the ground. This truck is a very limited edition. I emailed gm and asked them if it would be ok to lower my truck down on to the bump stops they told me that would not be recommended for safety reasons! so I ask you why did there factory do it if they know it is unsafe. One last thing this truck is very hard to stop it dozen`t transfer weight when braking. It sure is a pretty truck though just not safe.
10 Front Suspension problem of the 2001 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 04/26/2004
While driving consumer stated that the front end was causing the steering to pull to the right. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.
See all problems of the 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 🔎.
11 Front Suspension problem of the 2001 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 07/16/2003
A noise coming from the front end of the truck. Sounds like something is rubbing when moving.
12 Front Suspension problem of the 2002 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 02/28/2003
While a loud noise could be heard coming from the front end.
13 Front Suspension problem of the 2002 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 01/10/2003
2002 Chevrolet ext cab truck 4x4 will not go down the road straight, truck pulls to right when steering wheel is straight,many alignments ,tire wear on new tires dealer says this is normal. This is a saftey issue. This started in Jan 03 never did this the first year I had it. Also engine knock, and driveline clunk, all normal dealer says. Truck has new steering box ,shafts,many alignmemts,gm says they cannot intervine and tell dealer to fix my truck, no other dealer gm will look or work on my truck.
14 Front Suspension problem of the 2001 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 09/19/2001
Brand new truck,at 639 miles 2 tires found to be out of round. There has been a vibration from 38-45 miles per hr. In the body of the truck. Tires rotated and balanced at 7,420 miles, problem still there. Truck taken to a Chevrolet dealer tires needed balanced again at 9,705 miles. Problem still there, truck taken to a firestone dealer at 11,366 miles. Problem still present. Its due to go back to the dealer for the third time, for the same problem, plus another thing for the third time. There is no way tires should have to be balanced this many times on a brand new truck that has never been taken off road or abused. On in the body of the truck around 38-45 mlies an hr. Dealer put on two new tires. I now have 11,000 miles on truck, the tires have been balanced 3 times, not counting what the dealer did at 639 miles. They were balanced & rotated at 7420 miles, problem still there,truck taken to Chevrolet dealer, tires balanced at 9,705 mproblem still. (dot number: w273 tiresize: p265/75r16).
15 Front Suspension problem of the 2000 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 06/06/2001
Truck excessively vibrtes at highway speeds, this is a very unsafe condition. Is there going to be a recall on these trucks since so many of them are defective?.
16 Front Suspension problem of the 2001 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 05/16/2001
While traveling at approximatley 55 mph on a 2 lane highway, there was a very loud popping noise resulting in complete loss of steering control. Consumer was able to bring vehicle to a stop while vehicle drifted to the right, not to left into oncoming traffic. Dealership was examining vehicle, and has yet to make a determination as to cause of this defect. Please provide any additional information/attachments.
17 Front Suspension problem of the 2000 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 04/23/2001
While driving at highway speed could feel strong vibration coming from front of vehicle. Had taken vehicle to dealer three times.
18 Front Suspension problem of the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 04/01/2001
Vehicle vibrates if it goes over any rough spots. Dealer said that all short bed models have a problem with vibration. Dealer has to have manufacturer's approval in order to do anything extra to vehicle.
See all problems of the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado 🔎.
19 Front Suspension problem of the 2001 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 01/26/2001
This trk drifts left within about 40 ft your off the road I took it in they set the front end 3 or 4 times the last time they went past manuf. Spects to compensate and set toe in out trk still drifts at about 60 to100 ft and now tires are wareing on the inside this trk should not be doing this and I find there are others after talking to a alinement shop the dealers taking them there befor someone buys it so they may not notice theres a problem.
20 Front Suspension problem of the 2000 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 11/07/2000
Truck was fine for first two months then small vibrations. Dealer said two bad tires and changed them (no better). Two weeks later dealer checks tires and says three bad tires . Changed all four (no better). Now dealer wants me to pay for an upgrade to michelins to solve the problem . Why should I have to pay for gm`s cheap tires?.
21 Front Suspension problem of the 2000 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 09/05/2000
Cannot align caster within +/- tolarence. Vehicle wil pull to right if caster is put in +/- tolarence.
22 Front Suspension problem of the 2000 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 09/05/2000
Front end pulled to the right side. Consumer has to keep control of vehicle by keeping both hands on the steering wheel.
23 Front Suspension problem of the 2000 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 09/01/2000
Truck has had several parts replaced for vibration, spends more time in shop than at home.
24 Front Suspension problem of the 1997 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 08/15/2000
When making a right turn only vehicle would turn more then normal. Dealer / manufacturer were not notified at this time. Feel free to provide any further details on this matter.
See all problems of the 1997 Chevrolet Silverado 🔎.
25 Front Suspension problem of the 2000 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 08/01/2000
I made 4 or 5 attempts to have this fixed but it has not as of yet. The truck vibrates. Shakes front end pops real loud.
26 Front Suspension problem of the 2000 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 04/01/2000
Truck has a vibration between 60-65 mph that also shakes the steering wheel. Also noticed the left mirror is shaking,leading to believe it may be a problem on left side of vehicle. Contacted gm told me they did have a vibration problem in the Silverado but no fix yet.
27 Front Suspension problem of the 2000 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 03/01/2000
While driving about 65 mph could feel vibration coming from the front end and would lose control.
28 Front Suspension problem of the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 02/19/2000
Vibrates at 35m/h, doors don't work, noise from driver side over 25m/h.
29 Front Suspension problem of the 1997 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 01/01/2000
I currently took my 1997 Silverado to have the front-end aligned and they told me it would cost me $150. 00 the first time because of the knock-outs not being done at the factory. It would seem like this would be a problem that gm is respossible for but according to customer service I have to eat the bill. It seems that this is only a problem with this year and model.
30 Front Suspension problem of the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 12/27/1999
Due to vibration 4 rims and 10 tires have been replaced. Every 30 to 60 days I'm at the dealer or superior tire, I worry about additional damage. ( dot number: tire size: 16/6. 5 ).
31 Front Suspension problem of the 2000 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 11/24/1999
Vibrates at 5 mph/1500 rpm. Vibration is more severe when towing. In shop 3 times, nothing resolved. Rough idle and vibration since truck was delivered. Now has 2100 mile on it, and still same condition.
32 Front Suspension problem of the 2000 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 10/30/1999
Vehicle has had a vibration since new. Vibrations can start as slow as 35mph & continue to 70+mph. Dealer has unsuccessfuly tried to repair many times. Now says they "can't fix". I have filed under FL's lemon law statue for a refund.
33 Front Suspension problem of the 2000 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 08/01/1999
Truck vibrated. Consumer was told by dealer that truck could not be repaired because dealer did not know when vehicle was vibrating. Consumer did not want to drive vehicle because he was told there was a problem with front end of vehicle.
34 Front Suspension problem of the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 07/31/1999
I was a victim of the may 1999 tornados. My home and previous auto were completely destroyed by the storm. Smicklas Chevrolet knew I was desperate when I bought this truck new on may 12, 1999. The truck was a demonstrator, with 3585 miles on it. After I had it about two and = months, and had driven it less than 4,500 miles, a serious vibration appeared in the steering whenever the truck reached about 60 miles/hour. The shimmy is present all the time at highway speed, and sometimes the truck also pulls to the right. Between July of 1999 and July of 2000, I brought the truck back to smicklas seven times to have the steering defect corrected. I have service records for those occasions (7/31/99, 8/21/99, 8/24/99, 9/28/99, 10/20/99, 11/17/99 and 7/17/00). Smicklas just kept fooling with the tires and wheel alignment, even though it should have been obvious after the first three tries that this was not the problem. The steering defect is still there.
35 Front Suspension problem of the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado
Failure Date: 06/16/1999
Truck shakes @ 64mph. Dealer cant repair problem and manufacturer wont return my calls or letters. I have almost been thrown off side of road, beacuse it makes you lose control. I have been driving this truck this way for 14 months, with no concern from dealer or manufacturer.
Other Common Suspension related problems of Chevrolet Silverado
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