'91 park ave sloppy steering

My car pulls to each side, sometimes to the left sometimes to the right. I had it aligned about 2 years ago after I changed the steering bearings. I've also got a loud clunk when I make a hard turn (left or
right), going slow, most of the time it's when I backing out of a parking spot. It was so so before I changed my wheel bearings about 2 months ago, but now it's just getting worse by the day. Could it be my rack or do I need another alignment?
Thanks.
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Stick your head up into the wheel well and have someone turn the steering wheel. Listen for noise at the top of the strut. Sounds like the strut bearing plates are shot. Fairly common problem.
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This got me thinking of my Suburban... (A 1999 K1500 with a 5.7.) It tends to drift to whichever side the road slopes down a little more easily than I'm used to with other cars, and I *think* it does it slightly more willingly to the right than to the left. I can't see anything wrong with the tire wear pattern. (Something has been done to the front end before I bought the car, though, because the steering wheel is not perfectly centered.) Does this sound like it just needs a tiny bit more toe-in, to stabilize it, or should I consider spending the money to get a proper alignment?
-tih
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What was done to your Suburban before you bought it was a poor front end alignment. When the toe is adjusted, the steering wheel should be centered before adjusting the tie rods. It should be dead-nut centered when the adjustment is complete. This is just an example of shoddy workmanship.
Wander in the K1500 is usually tie rod ends. How many miles on the truck Tom? Common wear points in that truck are the ball joints, the stabilizer bar links (these break or get sloppy inside the nylon bushings and are not obvious to visual inspection) and the tie rod ends. Ball joints are easy to check with a pry bar but the stabilizer links are harder to check. They are a good choice when chasing phantom clunks up front when the truck is going over bumps or around S curves. Cheap - $6 each. Can be a bit of a fight to put in, but not a real killer. Tie rod ends are a snap, but they'll require an alignment afterwards. I'm not a believer in putting a new end on and bringing it up to the jam nut where the old end was.
My advice is not to tweak a little more toe into a vehicle. Toe is toe - it's either right or there's a problem. Fix the problem and then get the alignment done. The 1500 eats front tread enough as it is - don't exacerbate that problem with a kludged up toe in. Trying to stabilize a wander issue by increasing toe in is a guaranteed way to scruff tread off your tires. You'd be treating the symptom and not the problem.
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On 1/31/06 8:15 AM, in article 858d6$43df63a4$452896b0$ snipped-for-privacy@ALLTEL.NET,

The steering wheel thing can also happen when you change the pitman arm and get the new one on 1 tooth out of sync. I would consider the possibility of the idler arm being worn out on that suburban.
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Thanks for your advice, Mike! I'll be spending some time under the front end of the car this weekend, I guess. Time for an oil change and a lube job, anyway. :-)
The car has about 100K miles on it, so there may well be some slack.
-tih
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Argh!!!! Hey Tom - 2 wheel drive or 4 wheel drive Suburban?
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Ah -- sorry! Should have included that... It's a 4 wheel drive.
-tih
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