'95 Ext. Cab - Restoring Ride

Hi All,
'95, Ext Cab, 5.7, 158K Miles, and time for some front end work...
After 10 years of Buffalo winters, potholes, divits, and all around
general thrashing, my truck needs some front end work.
I really want to restore the ride quality as best I can. I've never
aligned the front end, and it still goes down the road straight. But
now it's starting to get that mushy feel in the wheel, and it's
wandering. I just replaced the tires, and although the old ones were
shot, they displayed no sign of uneven wear or cupping.
I've done shocks, and whatever parts its needed in the past, but I'm
concerned about the springs, control arm bushings, and even the rear
leafspring bushings.
Will replacing these restore its original ride? Do the rear spring
bushing press out, or can I just bang them out? How about those
polyuerethane bushings, etc.?
I don't expect the ride of a Caddy, but I'd like it as good as I can
make it...
The truck has done me great, and I don't mind dumping a grand into her
to keep her going. Better than $600/mo for a new one!
Opinions and advise are appreciated...
Reply to
Chevy Driver
The mushy feel and wondering could be a couple of things. Idler arm, GM' allows a tremendous amount of play before they say its bad, usually before it gets half that bad you start getting wonder and usually tire wear. The "rag joint" where the steering column connects to the gear box, at over 10 years of harsh weather could be shot, its hidden by a plastic cover at the gear box held in place by partially incircling one of the power steering fluid lines. It wont affect alignment but gives a loose mushy feel to the steering as well as wonder. Gear box could be out of adjustment.
Front sprongs will "sag" with time. ride gets mushy, bottoms out easier, wears shocks faster, and upsets camber. the wheels move in a progressive arc when they move up and down, so even though you can set the camber correctly , it changes more radically as the wheel moves through its arc. If shes an inch or more below correct ride height, replace them.
polyurethane are great for handling, lousey for ride. changing leaf spring bushings can be a real challenge. ride wise I would look at the front control arm bushings first, again., poly great for handleing, but will make for a very stiff ride.
tire choice plays a big role in ride. If your really not using it to haul loads, or pull a heavy trailer, than go with P-Metric tires, much better ride, and better fule economy, however if you are hauling, or towing then go with LTs. Michelin and Goodyear both say deduct 20% of the listed load capcity of a P-Metric if its being used to carry heavy loads over long distances at high speeds. They cant get rid of the heat generated and as such come apart.
Reply to
Thanks for the reply and info! I went with Dunlop Radial Rovers, P235-15, and ordered the 4 Bilstein shocks tonite. Have an appointment tomorrow morning to go over the entire front end with a fine tooth comb.
Had Coopers on there prior to the change, and the Dunlops made a definate difference in ride/handling, but it's still mushy.
Thanks again Rick
Reply to
I've run the Cooper Vipers before, nice stiff sidewall for handling, and great dry pavement traction, wear was pretty good, but they sucked wind on wet roads.
I always seem to end up back with Goodyear's. On the car I got a set of the new Goodyear Assurance triple tread, they have been on for a year, have almost 35,000 miles on them, Ride great, hold the well really good, and everything Goodyear says about wet road traction is true. I was leery of the tread design, worried about cupping, weird wear patterns remembering the problems the old Vectors had.. No problems at all in that area, and they hold balance well. Anyone remember the GT Radials?
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