Steering Wheel Shaking 2001 Suburban, Stumped

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Thread: Steering Wheel Shaking 2001 Suburban, Stumped

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    4.4 Liter Supercharged Northstar hrcslam's Avatar
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    Steering Wheel Shaking 2001 Suburban, Stumped

    So I have a 2001 Suburban 4X4 that has suspension mods and big wheels. Over the past 50K miles the steering wheel has been shaking (progressively worse as the miles racked up). I know the mods are not helping the situation, but it didn't do this for about 20K miles after I modded it.

    Recently it got to the point that I figured it's time to fix it. So far I have replaced the tie rod ends, the pitman arm, the steering box, the sway bar end links, and the sway bar bushings, and shocks (all 4). I've had the tires replaced, balanced multiple times, and rotated, all to no avail.

    The steering feels a lot tighter, but still shakes bad. Below are two video's. One with the shake and the other without. These videos are taken back to back on the same road with no turning between video's (so tire balance within each other are identical).

    I might add that it only shakes between 45-52mph and even then it'll only do it 25-40% of the time.

    Also note worthy, my wheels were bought and build for my Suburban from the manufacturer. The offset, lug center, hub centers, and back spacing all match my truck to a tee because I ordered them that way, these are not Craigslist bought wheels.

    Please help!?

    Shaking Video



    No Shaking

    Last edited by hrcslam; 06-26-2013 at 02:41 PM.


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    4.4 Liter Supercharged Northstar Tomko's Avatar
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    Re: Steering Wheel Shaking 2001 Suburban, Stumped

    I can't see the videos as they're marked private.

    You mention that the wheels have been balanced many times...

    Have the wheels and tires been matched using a Hunter GSP9700? And have they then been road force balanced on a GSP9700? Preferably immediately after the machine was recalibrated by the technician.

    You may think it's crazy, but you've tried just about everything else. I've had enormous success with the GSP9700 and a technician who is skilled in its use. I also pay real time, and not book time, to the tech for this job - because it could take a couple of hours to get four wheels and tires absolutely right.
    Tomko

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    4.4 Liter Supercharged Northstar hrcslam's Avatar
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    Re: Steering Wheel Shaking 2001 Suburban, Stumped

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomko View Post
    I can't see the videos as they're marked private.

    You mention that the wheels have been balanced many times...

    Have the wheels and tires been matched using a Hunter GSP9700? And have they then been road force balanced on a GSP9700? Preferably immediately after the machine was recalibrated by the technician.

    You may think it's crazy, but you've tried just about everything else. I've had enormous success with the GSP9700 and a technician who is skilled in its use. I also pay real time, and not book time, to the tech for this job - because it could take a couple of hours to get four wheels and tires absolutely right.
    They have only been static balanced. Discount Tire that I go to doesn't do a dynamic balance. Maybe I should find one that does.

    I did jack it back up and check for any loose joint's and hardware. I tightened everything that had a bolt or nut on it. Like I said the steering is tight, but it still shakes occasionally.

    The video's should be working. I'll check them out on the Youtube end. Fixed, they are now public.


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    4.4 Liter Supercharged Northstar Tomko's Avatar
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    Re: Steering Wheel Shaking 2001 Suburban, Stumped

    Quote Originally Posted by hrcslam View Post
    They have only been static balanced. Discount Tire that I go to doesn't do a dynamic balance. Maybe I should find one that does.
    This is likely your problem.

    I haven't seen anyone do a static balance in more than 25 years. And a dynamic balance is something best left to very rudimentary suspension designs.

    You need your tires and wheels matched for circumference and then road force balanced. There is only one machine in the world that can do this. It is a Hunter GSP9700.

    Off the top of my head I've had 37 wheels/tires matched and then road force balanced on a GSP9700. Yes, it costs more - but I've never had a problem afterwards.

    You can see the video here:

    http://www.gsp9700.com/

    Well worth your time and a lot cheaper than throwing more parts at the problem.
    Tomko

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    Re: Steering Wheel Shaking 2001 Suburban, Stumped

    Was just now able to see the videos.

    In my opinion those symptoms are wheel and tire related.

    If you have worn or loose parts in your suspension it is because they have been shooken apart by that wheel/tire package that you have.

    In my opinion, based on my experience and watching that brief video, those wheels/tires are unsafe.
    Tomko

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    1988 Caprice 9C1 (first new car)
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    Re: Steering Wheel Shaking 2001 Suburban, Stumped

    I've gotten 4 sets of name-brand oversize wheels from a manufacturer in a row before that could not be balanced trying to fix a shaking problem.

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    4.4 Liter Supercharged Northstar hrcslam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomko View Post
    Was just now able to see the videos.

    In my opinion those symptoms are wheel and tire related.

    If you have worn or loose parts in your suspension it is because they have been shooken apart by that wheel/tire package that you have.

    In my opinion, based on my experience and watching that brief video, those wheels/tires are unsafe.
    Thanks for the input. I wonder where I can find a shop with one of those machines at. If I gotta buy new wheels I will, but I'd rather not if possible.

    Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App


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    Re: Steering Wheel Shaking 2001 Suburban, Stumped

    Quote Originally Posted by hrcslam View Post
    Thanks for the input. I wonder where I can find a shop with one of those machines at. If I gotta buy new wheels I will, but I'd rather not if possible.

    Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
    Click on this link:

    http://www.gsp9700.com/

    There's a finder function there.
    Tomko

    Current Fleet:
    2014 Cruze Diesel (daily grinder)
    2008 DTS Lux III (pleasure craft)
    1996 Impala SS (garage queen)

    Retired Fleet:
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    1988 Caprice 9C1 (first new car)
    1984 6000 STE (first car)

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    4.4 Liter Supercharged Northstar hrcslam's Avatar
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    Re: Steering Wheel Shaking 2001 Suburban, Stumped

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomko View Post
    Click on this link:

    http://www.gsp9700.com/

    There's a finder function there.
    Thanks for the reply's. I found the problem. Turns out the ball joints for the Idler arm and pitman arm had no grease left. After I replaced the Pitman arm I took it to a shop for an alignment and told them to grease up all the joints while they were at it. Apparently that never happened.

    Without grease the center link was loose as hell and as it rocked back and forth it would toe the wheels in and out together (both toe in or both toe out). All it took was a bump to get it going. I greased up the joints and it's stiff again and no more shake!

    This isn't the only time I've taken it to a shop for grease either, over the last 50K miles I've taken it to multiple shops for oil changes and gear lube swaps and such, I've told them all while they were under there to lube all the joints up, apparently this never happened.

    I suspect this is because the zerks fittings on the idler and pitman arms are on top of the joints (difficult to see) so people assume there isn't one there.

    So to all my GMT800 brethren, if you guys run into a steering wheel wobble/shake at 45mph or so, check these joints first.

    All is not a loss though, it did need a new steering box, the shocks did go bad, and all other maintenance performed would've happened sooner rather than later anyway.

    But all is good, for now...

    MODERATORS: Can you add SOLVED to the title please? Thanks.


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    Re: Steering Wheel Shaking 2001 Suburban, Stumped

    Quote Originally Posted by hrcslam View Post
    So I have a 2001 Suburban 4X4 that has suspension mods and big wheels. Over the past 50K miles the steering wheel has been shaking (progressively worse as the miles racked up). I know the mods are not helping the situation, but it didn't do this for about 20K miles after I modded it.

    Recently it got to the point that I figured it's time to fix it. So far I have replaced the tie rod ends, the pitman arm, the steering box, the sway bar end links, and the sway bar bushings, and shocks (all 4). I've had the tires replaced, balanced multiple times, and rotated, all to no avail.

    The steering feels a lot tighter, but still shakes bad. Below are two video's. One with the shake and the other without. These videos are taken back to back on the same road with no turning between video's (so tire balance within each other are identical).

    I might add that it only shakes between 45-52mph and even then it'll only do it 25-40% of the time.

    Also note worthy, my wheels were bought and build for my Suburban from the manufacturer. The offset, lug center, hub centers, and back spacing all match my truck to a tee because I ordered them that way, these are not Craigslist bought wheels.

    Please help!?

    Shaking Video



    No Shaking

    Whole-Lee-Crap! I'd say you have a Poltergeist!


    What was different in the two videos, one shaking, vs. the one not, is it a random occurrence!?


    Past: 11 Ram 13-11; 10 Commander 13-10; 08 Sierra 11-08; 07 Rendezvous 10-07; 05 Ram 08-05; 04 Grand Cherokee 07-04; 03 F-150 05-03; 01 Silverado 03-01; 00 Jimmy 04-00; 99 Sierra 01-99; 96 Mustang GT 01-98;97 Ram 99-96; 96 Jimmy 00-96; 90 Escort GT 96-92; 89 Ranger 96-91; 84 Omni 92-89; 76 Malibu 90-89; 78 LeMans 94-88; 85 Escort 88-87; 82 Lynx 93-86; 75 Sierra 87-85

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    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 MrCritical's Avatar
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    Re: Steering Wheel Shaking 2001 Suburban, Stumped

    Get someone to swap a set of known good/balanced wheels and tires with you and see how the problem is affected.

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    R2-D2 Astromech Droid Smaart Aas Saabr's Avatar
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    Re: Steering Wheel Shaking 2001 Suburban, Stumped

    holy ****e, never seen a shake like that, even driving at 100 mph on flat tires

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    Re: Steering Wheel Shaking 2001 Suburban, Stumped

    Quote Originally Posted by hrcslam View Post
    Thanks for the reply's. I found the problem. Turns out the ball joints for the Idler arm and pitman arm had no grease left. After I replaced the Pitman arm I took it to a shop for an alignment and told them to grease up all the joints while they were at it. Apparently that never happened.

    Without grease the center link was loose as hell and as it rocked back and forth it would toe the wheels in and out together (both toe in or both toe out). All it took was a bump to get it going. I greased up the joints and it's stiff again and no more shake!

    This isn't the only time I've taken it to a shop for grease either, over the last 50K miles I've taken it to multiple shops for oil changes and gear lube swaps and such, I've told them all while they were under there to lube all the joints up, apparently this never happened.

    I suspect this is because the zerks fittings on the idler and pitman arms are on top of the joints (difficult to see) so people assume there isn't one there.

    So to all my GMT800 brethren, if you guys run into a steering wheel wobble/shake at 45mph or so, check these joints first.

    All is not a loss though, it did need a new steering box, the shocks did go bad, and all other maintenance performed would've happened sooner rather than later anyway.

    But all is good, for now...

    MODERATORS: Can you add SOLVED to the title please? Thanks.
    My suspicion is that this fix will be temporary.

    The video shows the wheels entering a harmonic oscilation after hiting a bump in a particular way. I don't see grease being viscous enough to stop your unsprung mass from moving in that way.

    Please let us know if the problem returns.
    Tomko

    Current Fleet:
    2014 Cruze Diesel (daily grinder)
    2008 DTS Lux III (pleasure craft)
    1996 Impala SS (garage queen)

    Retired Fleet:
    1999 Tahoe PPV (14.5 years / 135,879 miles)
    1988 Caprice 9C1 (first new car)
    1984 6000 STE (first car)

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    4.4 Liter Supercharged Northstar hrcslam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomko View Post
    My suspicion is that this fix will be temporary.

    The video shows the wheels entering a harmonic oscilation after hiting a bump in a particular way. I don't see grease being viscous enough to stop your unsprung mass from moving in that way.

    Please let us know if the problem returns.
    I will. I did have the tires rebalanced today too. Dynamic balance but not under load.

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    4.4 Liter Supercharged Northstar hrcslam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed753 View Post
    Whole-Lee-Crap! I'd say you have a Poltergeist!


    What was different in the two videos, one shaking, vs. the one not, is it a random occurrence!?
    Completely random. The videos are back to back between stops on a straight road.

    Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App


    Good Luck is when hard work meets opportunity.

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