My wife tells me my 97 LX450 wanders too much as it's been driven, and that it's dangerous, and to GET IT FIXED! (1 Viewer)

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This vehicle has been my ride since 2004, I love it, I bought it with 70K on the clock, now has approximately 249K miles. I have replaced the pesky heater hose changed the transmission fluid and filter to synthetic, it's time (past time) to do it all again. I just put a 3 row copper radiator in it, and it's still running great. AC still blowing cold--Never serviced. So I have bought new tires, and other than what I've outlined, I have never touched any steering components. I need a check list of what I need to do at this mileage mark. I've kept up with tune ups and different mods (did put old man EMU springs on it a few years back- thinking that would solve the roll and wandering). The birfields never have leaked. I have not pushed this vehicle, thus almost 1/4 million on the clock. I feel that I need to do the steering box rebuild (years ago there were some guys down south that did it for 250$-don't see anything on the posts about them anywhere). I could go on and on, but need to start addressing the steering issues. I have read some of the steering box rebuild threads, and think I could do it, although I know nothing about how the thing actually works. I could use some good advice on how to proceed, especially the sequence of repairs or checks on steering components, ball joints, etc.,etc. Thanks for your wisdom.:)
 
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First things first. New tie rod ends than check your alignment and make sure you have at least 2 degrees positive caster.

Than do new bushings for the 2 panhard bars, front radius arms bushings, and rear control arm bushings.

Depending on your lift you might need caster correction. If you have old man emu springs you should probably have yellow caster bushings in the front radius arms that will mosy likely need to be replaced if they are getting old. If you just have a 2" lift and only run 33" inch tires than you should be fine to run a simple set of caster bushings in the front radius arms.

It all depends on your caster numbers so get an alignment and see where your at.

Some might tell you to use plates or aftermarket arms for caster so start by getting an alignment and tie rods than address the caster decision once you know where your at.
 

mudgudgeon

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Search "wandering steering" or "death wobbles".

This topic is done to death every few weeks. It's well covered.

You'll basically be told check, retighten, replace all the wear items in the front and rear suspension of you're 25 year old truck.

If you've done 1/4 million miles on the original components, its all well over due, and you've got your money's worth
 
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Tire pressures? Did you use caster correction? Wheel bearings tight? Steering stabilizer? (I had a broken bolt once)
 

COYS

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If you just have a 2" lift and only run 33" inch tires than you should be fine to run a simple set of caster bushings in the front radius arms.

Screen Shot 2022-09-04 at 8.40.11 PM.png


Make up your mind will ya?

Data driven decision making
 
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Nothings black and white. For the post you referenced the OP was at negative 1 degree with the caster bushings.

Other people wheel hard and destroy bushings quickly.

Some 80 series get back to the 2+ degree range with a small lift and bushings. Others don't, there is huge variations in these rigs.

For some situations caster bushings are the wrong solution and a band aid.

For some situations they are great.

Sometimes they are also great as part of a combination of acceptable techniques to dial in caster.

Quit trying to start arguments.
 

Carey322

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First things first. New tie rod ends than check your alignment and make sure you have at least 2 degrees positive caster.

Than do new bushings for the 2 panhard bars, front radius arms bushings, and rear control arm bushings.

Depending on your lift you might need caster correction. If you have old man emu springs you should probably have yellow caster bushings in the front radius arms that will mosy likely need to be replaced if they are getting old. If you just have a 2" lift and only run 33" inch tires than you should be fine to run a simple set of caster bushings in the front radius arms.

It all depends on your caster numbers so get an alignment and see where your at.

Some might tell you to use plates or aftermarket arms for caster so start by getting an alignment and tie rods than address the caster decision once you know where your at.

The rear control arm bushings can make a big difference. I had done everything else but still had wandering on the highway. Don’t skip that step.
 
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"---did put old man EMU springs on it a few years back- thinking that would solve the roll and wandering."

Which EMU springs did you install?

Did they make the roll/wandering worse?

What shocks are you running?

What tires (all the same PSI)?

Wheel bearings or CV joints (front axle) ever serviced?
If so, did the symptoms get better, worse, or no difference after the service?


FWIW ten plus years ago my 96 model was wandering, turned out all it needed were new sway bar bushings (replaced the old rubber bushings with Energy Suspension Polyurethane).

Point is; don't forget to check/consider the simple things.
 
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Maybe take it to a good mechanic and have everything checked out mentioned in the previous threads.
 
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Sep 14, 2006
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First things first. New tie rod ends than check your alignment and make sure you have at least 2 degrees positive caster.

Than do new bushings for the 2 panhard bars, front radius arms bushings, and rear control arm bushings.

Depending on your lift you might need caster correction. If you have old man emu springs you should probably have yellow caster bushings in the front radius arms that will mosy likely need to be replaced if they are getting old. If you just have a 2" lift and only run 33" inch tires than you should be fine to run a simple set of caster bushings in the front radius arms.

It all depends on your caster numbers so get an alignment and see where your at.

Some might tell you to use plates or aftermarket arms for caster so start by getting an alignment and tie rods than address the caster decision once you know where your at.
The old man EMU springs were just a little stiffer and didn't raise the vehicle noticably, and I hear you loud and clear. That is exactly what I wanted, a list of things to do and an order to do it in:
tie rod ends
Check alignment (check for 2 degrees pos castor)
2 panhard bars,
front radius arms,
and rear control arm bushings

thank you for the help. Much appreciated. I'll post when I get that all done.:)
 
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Tire pressures? Did you use caster correction? Wheel bearings tight? Steering stabilizer? (I had a broken bolt once)
Tire press and tires good. No caster correction, as there was no lift with the springs. Original size Michelin tires. Thanks for checkig in.
 
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Yea then check wheel bearings. See if there is any play. That’s just a simple jack n shake.
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2006
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"---did put old man EMU springs on it a few years back- thinking that would solve the roll and wandering."

Which EMU springs did you install?

Did they make the roll/wandering worse?

What shocks are you running?

What tires (all the same PSI)?

Wheel bearings or CV joints (front axle) ever serviced?
If so, did the symptoms get better, worse, or no difference after the service?


FWIW ten plus years ago my 96 model was wandering, turned out all it needed were new sway bar bushings (replaced the old rubber bushings with Energy Suspension Polyurethane).

Point is; don't forget to check/consider the simple things.
Excellent, I'll make sure to check and or replace sway bar bushings. The EMU were same length just stiffer, and all new shocks and struts. The ride was a little better, but not as good as I hoped. I believe all the shocks were aftermarket (basically OEM). Tires are all good and air to same psi. CV joints have never made any noise, and the front axle never serviced except differential oil. I had a 96 as well both great vehicles, and thankyou for checking in. Great info. Thanks:)
 
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Yea then check wheel bearings. See if there is any play. That’s just a simple jack n shake.
Yes, wheel bearings good. I have replaced them previously and no play. When I get this job jacked up off all four I'll check again. I hope to report back after next week end. Thanks again:)
 

inkpot

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Diagnose the possibilities before throwing $$$$ at it. Tire pressure and age. And weight rating. Jack it up and move/shake everything. Rod ends, bushings, wheel bearings, etc. Have you added any moly grease to the knuckles?
 
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I never realized how much rear side to side movement I had until I rebushed the front. Replaced rear trailing arm and panhard bushings, delta panhard correction (lifted 3.5 inch) and now it drives great on the highway again.
 

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