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truck pulls left please help?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by 97S104x4, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. 97S104x4

    97S104x4 Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    ok so after a new pitman arm, lower driver side ball joint, new idler arm, tie rod ends and 2 alignments my truck is pulling left, not bad when just driving but when i hit a bump it almost jerks the wheels out of my hands. both shops who did the alignment cant figure out what the problem is and this is starting to get on my nerves. it never pulled left before i had the pitman arm, idler and ball joint in and had one alignment done. when i put the plow on it is very noticeable always wanting to pull left. anyone have any idea what it could be?

    the truck is a 97 s10 4x4.
  2. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,142

    Start by rotating your tires. Worn tires can cause a vehicle to pull. Also, I don't know where you had the alignment done but I would try a different shop. May want to try the dealer for alignment since they should have the most up to date equipment.
  3. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    then check your steering for anything else loose- steering box for example and your dampener (the horizontal shock in the tie rods.)
  4. 06Sierra

    06Sierra PlowSite.com Addict
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,328

    Check the wheel bearing as well. Could be a bad tire. My wife's Yukon had a bad tire last spring. I didn't notice it pulling too bad, but when you hit a bump it would bounce from side to side.
  5. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    If its been plowed for some time, maybe the frame is slightly out of whack? Have someone follow you down the road and see if it looks straight.
  6. 97S104x4

    97S104x4 Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    ive already rotated the tires, even though they are brand new. the frame isnt twisted

    it has to do with something that the shop did to the truck something involving the pitman, idler, ball joint or alignment because before i brought it to the shop it did not have this problem
    and everything underneath is tight, steering box, tie rods and all the ball joints are still good. i dont have a stabilizer
    and ive already been to 2 shops and got the same result they aligned it and didnt see anything out of wack
  7. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    If your sure the shop did something odds are they put the steering together wrong. If a rod was put on the wrong side of the pitman or something like that (yes, it can happen not all rod ends are tapered) it will change the steering geometry.
  8. 97S104x4

    97S104x4 Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    is there anyway that they could have put the pitman arm in wrong? does anyone know if an s10 pitman arm has different ways it can go in?
  9. Plow man Foster

    Plow man Foster PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,153

    Call the manufacturer and Complain like a little B****. If you do it long enough and tell them where you have taken it, they might have a speciallist come out. If they cant get it. They might replace the truck.
  10. Lucfw

    Lucfw Senior Member
    Messages: 307

    I went and test drove a truck and there was loose steering, i later found out that they had only replaced one tierod. so it was pulling and loose from one new and one old tierod so maybe did you replace both or just the one side ball joints, ect?
  11. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    scan in your print out of the alignment thay should have givin you and post it up here so i can look at the #'s on the caster/camber and toe.

    then we can go from there.
  12. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,228

    Dude, he is talking about a freaking 97 s10, :eek:

    The manufacture would laugh and then make some sort of copy sheet on it to pass around the office. :laughing:

    Advice::: You should always have ball joints, tie rod ends replaced both sides at the same time. You wouldn't buy just one tire would you?
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  13. gmcdan

    gmcdan Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    possibly bad shock on one side ?
  14. USMCMP5811

    USMCMP5811 Senior Member
    Messages: 267

  15. Chris112lee

    Chris112lee Member
    Messages: 64

    Should also check wheel bearings, and verify your caliper is fully releasing.
  16. morecoffee

    morecoffee Junior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 7

    I think the pitman arm is splined to only go on one way. It's easy to check. Get the tires and steering wheel pointed straight ahead and the pitman arm should oriented parallel to the centerline of the truck. As someone else suggested, get the front wheels off the ground and hand spin the front tires to make sure they are both rotating freely. I am assuming that non of the tire have edge wear since that will also cause the pull. You could try cross rotating the front tires (left to right) to see if that changes or reverses the condition. I have done may alignments and would be happy to look at the final settings if you can post them.
  17. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 617

    "but when i hit a bump it almost jerks the wheels out of my hands."

    This indicates a bad steering dampener. My jeep had a death wobble after hitting a good bump. Steering dampener showed nothing wrong but put a new one on and no more death wobble.

    Alignment will not jerk the wheel out of your hands.

    If the pitman are was put on wrong it would only effect steering radius, meaning not turn enough on direction. This does not effect alignment as far as pulling.

    Their is most likely excessive wear in the steering & suspension due to age and mileage.

    "when i put the plow on it is very noticeable always wanting to pull left. anyone have any idea what it could be?"

    Tires can pull did you switch tires from front to rear or side to side?

    Side to side is the action when pull. Because if pull changes then the tires are the cause.

    Also age and mileage springs sag with weight of plow which changes alignment and cause pull.

    You need a front end expert to detect and replace all worn suspension and steering parts parts and then set alignment to spec not within acceptable range.
  18. the_experience

    the_experience Member
    Messages: 75

    This is an S-10 and doesn't have a steering dampener. Steering dampeners are just a band-aid anyway.

    If hitting a bump causes the wheel to jerk, look for all the tire recommendations here. I'd also want to get the front end shaken down again. I'm sorry, but on any GM product if you're doing one ball joint, you're doing all 4 and probably the pitman arm, idler arm, and tie rod ends.

    Does the wheel oscillate (death wobble) when you hit a bump? If so, reducing the caster angle might help. If it's a constant pull, I would suspect that the alignment shops are getting the camber and caster into spec individually, but not paying attention to the relationship of the two together. Excessive cross camber and cross caster will cause a pull, even if both wheels individually are within spec. I know on the full size GM stuff they actually have a spec for cross on the trucks to compensate for road crown.

    Post up your actual alignment specs. If the shop won't give you a copy from their machine, demand your money back and go somewhere that will.
  19. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Hitting a bump and having the wheel jerk is called "Bump Steer" and is a common issue that steering stabilizers are installed to hide. Poor designed steering linkages are the cause. Certain styles are very prone to it, more so when parts are installed incorrectly, like a pitman arm installed upside down, a cross tie rod installed on the bottom of the knuckle instead of the top... etc.
  20. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Bump steer is virtually non-existent in a GM IFS truck.

    CV shafts are a possible culprit. Going over a bump (especially a dip) will increase the CV angles and it's possible one of the balls is sticking. This would definitely cause the wheel to pull. And when it was dangling on the lift, the CV angles were maxed out, which probably hadn't been done in months/years prior to this work.