2001 Silverado 1500 4x4 Alignment Concerns

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I replaced the outer tie-rods and the upper control arms last year on advice from a mechanic. Then got it aligned, but still experienced some tire wear that I concluded to be associated with the inner tie-rods. So I replaced the inner tie-rods. Then got it aligned. Mechanic got everything in the 'green.' But it unmistakably pulled to the left. So I took it back in and everything was off so they aligned it again. Said they took it on the freeway and it tracked straight. They told me that I needed new torsion bars. I wasn't sure about it, but I figured I'd at least look into that. They said that the ride height wasn't where it was supposed to be. I don't need it level, but it's not hard to believe that it's sagging a bit at this point. They said they adjusted the torsion bars and it didn't respond like they expected it to. Anyway, by the time I got it home (around a mile away) it was pulling harder to the left than before. So I did a little bit of homework on the torsion bars. No one even sells them from what I see. ACDelco does't even list them when I look up parts (unless I'm missing it somehow). What I am seeing is upgraded torsion bar keys from ACDelco and Moog that allow more adjustment that factory keys to 'relieve fatigued torsion bars.' So that's kind of where I'm at. I'm also wondering what the odds are of the camber bolts not being (or staying) sufficiently tight. What are the odds? Anyway, sorry so long. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
 
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2,611
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San Rafael, CA
Originally Posted by Blang
I replaced the outer tie-rods and the upper control arms last year on advice from a mechanic. Then got it aligned, but still experienced some tire wear that I concluded to be associated with the inner tie-rods. So I replaced the inner tie-rods. Then got it aligned. Mechanic got everything in the 'green.' But it unmistakably pulled to the left. So I took it back in and everything was off so they aligned it again. Said they took it on the freeway and it tracked straight. They told me that I needed new torsion bars. I wasn't sure about it, but I figured I'd at least look into that. They said that the ride height wasn't where it was supposed to be. I don't need it level, but it's not hard to believe that it's sagging a bit at this point. They said they adjusted the torsion bars and it didn't respond like they expected it to. Anyway, by the time I got it home (around a mile away) it was pulling harder to the left than before. So I did a little bit of homework on the torsion bars. No one even sells them from what I see. ACDelco does't even list them when I look up parts (unless I'm missing it somehow). What I am seeing is upgraded torsion bar keys from ACDelco and Moog that allow more adjustment that factory keys to 'relieve fatigued torsion bars.' So that's kind of where I'm at. I'm also wondering what the odds are of the camber bolts not being (or staying) sufficiently tight. What are the odds? Anyway, sorry so long. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
Very interesting to follow this thread. I have an 01 Chevy Suburban 1500 4x4 approaching 300,000 miles. When I bought it, the steering wheel was centered but at some point in the process of trying to level the front end I realized one of the torsion bar adjustment bolts (passenger side) was as far in as it could go. All the YouTube videos I found online showed that these should generally match, so I tried to adjust the drivers side one to match and even with a little adjustment and a measuring tape it was obvious that it wasn't even. I didn't think much of it but I installed some cheap aftermarket torsion bar keys from eBay to level the front end of my truck a couple inches (because I lifted the back slightly with some heavy duty springs and it looked weird) and if I adjust the torsion bar key bolts equally and get the same ride hight on both sides (measuring distance between ground and frame or distance between top of tire and fender) I obviously have an issue and now my steering wheel is quite off center. I suspect whatever is causing your issue is causing mine as well. I have not looked very hard but it does NOT seem that replacement OE torsion bars are readily available. Are you the original owner? Could it be an accident/frame damage? On mine I am not the original owner but I do think it was in an accident at some point a long time ago because the front bumper (although stock style) is aftermarket because it has a different sticker on it that I noticed when I changed the leaking radiator.
 
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So now the torsion bar bolts are not even. Passenger side is cranked up as high as possible I think and it's not sitting up particularly high. The truck is not level (side to side... maybe less than half and inch). I don't feel comfortable driving it. I am not the original owner. I have had it for around 3 and half years if I'm thinking right. My brother-in-law had it for 9 years before that and was in a minor collision somewhere along the way (that would have been several years ago). Before I replaced the inner tie-rods... a neighbor borrowed my truck to haul something back from out of state. He put around 1200 miles on it I believe and he said it tracked straight and he was very impressed with how it handled. I trust this guy very much (I don't let just anyone touch my truck). After he got back I noticed some uneven tire wear that led me to replacing the inner tie-rods. Now here we are. The tire wear wasn't super extreme, but it was noticeable enough that I didn't want it to get worse. After the initial alignment after I replaced the inner tie-rods the truck felt the best it's ever felt to me except for the pull to the left...
 
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2,611
Location
San Rafael, CA
So now the torsion bar bolts are not even. Passenger side is cranked up as high as possible I think and it's not sitting up particularly high. The truck is not level (side to side... maybe less than half and inch). I don't feel comfortable driving it. I am not the original owner. I have had it for around 3 and half years if I'm thinking right. My brother-in-law had it for 9 years before that and was in a minor collision somewhere along the way (that would have been several years ago). Before I replaced the inner tie-rods... a neighbor borrowed my truck to haul something back from out of state. He put around 1200 miles on it I believe and he said it tracked straight and he was very impressed with how it handled. I trust this guy very much (I don't let just anyone touch my truck). After he got back I noticed some uneven tire wear that led me to replacing the inner tie-rods. Now here we are. The tire wear wasn't super extreme, but it was noticeable enough that I didn't want it to get worse. After the initial alignment after I replaced the inner tie-rods the truck felt the best it's ever felt to me except for the pull to the left...
strange. i wonder if @clinebarger would know why one torsion bar is not lifting as high as the other one. he seems to know everything about chevy trucks :) that said i've been driving mine the way it is for a while and it's not unsafe. yeah the tires are wearing poorly but they're generic chinese junk so i'm not too worried about it.
 
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4,621
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
I would check the lower control arm bushings & the Torsion Bar support member bushings. If those are good.....The Torsion Bar/s could very well be fatigued.

The Lower Control Arm bushings are often overlooked, The Torsion Bar is very close to the Bushings & can affect ride height substantially
 
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7,671
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Hudson, NH
The factory torsion bar setting is not even on each side. You will see the bolt a little deeper on the driver's side. In addition to what's already been mentioned can you get a picture of the front bump stops? I'm curious about the relationship between the bump stops in the lower control arm. Also a picture of the adjustment settings on both sides. Also the truck has phelonic caliper pistons (plastic). They can swell and crack causing the caliper to drag. What was the condition of the brakes side to side when you checked on them?
 
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I was hoping clinebarger would chime in. Thanks! Good point on the lower control arm bushings. I haven't put eyes on them directly. Everything feels good and tight when the tires are off the ground. I guess I'm not sure what the torsion bar support member bushings are. I see where they mount in the lower control arm and the cross member where they're attached to the keys. I'm thinking maybe they should have left the torsion bars alone because I'm not convinced that they're the culprit for not being able to hold an alignment all of a sudden.

Thanks LeakySeals... Pictures attached. Torsion bolts were pretty even before but now the passenger side is higher than the right. Brake pads are plenty thick on both sides (I just swapped the front tires today to rule out radial pull). No obvious uneven wear. I hear the the bump stops rest somewhat on the lower control arms from the factory?
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I was hoping clinebarger would chime in. Thanks! Good point on the lower control arm bushings. I haven't put eyes on them directly. Everything feels good and tight when the tires are off the ground. I guess I'm not sure what the torsion bar support member bushings are. I see where they mount in the lower control arm and the cross member where they're attached to the keys. I'm thinking maybe they should have left the torsion bars alone because I'm not convinced that they're the culprit for not being able to hold an alignment all of a sudden.

Thanks LeakySeals... Pictures attached. Torsion bolts were pretty even before but now the passenger side is higher than the right. Brake pads are plenty thick on both sides (I just swapped the front tires today to rule out radial pull). No obvious uneven wear. I hear the the bump stops rest somewhat on the lower control arms from the factory?
View attachment 25012 View attachment 25013 View attachment 25014 View attachment 25015
Yes the bump stops touch. Even more than that. I measure from there vs. a fender wheelwell which could be off from accidents etc. Clinebarger was referring to a bushing here. I think its ok

20200714_175806.jpg
 
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It could be they just didn't get the Cam Bolts tight, When they align it.....Mark where the Guide Pins are in relation to the Cam Plates, It will be obvious if it moves.

 
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Cam bolts seemed to me to be the most obvious thing to me, but most people have doubted that.... I am hoping to be there when they do the alignment next time and then drive with the tech, etc. Thanks! I'm hoping this happens by the end of the week.
 
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Thanks Eric2018. If the alignment doesn't hold this time I will seriously consider getting those. I like that idea. I hope to be there when they do the alignment. I told the tech to take a picture of the cam bolts when he's done if I'm not able to be there.
 
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Update. They got the the torsion bar keys replaced and said it's looking good, but a mount is broken. So torsion bar mounts are going to be done today or tomorrow.

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Got my truck back today finally! They went ahead and leveled it while they were at it. I took the long way home and it felt pretty good. Suspension might be a little more stiff now, but it doesn't feel bad. Looks really good being level.
Just to some up for those who are invested: They replaced the torsion bars (I found some used ones for cheap), but the torsion bar keys were the difference-maker. I went with Moog. One of the torsion mounts was broken and so they replaced both. I got Dorman since I couldn't find any ACDelco. I'm thinking the torsion mount had been broken, but I never crawled in far enough to put eyes directly on it. Learning experience for me.
So as of now I think I'm good. Just need to get off the pavement sooner than later.
They got the bump stop above the lower control arm. I have mixed feelings about that...
Thanks again for the tips and advice!
 

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14,539
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Santa Barbara, CA
Looks good!! What brand tie rods are those? I have been looking at all the parts to rebuild the front end on mine. Currently doing the oil pressure sender and knock sensors.
 
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Wow, interesting. I have my Yukon sitting nice and high by turning the bars. Wonder if some more supportive shocks would have prevented the fatigue ?
 
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@bdcardinal Thanks! Inner and outer tie-rods are ACDelco. I lean towards that brand when availability and price make sense. I use Amazon a lot, but will use local part stores in some cases. I was told that the factory tie-rods are notoriously thin and that there are aftermarket upgrades. I've never had an issue, but I'm interested since I like to get off the pavement when I get a chance.

@Gasbuggy I replaced the factory shocks about two years ago on this truck (previous owner thought oil changes and spark plugs was all the truck needed). So shocks could definitely have played a role in things. I love the look of the truck being level. I hauled a load 20 miles away last night and I didn't like as much how the truck handled on the freeway with a decent load in the back. Steering felt a little more unsettled. I'm hoping to do some mild off-roading soon and I'm guessing it'll be a little more bouncy than I'd like. If it's not what I'm hoping then I think I'll bring it down just a little when I get new tires (and subsequent alignment) next year.
 
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