loosy front end??!!!

loosy front end??!!!

Postby bkzxclusive [OP] » January 17th 2009, 9:39pm

I'm having some concerns about my front end suspension components, i was taking a couple of relatives to the airport and i was carrying some what of a heavy load, i about 8 bags and 4ppl, so while im crusing i hear a gonk and ever since that, when im doing about 60mph my front end seems to swivel as if it was turbulence in a plane but side to side, i know its happened to me before but while i was doing bout 80 and im not sure if its just astro's boxy aerodynamics or do i have some components messed up??? By the way i know i have ball joints messed up, but dont know if that would cause that. I'm thinking tie rods??
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Re: loosy front end??!!!

Postby robkerel » January 17th 2009, 9:47pm

I had this problem as well.... I have a 94 asto RWD, I replaced Pitman/idler arms and all is good now!!! drives like a dream....I do need alignment though...but will do that in summer.
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Re: loosy front end??!!!

Postby astro355 » January 17th 2009, 10:10pm

Yeah, start with the idler arms (driver and passenger side). All you really have to do is get under your van, grab the center link and shake it from side to side. You will know what part of the steering setup is bad.

On a side note, robkerel, you should get that alignment asap. Driving your van with new parts and not being alignment will destroy those new parts. These van have a bad habit of eating idler arms and not getting the alignment will definitely make it that much worse.
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Re: loosy front end??!!!

Postby bkzxclusive [OP] » January 17th 2009, 10:25pm

kool, but do u guys recommend i get the ball joints fixed before i do the alignment? cuz wont i hav to do another alignment after i get the ball joints done? or no?
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Re: loosy front end??!!!

Postby bkzxclusive [OP] » January 17th 2009, 10:31pm

and is moog is one of the best brands for suspension components rite???
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Re: loosy front end??!!!

Postby cd0156 » January 17th 2009, 10:55pm

Moog is good to use b/c of the lifetime warranty!
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Re: loosy front end??!!!

Postby astro355 » January 17th 2009, 11:56pm

bkzxclusive wrote:kool, but do u guys recommend i get the ball joints fixed before i do the alignment? cuz wont i hav to do another alignment after i get the ball joints done? or no?


Their is no point in getting an alignment done if you are going to replace any of the suspension parts. You would have to get another alignment after you put the new ball joints on.
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Re: loosy front end??!!!

Postby Matrixx » January 21st 2009, 12:22am

Hi bkzxclusive
Yes, as astro355 says, alignment after new parts installed. Moog parts have a lifetime warranty (or did the last time I checked) and they make good parts. Their are 2 versions of idler arms you can get with these vans, The regular version or the enhanced version called (or was called) "The Problem Solver".

A bit more money, but the only idler arm heavy duty enough to take the beating these vans give to them. If the ball joints are worn, then my suggestion is to replace them as soon as you can or at least keep them greased until you can get them replaced. Both parts (Idler Arms and Ball Joints) will cause a wonder from side to side in the vehicle on the highway, but it's the worn ball joints that "usually" give off a knocking or popping sound you now hear.

The best thing to do if it hasn't been done already, is to have the whole front end checked for any worn parts. At least you will know where you stand with the front end. Hope this helps. Please keep us updated, Thanks.:)
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Re: loosy front end??!!!

Postby bkzxclusive [OP] » January 22nd 2009, 2:41am

helps alot, even if my stuff isnt worn, im thinking of replacing all my front end parts regardless just to b safe and know that i have everything good. what do u think??!
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Re: loosy front end??!!!

Postby Matrixx » January 22nd 2009, 7:02am

Hi bkzxclusive
The method I try to make things is the "simple" one. If I'm going that deep to replace the ball joints on the front end of my vehicle, then I would do the whole system relating to that (ball joints, Bushings, etc.) in the upper and lower control arms, this will save you time and money in the long run.

The idler arms and tie rods are in a different area of the front end and both are very easy to replace anytime. I would just replace what needed to be replaced at the time, nothing more. That's just my opinion though.

You can replace to whole front end if you like and if you can afford to, you would have a lifetime warranty on everything if you use the Moog parts. I wouldn't even consider it though if it was only a limited warranty of some kind. The investment would be in Moogs Lifetime Warranty, if you don't have that (in writing of some kind) then it's a waste of money.

Just replace what needs to be replaced and follow my suggestions in the first 2 paragraphs of this post. Hope this helps. Please keep us updated, Thanks.:)
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Re: loosy front end??!!!

Postby bkzxclusive [OP] » January 23rd 2009, 6:47pm

kool, yea ill definetly just do whats required to do, i did notice its a lil bit of money, lol, ive just ordered the moog ball joints from jegs.com, hopefully i got a good deal it came out to about $89.
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Re: loosy front end??!!!

Postby robkerel » January 24th 2009, 3:24am

astro355...I am trying to figure what rear end to go with....rearend issue priority right now! not allignment. :confused:
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Re: loosy front end??!!!

Postby Matrixx » January 24th 2009, 4:17am

Hi robkerel
Rear End? hmm, Limited Slip is the best all around for your vehicle with the least amount of problems compared to posi. I replaced mine a couple years ago now, It had an Open Diff. with 3.42 gearing from the factory, I liked it, and didn't have any real traction issues with it in the snow.

When I needed to replace my rear end, the only one available at the time was the 3.73 Limited Slip. I wasn't very happy at first because I liked the 3.42 set up. After putting a few thousand miles on it now and taking it through 2 winters and 1/2 dozen snow storms, I'm very impressed with the Limited Slip set-up and won't change it, so I guess the Limited Slip would be my personal suggestion to you.

Still like the 3.42 gears though, the 3.73 are good at bottom end and if you carry a lot of weight or pull trailer, but you loose the gas mileage at highway speeds. That's one thing I miss about the 3.42 set-up, everything else I'm very pleased with at this point.

If you decide to pick one up (limited slip), just make sure you put the the Limited Slip Additive in that's required in the oil. You can pick it up at any dealership (parts stores might have it now, but didn't at the time of my change).

Hope something here will help. Please keep us updated, Thanks.:)

Wow, all this typing, and I now realize you have AWD. I will leave this post up for any 2Wd people out their that are thinking of doing the same thing as you are. AWD Is a different beast altogether robkerel and you will need to find out before hand if it can be done if you plan on changing the gear ratio in the back. I can't see a problem if you stay with the same gearing you now have in the rear end (but make sure).

I'm sure someone with AWD will chime in if they Can. Sorry about that.:)
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Re: loosy front end??!!!

Postby astro355 » January 24th 2009, 6:02am

robkerel wrote:I had this problem as well.... I have a 94 asto RWD, I replaced Pitman/idler arms and all is good now!!! drives like a dream....I do need alignment though...but will do that in summer.


I guess that depends on what you will be doing with your van. A lot of highway travel? A lot of hauling? Like matrixx already said, the gears you can customize depending on what you are wanting to do. Now, what is wrong with you rearend? Or are you just looking to put something different in it?
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Re: loosy front end??!!!

Postby robkerel » January 28th 2009, 1:37am

Thank you for the :goodpost: ok well I do not have AWD it is 2WD...with that said I have a clunk when the gears change...checked brakes, drive shaft, u-joints all bolts are tight (u-bolts) leaf spring bolts etc...so instead of a rebuild I thaught to just replace axle I would like posi or limited slip....so I am trying to find what year of van to get one out of....I do not have alot of time to look through wreckers so this is why a year would help :ty:
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