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Side To Side Flop

Discussion in 'OEM' started by l008com, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. l008com

    l008com Well-Known Member

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    I recently picked up a 2008 5.3 short trailblazer. When I tested it on those Pennsylvania roads, everything felt great. As soon as I got her home to Massachusetts, it was painfully clear it needed new shocks.

    So I got a set of bilstein HD shocks. The supposed "stiffer" option. But I'm still getting a lot of movement in the truck. The rebound on impacts seems to be ok... not quite as stiff as I'd like but not too bad. The problem is that bumps, especially a series of bumps in a row, cause a lot of side to side motion.

    There doesn't seem to be any loose components in the sway bars, everything looks good. I may upgrade to better sway bar mounts anyway since they are not that expensive and easy to install. Is this a problem other people have had?

    This truck replaced my old 1998 ZR2 Blazer, which is a 2 door blazer with a factory off road package. That truck had very little side to side compared to the trailblazer. I know the truck will never handle as good as my camaro, but there's got to be a way to make it stiffer than it is now? Also I'm not looking to lift or lower it, the factory ride height is fine by me.

    I was poking around under it tonight with a light, it looks like the front has this massive thick swaybar. And it looks like the rear has this really thin one. Perhaps the solution is new bushings up front, whole new thicker bar in the rear? What do you think?

    I've been told, not just online but by people who have actually driven them, that the SS's have a much better, much more car like ride than the non-RS trailblazers? How do they accomplish this? I know they have bigger wheels, thus lower profile tires, and their suspension is lowered a bit. Do they have anything else going on? Maybe they use stiffer swaybars that I could use as an upgrade to my truck? (Like the steering rack I really want to upgrade to some day)
     
  2. Mounce

    Mounce Silver Supporter

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    If shocks and sway bar end links are fine then my next thought is tires. What ya running? Pressure correct as listed on the door facing?
     
  3. l008com

    l008com Well-Known Member

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    New tires (and wheels) are on my list, but not for a while. The tires are old but the pressure is right (30 front, 35 rear). This feels like wobble that would not be cause by tires. It's not the the truck is steering side to side, its that its rocking on it's suspension side to side. A lot more than I would have expected an SUV to do. This is the 4th SUV I've owned.... of course the other 3 were ZR2 (S10) Blazers :smile:
     
  4. RTTBLT1

    RTTBLT1 Platinum Supporter

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    Do you know if the TB has the Air Ride System?...that's something you may want to look into. We picked up a 2004 TB LT EXT 4x4 with 160k (at the time) last July, it rides really smooth especially down the Highway and it takes potholes pretty well for a SUZ.
     
  5. l008com

    l008com Well-Known Member

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    I've got coil springs all around.
     
  6. hockeyman

    hockeyman Silver Supporter

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    Upgrading to larger swaybars is not always a good thing unless you really know what you're doing. Many other suspension components have to be upgraded and/or dialed-in to get a larger swaybar to work properly. Upgrading to a larger bar without tuning/upgrading the rest of the suspension can sometimes make matters much worse and put your safety at risk.

    Also, excessive leaning can be a result of weak coil springs. I'm not saying that your problem lies there, but you may want to consider replacements in the future. The rear springs were weak on my Envoy when I first purchased it. Not only did the rear sag a bit, but it felt like I was on a carnival ride while taking offramps from the highway.
     
    Ziggy likes this.
  7. l008com

    l008com Well-Known Member

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    So my truck doesn't lean bad around corners. And I agree the springs to feel a little soft but that's too big of a project, I'm probably just going to live with my current springs. But the roads in MA are junk, so when you are going over bumps, going over them straight, not on a turn, you bounce around a lot then end up getting tossed side to side a lot more than I'd like.
     
  8. hockeyman

    hockeyman Silver Supporter

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    Although the front springs can be one hell of a project to tackle by yourself, replacing the rear springs are cake.

    You can also purchase front struts that are already pre-loaded. I got a new set (of 2) on ebay for $116.25 shipped.
     
  9. l008com

    l008com Well-Known Member

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    I *JUST* replaced my front struts a week ago, I won't be doing that any time soon. It's hard for me to tell if my movement is coming from the rear, front, or equally all around. It kinda feels like the rear but that is after I saw how thick the factory front swaybar is and how thin the factory rear is, so maybe it's in my head. But I know my rear links are loose so I'll start with all new links and hard bushings and see how it feels after that.
     
  10. littleblazer

    littleblazer Gold Supporter

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    When I did bilsteins and poly bushings with new endlinks the only movement I could was the sidewalls flexing going around bends at speeds faster than I would recommend going or care to say... granted I need new control arm bushings now so it's a little sloppy but still taught. Checking/changing the sway bar bushings will more than likely make it feel much better.
     
  11. l008com

    l008com Well-Known Member

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    As soon as it gets warm out, that's high on my priority list.
     
  12. littleblazer

    littleblazer Gold Supporter

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    I also kept my tires at ~ 35 psi because they looked flat otherwise. Weak sidewalls. It felt nice and was tame on even our worst roads... it didn't hurt. It felt like a full size of the same generation.
     
  13. l008com

    l008com Well-Known Member

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    I did some deliberate high speed driving on some windy roads yesterday. And I have to say, there is very little body roll. It's very solid and tight through the corners. It felt a lot better than I was expecting. The only problem is the movement over bumps. Like I keep saying, I'll have to do the links and bushings over in the spring and see how that feels.
     
  14. littleblazer

    littleblazer Gold Supporter

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    It is more of a sideways slide than movement you're feeling right? I feel it most going into a turn and everything feels like it slides to shift the weight then stops. perfectly parallel with the road surface if you will.
     
  15. l008com

    l008com Well-Known Member

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    Nope mines very different than that. There doesn't feel like there's any "slop" or play if i'm going through turns or even if i turn the wheel side to side. My movement is all from bouncing when going over bumps. We have embarrassingly pathetic road quality in Massachusetts, you're always going over patches of potholes. Whether its just on one side of the truck or a full width area of bumps, it always seems to end up causing the truck to kick side to side from all of the vibration.
     
  16. RTTBLT1

    RTTBLT1 Platinum Supporter

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    Maybe it's just the roads you drive on and your TB is riding/handling the best it can...???...remember these vehicles have no rear independent suspension, straight axle. Have you checked to see if any of the Springs are Broken or Rusted?
     
  17. l008com

    l008com Well-Known Member

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    The roads do suck, no doubt. But it's pretty consistent on all significant bumps everywhere I go. And my ZR2 S10 Blazer also had a solid rear axle, but it didn't have any side to side motion like this. The interior would rattle your teeth out, but it would just eat up the bumps without turning them into a side to side sway.
    And no the springs all look good, my mechanic checked it out and I made him drive it for a day instead of his truck. He says that's just the way trailblazers drive. But I'm sure it can be tightened down more than it is now.
     
  18. RTTBLT1

    RTTBLT1 Platinum Supporter

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    So let me see if we are on the same page...your saying the TB is taking bumps/pot holes similar to a older vehicle, where they feel like the rear is skipping/jumping to the side?
     
  19. l008com

    l008com Well-Known Member

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    No it doesn't feel like that at all. Imagine standing next to a parked truck, grabbing the roof rack, and shaking the truck side to side. Its mostly like that, when hitting bumps and bumpy zones
     
  20. RTTBLT1

    RTTBLT1 Platinum Supporter

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    Oh ok...ya, I would think either Shocks or Spring issue with that but if there good, I don't know that one. Is it bad enough to throw you around in the cab?
     
  21. l008com

    l008com Well-Known Member

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    I figure if there was a little bit of slop in the old sway bar bushings and end links, that could allow lots of side to side wobble over bumps, but still be pretty firm through turns. So hopefully new bushings makes it good and solid.
     
  22. RTTBLT1

    RTTBLT1 Platinum Supporter

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    Ya, the bushings and or links may help. See we have the EXT Version and the way it rides for a SUZ is surprising to me but also our last big vehicle was also a 1995 Chevy G20 Conversion Van too :smile:. Then again I don't know what the difference in Suspension Parts from the SWB to LWB is, if any.
     

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