SOLVED! Ride quality after lift and tires

02trailblazerLS

Well-Known Member
Hey guys so im having some issues with the ride quality after installing a lift and tires/rims. The truck feels a little sketcky to drive on freeway after you hit 70, You feel a little bit of vibrating once ur goin 70+ before i got the tie rods replaced, the vibration was way worse and freeway driving felt sketchy. I got them replaced and it helped a ton but still past 70+ it vibrates a bit and doesnt feel dialed in. i cant tell if its the tires or if i have a suspension part worn out, everything looks solid under there And its been at two different shops recently and they said everything looks good. Alignment was done two days ago. Im starting to think that its because of my rear end setup which i think Is very stiff. I have the belltech Adjustable front shocks on stock springs and adjusted to 2 inches of lift, rear has the bilstein 5100 made to fit a tahoe i believe, (not 100% Positive if there for a TB or Tahoe,) ill have to double check, it also has the 2 in longer z71 springs in the rear and a 2 inch zone body lift all around, its on 16x8 method 702s with +30 of offset and 5.6 of backspacing, on 1 inch 6x5.5 adapters. There fit on 285/75/16 goodyear duratracs. The ride Just doesnt feel dialed in yet even though everything looks solid. Its got 65,000 miles and the owner was an older fellow that didnt drive it very much. so im thinking alota the suspension parts should still be in decent condition, Most of the stuff i think is still original besides front shocks,outer TREs, CV axles, and Rear shocks n springs. Ill double check what front end parts were replaced just to be sure. Ive read some other onwers that had z71 springs and HD bilstein shocks say that without the rear loaded with stuff the ride was very stiff, and with the truck loaded that it feels way better, i have nothing in the back besides a small subwoofer and a little bit of recovery gear but im just not sure if the rear setup thats whats affecting the ride quality on the freeway or not. Ill be providing some pictures of the suspension and so Any feedback would be great! Thanks guys. - Ben
 
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02trailblazerLS

02trailblazerLS

Well-Known Member
Hey guys so im having some issues with the ride quality after installing a lift and tires/rims. The truck feels a little sketcky to drive on freeway after you hit 70, You feel a little bit of vibrating once ur goin 70+ before i got the tie rods replaced, the vibration was way worse and freeway driving felt sketchy. I got them replaced and it helped a ton but still past 70+ it vibrates a bit and doesnt feel dialed in. i cant tell if its the tires or if i have a suspension part worn out, everything looks solid under there And its been at two different shops recently and they said everything looks good. Alignment was done two days ago. Im starting to think that its because of my rear end setup which i think Is very stiff. I have the belltech Adjustable front shocks on stock springs and adjusted to 2 inches of lift, rear has the bilstein 5100 made to fit a tahoe i believe, (not 100% Positive if there for a TB or Tahoe,) ill have to double check, it also has the 2 in longer z71 springs in the rear and a 2 inch zone body lift all around, its on 16x8 method 702s with +30 of offset and 5.6 of backspacing, on 1 inch 6x5.5 adapters. There fit on 285/75/16 goodyear duratracs. The ride Just doesnt feel dialed in yet even though everything looks solid. Its got 65,000 miles and the owner was an older fellow that didnt drive it very much. so im thinking alota the suspension parts should still be in decent condition, Most of the stuff i think is still original besides front shocks,outer TREs, CV axles, and Rear shocks n springs. Ill double check what front end parts were replaced just to be sure. Ive read some other onwers that had z71 springs and HD bilstein shocks say that without the rear loaded with stuff the ride was very stiff, and with the truck loaded that it feels way better, i have nothing in the back besides a small subwoofer and a little bit of recovery gear but im just not sure if the rear setup thats whats affecting the ride quality on the freeway or not. Ill be providing some pictures of the suspension and so Any feedback would be great! Thanks guys. - Ben
It is a 2002 btw.
 
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02trailblazerLS

02trailblazerLS

Well-Known Member
Also, the shop i brought it to i had originally got them to just do an alignment and fix how low the exhaust was, and after the alignment they gave ke the truck back and said i need longer tie rods and theres no camber adjustment,and that my tie rods are worn. Yet they were still able to get it to spec. Soi literally had to get the outer tie rods done and alignment done again! And they said that they did my alignment right and then they said they dont have a printout of it because the printers broken. Isnt that illegal to for them to do an alignment before recommended parts are replaced??doesnt seem right to me. But before all of that they were the ones that told me i need longer outer tie rods and that there is no camber adjustment on these trucks. Yet they were still aboe to get my alignment to proper spec the first time.I continued to tell them i do not need longer ones and that you can definitely do the camber adjustment, as ive read that on these forums. And they told me the information i got from you guys was wrong and the information i read myself was wrong.... thats a bunch of BS if u ask me! And so when i showed up with the tie rod ends they put them in and did an alignment and then told me the damn printer is broken and that they cant provide a printout. So we asked for them to call or email us the printout and they acted like it was a big deal and that they gotta call the manufacturer and all that stuff. Never going back!! So i left that shop so irritated and when i got home i looked closely at my front tire alignment compared to the rear, and the front tires looked way outa lign! Looked like they were pointing too far toe in or out i think. Im not too familiar with toe in and toe out so not too sure. But i knew something doesnt seem right. Im bringing it in to wheelworks tmrw for a free alignment just to check if it really is outa lign and that the other shop lied or not. This has been so frustrating! Im never going back to that one shop thats forsure. Its frustrating for me like Im 19 with no mechanics experience and this is my first truck and i started off knowing nothing about suspensions, engines, and most truck stuff in general! Ive had to do months of research and it has payed off and is so close to done but its still not dialed and is being a pain gettin it right. Any advice would be great.
 
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02trailblazerLS

02trailblazerLS

Well-Known Member
Also, the shop i brought it to i had originally got them to just do an alignment and fix how low the exhaust was, and after the alignment they gave ke the truck back and said i need longer tie rods and theres no camber adjustment,and that my tie rods are worn. Yet they were still able to get it to spec. Soi literally had to get the outer tie rods done and alignment done again! And they said that they did my alignment right and then they said they dont have a printout of it because the printers broken. Isnt that illegal to for them to do an alignment before recommended parts are replaced??doesnt seem right to me. But before all of that they were the ones that told me i need longer outer tie rods and that there is no camber adjustment on these trucks. Yet they were still aboe to get my alignment to proper spec the first time.I continued to tell them i do not need longer ones and that you can definitely do the camber adjustment, as ive read that on these forums. And they told me the information i got from you guys was wrong and the information i read myself was wrong.... thats a bunch of BS if u ask me! And so when i showed up with the tie rod ends they put them in and did an alignment and then told me the damn printer is broken and that they cant provide a printout. So we asked for them to call or email us the printout and they acted like it was a big deal and that they gotta call the manufacturer and all that stuff. Never going back!! So i left that shop so irritated and when i got home i looked closely at my front tire alignment compared to the rear, and the front tires looked way outa lign! Looked like they were pointing too far toe in or out i think. Im not too familiar with toe in and toe out so not too sure. But i knew something doesnt seem right. Im bringing it in to wheelworks tmrw for a free alignment just to check if it really is outa lign and that the other shop lied or not. This has been so frustrating! Im never going back to that one shop thats forsure. Its frustrating for me like Im 19 with no mechanics experience and this is my first truck and i started off knowing nothing about suspensions, engines, and most truck stuff in general! Ive had to do months of research and it has payed off and is so close to done but its still not dialed and is being a pain gettin it right. Any advice would be great.
Solved! Took it to wheelworks, they fixed the alignment, it was indeed wrong even though i got an alignment at midas a few days ago. Did no offroading.🤔 But its all good now it drives good again.
 

TequilaWarrior

Well-Known Member
So... suspension geometry is half science, half black art.
Of primary importance with an alignment is "toe-in"... or more likely in your case "toe-out". It's not unusual for vehicle to be set up with a small amount of "toe-in" - that is to say that the leading/forward edge of the wheels is slightly closer together than the trailing edge. The reason "toe-in" is the most common setup condition is that no matter how new the suspension components, they will "pull apart" slightly as you go down the road. A minor amount of toe-in allows for this pulling apart and basically sets the front wheels up to be almost perfectly parallel while driving. I say "almost" because the factory specs for many vehicles can call for a slight amount of toe-in even at highway speeds. This will give steering a "tight" feeling. "Tight" being a fairly relative term. Properly set, toe-in will give your steering wheel a "responsive" feel without the car wandering all over the road. "Toe-out" is downright dangerous and is almost never used. Any degree of toe-out - or even being perfectly parallel - will make the steering seem loose and cause the vehicle to wander badly. Caster also plays a roll in steering feel. It being typical that there be a slight positive caster - meaning the angle of the steering knuckle will resemble the front of the car going "up hill". Camber (leaning out or in) is usually set so that when the vehicle in loaded there is neutral camber - the top and bottom of the front wheels are typically parallel. Camber and Caster are usually specified and designed in such a way that there almost never changed once the vehicle leaves the factory. MOST vehicles do not even offer an adjustment of camber or caster. I'm unaware if our vehicles are adjustable for camber and caster.

Back to toe-in.... an alignment is typically just "toe-in" setting. Most shops won't touch the camber or caster on any vehicle unless something else in the geometry has changed. For instance a collision, which even when repaired leaves some caster or camber out of factory spec on a vehicle with no adjustment. A good suspension guy will adjust the toe-in to attempt to minimize or negate altogether this altered geometry so that the wheels are more-or-less parallel at highway speed.

It's almost unheard of for a suspension shop to refuse to align a car outright.... they'll do the alignment, then tell you about needed repairs. A good reputable shop will notify you of recommended or necessary repairs when they are found and before completing the alignment - that is IF they are the kind of place that does that sort of repairs.

As for longer tie-rods.... this is a dead giveaway that the tech and/or his/her manager is not well versed in these vehicles especially when lifted. Longer outer tie-rods simply don't exist for GMT360s.

You've replaced your tie rods and gotten a followup alignment - outstanding.
 
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02trailblazerLS

02trailblazerLS

Well-Known Member
So... suspension geometry is half science, half black art.
Of primary importance with an alignment is "toe-in"... or more likely in your case "toe-out". It's not unusual for vehicle to be set up with a small amount of "toe-in" - that is to say that the leading/forward edge of the wheels is slightly closer together than the trailing edge. The reason "toe-in" is the most common setup condition is that no matter how new the suspension components, they will "pull apart" slightly as you go down the road. A minor amount of toe-in allows for this pulling apart and basically sets the front wheels up to be almost perfectly parallel while driving. I say "almost" because the factory specs for many vehicles can call for a slight amount of toe-in even at highway speeds. This will give steering a "tight" feeling. "Tight" being a fairly relative term. Properly set, toe-in will give your steering wheel a "responsive" feel without the car wandering all over the road. "Toe-out" is downright dangerous and is almost never used. Any degree of toe-out - or even being perfectly parallel - will make the steering seem loose and cause the vehicle to wander badly. Caster also plays a roll in steering feel. It being typical that there be a slight positive caster - meaning the angle of the steering knuckle will resemble the front of the car going "up hill". Camber (leaning out or in) is usually set so that when the vehicle in loaded there is neutral camber - the top and bottom of the front wheels are typically parallel. Camber and Caster are usually specified and designed in such a way that there almost never changed once the vehicle leaves the factory. MOST vehicles do not even offer an adjustment of camber or caster. I'm unaware if our vehicles are adjustable for camber and caster.

Back to toe-in.... an alignment is typically just "toe-in" setting. Most shops won't touch the camber or caster on any vehicle unless something else in the geometry has changed. For instance a collision, which even when repaired leaves some caster or camber out of factory spec on a vehicle with no adjustment. A good suspension guy will adjust the toe-in to attempt to minimize or negate altogether this altered geometry so that the wheels are more-or-less parallel at highway speed.

It's almost unheard of for a suspension shop to refuse to align a car outright.... they'll do the alignment, then tell you about needed repairs. A good reputable shop will notify you of recommended or necessary repairs when they are found and before completing the alignment - that is IF they are the kind of place that does that sort of repairs.

As for longer tie-rods.... this is a dead giveaway that the tech and/or his/her manager is not well versed in these vehicles especially when lifted. Longer outer tie-rods simply don't exist for GMT360s.

You've replaced your tie rods and gotten a followup alignment - outstanding.
Thank you so much for the great information and write up! This has helped me understand it all way better! 👍
 

gdavid

New Member
You can in fact adjust the front camber and caster for these vehicles but it is not easy to do in a controlled fashion. The lower control arm mounting brackets have elongated holes and can be shifted in-out, forward backwards when the three bolts that sandwich them in place are loosened up. By sliding this bracket around, you are moving the position of the lower ball joint (or kingpin, i forget which it has) and while the upper ball joint is fixed, this effectively changes your geometry. It is tough to make fine adjustments because you move it by just sliding it around, you don't have any nuts to turn in a controlled fashion. You need to measure very carefully or just use alot of trial and error to make the proper amount of adjustment. In my experience, most shops just say "it can't be adjusted" and only mess with the tow in.

When I bought my EXT, i didn't like how much negative camber it had, tire wore pretty unevenly and I struck out at finding a shop to adjust the camber, ended up doing it myself. My front wheels sit much straighter than any other trailvoy I've seen and my handling probably suffers when the car is experiencing body roll due to this change.
 

TequilaWarrior

Well-Known Member
When I bought my EXT, i didn't like how much negative camber it had, tire wore pretty unevenly and I struck out at finding a shop to adjust the camber, ended up doing it myself. My front wheels sit much straighter than any other trailvoy I've seen and my handling probably suffers when the car is experiencing body roll due to this change.
This is the #1 reason that camber "is not adjustable" on most vehicles.... it shouldn't be adjusted is probably more accurate. They've already accounted for squat/roll/etc... in setting the camber and caster at the factory.

That being said, props to you for figuring out how to adjust and for adjusting it to your liking.
 

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