Mechanics

A COUPLE OF FRONT END QUESTIONS

Chevrolet Blazer

I have a 91 Chevy K5 Blazer 4x4. I think my tie rod ends are bad, but I want another opinion. If I grab onto the tie rod, I can pivot it up and down. I thought that might be a sign of bad ends, but wasn't sure.
Also, is the drag link supposed to be solid from front to rear? What I mean is, the coupler between the front and rear of the drag link allows rotation on the front drag link. I tried to tighten it down, but that didn't seem to help. I'm thinking the section of the drag link that connects to the pitman arm may need replacing.
Lastly, if I reach up and twist the steering shaft where it enters the steering box, how much play is ok? And what can be done to tighten it up if there is too much play? Thanks!
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GM-guy82
January 31, 2007.



Just about any play is not acceptable, the Idler arms were big culprits on those, they go out fairly frequently, as for the pitman arm, it has the serviceable ball joint in it that attaches to the drag link. Depending on the mileage and if there are bigger than stock tires on it, might just want to replace it all and have it realigned.

Tiny
Jack42
Feb 1, 2007.
Thank you for your prompt response. OK, I'm going to be stupid here.I know what the drag link, the tie rod, the steering arm, and the pitman are, but I've only found reference to idler arms on 2wd models. Where and what am I looking for? Also, is there anything I can do to get the play out of the steering gear box, or do I have to replace that?

Tiny
GM-guy82
Feb 1, 2007.
Sorry, is that IFS or straight axle front end. IFS, the idler is the opposing pivot to the pitman artm, mounted on the frame d/s and connecting to the drag link, Straight axle doesnt have one There is a lock nut and allen head on top of the steering box. Loosen the lock nut and turn the allen 1/2 turn in, retighten locknut. Do this a little at a time, too much and the box will get too tight and not return and feel sticky.

Tiny
Jack42
Feb 1, 2007.
It is a straight axle. I'm glad I wasn't crazy. When you said there shouldn't be any play, were you referring to the tie rod also? There is probably a 1/4" in either direction if you grab it from facing the front of the Blazer and pivot the tie rod. Also, should that drag link operate as if it is one solid unit, or is it OK that it twists in the coupler. The front end of the drag link is very stable, but the back of the drag link pivots a little more than 1/4" side to side. I'm going to put 33x12.50 tires on and a 4" or 6" lift, so I'm trying to weed out the front end weaknesses now.

Tiny
GM-guy82
Feb 1, 2007.
A lift kit and 33's will take out anything borderline. If you are looking to drive it or play for a while without problems I would bite the bullet and do it all now. Have fun out there

Tiny
Jack42
Feb 1, 2007.