Question about 1997 Chevrolet C/K 3500

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Commonly replaced front end suspension parts for a 1997 chevrolet c/k truck 2wd. been talking to a few so called experts and a few back yard mechanics and the answers are always different. My simple question is what are the most commonly replaced parts when rebuilding a front end suspension on this particular model truck?

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There isn't any one part that sticks out as having a higher failure rate then the others. It's like most any full size pickup, it will need ball joints, tie rods, idler arm and a pitman arm at some point. The only out of ordinary part that goes bad is the upper control arm bushings. They begin to deteriorate and crack away, eventually needing replacement.

Posted on May 29, 2010


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Frontt end noise

If this is a common problem, check with for Consumer complaints and NHTSA rulings. Just enter your vehicle to see what has been reported.

As the other Expert indicated, we need more data to solve this. You can have an issue with anything that turns. If noise is present when stopped, making a left or right turn, above or below 45MPH, if it shakes,

For a good chassis inspection, get a front-end alignment because any good shop will check the suspension before doing the job. They can also check for hubs and bearings and really should be forewarned if you believe there are issues. You don't want to waste a good alignment with excessive play in hub bearings.

I hope my solution is helpful.

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This is not what you wanted to hear but when your talking welded in body parts your going to have to call the local auto salvage / recycling places (Yellow pages) to find what you need.

Let your fingers do the walking and your voice do the talking. You can spend ages in junk yards and yet not find what you need.

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you can usually find all the parts your needing parts and labor for tie rods, ball joints, control arms springs shocks idler arms pitman arms parts and labor will probably run you close to 1500 dollars probably lower.

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Try greasing the Idler arm and Tie rod ends. The grease will take some of the play out and if the shimmy is gone then it's time to replace steering components. Common is the Idler and Pitmen arm that causes the shimmying.
If the shimmy is still there, then it's time for a front wheel alignment. As the suburban get's older, the suspension settles down lower each year and the geometry to the front steering system may need to be adjusted for that. On the 4X4 the ride height can be adjusted by turning the torsion bars to achieve the proper ride height again, as for the 2WD then it's going to be a coil spring replacement. 
The easy way out is to just adjust the front wheel alingment to compensate for the shimmying. ]
Good luck and hope this helps. Just make sure you find a font end person who knows what he or she is doing and not by what a machine is telling it to do. The tech must know that there must be an angel to the tie rod end so when you go over a bump you don't get what they call a bump steer where the truck will want to pull to one side.

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1 Answer

4wd to 2wd

Ok i'm no expert but if you're trying to get the front axles out you will need to take the hubs apart and it should all disconnect somewhere around the cv's. If you take your time and think about what you're doing it won't be that hard a job.

Alternativly the simple solution is to leave the front end complete and only remove the front propshaft. By doing this and just leaving the hubs disengaged none of the front end will turn and you will have 2wd. This option also means that if you come accross a cheap transfer case later on down the track you won't have to worry about putting the front end back together.

Hope thats some help to you. - Neil

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