1997 Blazer Front end repair post #1

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  #1  
Old 02-26-06, 12:01 PM
Do It Over Don
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1997 Blazer Front end repair post #1

Well after the advice I received on here and having my mechanic look at the vehicle, I went ahead and ordered the ball joints (upper and lower),tie rod ends, idler arm and pitman arm. With 120k miles on the truck, it was time to replace them. So my brother and I started with the tie rod ends which went ok. We had them off cleaned up and new ones ready for install in about 1 1/2 hours. A little pounding is all it took to remove the inner tie rod ends. The idler arm was another story. It looked like "Just 3 bolts". But it is pressed onto the main bar. My brother tried to cut it off with a torch and almost started the truck on fire. I had the pin pulled on the fire extinguisher and was aiming it when the flames died down. Then I just used wet towels to put the smal flames out. Wow does grease burn easily. We then just used a cutting wheel and cut the idler arm and pitman arm and removed the whole bar and pressed them back out. The piece of the pitman arm connected to the power steering pump? was all that was left to remove but the nut is really close to the frame cross member and was a real pain to get off. What we ended doing was removing the bolts of the power steering pump and rotating it so we could press it off. Not sure if it is called a gear puller or what but you center the pin on the shaft and tighten the bolt and it pulled the end of the pitman arm off. We mounted the new idler and pitman arms, then the tie rod ends to the main bar and inserted the whole bar through the side and connected it to the idler and pitman arms. Torqued it down and went to fill everything with grease and found out when the fire started, it burned a small hole in one of the tie rod grease boots so we had to pull that back off and use one of the old grease boots. Then I thought we had the tie rod ends on backwards so we removed both and re-installed only to find out there was too much slop that way and pulled up a picture on the computer only to find out I had mounted them correctly the first time. Went through a ton of kotter keys because I wasn't smart enough to wait until everything was set before bending them. Went through a lot of grease because when we started pulling the tie rod ends off again, I squeezed the grease right out. Never even got to the ball joints but we are doing those next weekend. "They look easy" and should not require the torch.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-26-06, 04:35 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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Originally Posted by Do It Over Don
Well after the advice I received on here and having my mechanic look at the vehicle, I went ahead and ordered the ball joints (upper and lower),tie rod ends, idler arm and pitman arm. With 120k miles on the truck, it was time to replace them. So my brother and I started with the tie rod ends which went ok. We had them off cleaned up and new ones ready for install in about 1 1/2 hours. A little pounding is all it took to remove the inner tie rod ends. The idler arm was another story. It looked like "Just 3 bolts". But it is pressed onto the main bar. My brother tried to cut it off with a torch and almost started the truck on fire. I had the pin pulled on the fire extinguisher and was aiming it when the flames died down. Then I just used wet towels to put the smal flames out. Wow does grease burn easily. We then just used a cutting wheel and cut the idler arm and pitman arm and removed the whole bar and pressed them back out. The piece of the pitman arm connected to the power steering pump? was all that was left to remove but the nut is really close to the frame cross member and was a real pain to get off. What we ended doing was removing the bolts of the power steering pump and rotating it so we could press it off. Not sure if it is called a gear puller or what but you center the pin on the shaft and tighten the bolt and it pulled the end of the pitman arm off. We mounted the new idler and pitman arms, then the tie rod ends to the main bar and inserted the whole bar through the side and connected it to the idler and pitman arms. Torqued it down and went to fill everything with grease and found out when the fire started, it burned a small hole in one of the tie rod grease boots so we had to pull that back off and use one of the old grease boots. Then I thought we had the tie rod ends on backwards so we removed both and re-installed only to find out there was too much slop that way and pulled up a picture on the computer only to find out I had mounted them correctly the first time. Went through a ton of kotter keys because I wasn't smart enough to wait until everything was set before bending them. Went through a lot of grease because when we started pulling the tie rod ends off again, I squeezed the grease right out. Never even got to the ball joints but we are doing those next weekend. "They look easy" and should not require the torch.
Is truck s10 If so your in for a blast of fun. Tie rod ends are easyer than ball joints. Tops easy lower not so easy. good luck.
 
  #3  
Old 02-27-06, 12:23 PM
Do It Over Don
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Originally Posted by our442
Is truck s10 If so your in for a blast of fun. Tie rod ends are easyer than ball joints. Tops easy lower not so easy. good luck.



Come on then......let me in on what makes it so hard. Looks like I should just have to take the nuts off, grind off the rivots and they "should" pop out.
 
  #4  
Old 02-27-06, 02:43 PM
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Lower balljoint are a press fit and requires special tools.
 
  #5  
Old 02-28-06, 04:16 AM
Do It Over Don
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Originally Posted by our442
Lower balljoint are a press fit and requires special tools.


Special as in brass drift and large hammer? Or special as in TORCH woooooooo hoooooooo!!!!
 
  #6  
Old 02-28-06, 07:38 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 579
442, the lower ball joints are not pressed in on these trucks. They are rivited from the factory, as are the uppers. They are a piece of cake. Just unbolt the wheel speed sensor harnesses first though, you don't want to over stretch them.
 
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