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Blown03

Ball Joints Went Bad W/ Leveling Kit

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I have the 2 inch Rough Country kit on mine with about 50,000 miles on it and I am experiencing some weird stuff on the driver's side front end. Upon hitting some bumps it makes a squeaking noise, like a bed thats being bounced on. It doesnt do it all of the time, which is odd. They dont put grease fittings on these trucks anymore, so I cant grease what ever it might be. It clunks a little, but it has done that since the leveling kit went on( the notorious CLUNK). It drives fine and rides good still and no weird tire wear. I drive this truck like a baja racer, and do alot of offroad driving, as I do agricultural consulting for a living. If anyone knows what this is I am open to ideas.

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I also don't like how the GMT900 joints are greaseless....

 

I agree,They tried that back in '88 with the "new-for'88" GMT400 trucks,It didn't last very long before we were replacing the non-greaseable ball joints with greaseable ones.

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drive side front squeaky noise could be that body mount. with your engine OFF and your truck in park, rock you truck back and forth (pretty hard) but rolling the driver side front tire and listen for the squeak. If you hear it, try to see if you can hear where its coming from... and pay close attention for noises coming from the body mount. If thats it, theres a TSB on it.

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I am taking it in for a recall on the heated washer fluid next week. I'll let em check it then. It really sounds to me like its coming out of the hub or brake rotor. I have rotated the tires and still squeaks. Not sure.

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I would talk to them about removing the lift kit first. They might do an alignmnet and might do something different, you take out the kit and not do another alignment and you might end up having different problems. Also what is the difference or clasification of the terms GMT800 or 900?

 

Your truck is a GMT800. The 2007 and newer (non-classic) are GMT900.

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I also don't like how the GMT900 joints are greaseless....

 

I agree,They tried that back in '88 with the "new-for'88" GMT400 trucks,It didn't last very long before we were replacing the non-greaseable ball joints with greaseable ones.

 

 

I haven't checked, but by any chance are there MOOG replacement parts for the GMT900 that are greaseable? I know on other suspension parts for other trucks MOOG usually comes out with more serviceable parts, I'm just hoping that will also be the case when I get to the point of having to replace ball joints/etc.

 

The really unfortunate thing is that they made even more of the components sealed on the 08 trucks than the 07s had. I'm not so happy with that.

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I would talk to them about removing the lift kit first. They might do an alignmnet and might do something different, you take out the kit and not do another alignment and you might end up having different problems. Also what is the difference or clasification of the terms GMT800 or 900?

 

Your truck is a GMT800. The 2007 and newer (non-classic) are GMT900.

 

 

His truck is actually the GMT900, he doesnt have a Classic 2007.

 

Hey Dan, sorry i missed that question.

 

The GMT800 is the 1999-2007Classic model years. We say GMT800 because they used to be referred to as New Body Style, or NBS on the forums; but when GM changed the trucks again in 2007, people started calling the new 07+ truck NNBS... which stands for New New Body Style.. which is kind of stupid so a lot of us have been referring to the chassis code to differentiate the trucks (GMT800 and GMT900).

 

So as you would get, the GMT900 trucks are the current NewEST body style from GM. There are a two main differences between the two types:

1) obviously the visual appearance of the truck has changed dramatically.

2) Suspension has changed: Most GMT800 models utilized torsion bars, and Most GMT900 models are coil sprung w/struts

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"2) Suspension has changed: Most GMT800 models utilized torsion bars, and Most GMT900 models are coil spring w/struts"

 

that's interesting to know Matt. I realized the '09 has the coil spring w/struts. So the later is less likely to experience ball joint issues if you stay under 2"?

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I also don't like how the GMT900 joints are greaseless....

 

I agree,They tried that back in '88 with the "new-for'88" GMT400 trucks,It didn't last very long before we were replacing the non-greaseable ball joints with greaseable ones.

 

 

+1

 

I had the ball joints replaced under warranty with Moog greaseable ones on my 89. GM extended the warranty to 100K miles due to this bonehead decision. Didn't they learn?

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"2) Suspension has changed: Most GMT800 models utilized torsion bars, and Most GMT900 models are coil spring w/struts"

 

that's interesting to know Matt. I realized the '09 has the coil spring w/struts. So the later is less likely to experience ball joint issues if you stay under 2"?

 

Both suspension setups are prone to premature balljoint issues with leveling kits. However, we have generally found that as long as you stay under 2" the risk is somewhat mitigated...

 

The main difference with the leveling kits between the two suspension setups is how they ride. Torsion bar suspensions become VERY stiff riding with anything over 1.5" of "crank" for two main reasons: 1: the increased angles decrease the lever arm which counteract the torsion bars, and 2: you effectively increase the force required to get any upwards travel of the suspension. Remember tha spring force is the spring constant multiplied by the defelection.

 

With that said, the ride characteristics of GMT900 suspensions are not affected as much, also for two main reasons: 1: The strut mount is further out on the LCA so the increased angles have less of an impact on the lever arm and 2: The spring force is not changed... so it takes the same amount of foce to compress the suspension, therefore resulting in a near stock ride.

 

So my concern is with all these guys running 2.5" or 3" leveling kits on GMT900 trucks. Just because the ride doesn't suck doesn't mean that the balljoints aren't stressed. And the fact that GM put these greaseless balljoints in have me even more concerned since experience has shown that they are not as robust as greasable joints (though they are probably more robust than neglected-greasable joints, which was probably their reasoning)

 

whew... good thing i drank 3 cups of coffee :crackup:

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Man....good write-up Matt! :crackup:

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I had usual one cup limit of Montana Huckleberry Blend, stuff is good. Thanks for clarifying the differences. I'll most likely leave mine stock through the factory BridgeStones life expectancy and then go with one of the 1.5" or 2" kits to allow for a slightly larger tire choice.

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Man you have some amazing willpower (i could never wait... hell my truck is 6 months old and im on my second set of aftermarket wheels/tires :dunno: .... mostly because i didnt just 'do it right' the first time)!

 

Just do it now and sell the stock tires :crackup:

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Just do it now and sell the stock tires :crackup:

 

Tempting it is ... :dunno:

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Matt,

 

I have a Techie question for you if you don't mind:

 

It's time to get these terrible Goodyear LS/2's off my truck. The local off-road shop is recommending the Readylift 2.25" kit and just under a 33" tire (305/65/17 Procomp XAT) on a Procomp 6001 17x8 wheels with 4.5 backspace. I'm thinking of changing the Procomp tires to Nitto, but other than that really like the look.

 

I called Readylift and they are not aware of any balljoint failured with this kit, except a few Utah guys that were doing some extreme rock crawling (not sure how they got a GMT900 with 2" of lift into extreme crawling, but that's the story). The only change he recommended was to add the 1" rear block because I do occasionally tow a boat.

 

Do you think this setup would be safe based on the comments posted above? Don't want to cause myself more trouble here, but would like to use the truck in the dirt a bit. Real life forces me to drive mostly freeway, work and commuting to Lake Havasu and back for fun with the kids, but would like it to look and ride like a truck - rather than a street racer .

 

Thanks,

Steve

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