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2007 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just replaced most of the front end on my 08 base trailblazer. All 4 Upper, lower ball joints, both tie rods, struts, both upper control arms, drivers' side lower control arm. Brought it in for an alignment. Steers straight but what I'm finding is I have to overcompensate for each turn I have to make in the steering wheel. Before a slight left turn in the road required the wheel to be at the 10 o'clock position, now I have to turn it almost to 7 am or more for the same action. Same thing is happening with right hand turns. It never did this before, with the older parts. I was told it is now in full GM specs by the alignment shop, and it's fine, but it isn't. Any thoughts?
 

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You should definitely check to make sure all of your bolts are tight with a breaker bar. (Except the upper ball joint pinch bolt) If you have a torque wrench then use that and find the torque specs. Especially check the tie rod end ball joints nuts
 

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'05 Chevy TB EXT
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5,156 Posts
Just replaced most of the front end on my 08 base trailblazer. All 4 Upper, lower ball joints, both tie rods, struts, both upper control arms, drivers' side lower control arm. Brought it in for an alignment. Steers straight but what I'm finding is I have to overcompensate for each turn I have to make in the steering wheel. Before a slight left turn in the road required the wheel to be at the 10 o'clock position, now I have to turn it almost to 7 am or more for the same action. Same thing is happening with right hand turns. It never did this before, with the older parts. I was told it is now in full GM specs by the alignment shop, and it's fine, but it isn't. Any thoughts?
Perhaps you're wrong and the car is now right, and you just got used to it steering badly and believe it was right before --- with me so far? Good.

This time --- it really is about you.
 

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2007 chevy trailblazer_ls
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61 Posts
I'm going through exactly the same problem after replacing everything but the struts! I have to apply pressure to the left to get the car to drive straight. When I let go the steering wheel settles to the right.
The alignment shop swears up and down the steering is in spec, but I have a feeling they didn't get the camber set correctly.
There aren't many shops in my area who have guys old enough to know what they doing.
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_ls
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571 Posts
When the shop set the toe angle, they didn't set the front wheels straight with the rear ones.
Don't know about now, but on an old Hunter Light a Liner (80's, early 90's), used a rod on the rear wheels and a projected light beam to see the difference side to side. Turned the tie rods until the light on the rod was even on both sides, steering wheel was straight.
 

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'05 Chevy TB EXT
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5,156 Posts
The "modern" alignment racks start with rear wheel thrust angles by finding the null point of each rear wheel and then establishing the rest of the alignment values from there.

We used to call it a Rear Wheel Thrust Alignment or words to that effect and we could charge extra for it.

But all alignment starts with comparing the front end to the rear end and that's the way it's been since computers with Lasers and digital values were brought into the field to make alignments faster, easier and more accurate.

Once you get rid of the sloppy humans, alignments are easy.
 

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'05 Chevy TB EXT
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When I re-read the OP --- I had a minor epiphany ......

He stated that it now takes more physical turning of the steering wheel to accomplish the same vehicular turning radius as it did before his alignment.

IOW ---> to make any turn, when what it USED to require was a 40 degree steering wheel deflection, now requires triple that --- somewhere near 120 degrees.

This is purely a mechanical "arms-n-levers-n-fulcrums" type of mathematical/geometric problem.
... and you always said: "I don't need to study Geometry 'cause I'm NEVER gonna use that in my life".​

The ONLY way I can see that happening is IF the shop replaced the Pitman arm with a shorter one ... which I find absurdly- and mechanically- impossible ..... or changed the steering box to one with a different ratio ... which is more likely ... but only in Bizzarro's Front End Alignment Shop.
 

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2003 Chevy Trailblazer LT
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608 Posts
When I re-read the OP --- I had a minor epiphany ......

He stated that it now takes more physical turning of the steering wheel to accomplish the same vehicular turning radius as it did before his alignment.

IOW ---> to make any turn, when what it USED to require was a 40 degree steering wheel deflection, now requires triple that --- somewhere near 120 degrees.

This is purely a mechanical "arms-n-levers-n-fulcrums" type of mathematical/geometric problem.
... and you always said: "I don't need to study Geometry 'cause I'm NEVER gonna use that in my life".​

The ONLY way I can see that happening is IF the shop replaced the Pitman arm with a shorter one ... which I find absurdly- and mechanically- impossible ..... or changed the steering box to one with a different ratio ... which is more likely ... but only in Bizzarro's Front End Alignment Shop.
How often do you recommend to get an alignment done ?
 

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'05 Chevy TB EXT
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5,156 Posts
Whenever the car doesn't feel normal and you know the tire pressures are correct and the steering doesn't feel "right" since you ran over that bicycle rider in the crosswalk.

IOW ---> it's not for maintenance --- it's more of a 'do it as a repair for when you can't stay between the lines and you aren't DUI, texting, sexting or otherwise being distracted' thingy.
 
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