Truck shakes side to side

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by tcalb2, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. tcalb2

    tcalb2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 231

    I have a 89' chevy V3500 dump truck. When I hit a bump a certian way the truck shakes side to side for minutes on end, to the point where I can't pull it out of it even if I slow or speed up. It seems to stop when its through running its course. I've changed all the shocks and the front end seems to be pretty tight. Does anyone have any ideas to what could be causing this?
  2. ZX12R

    ZX12R LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 795

    I dont know about your truck,but I have an 89 F-350 that did just that at around 50 mph.It did this when it was brand new until I put 2 steering stabilizers on it.....never did that again.
  3. CPOonfinal

    CPOonfinal LawnSite Member
    from FL
    Messages: 30

    Loaded or unloaded? Have someone follow behind you in another vehicle to observe this happening. They should be able to see something that doesn't look right.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    If it's not the wheel bearings then it's most likely in the suspension and steering components.

    Not sure if your truck has this, but first I'd be for checking the inner and outer tie rod ends, especially the bushings, might as well replace the bushings like if it hasn't been done or you can't remember the last time.

    I'd guess wheel bearings but from the sound of things that's been checked so I'm leaning first towards King pins and your steering gear, that u-joint knuckle looking thing comes right out of the firewall if it's worn makes your front wheels wobble.

    Does the steering wheel have any play in it?
    Test: Engine off, truck parked, can you move the steering from side to side at all, does it 'play?'

    Could also be the rack and pinion gear, not sure how to check this thou.

    The king pins...
    No it's not a joke, not all vehicles have them but king pins are a real part, and can cause erratic behavior when worn.
    Not sure how to look for these, I had a mechanic check and replace them, I'm told it's not a DIY'er thing.

    So there you have it: tie rods and bushings, steering gear knuckle and rack and pinion, and the king pins.
    There might be another part or two to it, but I don't remember right now.

    Definitely needs fixing.
  5. tcalb2

    tcalb2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 231

    Thanks for all the info guys, I'm going to take a look at the front end this weekend when I can get it into a garage.
  6. CPOonfinal

    CPOonfinal LawnSite Member
    from FL
    Messages: 30

    When you say "shakes" side to side is it a violent, vibration type shake or is it more like rocking back and forth?

    When you are under the truck check your drag-link. In the unlikely event you're not sure what the draglink is, it tends to run fore and aft. The best way to check it is to have someone in the truck turn the wheel left and right while you watch it's action with the steering gearbox.
  7. Looking Good Lawn Service

    Looking Good Lawn Service LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    those 89 year gm dump trucks are notorious for front end problems, I worked for a guy for 6 years, he went through 4 sets of ball joints,lost control almost caused an accident every time, had to be towed, even the wheel lug studs broke in the rear axle, the duals passed him on the road,lol. I couldn't hardly believe my eyes. the clutches were replaced 3 times, as was the transmission replaced once and the rear end twice, not to mention the rest i cant think of. The truck had 79,000 miles when we sold it, never saw a RI winter, and still had all these issues. I dunno, he took very good care of that truck too. his had the same symtoms by the way.
  8. tcalb2

    tcalb2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 231

    After looking over all the front end componets, everything looked fine. I did however tighten the adjustment screw on the power steering box and It seems to have taken the play out of the steering wheel and the truck hasn't done the shakes since, I'm going to keep and eye on it for now.
  9. ncls

    ncls LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    Does your truck have the shock absorber on the front steering? They call it a dampener? Mine did, and we replaced it when it started to shake. No more shake.
  10. tcalb2

    tcalb2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 231

    Yes, actually my truck was fine until this afternoon when I had a load in the back and I hit a pot hole and it did the same shake again. (ncls) I think thats the next thing I'm going to replace. Which brand dampener did you guys get.

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