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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 86 suburban that is having a few different problems. I "lost" my u-joint a few months ago, and have driven it since (not using 4wd of course) because a mechanic said I could without causing problems. But, I recently have had other problems, such as the wheel not turning when I try to turn it. I called a local mechanic (I'm working in a different town now) and he said the whole driveline may need to be replaced (I think that's what he called it.... the thing running between the 2 front tires--driveline, or axle?).
He also said that the year makes it difficult to find parts. I'd like to check into the part myself, since there's many 'burbs being parted out on Craigslist, I thought I'd try to find one. How do I find out what years of 'burbs are interchangeable? Does anyone have a book, or is it online somewhere?
Thanks for any help!
nan
 

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i use the auto parts store to find the right part number, then look up the year of the parts car and see if it is the sme part number.

rich
 

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I have an 86 suburban that is having a few different problems. I "lost" my u-joint a few months ago, and have driven it since (not using 4wd of course) because a mechanic said I could without causing problems. But, I recently have had other problems, such as the wheel not turning when I try to turn it. I called a local mechanic (I'm working in a different town now) and he said the whole driveline may need to be replaced (I think that's what he called it.... the thing running between the 2 front tires--driveline, or axle?).
He also said that the year makes it difficult to find parts. I'd like to check into the part myself, since there's many 'burbs being parted out on Craigslist, I thought I'd try to find one. How do I find out what years of 'burbs are interchangeable? Does anyone have a book, or is it online somewhere?
Thanks for any help!
nan
Let's go back to the lost U-Joint, what exactly do you mean? Is this the U-joint in the frt. driveshaft or the U-joint in the frt. axle by the wheel? Does this truck have manual locking hubs or automatic hubs? Explain what you mean by the wheel not turning when you try to turn it.

You could possibly figure out what years are the same from carpart.com. Suburbans didn't change body style or frt. axle design until 92 so all the way from mid 70's up to 92 should be the same. You have to be careful to get the same exact gear ratio or it will not work, you have to match the rear axle or it will break something when 4wd is engaged.

All of this is fixable, just a matter of economics and ability. Most mechanics can't or won't rebuild or repair they would rather replace the whole frt. axle assy.
 

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tom
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what beeman said.id bet a $100.00 it dont need replaced.go to different mechanics and get pricing. you can drive on just one set of drive trains,but wouldnt do it to long on just the front drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Let's go back to the lost U-Joint, what exactly do you mean? Is this the U-joint in the frt. driveshaft or the U-joint in the frt. axle by the wheel? Does this truck have manual locking hubs or automatic hubs? Explain what you mean by the wheel not turning when you try to turn it.



You could possibly figure out what years are the same from carpart.com. Suburbans didn't change body style or frt. axle design until 92 so all the way from mid 70's up to 92 should be the same. You have to be careful to get the same exact gear ratio or it will not work, you have to match the rear axle or it will break something when 4wd is engaged.


All of this is fixable, just a matter of economics and ability. Most mechanics can't or won't rebuild or repair they would rather replace the whole frt. axle assy.

I put it in 4wd, backed up and heard and felt a clunk. I got out and below the front passenger side was a cap. I took it to the mechanic there locally and he said I lost the u-joint. It is right behind the tire. It has manual locking hubs. As for not turning... I was going down the road about 30 and it felt like the rear end wanted to pass me. I slowed down to turn into a pull out to let all the cars go by that had backed up :) and I almost missed the turn out because it wouldn't turn. The wheel was stiff, had alot of resistance. I finally got over, sat there awhile and proceeded on home very slowly.

That's what I'm running into. There are 2 mechanics in this town, I've been to one and will go to the other Tuesday. They both say parts are hard to get for this year. I don't want to invest alot more money if that is the case. But, seems hard to believe. There are parts rigs, and I found an ad in Fairbanks... a larger town a plane flight away that says it has axle, driveshafts on the shelf. How do I find out the gear ratio?

Thanks! ruth
 

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Parts for those are very common around here. It sounds to me like the inner axle moved out and bound the frt. spindle. This is probably due to not replacing the U-joint when it broke. Nothing holds the inner axle in so it finally slid out and jammed the spindle.

On the glove box door there should be a sticker with option codes. Look for a code that starts with G. I have an option code book and if I can get time and find it I'll look it up. The frt. and rear axle assy should have a code stamped into the axle tube. Should be a joy to find on a 20+ yo truck in AK.

If it didn't break anything you can still just replace the u-joint. The wheel bearings and spindle bearings probably need packing any way and it's really not much once you get past removing the rotor.
 

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You lost a u joint on the front stub axle. They missing pieces are most likely in the steering knuckle.
You will have to pull that side front tire, and then take the hub and all to the backing plate. Pull the front differential cover and remove the clip to release the axle and pull it all out the hollow spindle. Replace the u joint and re-assemble.
You will not need a new front end, i believe the broken u joint is in the steering knuckle.
Brian
 

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agmantoo
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With the problem where it is you should not have driven the vehicle IMO. Whomever told you it was OK to drive jumped to conclusion as to which U joint failed.
 

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jack it up and see if the wheel turns freely, you may have wheel bearing problems or the whole mess jsut fell apart and is destroying the inside of the hub,
 

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Lots of suburban parts here in Fairbanks. I have a 90 Suburban and found, and was told, that the late 80s to 90 had some odd ball front end stuff going on during those transition years. Like when trying to source a rear drag link for the front end the NAPA manual diagrams for the 90 front end assemblies werent anything like what I had, my truck matched the drawings for the 97/98 burbs. Checked the vin plates and all and It says I have a 90 model. Who knows maybe I have a chop shop stolen rig, but the NAPA guy said he's seen it before.
 

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Lots of suburban parts here in Fairbanks. I have a 90 Suburban and found, and was told, that the late 80s to 90 had some odd ball front end stuff going on during those transition years. Like when trying to source a rear drag link for the front end the NAPA manual diagrams for the 90 front end assemblies werent anything like what I had, my truck matched the drawings for the 97/98 burbs. Checked the vin plates and all and It says I have a 90 model. Who knows maybe I have a chop shop stolen rig, but the NAPA guy said he's seen it before.
The problem is GM changed the pickup design in 88 but not the Suburban,Blazer or Commercial chassis design, they didn't change until 92. You have an R or V body not a C or K body like the NAPA manual is showing you. The frt. ends are completely different as are the rear ends along with the body style.
 
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