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Old 09-21-2019, 05:14 PM   #1
Ryanz
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1972 Blazer Steering

I've still never been able get my steering to stop swaying or having a bit of a mind of it's own. 33 12.5's. I've done rag joint, Red Head steering box, new ball joints, etc. New leaf springs and bushings - just can't seem to get it like it should be. The toe has been adjusted but not with special castor shims as of yet. My guy is telling me that he thinks a heavy duty dual shock set up should be installed. The single that was on before didn't seem to help. I have it off now.

Thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. No lift on it.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:31 PM   #2
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

Shocks wont do anything except affect the ride.
As I've mentioned before, increase caster (especially with larger wheels). I'm at 6.5 degrees.
Set the toe-in to around 3/16 (this can be done with a simple tape measure)
Make sure your steering arm is parallel to the ground.
Install a 73-up front sway bar. (This made a huge difference in handling)
Don't use a quick ratio steering box (useless with the short wheelbase)
My Blazer drives like it on rails even at 80+MPH. I also have 12.5X33's and a mild 2" lift.
Hope this helps !
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:06 PM   #3
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

Silly question, is your box tight to the frame and the drag link adjusters tight? My 71 would just wander all over the place and didn't want to go in a straight line. Turns out the box was loose and moving every time I turned the wheel. I had a loose drag link end as well which only compounded the issue. Everything is tight now and she drives like a dream. Totally different truck. I'm running 33X10.50.
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Old 09-22-2019, 12:40 AM   #4
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemi43 View Post
Shocks wont do anything except affect the ride.
As I've mentioned before, increase caster (especially with larger wheels). I'm at 6.5 degrees.
Set the toe-in to around 3/16 (this can be done with a simple tape measure)
Make sure your steering arm is parallel to the ground.
Install a 73-up front sway bar. (This made a huge difference in handling)
Don't use a quick ratio steering box (useless with the short wheelbase)
My Blazer drives like it on rails even at 80+MPH. I also have 12.5X33's and a mild 2" lift.
Hope this helps !
Sorry, for clarity I meant a stabilizer shock - not actual shocks. He was suggesting a dual stabilizer shock system which may act similar to a sway bar I suppose. However, the sway bar may be the better option and likely much cheaper.

Another question - were the rear sway bars only on the trucks with coil systems? I assume so.

Thanks for all of your help, it's greatly appreciated.
ryan
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Old 09-22-2019, 12:42 AM   #5
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by CO71Blazer View Post
Silly question, is your box tight to the frame and the drag link adjusters tight? My 71 would just wander all over the place and didn't want to go in a straight line. Turns out the box was loose and moving every time I turned the wheel. I had a loose drag link end as well which only compounded the issue. Everything is tight now and she drives like a dream. Totally different truck. I'm running 33X10.50.
Yes, the box is definitely tight - but I will double check the drag link. I also wonder if the 10.5's would be better than the 12.5's. Would you mind posting a picture of your Blazer with tires. I'd really like to see how the 10.5's look. You don't see many.

Thanks,
ryan
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Old 09-22-2019, 10:24 AM   #6
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryanz View Post
Sorry, for clarity I meant a stabilizer shock - not actual shocks. He was suggesting a dual stabilizer shock system which may act similar to a sway bar I suppose. However, the sway bar may be the better option and likely much cheaper.

Another question - were the rear sway bars only on the trucks with coil systems? I assume so.

Thanks for all of your help, it's greatly appreciated.
ryan
The stabilizer shocks are basically useless on the street and won't affect how your truck handles. They are used when off road so the steering wheel doesn't break your fingers. Adding another one will just increase your steering effort.
I believe Addco makes a rear anti-sway bar for the Blazer, but all you really need is the factory front one IMO.
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Old 09-22-2019, 12:36 PM   #7
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

I recently switched wheel/Tire combos from 35-12.5 on 8" rallys to
33-12.5 on 10" Indy slots, and boy does it wander all over the place.
Steered absolutely perfect before the change. Thinking about going back.., What width wheels are on your Blazer?
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Old 09-22-2019, 01:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68panelman View Post
I recently switched wheel/Tire combos from 35-12.5 on 8" rallys to
33-12.5 on 10" Indy slots, and boy does it wander all over the place.
Steered absolutely perfect before the change. Thinking about going back.., What width wheels are on your Blazer?
Mine are 33-12.5 on 8” rallys
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Old 09-22-2019, 01:30 PM   #9
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

Mmm, I'm stumped then too haha
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Old 09-22-2019, 02:02 PM   #10
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryanz View Post
Mine are 33-12.5 on 8” rallys
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Am running the same combo on my Jimmy— steering box rebuilt and old school alignment done— zero slop, tracks hands free straight as an arrow at any speed— your wheel/tire combo is not the problem.
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Old 09-22-2019, 02:30 PM   #11
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Am running the same combo on my Jimmy— steering box rebuilt and old school alignment done— zero slop, tracks hands free straight as an arrow at any speed— your wheel/tire combo is not the problem.
Do you have a sway bar? Or just the stock stabilizer?
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Old 09-22-2019, 03:42 PM   #12
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

Stock stabilizer.
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Old 09-22-2019, 05:05 PM   #13
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

Sway bar will not help you if I understand your symptoms correctly. Sway bars are to reduce body roll, not help with steering wander. What can cause steering wander is any play in the steering system from the steering wheels to the driving wheels or an alignment out of wack.

I know you said you replaced a lot, but is there any noticable play if you just turn the steering wheel back an forth? If you Jack each side of the axle up, can you feel any play in the tire?

How good is the guy doing the alignment? Maybe time to try a different shop?
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by litebulblsc View Post
Sway bar will not help you if I understand your symptoms correctly. Sway bars are to reduce body roll, not help with steering wander. What can cause steering wander is any play in the steering system from the steering wheels to the driving wheels or an alignment out of wack.

I know you said you replaced a lot, but is there any noticable play if you just turn the steering wheel back an forth? If you Jack each side of the axle up, can you feel any play in the tire?

How good is the guy doing the alignment? Maybe time to try a different shop?
All of it is nice and tight. The only thing I haven’t changed is the steering column. I know it is a tilt from a later 70’s van which lots of guys did.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:42 PM   #15
Ryanz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68panelman View Post
I recently switched wheel/Tire combos from 35-12.5 on 8" rallys to
33-12.5 on 10" Indy slots, and boy does it wander all over the place.
Steered absolutely perfect before the change. Thinking about going back.., What width wheels are on your Blazer?
Wow that is odd that it would be worse? What type of tire/tread are you running on each?
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:26 AM   #16
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

Both an all terrain type tire. Only thing I can think of is that the front axle now has a wider stance-track area? I feel like I'm driving a bloodhound who is locked on a scent
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:26 AM   #17
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

Any lift? No mention of dropped pitman arm or raised steering arm. Any good pics of your drag link? Like Hemi mentioned, the arm coming from the steering box to the axle steering arm needs to be close to level or you'll have wander and bump steer
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:11 PM   #18
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryanz View Post
Yes, the box is definitely tight - but I will double check the drag link. I also wonder if the 10.5's would be better than the 12.5's. Would you mind posting a picture of your Blazer with tires. I'd really like to see how the 10.5's look. You don't see many.

Thanks,
ryan
Here you go!
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Old 09-25-2019, 05:58 PM   #19
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

Incorrect toe setting will cause bad wandering. Get that sucker toe'd in.
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Old 09-26-2019, 10:46 AM   #20
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

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Incorrect toe setting will cause bad wandering. Get that sucker toe'd in.
Yup !! Like I mentioned in my previous post, aim for 3/16" of toe-in. Don't waste money taking it to an alignment shop because the only thing that is adjustable (without shims) is the toe. This can easily be done with 2 people and a tape measure.
Someone earlier mentioned a sway bar doesn't help wander. Well I can assure you that it does. It does this in a couple ways. It will reduce body roll on uneven roads, but the best advantage is that it helps keep the front axle where it need to be. Without a sway bar, all that locates the front axle is the front springs. The design of the factory sway bar doesn't use outer links so it bolts directly to the axle.
It's a huge safety item too. I was always concerned about breaking a front spring. If this ever happens (and it does) you are guaranteed to go into the ditch. The sway bar would prevent this.
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Last edited by hemi43; 09-26-2019 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:51 PM   #21
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

I used the below to set up my toe alignment.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/lro-diy-tst
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Old 09-27-2019, 12:15 AM   #22
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

Agree on the FACTORY 73 up 4WD front sway bar. Install a 78’ on our 1964 K10 long bed. It is a little more involved then on a 72’. You can pull one your self, or find one on EBay. The complete setup with crossmember is about $150 shipped. CrazyRay sells them on the forum too or eBay.

Getting ready to do same on 72’ Blazer. Just need to develop plan as how to locate/attach front bar mounting bracket. 1). Change out front crossmember, use the one with new front sway bar, or 2). modify the front sway bar brackets that come with it from that crossmember to fit 72 crossmember. 3). Or make new bracket and attach them to original crossmember ( this is likely simplest). Hemi43 do you have a build where you show how you attached the front of the factory bar. Can try to get photos in a few days.

Les

Last edited by aotte1; 09-27-2019 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:18 AM   #23
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

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Hemi43 do you have a build where you show how you attached the front of the factory bar. Can try to get photos in a few days.

Les
The correct way to do the swap is to also use the 73 and up front crossmember, but my chassis was already painted and I didn't want to open that can of worms.
I modified the factory 73-up sway bar mounts to fit my 70 cross member. It was actually very easy to do, and I'll try and post a couple pictures when I get a chance.
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Old 09-28-2019, 07:43 AM   #24
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by aotte1 View Post
Agree on the FACTORY 73 up 4WD front sway bar. Install a 78’ on our 1964 K10 long bed. It is a little more involved then on a 72’. You can pull one your self, or find one on EBay. The complete setup with crossmember is about $150 shipped. CrazyRay sells them on the forum too or eBay.

Getting ready to do same on 72’ Blazer. Just need to develop plan as how to locate/attach front bar mounting bracket. 1). Change out front crossmember, use the one with new front sway bar, or 2). modify the front sway bar brackets that come with it from that crossmember to fit 72 crossmember. 3). Or make new bracket and attach them to original crossmember ( this is likely simplest). Hemi43 do you have a build where you show how you attached the front of the factory bar. Can try to get photos in a few days.

Les
Les, what if you want to just buy the leaf spring plates, are the available by themselves thru crazy ray?
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Old 09-28-2019, 08:38 AM   #25
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Re: 1972 Blazer Steering

I don't understand the complaints about steering. I am full factory set up. Yesterday I ran 70mph and can completely take my hands off the wheel and run straight down the road. Corners like on rails. Far better than my 88 blazer. I can on;y think of toe and worn out parts are the issue. Tires measure 31" x 8.5"

Last edited by grillzy; 09-28-2019 at 09:36 AM.
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