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Old 08-03-2020, 03:40 AM   #1
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Default Tie rod contacting frame

I recently bought 2006 Chevy Express 3500 Roadtrek Versatile 190 4x4 installed by Quigley with torsion bars and only 33,500 miles. My problem is when I turn right or left the center link rolls upward and the inner tie rods rub on the frame destroying the rubber boot. The fender height from the ground is LF36 1/2”, RF36 5/8” , LR 36 1/8”, RR36 ¾” and 7” at the dump valve with new 265/75R16 Michelin Defender LT M/S tires. As far as I can tell the steering and suspension are all original. I just had an alignment and the technician said everything was tight. Has anybody had this problem and if so what was the fix? I am thinking of new Bilstein shocks and either a rear sway bar or air bags in the future to help it handle better. I do not have a generator in it.
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:43 AM   #2
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Sounds like what my 06 210 did at 50k miles in 2013. Had just had alignment too. It was a bad idler arm. I don’t know how they missed it. Replaced idler arm, pitman arm, and tie rod ends. Ball joints were ok. I lube front at every oil change:5000 miles. Still tight at 123,000 miles.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:17 AM   #3
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I concur, bad idler arm.

With modified systems they usually sell modified arms to fit that are curved, etc.
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:19 PM   #4
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This guy put a heavy duty pitman/idler arm on his Express. For 4x4 I would think it would be a great upgrade.

https://www.dieselplace.com/threads/...ss-van.511065/
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:41 PM   #5
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Just found this article on problems with the Cognito arms and lifted, large wheel trucks. If you think you want to possibly go with the Cognito kit you should give them a call to let them know your application. Of course they may tell you not to do it because of the cutting needed on the frame.

https://www.thetruckstop.us/forum/th...-braces.17583/
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peteco View Post
This guy put a heavy duty pitman/idler arm on his Express. For 4x4 I would think it would be a great upgrade.

https://www.dieselplace.com/threads/...ss-van.511065/

Interesting that while he changed to arms he also added the bracing that is used on pickups, necessitating the need to notch the frame.



I think he is error when he talks about the loading on the inner pivots of the lower A arm, as the forces from the wheel loads pivot around the front coil spring mount, putting a ratio load down on the pivots on bumps. They are also carrying a ratio load of weight of the van all the time. It is the upper arm that has loading like he describes, you take them off without even decompressing the spring.


I don't think I would consider notching the frame there safe or a good idea, without adding some reinforcing.


I have heard of some idler/pitman wear on the Chevies at lower miles, but I think the ones that got greased regularly, or obsessively in our case, seem to last very well, same with lower balljoints.
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Interesting that while he changed to arms he also added the bracing that is used on pickups, necessitating the need to notch the frame.

I think he is error when he talks about the loading on the inner pivots of the lower A arm, as the forces from the wheel loads pivot around the front coil spring mount, putting a ratio load down on the pivots on bumps. They are also carrying a ratio load of weight of the van all the time. It is the upper arm that has loading like he describes, you take them off without even decompressing the spring.

I don't think I would consider notching the frame there safe or a good idea, without adding some reinforcing.

I have heard of some idler/pitman wear on the Chevies at lower miles, but I think the ones that got greased regularly, or obsessively in our case, seem to last very well, same with lower balljoints.
Yes, frame should have been reinforced after cutting.

Agree on regular and even obsessive greasing. I grease mine every oil change (~5k miles). Or if I have the front end up I will grease it. I have been on some rough roads driving faster than I should (won't do that anymore). I have not checked the looseness since I put the new arms in 70k miles ago, but will next time I am under.
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Old 08-03-2020, 03:52 PM   #8
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the modification beyond a 'stock" application requires that the installer who did the conversion be brought into this


it could be normal wear of a part or it could be caused by the modifications or an error on their part ( design or install)


I'd be hesitant to offer any advice.



if that shop is not available, you need an expert to
"wholistically" look at the entire front, understand what work has been done and it's effect of other parts and then come up with a remedy


Network alignment on cave creek N of thunderbird/cactus has a good local rep- but I do not know if they specialize in 4X4


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Old 08-10-2020, 10:41 AM   #9
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I have the same vehicle you have. Mine is a 2007 Roadtrek C190V with the Quigley 4WD. It is a 2006 Chevy chassis with 92,000 miles. I have no problem with any steering rub or damage. I have the original size tires being 245/75R16 and optional aluminum wheels. The original standard steel wheels do have a different wheel offset. I am seriously thinking on going to the larger 265/75R16 tires. The larger tire is 1 inch larger diameter and 1 inch wider than the standard tire size. Could this cause your problem?
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Old 08-10-2020, 11:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daytonabeachbum View Post
I have the same vehicle you have. Mine is a 2007 Roadtrek C190V with the Quigley 4WD. It is a 2006 Chevy chassis with 92,000 miles. I have no problem with any steering rub or damage. I have the original size tires being 245/75R16 and optional aluminum wheels. The original standard steel wheels do have a different wheel offset. I am seriously thinking on going to the larger 265/75R16 tires. The larger tire is 1 inch larger diameter and 1 inch wider than the standard tire size. Could this cause your problem?

The aluminum wheels with the much different offset can contribute to rubbing situations at the front wheel opening lip and rear of the wheelwell because the wheel moves in more of an arc as it turns in corners. That make it's fore and aft movement larger than with the stock offset wheels. When we went to our larger size tires, I switched to pickup truck steel wheels of the proper +28mm offset. Handling and scuffing both got better.


I don't think the offset could cause the kind of issues the OP has, but anything is possible. It is also possible that the parts Quigley uses would be setup for a different offset wheel, as I think they came from pickup applications. The +offsets kept getting bigger and bigger over the years from the old days of having zero offset.
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:19 PM   #11
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Another problem that could occur is if someone was looking for a cheap suspension lift in the front end. The front-drive has torsion bar springs. If someone just twists the torsion bars up it will raise the vehicle but throw off the front steering linkage possibly causing interference.
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:37 PM   #12
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I do have the aluminum wheels with the 265/75R16 Michelin tires and I don't have any wheel rub. I have a decal in my door frame from Home and Park with the 265/75R16 tires, weight limits and tire pressures. It also has the original 245/75R16 sticker that Chevy placed there. This is why I put this size tire on. I did remove 245/75R16 that the previous owner put on. This contact was happening with the 245/75R16 tires as both inner tie rod boots were torn up, I figured it was from age.
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 55 Nomad View Post
I do have the aluminum wheels with the 265/75R16 Michelin tires and I don't have any wheel rub. I have a decal in my door frame from Home and Park with the 265/75R16 tires, weight limits and tire pressures. It also has the original 245/75R16 sticker that Chevy placed there. This is why I put this size tire on. I did remove 245/75R16 that the previous owner put on. This contact was happening with the 245/75R16 tires as both inner tie rod boots were torn up, I figured it was from age.

I think the contact with the larger tires, with aluminum wheels making it more likely but not certain, based on where the wheel sits in the wheelwell. On our van, the R/H wheel sits to the rear of being centered front to back, so we got quite close to the rear of the wheelwell. That side is also a bit caster limited in adjustment, too, so bad collection of tolerances or maybe damage (not likely as we got it new, but driven 900 miles to dealer and it was that way when we got it. The left side had no issues at all with big tires.
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Old 08-10-2020, 01:16 PM   #14
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I am having a problem visualizing your problem. I live in a condo and my Roadtrek is about 7 miles away in a warehouse. I will not be able to get to it today but will get there in one or two days. I'll measure my fender and dump valve clearances to compare to yours. It is on a lift so I will be able to get a good view of the steering linkage. I do grease the many many many grease fittings yearly or 3000 miles.
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Old 08-10-2020, 02:04 PM   #15
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The suspension appears all stock with about 36 1/2" at the fender wells at all 4 corners. The rear springs do have the 1" spacer that RT installed when when built.
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:59 PM   #16
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I was able to sneak out and take a close look at my 4x4 Roadtrek. Front fender wheel opening to the ground was 36 1/4 " and rear was 38". I also have the one inch blocks in the rear. I have AirLift 5000lb airbags and a wireless controller installed in the rear also. As for the center link it does no twist. It only rotates at the pitman arm and idler arm. There is no bellow type protector on the center link to tie rod connection, it is only a cup type protector. See attached picture. The only way for tie rod end to hit the frame above it would be if the suspension bottoms out and the cushioned stop was not in place. I hope this helps.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg centerlink.jpg (229.2 KB, 7 views)
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Old 08-10-2020, 09:36 PM   #17
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Thank you to everyone. Tomorrow I will be jacking up the front and doing an in depth inspection. As of now I am thinking of replacing the idler arm, pitman arm, inner and outer tie rods with new Moog HD parts and Bilstein 24-221948 4600 shocks. Also a fresh alignment. Hopefully this will correct my front problems.
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