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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a black box for me, I've searched the forum, but I'm overwhelmed.

This is my 94 NAS. For the first time (I've had it for 10 years), I noticed a rattle that shakes the steering wheel and feels like the right side of my front axle is running over a corrugated, rough road. I am guessing as to where it feels like it's coming from. It is intermittent, it can happen while accelerating, coasting, but there are many times when I'm accelerating and coasting and it rides normal. When it is rough/rattling, I can be turning or going straight, and it doesn't cause the steering to pull. I feel like I haven't lost any engine power. There is some black stuff on the passenger front wheel, perhaps a leak? but I can't tell where from. I have never worked on an axle/ swivel ball/ cv joint (I converted drum brakes to disk brakes on the rear of my 110, but that's it), and I'm not sure how to diagnose this problem. Once again, I'm the little kid at the big kid table, but I'd appreciate any help.
 

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Jack the front wheels up and see if there is any play both vertically and horizontally. If both wheels are off the ground you can spin them and listen for any noises.

Just a starting point.
 
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I am headed your way later this week to Centennial, to pick up a 90. Can stop by and help diagnose if you don’t have it sorted in a few days. Will PM you.

My money is on loose swivel, panhard, or rod end.
 

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Only thing that I could think of that feels like that intermittently is the first phase of what many folks describe as the "death wobble" and as been said, I would lean heavy toward wheel bearing and/or preload. Once it gets "excited" (typically by a pot hole of something that creates it) it can feel like that. Typically ONLY at speed--so if you feel it going 5-10mph, I may second guess that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am headed your way later this week to Centennial, to pick up a 90. Can stop by and help diagnose if you don’t have it sorted in a few days. Will PM you.

My money is on loose swivel, panhard, or rod end.
Sounds good to me!
Are the lug nuts torqued correctly?
Good question, I have never messed with those lug nuts. I have had the truck for 10 years, but only put about 8k miles on it. I'll put that on the list of things to check this afternoon.
 

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I agree with kgh & Davis. Likely tired parts that lead to death wobble.

Besides checking both wheels for play, you should also look for play in all of bushings and tie rod ends for the front axle/steering components.

Easy method:
With the vehicle on the ground, have somebody rock the steering wheel back-and-forth between like the 11 & 1 o’clock positions in a relatively rapid motion. (You want to create enough stress to replicate the truck when driving.)

Then you can be in front watching the bushings/TRE’s at each connection for any play or looseness. Typically it’s very obvious to see if there play in anything.

Let us know if you find anything.
 
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Are these the same tires as when you bought it? If so, carefully check for damage
And you can rotate the front tires to the back to rule out a bad tire. A bad front tire can definitely do weird things to the drive quality/behavior.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here is what I have so far:
1. Tire pressure: driver 36.5, passenger 36
2. Tire wear looks even, but yes the tires are old
3. Quick movement steering test: see video
4. Tons of grease on the passenger wheel hub compared to driver. Leak? Could this be the cause?
Check steering



 

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3. Quick movement steering test: see video
Sweet lord, you can definitely hear and see at least one problem. Can’t really see the other tie rod ends and joints in the vid but good chance others are bad also.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Progress:
1. I replaced the front CV joints.
2. Replaced bearings and seals on front axle.
3. Replaced drop arm ball joint.
The rattle is completely gone! I’m going to replace the tires anyway, that’s the plan for next week.

Unfortunately, there is now a “knocking” noise coming from somewhere under the truck (mid way back or farther). From what I’ve read, I need to look at the prop shafts, U joints, and hand brake. In the hand brake, what am I looking for exactly?






 

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Unfortunately, there is now a “knocking” noise coming from somewhere under the truck (mid way back or farther). From what I’ve read, I need to look at the prop shafts, U joints, and hand brake. In the hand brake, what am I looking for exactly?
Check these mentioned items, and also check drive flanges on hub end of driveshafts (should be no play, and almost difficult to slip on), and check pinion slop. Have a truck in right now that with a front tire jacked up, driveshaft off, the pinion moves in and out laterally about 1/2” when wheel is turned!
 

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I’ve been reading about that, but I still don’t get what about the hand drum causes the clunk?
If the drum is not adjusted properly you will hear and feel a clunk as you coast to a stop. I thought it was my drive shafts but after some research it turned out to be the drum. I had a bad clunk.
 
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