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Thread: Idler Arm

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  1. #1
    2 n da pink, 1 n da stink Bigtown88's Avatar
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    Idler Arm

    How can I tell if my idler arm needs to be replaced? I took my truck to a GM dealer to get inspected and they said the idler arm needed to be replaced. I told them I would do it myself and get it re-inspected. Instead, I took it to another shop and it passed no problem. I'm confused . Did the dealer try and rip me off or did the second shop not know what they were doing? Any way to test if it needs to be replaced would be appreciated.
    96 K1500 Z71 ECSB 5.7, Wait4me Tune, Dual Magnaflow SS Cat-Back, K&N CAI

  2. #2
    Safety 1st H&S_Miner's Avatar
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    Re: Idler Arm

    i repleaced the idler arm on my 97 Z71 along w/ most of the front steering parts, and ball joints, and i can't remember for sure how they tested it, but figured i was gonna play it safe anyways and replaced most of the components.

    think it shouldn't have a lot of wiggle/play in it, but if it does it might be worn out

    hopefully someone else will chime in and correct me if i'm wrong, sicne this was a few years back.
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    Re: Idler Arm

    You should be able to grab a hold of the pieces that bolt together and try to wiggle them. If they do wiggle then something needs to be replaced in the front spension steering linkage. The joints of the suspension can be moved by hand with a some pressure but should not move on their own by tilting the piece (hopefully that makes sense).
    Idler arm should not be required for Yearly Inspection passing.

  4. #4
    2 n da pink, 1 n da stink Bigtown88's Avatar
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    Re: Idler Arm

    Is the one on the passenger side the idler arm and the driver's side the pitman arm or the other way around?
    96 K1500 Z71 ECSB 5.7, Wait4me Tune, Dual Magnaflow SS Cat-Back, K&N CAI

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    Re: Idler Arm

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigtown88
    Is the one on the passenger side the idler arm and the driver's side the pitman arm or the other way around?
    That sounds correct because the pitman arm is going to be connect to the steering box and the idler are is connected to the frame.

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    Re: Idler Arm

    Yes the idler arm is connected to the frame on the passenger side. You jack the front end up and see if there is play and if there is look underneath there while someone moves the tire and see if its moving. It shouldnt move.

  7. #7
    2 n da pink, 1 n da stink Bigtown88's Avatar
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    Re: Idler Arm

    Ok, sounds easy enough. Next question- I bought the GM replacement idler arm, if the one on my truck is bad, how hard is it to replace? How long? Keep in mind I have limited mechanical experience, but I do have access to a lift and all tools required.

    Are there any symptoms of a bad idler arm such as a vibration, uneven tire wear, noise etc?
    96 K1500 Z71 ECSB 5.7, Wait4me Tune, Dual Magnaflow SS Cat-Back, K&N CAI

  8. #8
    Safety 1st H&S_Miner's Avatar
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    Re: Idler Arm

    shouldn't be that hard to replace with the new one. being a part of the steering system/suspension (not sure how it's concidered) i'd get it aligned afterwards for safety measures.
    Proud father of 2 sons
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    Registered User Arctic_Scrap's Avatar
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    Re: Idler Arm

    if your idler arm is bad your truck will wander while holding the wheel in one place. your pitman arm is back if there's slop in your steering wheel. to change either you need to remove your tie rods and center link. it's really not that hard. one thing that could happen is the nuts that hold your center link on will spin the bolt and make it very difficult to tighten them, that happend when i lifted my '94.
    2009 Chev 2500HD
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