Being here in Denver Colorado, we repair a significant amount of lifted, modified off-road trucks and SUVs.
Part of the terrain dictates that sometimes this is necessary for those of us that live a few miles west of town, up in the high country. In the case of a roofer that came into us today, who spends a lot of his time out on the road and is oftentimes in places where the roads are not of the greatest condition, he came in and brought us his lifted GMC 1-ton truck. Well, he’s had this vehicle lifted for several years now, and it has performed 245,000 miles of service for him.
The engine is very reliable, transmission very reliable. The front suspension and steering are starting to wear, starting to fall apart. Now, because this vehicle is modified with aftermarket components, we can’t just replace this part and this part with the exact factory pieces and say they’re going to last a long time. They won’t. They weren’t designed for this application.
So here at Saul’s Automotive, we custom fabricate braces for the Pitman and idler arm steering systems in these vehicles to prevent steering failures.
One of the most common failures these vehicles see in their steering componentry is a Pitman arm physically breaking from there being too much stress from larger tires turning it. When this happens, your tires can literally point opposite directions of each other, steer with no relation to the steering wheel and potentially cause a very, very serious accident. As a result of this, we take your safety very seriously. When we replace these kits, we brace the entire steering system to both sides of the frame of the vehicle. We brace it to the center length of the vehicle, and then we reinforce all of the joints with what we call a pass-through, meaning the actual steering componentry will pass through a loop that is designed to protect it.
So, in the event that somehow that part fails, it cannot move outside that loop and potentially break or leave you stranded or leave you without steering. So in the event of this gentleman’s 245,000-mile service for his steering componentry, for a few dollars more we were able to replace and upgrade the components and be able to guarantee that the steering problems he’s been having in the past that he’s had to replace every other year will never come back, and we will guarantee them for the life of the vehicle. If you have an aftermarket suspension on your vehicle, whether it lifted, lowered, changed in any way, shape or form, not only can we get you aligned and tracking straight, we can ensure that your suspension geometry is actually designed properly, functioning properly and keeping you safe.
The owner of this vehicle wasn’t aware of the condition of his steering because he didn’t install the components himself. He had no idea the danger that he was truly looking at should this fail again. We’re very fortunate that he was able to come into us and we were able to make sure that we can protect his investment.