Folks, I have a '97 JGC Laredo 5.2 w/ UpCounty (which, of course, means about 1" lift) and almost 92k on it. A couple of months ago, I asked my local 4X4 shop to add 2" spacers front and back. They put the spacers up front and in the rear they went ahead and used new springs that they had lying around, saying that those would give me a better ride. I switched out the shocks to Rancho 5000s and replaced the stock Goodyear GS-A 245s with Goodyear AT/S 31s (sweet tires!), keeping the stock wheels. Also added a new BDS steering shock and a Skyjacker adjustable track bar which eliminated 90% of the death wobble. Then I got a fresh alignment which took care of virtually all the rest (at least at lower speeds). The new height is great, although the centering of the rear wheels in the fender openings isn't perfect (slightly forward), and I have no intention of going further (yeah, I know, "famous last words"). My questions are as follows:
1. Despite the shop's and my own measurements which indicate that everything should be level, it still LOOKS like the thing is about an inch lower in the rear. And, this is also indicated by my view through the rearview mirror, which is seems to be angled down slightly and makes me have to compensate with the mirror tilt to the point where I lose part of the view because the mirror "frame" and the rear window "frame" don't line up properly. Am I going nuts or what?
2. The stiffer shocks don't bother me, but there's a slight amount of bumpsteer at high velocities that I'd rather do without. Also, if I hit a wide bump on the interstate with both sides, sometimes an oscillating motion is produced where the left and right sides are slowly flexing up and down, yet out of phase with each other, so it feels like the whole thing is slowly moving from side to side. In fact, it feels like the front end is slowly swaying to one side while the rear end is swaying to the other and back again. NOT fun! Keeping the previous question in mind, what can I do to eliminate this? Specifically,
a. do you recommend I replace the spacers up front with springs to match the ones on the rear? or perhaps add 1" spacers in the rear if that won't improve ride?
b. do I really need new lower control arms?
3. Last week I developed a squeak/rub noise (less of a squeak, more or a rub) when I turn the steering wheel side-to-side, just taking up the slack play. Same whether moving at any speed or parked. It doesn't appear to have anything to do with any of the suspension, but seems to be coming from somewhere near that universal joint in the steering linkage or where it goes through the firewall. The steering itself doesn't seem to vibrate with the noise, but you can hear/feel it in the frame and the steering wheel. Then yesterday, which was a very wet, rainy day, it didn't happen. Any ideas before I go to the shop? Is this just a lube issue? Because of the u-joint and modest amount of lift, I shouldn't have any problems similar to that with driveline angle, right?
Your help is appreciated!