Curious. Why is rear axle offset to passenger side? - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Question Curious. Why is rear axle offset to passenger side?

I recently purchased a 2016 Colorado LT crew cab with 4 wheel drive and the diesel engine from an insurance auction. The truck was involved in a front passenger side collision where the driver airbag went off. The main body damage was the passenger fender was "peeled" back toward the rear, with some secondary dents on the passenger front door and scuffs/minor dents on other areas of the truck.

Had the truck up on jackstands while surveying the underside to determine if there was any frame damage and noticed that the rear axle was offset about 1.5 inches to 2 inches to the passenger side. That is, if I sighted down the side of the truck and compared the outside surface of the rear wheel to the driver and passenger rear wheel fender, I could see that the rear passenger tire exterior surface was about flush to the outside surface of the rear fender and the rear driver's tire exterior surface was recessed about ~1.5 to 2 inches from the surface of the driver side rear fender.

My initial thought was some frame damage. However, I concluded that it came from the factory this way for the following reasons:
1) took various reference dimensions from the rear axle to the various points on the frame, and compared driver side to passenger side (that is, axle location relative to the front end of the vehicle). Saw basically no difference
2) there was no visible sign of any damage to the frame (no paint scratches, no buckling, no dings, etc)
3) there was no visible sign of any damage to the rear axle mounting points at the frame or on the rear axle (no paint scratches, no buckling, no dings)
4) measured from the inside edge of the rear wheel to the outside edge of the frame and found that it was almost 2" more on the passenger side than the driver side (which again one could visible see when sighting down the side of both the passenger side and driver side)
5) was scratching my head as I was not seeing any obvious reasons why visible offset of the rear axle, as the rear axle has a "mounting pin" for locating on the rear leaf springs, so there is no "adjustment left or right on the rear axle mounting location
6) and finally, when I was at the Chevy dealer getting some parts, I looked at a Canyon crew cab with the diesel engine and found the same condition (that is, when I sighted down the side, I could see the passenger rear tire was about flush to the rear fender and the driver side rear tire had about a ~2" clearance from the surface of the rear fender).

So all the above reasons is why I concluded it came from the factory this way

So why would GM design the rear axle location to be slightly off center, when compared to the outside body surface? I do not know if this is unique to the diesel/crew cab or if it applies to all configurations (I only looked at a new diesel crew cab a the Chevy dealer)

So again, just curious, why the difference. Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 08:31 AM
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Some have indicated that they see an offset on 2015 to 2016 trucks. I've checked my 2017 2WD and the rear axle appears centered.

Some have said it is the pickup box that is not centered on the frame. Measure and see?

Story below. . I ordered mine from the factory so I also know it came that way:

I had a 2010 Colorado Z71 2WD and it was as you mention. . about +1.5" outside the passenger side. I could actually tilt the passenger side outer mirror downward and see quite a bit of tire tread past the side of the body, whereas I could see none on the drivers side.

Unfortunately for me, I did not notice that until after I owned the truck for almost 3 years and the dealer would not correct it. On mine, the axle was not centered on the leaf springs. I drove it for 7 years like that with no noticeable ill affects. Would have been handy on a dirt track oval perhaps.

2017 Cyber Gray 2WD Colorado LT V6 CCSB- (Z71 Tires & Wheels), Luxury & Convenience Pkgs, Black/Ashen Gray Leather, Bullet Bedliner, ARE cap. Build date: 2-14-2017
14,200 Miles 5-1-2019
https://www.coloradofans.com/forums/attachments/2nd-gen-appearance-body/328415d1540903157-caps-park-pic-1a-sm-edit-50-.jpg
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteBlue05 View Post
...Some have said it is the pickup box that is not centered on the frame. Measure and see?...
That was my initial thought. Axle could very well be centered within the frame, but the "body" or more specifically the bed may be offset.
Like Granite said, take measurements of the bed in relation to the frame.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-25-2017, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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The axle has a "pin" that goes into a hole on the leaf springs. So not an area were there is adjustment

I measured the axle and it is 1.5" or so biased to the driver side (relative to the frame). This is not a body to frame measurement.

In sighting down the edge of both the passenger side and the driver side, there is no visible signs that the box is out of alignment with the cab.

I wanted to see what other members have experienced with their trucks, prior to taking any action.

If no other information arises, my plan would be to jack the truck up and loosen all the rear suspension bolts....and see if the axle can be biased more to the driver side.....and maybe loosening up the bed attachment bolts...to see if the bed can be biased to the passenger side (and as a result, get a more "visually centered" system without causing other issues)
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 04:03 PM
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It's called the Chevy poke, not to be confused with the Chevy lean. You're not alone. Lol. Many of us here have fixed it with different size wheel adapters. I'm running 1.25" on the driver's side and 3/4" on the right. GM has pretty poor quality control if you ask me, but I still love my truck.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 04:24 PM
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Yep. Walked the lot with the service writer and manager, they pretty much all have it. Barely noticeable until you change something. 18mm offset sort of exaggerated it. Now I'm leaning and poking. It drives fine, I guess the proof will be in the tire wear. I love the truck and I'm the only one that notices it.

2017
4x CCSB MiniMax
2" RC Level
18x9 18mm offset
265/65R18's
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