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sal moreno #1289556 Sat Dec 01 2018 07:43 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,070
J
'Bolter
I understand all that Jerry and I like your clever right triangle explanation, but the drag link on the AD trucks (in stock condition) wasn't level and didn't have that relationship built in to it. I've tried for decades to find one which sat parallel to the ground and I haven't found one yet. Take a look at NDKid's image there...only because the axle was lowered 4 inches (obviously moving the steering arm higher by that same amount) and because the drag link was installed upside down (losing about 1.5 inches of that raised height), does the link sit level. If his truck had the stock steering setup, the steering arm would by definition sit about 2.5 inches lower than the center point of the pitman arm.

I've saved images of other people's steering which have been posted here. Here are 2 posted some time back by Longbox55...hope he won't mind me using them for illustration. His truck is complete and sitting on tires and in this post he said it was 100% stock. If you want me to send images of my truck (which has new springs and all good steering components, I can do it, but it will show you exactly what you see in Longbox55's image...

Attached Images
Drag link 1.jpg (10.74 KB, 214 downloads)
Drag link 2.jpg (9.38 KB, 211 downloads)

Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
sal moreno #1289559 Sat Dec 01 2018 07:55 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 25,002
H
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
If the drag link isn't level, there will be bump steer- - - -no way to avoid it. Even from a level position, once the wheels leave a straight ahead position, some bump steer is going to happen. The best of all possible situations is to minimize it. Most people just learn to live with it - - - - -the further away from level we start, the worse the problem will be. I don't know of any baseball player who would willingly step up to the plate with one or two strikes against him from the get-go. Maybe that kind of logic escapes the hotrodders who think they can violate the laws of physics without any consequences.
Jerry


"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
Ernest Hemingway

WAG MORE- - - - - -BARK LESS!
sal moreno #1289567 Sat Dec 01 2018 09:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,070
J
'Bolter
Hi Jerry,
Yep, no argument here and a zillion years from now all the geometry and physics anyone can round up will not have changed one iota. So if all the stock AD trucks suffer this same condition, do you have any ideas on how to safely raise the height of the steering arm tip by some amount that will get them closer to being on a level plane?


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
sal moreno #1289569 Sat Dec 01 2018 09:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 11,129
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
First, let me say thanks to all for keeping this discussion civil. Second, let me assure you that I’m NOT a steering geometry expert. I just googled custom Pitman Arms and got a boatload of options. Another option might be to contact Nostalgia SIDS and see if he has any ideas. Good luck with your projects.🛠


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2) “Emily”
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe “Clarence”



"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!
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sal moreno #1289570 Sat Dec 01 2018 09:55 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 25,002
H
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
Steering arms can be bent - - - -COLD- - - - -never use heat on steering linkage- - - -to correct minor out of level errors. Re-arching springs also comes to mind if the drag link is angled up toward the front. Decades of bouncing around on less-than smooth roads will make springs sag and have a definite effect on steering geometry. On vehicles that have been slightly lowered, not to the ridiculous front bumper-dragging point, raising the steering gear on the frame is about the only option. At some point, the vehicle becomes a trailer queen that gets carefully rolled out for a car show, with no safe way to be operated on the street, but the guys who do those kinds of mods know they're unsafe, regardless of their protests to the contrary.
Jerry


"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
Ernest Hemingway

WAG MORE- - - - - -BARK LESS!
sal moreno #1289612 Sun Dec 02 2018 04:41 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,121
'Bolter
Sid is great, he was the expert that bent my axle and such.

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I never realized it was upside down.... Ops! I just knew it had to be level, I guess that sometimes stupid errors work out in your favor. Actually, I did all the geometry things that Jerry was talking about..... (ok, that is BS!)

Chris

Hotrod Lincoln #1289613 Sun Dec 02 2018 06:01 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 246
S
Shop Shark
I still want to know how caster could fix the bump steer or the toe in sitting ?

sal moreno #1289614 Sun Dec 02 2018 06:16 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 25,002
H
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
Short answer- - - -it can't. More caster will make the return toward center quicker, but the problem will still exist. It's like giving a brain tumor patient a big dose of aspirin for his headache- - - -it might mask the symptoms a little, but it doesn't cure the problem.
Jerry


"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
Ernest Hemingway

WAG MORE- - - - - -BARK LESS!
sal moreno #1289655 Sun Dec 02 2018 05:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 4,528
J
'Bolter
I went out and measured my '37, it's the same basic setup as the newer trucks. The rear bumper is 7" higher then the front, so the it has a nose down stance. The garage floor is pretty level, bed rails are 4 degrees down in the front, running boards are 3 down in the front, frame is 3 degrees down in front. The drag link is 4 degrees up in the front, so it's NOT level by quite a bit. If it was level, it would be 7 degree lower in the front then it is now. The only way to level it would be to raise the gear box.

Point I am making, is it doesn't have to be level to still drive decent. I have 1/8" toe-in with newer style sealed tie-rod ends, newer style sealed drag link ends, NOS gears and bearings is a perfectly adjusted steering box, and 4 degree caster wedges ( thick end at back of axle ). I had the exact same set up with 2 degree caster and found the steering way loose, no road feel, and would not track straight. Going from 2 to 4 degrees made a huge improvement, if I could find a 5 degree I would go with it. The only thing that is altered from stock is the lower front end which changed the caster. I have custom made leaf springs with a much softer spring rate to improve the ride so they are softer and set the truck down lower. Caster may mask the problem as Jerry points out, but it's the easy way to fix the problem.

You still need all other adjustments to be right or never will drive right.

sal moreno #1289656 Sun Dec 02 2018 05:09 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 689
T
'Bolter
So, I just read through this entire thread and would like to add something.

My '53 1/2 ton is my only vehicle, so it's driven on a daily basis. As I read through this thread I began to wonder what it was I had done through the years to eliminate bump steer on my truck. Even if I hit a bump at speed big enough my front and back tires leave the ground my truck stays straight (for the most part). No involuntary lane changes. I've decided that you never fully eliminate bump steer, but:

1) Relax, fighting bump steer makes it worse.

2) You can minimize the causes and effects of bump steer. Only in the most extreme cases do I experience bump steer because I've found that:

a) When your tires are too hard your suspension reacts to pot holes, etc. more violently. When your tires are too soft the truck reacts too sloppy and recovers slow.

b) Steering and suspension geometry are key.

c) Wheel bearings, king pins, tie rod ends, steering gear box, spring mounts, bushings, shackles, etc, etc., have to be tight/no slop.

d) REAR spring mounts, bushings, and shackles HAVE to be TIGHT or bump steer will bounce your front end one way and the rear end the other way. Impromptu slalom course anyone? The last time I started to notice a return in bump steer I found my rear shackles were toast. When I replaced them it eliminated bump steer in all but the worst cases.

In other words there's no magic bullet (other than maintenance).

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