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Wandering Truck, 52’ 1/2T
#1318095 Wed Jul 17 2019 04:04 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 795
P
Phak1 Offline OP
Jack of all Trades, Master of None
Well yesterday I got my 52’ registered and took her for a shake down cruise. The first thing I noticed was she was wandering all over the road. It felt like the road was taking the truck where it wanted to. There is a small amount of play in the steering wheel and I had my grandson move the wheel back and forth and there didn’t seem to be any play from the arm on the box.

Where do I go from here?


Phil

1952 Chevrolet 3100
Project Journals
‘59 235 & hydraulic lifters
“Three on the Tree” & 4:11 torque tube
12v w/ Alternator
Re: Wandering Truck, 52’ 1/2T
Phak1 #1318098 Wed Jul 17 2019 04:12 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 30,342
ace skiver
1. Follow the steering gear adjustment procedure in the Shop Manual.
You will need a cheap small-fish scale (available a Walmart).

2. Have your inspected/adjusted and greased front end parts as described the the Shop Manal (including wheel bearings)?

3. What size tires do you have?
To what PSI have you inflated them?


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com [1954advance-design.com]
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [stovebolt.com] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [1954advance-design.com] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. [chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com]
Re: Wandering Truck, 52’ 1/2T
Phak1 #1318140 Wed Jul 17 2019 10:40 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,395
ODSS Lawman
Have you checked your toe-in?


SWEET
Sergeant At Arms
Old Dominion Stovebolt Society

BUNS?!?!?! Where we're going, we don't need no buns.....

1950 GMC 450 (25% owner)
1951 Chevy 1/2-Ton
The GreenMachine
In the Stovebolt Gallery [stovebolt.com]
Re: Wandering Truck, 52’ 1/2T
Phak1 #1318149 Wed Jul 17 2019 11:30 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 795
P
Phak1 Offline OP
Jack of all Trades, Master of None
I just checked the tire pressures and they ran from 24 to 39 lbs. I think that is a good place to start. The tire size is P235/70R-15. What do you think they should be inflated to? The Shop Manual doesn’t address anything close to that size.

If that doesn’t solve the issue, which I suspect will not, I’ll proceed to the next step.

Thanks!

Last edited by Phak1; Wed Jul 17 2019 11:45 PM.

Phil

1952 Chevrolet 3100
Project Journals
‘59 235 & hydraulic lifters
“Three on the Tree” & 4:11 torque tube
12v w/ Alternator
Re: Wandering Truck, 52’ 1/2T
Phak1 #1318156 Thu Jul 18 2019 12:03 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 30,342
ace skiver
1500 lbs empty/curb weight & 3250 full load weight

https://tirepressure.com/235-70r15-tire-pressure

My guess is around 30 psi?

Inflate to 30 psi, go for a ride at medium and high speeds.
If it is hard to steer, increase psi.
If it is "squirrely" and wanders, decrease psi.


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com [1954advance-design.com]
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [stovebolt.com] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [1954advance-design.com] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. [chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com]
Re: Wandering Truck, 52’ 1/2T
Phak1 #1318160 Thu Jul 18 2019 12:20 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,603
C
Shop Shark
What is the condition of the:
Caster (use tapered shim to correct) and camber (must bend axle to correct)
Spindle bolts (king pins)
Shackle straps and pins
Rear spring eye bushings***
Drag link ends
Tie rod ends
Wander cause is not always in the steering gear box


Evan
Re: Wandering Truck, 52’ 1/2T
Phak1 #1318167 Thu Jul 18 2019 12:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 9,412
5
Master Gabster
What Evan said. It never seems to be the steering box causing random wandering.
If this truck is new to you, your best approach would be to assume that the previous owner did not know how to maintain these old trucks.
This means that you will need to take apart and inspect every component which Evan listed above.
If you have a Factory Repair Manual, all of these items are covered in detail.
Carl

Re: Wandering Truck, 52’ 1/2T
Phak1 #1318180 Thu Jul 18 2019 02:33 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 20,890
H
Boltergeist
The steering box center point adjustment is the FIRST thing I do to address a steering wander condition. It's incredibly important. However, to do the adjustment properly, the drag link must be disconnected from the Pitman arm so the steering box is the only thing being moved- - - -not all the steering linkage, spindles, etc. Once the box is adjusted correctly, then work your way outward- - - -look for slack in the drag link, king pins and bushings, tie rod ends, wheel bearings, etc. Tiny errors in a bunch of places can add up until you're herding the truck down the road, not steering it!
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Wandering Truck, 52’ 1/2T
Phak1 #1318184 Thu Jul 18 2019 02:54 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 795
P
Phak1 Offline OP
Jack of all Trades, Master of None
The previous owner’s did some shoddy work so I am suspect to everything that was done. I do have the Factory Repair Manual but I’m going to try the tire pressure first, then adjustment of the steering box as Tim suggested. To me, it makes more sense to do the easy things first. If that doesn’t help, I’ll go on to the other things Evan mentioned. Thanks!


Phil

1952 Chevrolet 3100
Project Journals
‘59 235 & hydraulic lifters
“Three on the Tree” & 4:11 torque tube
12v w/ Alternator
Re: Wandering Truck, 52’ 1/2T
Phak1 #1318374 Fri Jul 19 2019 01:11 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 772
V
VEW Offline
Shop Shark
I agree with HRL on the steering box adjustment. I really doesn't take that much time to do and doesn't cost anything --- except for some 000 grease. In my opinion, that's where it starts - - - at the steering wheel and box. Besides, you know you have a lot of play in the wheel, so you need to do it anyway. Just my opinion.


Victor

41 3/4 Ton Pick Up (in process)
55 Grumman Kurbside (Doughboy) 235/3 on tree w/ OD
57 3100
58 C4400 Viking (Thor)
59 C4500 Short Bus (Magic Bus)
59 G3800 1 Ton Dually (Chief)


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