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Extended Shackels cause screwy steering?

Discussion in 'OffRoad Design' started by afroman006, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    When I put my lift on I also installed the extended shackles. Now, my steering is somewhat squirly and wanders a little bit on its own. What could cause this? I installed dual steering stablilizers and it helped a bit but it still is not satisfactory. I was wondering if the extended shackles' effects on castor and candor and all that steering crap I dont understand is the cause or if it could be my power steering box that has 201,000 miles on it. Or anything else? Basically, I'm looking for a way to tighten up my whole steering system. Thx
     
  2. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Oh Man! You're killing me with your "candor"!!! /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    I'm not quite sure how you isolated the squirrelly steering to the ORD shackles...you say that you also installed a lift kit at the same time. What brand/type of lift are we talking about here? Did you make any changes to the steering at that time (like a dropped pitman arm, or a raised steering arm, or an S-shaped draglink.....or a combination of those items?)

    It's not inconceivable that you installed a nice soft spring, and now the steering geometry changes are more noticeable when the front suspension cycles. Does it seem to pull one way when you jump on the gas, and pull the opposite way when you jump on the brakes??? Or is it just a general "wandering around" on the highway??? /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  3. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    candor aka camber... /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  4. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

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    There are lots of things to look for, Greg has you started down the right path. If you have a new lift and our shackles with new bushings, that's probably the last place to look for a wander problem.
     
  5. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    Not attacking ORD I love all their stuff I was just wondering. The springs are 6" tuff country easy rides with ORD greasable goodies all around. It just wanders on the highway. I installed a raised steering arm when I did the lift. Y'all think it could be the PS box or something else?
     
  6. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    If all the suspension parts are new (which it sounds like they are) then I'd definitely look for worn steering parts next.

    Immediate suspects are:

    Worn draglink ends
    Worn tierod ends

    I had worn draglink ends on my truck when I first bought it. You can check easily by idling the engine with the truck out of gear. Have someone quickly turn the wheel back and forth a few inches and watch the ends. If they are worn, you will see them moving up and down during this experiment. It's a relatively cheap fix and it only takes a few minutes to swap them....
     
  7. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Also, don't forget to check VERY closely for frame cracks around the steering box. It doesn't take much unwanted movement there to make the truck really want to wander from ditch to ditch. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  8. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    I installed the steering brace very shortly after I put my lift and tires on. Still, what specific area do I need to look for cracks in? Thx
     
  9. 88jimmy4x4

    88jimmy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Is your draglink straight, parallel to the ground or at an angle?
    If its angled and worn it could cause those problems.
     
  10. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    I had a little accident involving a ditch and a concrete dome of sorts so I'll be getting a new draglink anyway. It has a slight angle to it so I think I'm gonna order myself a 2" drop draglink from rancho I think? I dunno I need to look at 4wheelparts and see what they have. Thx
     
  11. Seventy4Blazer

    Seventy4Blazer 3/4 ton status

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    check the steering shaft joint at the top of the box, bottom of the sttering shaft. tey go bad and do what you say.
    12 dollar fix if thats it. and about 20 min.
    Grant
     
  12. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

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    STOP! don't put a 2" drop pitman arm on there, with a 6" lift, you will want to have a bit of an angle from front to rear on the arm so the 4" raised arm should be all you need. The reason you need this angle is to help the draglink motion match the axle motion so you have less bumpsteer. You see, when the 6" springs compress, they're going to move the axle back because they have some arch to them and you want the axle end of the draglink to move back a little bit too. The way to achieve this is to have the back end of the draglink sitting lower than the front, that way when it starts moving upward, it goes back a little on the way. At the very least, it's not moving forward as the suspension compresses like it will do if your draglink is level to start with.

    The steering linkage angles will cause bumpsteer and roll steer, but will have little to do with a wander problem, at least on the system we're talking about. You want to look at the other items the other buys mentioned, any component between your hands and the tires that can have looseness in it will be a problem.
     
  13. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    Ok thx Steve. Good think I didnt order it yet lol. I think I'm just gonna get two brand new OEM draglink ends and start there. If that doesnt fix it, new PS box. My entire front suspension is ORD stuff and its all good /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  14. BENNY2

    BENNY2 Newbie

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    havu check for cracks in the steering box

    or u might need a wheel alignment
     
  15. highrlr

    highrlr 1/2 ton status

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    I am having the same problem as you are. My truck drove fine before my lift, I installed 4" TC springs with greasable bushings, heavy duty shackles, sway bar quick realeses, and a 4" steering arm, i also had it aligned afterwards and had a new drag link and two new ball joints installed and it drives like crap still. I installed a steering box brace also and did not notice any cracks in my frame but i didnt remove the steering box, would this be necissary to find cracks in the frame? My drag link is pretty level though so maybe that is my problem?
     
  16. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    On a 4" lift I think it is better to use a dropped pitman arm instead of a rasied steering arm. What kind of problems are you having with the handling? Did you put on larger tires with the lift?
     
  17. BENNY2

    BENNY2 Newbie

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    cracks

    yes remove steering box clean frame, cracks if present will be close to mounting holes 1973 i repair all cracks with grinder shape a v in the crack then weld not to deep.:cool1: i found cracks even in my sway bar mounts
     
  18. mudhound72

    mudhound72 1/2 ton status

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    I am having the same prob with my Blazer.

    Here is what I had done, the truck started with 6" Skyjacker springs, had a full p/s failer gear box failed took out pump replaced everthing to get rid of contamation, later installed extended shackles and started to stear like crap, wondering sever bump stear ect, after some checking saw the drivers spring flexed while stearing so thought they were week after 8 years of abouse and replaced them with the same type (I love the way they ride ) it helped some but still the same prob.

    Are the extended shackles the prob or were should I look at next

    And yes I did clean and check the frame and found nothing

    I am thinking about going to hyd asst will this help the prob
     
  19. highrlr

    highrlr 1/2 ton status

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    Yes I also installed some 35" all terrains on my stock wheels along with everything else. the steering is just really vague, wanders alot especially over bumps, pretty much the same symptoms everyone else is mentioning. Ill go home and remove my steering box i guess and make sure there are no cracks in the frame, if there are should i repair them as well as adding a weld on box brace on top of the bolt on brace I already have?
     
  20. azblazer69

    azblazer69 Registered Member

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    You may need to have the castor checked at an alignment shop... Extended shackles will change the caster by lowering one side of the spring and not the other... You may need to install a castor wedge, btwn the spring and the axle... If the castor is not correct the tires will not want to return to center when you complete a turn.... Which SUCKS
     

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