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Fixing caster angles?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 90K5, May 17, 2002.

  1. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    I know this truck has a caster angle that can only be changed by using shims under the leaf springs...I have a 3" lift on it, and the toe is perfect, doesn't wander at all with no hands...it does get a little squirrely on rough surfaces, and also my steering wheel gets knocked around a lot more than most. I have driven a stocker recently and none of this happened. My wheel bearings are new, as are the ball joints and tie rod ends, tires have worn evenly, and alignment is perfect. i realize the shim I would need is probably pretty small, anyone know what degree shim I need to use, which way it goes, or even if it will work? Thanks
     
  2. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    Also, most of the time, the steering wheel is off a couple degrees to the right, then I brake, and it goes to the left under braking, and to the right under aceleration or cruising. I'm assuming this is because there is a small amount of dive in the truck, and the front axle rotates a little, cauisng this...I just put a steering stabilizer on it, which helped get rid of some of the squirrelyness, but most of it is still there.
     
  3. 70~K5

    70~K5 1/2 ton status

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    I talked to my wheel alignment juy this week about adjusting caster on a straight front axle 4x4. He said that 3 or 4 degree shim at the spring will only get about 1/4* change in caster.
     
  4. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    How much of a change would I need to make? I don't want to end up putting a huge shim in there, since putting blocks on the front is dumb, a shim could have the same effect.
     
  5. 70~K5

    70~K5 1/2 ton status

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    My guy said if it's within 1/2* of being right he leaves it where it is as it's not worth the time and labor to change.
     
  6. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    I dont get why you are blaming caster without knowing if that is the problem, which it never is...
     
  7. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Your problem may not be caster. The problem may be the drag link angle and Sway bar. Mine was reall bad like yours after the lift but most of it went away with a combination of getting the Drag link level, ORD steering brace and ORD sway bar dissconnects. The brace and the Disconnects made a HUGE difference. There is a lot more frame flex going on than most people realize. If you want to see for yourself just watch the steering box while you have somebody turn the wheels back and forth.
    Why the Sway is causing problems is it is now opperating at an angle it wasn't designed for. As the front nose dives it is not opperating in the same arch of travel as the axle is anymore. So it does try to rotate like you discribed. Then if the drag link is not close to level it tries to steer. The Dissonnects let the sway have some for/aft give and removes the bind. You can easily test to see if the say is your problem by simply dissconnecting it and taking it for a ride. Many people just leave them off. Most lift springs are a little stiff and the body roll is not that bad and easy to get use too.
    I recently removed the caster shim when I added the ORD 1 inch zero rates. Drives better than ever now.
    As of the wander on pavement. It may be more tires than you realize. I have 2 K5's. one is a Bone stock 79. I had installed a set of 32 inch BFG muds on it. When I got the 75 the Muds went on it and the 79 got a set of AT's. NIGHT and Day difference on the poor road surfaces. 79 now feels like a slot car. The 75 recently got 35's on 10 inch rims. The wider rim made the problem better and you would have thought it would have become worse with the bigger tire..
     
  8. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    I may try to make some kind of drop bracket for the front of the sawy bar...good idea? Also will get a drop pitman arm whe ni realce the steering box.
     
  9. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    Oh yeah, the steering stabilizer helped stiffen the feel of the wheel a little bit around turns...haven't driven it enough to notice anything else yet...
     
  10. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    actually the stabilizer helped a lot...don't see much dive anymore in th esteering.
     

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