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LONGER draglink.......is this possible?

Discussion in 'OffRoad Design' started by Greg72, Mar 12, 2002.

  1. Greg72

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

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    I was curious if anyone has come up with a stock-type draglink setup that is slightly longer than the original one on the Blazer....

    This whole experience with bumpsteer on my "shortened" draglink had me thinking that if I created so many problems with a draglink that was 1" shorter than stock.....what would happen if it was about 1" or 2" LONGER than stock? Could I actually minimize bumpsteer with a longer draglink?

    Two possible solutions I was thinking about were to either use some other type of steering arm (from another manufacturer, maybe with a slightly offset hole)......or a steering arm that was somehow "stretched" to move the rear draglink mounting point further back?

    I haven't spent a lot of time checking the "full lock" clearances of the steering components to see if they would hit a wheel or the frame or spring????......

    Just thought I'd throw this out for comments, or ideas.
     
  2. Twiz

    Twiz 1/2 ton status

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    Thats kinda what I've done, but I moved my steering gear forward and tilted it, so the pit-man arm swing is flat and level (close to it) The drag-link is now 20" long (stock is 15ish on 73-80s, probably 81s and up too, not sure on the first gens)
    From the side, if you can imagin. The Drag-link (if extended 4 more inches) and the front spring eye would come-very close to intersecting. So togather, the spring and drag-link would make a tri-angle shape, kinda like a ladder-bar.

    In the garage tests (still----[sad])

    Pros
    - Bump stear still exsists, but noticibly less. Full-stuff/drop will move the tires, but not nearly as much as it used to.
    - Jounceing the front suspension at ride-height doesn't appear to meve the tires at-all.
    - With the gear tilted, I have (very) close to full right-hand turning radius with the L/F dropped all the-way.

    Cons
    - It's a b!tch to do all that work to relocate the gear. Until this thing hitts the ground, I'm only playing out a hunch.
    - When the L/F tire is at full-stuff and turned to full lock to the right. The tire comes within an inch of the Pit-Man arm/Steering gear. NOT A GOOD THING. I'm limited to true tire-size of about 36/12.50s (Right now It has a set of D/C 36/15 bias-plys)
    - Relocating the gear, required alot of fabrication. Frame work, Cross-members, Drag-link coupler (also moved my spring buckets forward too) and the 'core suport was modified to clear the gear.
     
  3. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Longer drag link...I think it is called cross over steering /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
     
  4. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

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    I played around with a good number of tricks on the GM steering before converting to crossover. What I found to be the problem is the distance between the spring and the draglink horizontally. When the axle articulates it actually steers under the truck and roughly pivots around the main eye of the compression side spring. Since the steering linkage is located a few inches away from the leaf, the steering angle of the axle will move the steering arm on the axle closer to or farther from the steering box, making it roll steer. There's really not a good way to fix this without abandoning the system.

    The GM system works pretty well for vertical travel since the springs move together, it's articulation that doesn't work. I've layed out the leaf spring diagrams for traction bars and for the GM steering and there is a point where you're going to be able to put the end of the draglink so that it won't bumpsteer. Conveniently GM seems to have done the same thing since that's where they put the steering box on our trucks.
    I tried mounting a solid bar between the swaybar mount on the frame and the ubolt plate, thinking that eliminating the bushing flex would really help the steering response. It drove great on the highway but still didn't work out off road.

    The real solution is crossover, that seems to be the popular consensus that actually makes sense from an engineering standpoint also.
     
  5. Greg72

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

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    Thanks Stephen.......hey, did you check out my latest "offroad" pics yet? They're in my link at the bottom.....just thought you'd be interested to see those new springs in ACTION!!! /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
     
  6. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

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    I did see that, looks like it's working well. I was hoping to see some rocks or something but if sand is what you have, sand it is. Regardless it seems to keep the tires on the ground. Looks like you done good!
    don't be too down about the draglink thing, you're problem is not the draglink length change, it's the GM steering. What you're seeing on the road is roll steer, not bumpsteer. Installing the swaybar just increases the roll resistance of the front, it doesn't change the vertical travel characteristics. Most of the time if you have roll steer problems, it's GM steering.
    Moral of the story, I think you'd have a similar experience even leaving the axle in the stock location.
     

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