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Steering sucks - crossover steering for a 10b?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by landcrusher, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. landcrusher

    landcrusher Registered Member

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    First post on CK5:

    I’ve read some threads concerning crossover steering and haven’t really found the answers I’m looking for. (‘search’ isn’t currently working)

    I’ve got a ’84 Burb w/ a 6” lift which was installed by the previous owner. The 10 bolt has the ‘raised’ steering arm to “help” correct steering issues. I also have HD extended shackles up front and no shims (also from the previous owner), so I’m pretty sure my pinion and caster angles are wrong.

    I been driving it for a year now and I’m fed up with the steering performance. There are numerous problems with my steering; the front end dives and darts under mild-hard braking, wandering/drifting, excessive play in the steering wheel, drag link ends keep wearing out, grinding/popping when in 4wd (can’t tell if it’s the gears, u-joints, or the CV joint from the T/C hitting the cross member).

    Obviously I need caster correction, and something to help the draglink angle, but I’m also considering a crossover steering conversion.

    So now onto what input I would like from anyone who can give it:
    From what I understand, I can use D44 flat top knuckles on my 10b. True?
    Are there problems using a 2wd steering box w/ a Hydro-boost system?
    How hard/easy is the crossover steering to do?

    Any relatively easy alternatives to doing the crossover steering?
    Dana 60 swap?
     
  2. MTBLAZER89

    MTBLAZER89 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    From what I understand, I can use D44 flat top knuckles on my 10b. True?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    True /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif you have to get them machined and tapped to accept the pass side steering arm.
    [ QUOTE ]
    Are there problems using a 2wd steering box w/ a Hydro-boost system?


    [/ QUOTE ]
    Not that I know of.
    Check out ORD they have a pretty good explanation of everything you need,
     
  3. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Can't just use any D44 knuckles. You need the '76 or older knuckles from any 1/2 or 3/4 ton. '77 and newer won't work.
     
  4. bablazer73

    bablazer73 1/2 ton status

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    First... Let me welcome you to the site.
    I have a cross over on my 73. with a 10 bolt. You will need D44 knuckles, early flat top style. AND you will need the tie rod from it also. Unless you are going to use a rock rod, or something similar. The early tie rod ends were different than 10 bolts. The passenger side will need some machine work. machine the top smooth and have studs installed. ORD can do that for you. I had a local shop do mine. I got the steering arm and the pitman arm from ORD. The new drag link can be made from several people. You will just need to know the lenght. I waited till I had my cross over in and on the ground before i measured it. I have 9" of lift. Any 2 wheel box should work, as long as it's the later box with the O-Rings on the lines. There were plenty of 2x trucks with hydro boost. I had a 2x burb with 454 that was hydro. While you have the box off, Check the frame were the box bolts on. It is real common for the frames to crack there. this will make the steering wander all over!! ORD also sell a kit to repair that. I would suggest this even if it isn't cracked yet. At least the bolt in brace.

    as far as caster correction, Other than having the ends of the tubes spun, I think all you can do is install shims.
     
  5. landcrusher

    landcrusher Registered Member

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    Thanks for the welcome;

    [ QUOTE ]
    You will just need to know the lenght. I waited till I had my cross over in and on the ground before i measured it.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    So what exactly am I measuring? The length from the new pitman arm to the passenger side steering arm for a custom drag link?

    I’ve looked around my steering box and haven’t seen any cracks. Can cracks develop under the box? I was planning, at minimum, to get the frame patch cracked or not. ORD’s bolt in brace looks pretty slick. The only cracks I’ve seen are around my drivers side shock mount. It needs a gusset or something.

    I’ve seen flat tops for sale in various places (like e-Bay) and in some instances both sides (pas & drv) are machined, tapped and studded. Only the passenger side needs the steering arm correct? I’ve also seen sales for steering arms as a set, both passenger and drivers. This doesn’t make sense to me.

    My stock tie rod won’t work due to the distance variance between the D44 and 10b, or because the tie rod ends are sized differently between the two?

    Anyone with pictures of a D44 or 10b crossover would help me visualize the install.

    I’m sure shims are my best answer because of my pinion angle. I haven’t measured it but I’m pretty sure it’s too low.
     
  6. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    So what exactly am I measuring? The length from the new pitman arm to the passenger side steering arm for a custom drag link?

    I’ve looked around my steering box and haven’t seen any cracks. Can cracks develop under the box? I was planning, at minimum, to get the frame patch cracked or not. ORD’s bolt in brace looks pretty slick. The only cracks I’ve seen are around my drivers side shock mount. It needs a gusset or something.

    I’ve seen flat tops for sale in various places (like e-Bay) and in some instances both sides (pas & drv) are machined, tapped and studded. Only the passenger side needs the steering arm correct? I’ve also seen sales for steering arms as a set, both passenger and drivers. This doesn’t make sense to me.

    My stock tie rod won’t work due to the distance variance between the D44 and 10b, or because the tie rod ends are sized differently between the two?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    1. Exactly right. You'd be measuring the length of the drag link.

    2. Yes cracks can develop under the box.

    3. You may see both sides tapped and studded because the driver's side ones are ALL that way, they came that way from the factory. You may also see it this way because it's common for someone to do crossover steering and what they call hi-steer at the same time. Hi-steer is where you the tie rod is directly above or behind the axle, attached between two steering arms on top of the knuckle. This is typically done for clearance. Many choose not to do it, I'm one of them, although I haven't ruled it out as a possibility.

    There's one more thing I'd like to add. I've wanted to do this mod for years on my truck, but I didn't because I knew that one day I would get a Dana 60 and it'd all be wasted at that point. If you ever have any intention of going with a D60, live with your front to back steering until then. Otherwise, go for it, it's a good mod from what I've seen on other people's rigs.

    I can't wait to get mine, just ordered it yesterday. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif I didn't need the length because they had it on file for the drag link with 6" lift. They might be able to do this for your 10 bolt front and whatever lift you may have.
     
  7. landcrusher

    landcrusher Registered Member

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    The flat tops I was referring to were freshly machined and tapped for both sides, so they were probably for hi-steer, that makes sense.

    A hy-steer (or hi-steer) system seems like it would cause conflict between the tie rod and cross member, especially if on the backside of the axle. Which brings to mind; Are there any cross member interferences with the draglink on a typical crossover steering conv. since the original GM design wasn’t this way?

    Why did GM even go with the front to back design? Any advantages to this setup (F to B)? Seems the ‘crossed’ over steering is just better for any application.

    If the D60 swap is relatively easy, I may go this route. I’m not planning on running anything larger than my 35’s (maybe 36’s). I just want dependable. Something I can throw in and not worry about.
     
  8. landcrusher

    landcrusher Registered Member

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    More questions:

    Can the D44 knuckles come from other pre '77 apps like Dodge or Jeep? Or am I limited to pre '77 GM D44 knuckles?

    Are all '77+ knuckles "round top" or do I have to beware of any '77+ flat top knuckles?
     
  9. landcrusher

    landcrusher Registered Member

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    I was hoping that crossover steering would correct (or at least help) bump steer. I’ve now read that it can create it!?

    My main concern is getting bump steer to a minimum. I’m now just considering adding a drop pitman arm or a drop drag link. Will either of these help my bump steer situation?
     
  10. 69K5

    69K5 1/2 ton status

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    are 6 and 8 lig knuckles the same except for the hubs and bearings. i have some 6 lug flat tops i want to get machined. but i now have 8 lug under the truck.

    thanks

    69k5
     
  11. landcrusher

    landcrusher Registered Member

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    hmmm... good question... anybody?
     
  12. MTBLAZER89

    MTBLAZER89 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Can the D44 knuckles come from other pre '77 apps like Dodge or Jeep?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yeah just make sure you get a matched pair /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif Also make sure you get a set with 6 spindle nuts I know there is something out there with only 5 and a GM spindle wont fit.

    [ QUOTE ]
    I was hoping that crossover steering would correct (or at least help) bump steer. I’ve now read that it can create it!?


    [/ QUOTE ]

    I have never heard that. Crossover prevents bumpsteer which is caused by the stock GM steering geometry /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    [ QUOTE ]
    are 6 and 8 lug knuckles the same except for the hubs and bearings. I have some 6 lug flat tops i want to get machined. but I now have 8 lug under the truck.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yes the difference is the hub and rotor between 6 and 8 lug at least as far as I know there is no differences /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  13. landcrusher

    landcrusher Registered Member

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    [ QUOTE ]

    I have never heard that. Crossover prevents bumpsteer which is caused by the stock GM steering geometry /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif


    [/ QUOTE ]

    This is what I thought and it seems most agree.

    But what I read was that crossover causes the steering to dart to one side when hitting bumps (bump steer) and using a panhard bar parallel to the drag link will eliminate the problem. I don't want to add a panhard bar.

    It seems crossover also decreases turning radius'.
     
  14. skelly1

    skelly1 1/2 ton status

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    My blazer has the same symptoms. I'll probably just go down to a 2.5" lift from a 4" that's really 5". As far as crossover goes, it's universally excepted on this board as the way to go, but I've never read any cons about it. Let me know if you find out anything concrete about the cons.
     
  15. JIM88K5

    JIM88K5 1/2 ton status

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    Ball joints, tie rod ends, steering rod ends are probably original and shot. Replace all that stuff and you wont belive the difference. If you do x-over and dont replace other worn out parts it will still dart and wander under braking. Adjusting the slop in your steering box will take care of alot of that too. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  16. landcrusher

    landcrusher Registered Member

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    I know the drag link is new. That made quite a difference changing that out. I still have a downward angle from the pitman arm to the steering arm which tweaks the ends on the drag link.

    The TRE’s all seem to be in good shape. I know the passenger side wheel bearings are a little loose. I figured I’d replace all bearings and seal when (if) I do a cross over conv. I would also need a new tie rod to fit the Dana 44 knuckles since I have a Corporate 10 bolt now.

    I’ll see if I can find the thread (or dig up cons) that talked about using a panhard bar for correction.
     

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