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sway problem

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jasonkimba, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. jasonkimba

    jasonkimba Registered Member

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    I have an 86 k5 350 auto. No lift....

    While driving the infamos Mex 1 ( a 2 lane nightmare) down to Cabo, we encountered less than accepable handling..ie. swaying, drifing at higher speeds 50 -70 mph. On trails or the beaches it wasn't too noticeable
    Our bf goodrich a/t's are new and inflated to 34 psi (on the highway of course).

    The back of the truck was pretty weighted down with gear, and a rear tire/ gerry can rack which is also new to the truck seemed to not help the situation. Could this be the culprit??

    Any solutions??

    ADD A LEAF?

    ADJUSTABLE AIR SPRINGS?
     
  2. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    add a..

    Rear sway bars are available aftermarket...stiffer springs or air bags help,but you suffer with a stiff ride all the time when unloaded..the sway bar will kill the sway but wont affect the spring rates...ADDCO is one brand of sway bar that probably makes one to fit your truck....is your FRONT sway bar still there,or was it removed for more off road flex??--

    If so,that will contribute to the swaying a lot too,if its missing or broken...a shock absorber that failed will also do the same thing..I see many shocks that leaked all the fluid out,and do absolutely NOTHING when you pull them in and out at my friends tire and alignment shop...even ones that are fairly new!..might check the U-bolts and make sure they are tight,and no spring center bolts are sheared too,and the bushings in the leaf springs are ok..... :crazy:
     
  3. jasonkimba

    jasonkimba Registered Member

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    thanks

    researching addco right now for the sway.

    what about the sag while loaded??



    thanks for the tip

    J
     
  4. MarcS

    MarcS 1/2 ton status

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    Are you sure you didn't just overload the suspension ???
    How is it empty ???
     
  5. steve_kibbe

    steve_kibbe 1/2 ton status

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    I have a jeep cherokee I drive every day with air shocks on the back. They were on it when I baught it. When I pull stuff I will air them up, and once I'm done, I air them down. They help out ALOT. They can handle a pretty good load. If I were in your case, I would look into something similar, or maybe the small air bag setup that bolts on top of the springs so you can use it when you need it.

    Do you haul alot often?
     
  6. jasonkimba

    jasonkimba Registered Member

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    drives much better empty

    drives much better empty. we figured we put about an extra 275 pound in the rear, not to mention to rear mounted tire that used to live inside.....
     
  7. jasonkimba

    jasonkimba Registered Member

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    we don't haul trailers, but we do load up the back for longer road trips.
    maybe the air bags would eliminate some of the sway???
     
  8. steve_kibbe

    steve_kibbe 1/2 ton status

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    I think they would, I think jc whitney has them
     
  9. PsychoticDeadGuy

    PsychoticDeadGuy 1/2 ton status

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    i have a rear sway bar you can get off me for $50...i live in the bay area in cali. i am not sure where you are.
     
  10. BAJA_BLAZER

    BAJA_BLAZER 1/2 ton status Author

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    A sway bar is not what you need, your description (“drifing at higher speeds 50 -70 mph”) sound more like front end geometry problem. With the weight shifted to the back, the front gets relitivly light and the effective caster is changed. When you turn the steering wheel, the front wheels respond by turning on a pivot attached to the suspension system. Caster is the angle of this steering pivot, measured in degrees, when viewed from the side of the vehicle. If the top of the pivot is leaning toward the rear of the car, then the caster is positive, if it is leaning toward the front, it is negative. If the caster is out of adjustment, it can cause problems in straight line tracking. If the caster is different from side to side, the vehicle will pull to the side with the less positive caster. If the caster is equal but too negative, the steering will be light and the vehicle will wander and be difficult to keep in a straight line. If the caster is equal but too positive, the steering will be heavy and the steering wheel may kick when you hit a bump.
     
  11. steve_kibbe

    steve_kibbe 1/2 ton status

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    I see what you're saying, but how would his caster change with out a lift?
    Btw, what is the "best" caster angle?
     
  12. highrlr

    highrlr 1/2 ton status

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    So the caster would be the angle of your knuckle right? Either forward(negative) or rearward(positive). My truck is hard to keep in a straight line, sounds like I should have them check this out at the alignment shop. If I understand correctly he is saying that with the load in the rear the whole truck is leaning rearward(including the front axle) which would effectively change his caster angle slightly but enough to make it drive worse than normal??????
     

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