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Wandering steering

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Mastiff, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. Mastiff

    Mastiff 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    My K5 has slightly wandery steering all the time, but when I engage the front hubs (as I like to in winter when it's icy) it's much worse. I'm still in 2WD, just with the front hubs locked for convenience. I have an Auburn LSD up there, is that the culprit, or should I look someplace else? It really hurts the utility of the truck not to be able to shift in and out of 4WD as needed in the winter.
     
  2. Silver84k5

    Silver84k5 1/2 ton status

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    if its wandering when you are in 2wd and the hubs not locked, then its not the Auburn LSD. as it is not moving at all, Steering box might be worn, The bolts holding it to the frame maybe loose. I dont think that the normal frame cracking would make the steering wander be too noticable, But it is something to look into anyway. as far is it being worse when the hubs are locked, i dunno /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
     
  3. paveslave

    paveslave Registered Member

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    Have you looked for play in the steering box? Tie rod ends? Wheel alignment? /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  4. 99firehawk

    99firehawk 1/2 ton status

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    Have a helper sit in the truck (engine running key on) and hold the steering wheel at the top and shake firmly and slowy back and forth. You get under the front with a light and watch each tie rod and the pitman arm for side to side and up and down movement, if any thing moves its garbage. Another way to check them is with a large pair of channel locks, if you can squeeze them and get movement then its probaly no good. If when shaking the steering wheel you must move the wheel 1/4+ turns either way to move the tires the gear box is junk and needs to be replaced.
     
  5. Mastiff

    Mastiff 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I think everything is tight, but I'll double check. What I really wanted to find out is whether other people with front lockers or LSD's find their rigs to be driveable with the hubs locked in 2WD. Any comments? /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif
     
  6. velocitiii

    velocitiii Registered Member

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    with the hubs locked out you basically have a 2wd truck and 2wd's that wander need to have the alignment checked for toe out. If yours is exactly straight foreward when setting still or even toed out you need to have it aligned. You need the proper amount of toe in to prevent wandering. Does the truck pull to one side sometimes when you brake? This is often another sign of toe out. I run race cars on asphalt and we often use toe out for tuning purposes. This may not be your problem, but it is something you might want to check.
     
  7. Mastiff

    Mastiff 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    with the hubs locked out you basically have a 2wd truck and 2wd's that wander need to have the alignment checked for toe out. If yours is exactly straight foreward when setting still or even toed out you need to have it aligned. You need the proper amount of toe in to prevent wandering. Does the truck pull to one side sometimes when you brake? This is often another sign of toe out. I run race cars on asphalt and we often use toe out for tuning purposes. This may not be your problem, but it is something you might want to check.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I was under the impression that people never really aligned these trucks unless they messed with something. Wouldn't you have to do something to the tie rod to affect toe?

    What I did do was put the lift on, which came with the dropped arm, then reclocked the steering wheel so it pointed straight. I also put the front shims in that came with the kit. Maybe I should take those out? A guy at Dick Cepeck told me I basically had to decide if I wanted better road manners or off road durability. If I take the shims out, the angles get bad on the front driveshaft but the steering may be better because of caster. I'm not sure what most people do here. The only correct solution seems to be to have your entire axle assembly modified with the housing turned up some ($$$).
     
  8. mudjunkie 82

    mudjunkie 82 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    jack up the truck and put it on a set of jackstands.check tie rod ends wheel bearings ,steering box and all other front end componets for wear
     
  9. velocitiii

    velocitiii Registered Member

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    Any changes in the steering setup can change things. Also changing the angle of the axel would change the geometry. I aligh my race car with strings and levels. if your front and rear track are the same all you have to do is run a string from the rear tires up past the fronts and you will quickly see the amount of toe in or out. You must do both sides at once to be sure both tires are straight foreward. Basically there's 2 possibilities: 1 things are worn and loose. 2 you have toe out. Well I guess there's 1 more, if the axel angle is changed so that there is little or no caster that could cause it too.
     

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