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Old 10-17-2019, 03:26 AM   #51 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by HydroDynamic View Post
I first started out looking at the weld on due to the cost savings since a lot of people have success with weld on. After researching the weld on and talking to a company that is one of the common top choices they said if your going to run it like an Ultra4 don't run a weld on, get a bolt on.

I would have no problem welding it with with the correct methods. But I still never was comfortable with the idea. I decided bolt on was the way to go so I could sleep at night and not dream of having the high steer break off and cause me to drive off a cliff and burn to death in a pile of twisted metal.

Bolt on methods varied so much as well as options for sending the knuckles out. By the time I was done researching. I saw the high steer in my head and figured it was easy enough to weld up a high steer bracket and drill and tap the knuckle and mount it. This allowed to put the tie rod location exactly where I wanted it. The bolt on design also grabbed the knuckle over more area than most key or step using smaller studs in a concentrated area. In the end I'm confident it is the strongest solution using the stock knuckle. Going to an aftermarket knuckle designed for high steer would be a better solution but I can not justify the cost and need.
Pictures of it can be found on IG @Dustdynamics
Price on your setup?
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Old 10-17-2019, 03:55 AM   #52 (permalink)
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You need a standard 20 ton harbor freight shop press and a torch to do what I did. No need for fancy equipment. edit : And a welder + angle grinder
I'd like to see how you held the axle in the press.

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Add a lathe and a bandsaw to the necessary tools, in my mind.
Patience and an angle grinder is much cheaper.
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:47 AM   #53 (permalink)
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That's pretty sweet, just a press and torch, I'd like to see that. I have both and might be happy to try this on my next build.
Torch the plug welds out of long side of one housing and short side of another one.
Install housings in the press and press out the tubes.
Heat the housing that had the short side removed while you're cooling the long side tube on the housing end.
Slide them together and weld the plug welds.

Now you have an axle with 2 long sides.

Cut the C's and remove the left over tube.
Cut the tubes to desired length.
Clean up the tube ends
Heat the C's
Slide/Wack them on the tubes while making sure your caster is how you want
Weld C's



Edit : Cutting the tubes to length before the pressing operations makes it waaaaay easier to fit the housing in the press. But I wrote the list to give an idea of the concept.

Last edited by Bebop; 10-17-2019 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 10-17-2019, 09:46 AM   #54 (permalink)
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It's all good. Some good tech came out of it lol.

And I'll be sending the stock Ford knuckles off to be machined after reading the responses. I like the idea of DIY but the cons have "steered" me away from welding them on
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:07 AM   #55 (permalink)
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Price on your setup?
I don't have time to make them for sale. Its mainly all labor as the flat bar and laser tabs and bolts are around $100 total. Hopefully others can get ideas and build their own versions or a vendor starts makes a none machined bolt on version. I don't know what it would look like on a regular SD 60 knuckle as mine are F550 SUPER 60 knuckles.
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:18 AM   #56 (permalink)
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It's all good. Some good tech came out of it lol.

And I'll be sending the stock Ford knuckles off to be machined after reading the responses. I like the idea of DIY but the cons have "steered" me away from welding them on
I will say the 05+ knuckles weld very good.

That's a dual pass TIG weld with 70s2 filler (what I had laying around):



I just didn't like the idea of welding a high steer arm to the knuckle as a sole way of fastening so I went with FWS arms (you can see machine work in the picture).

Last edited by Bebop; 10-17-2019 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:48 AM   #57 (permalink)
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Ackermann, steering angles, and arm length are an important factors to decide on for the high steer setup.

I chose parallel arms with no Ackermann effect so both tires would turn at the max angle for tighter turning in the rocks. Trade off is tire scrub on flat traction surfaces. But I'm not building for pavement use.

Double shearing off the stock lower eye as a tie rod pivot is going to keep the stock Ackermann and not turn the outside tire all the way and if that's the only tire making contact you get less effective steering angle. Using a bolt on arm with no pivot point drilled yet is an easy way to set it up as needed. Some arms might only have a narrow area to drill so Ackermann might only be parallel or set to the allowable drill area. If you're road driving enough you might want to use a high steer arm with more area or a location that allows for Ackermann.

The hydraulic cylinder and high steer arm length need to match so the total ram travel is used and the knuckle steering stops are almost touching at max angle. I ended up with 5.54" arm and a 8" travel cylinder with 45 degrees at both tires.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2fAa1UH...on_share_sheet


Last edited by HydroDynamic; 10-17-2019 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:59 AM   #58 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by HydroDynamic View Post
Ackermann, steering angles, and arm length are an important factors to decide on for the high steer setup.

I chose parallel arms with no Ackermann effect so both tires would turn at the max angle for tighter turning in the rocks. Trade off is tire scrub on flat traction surfaces. But I'm not building for pavement use.

Double shearing off the stock lower eye as a tie rod pivot is going to keep the stock Ackermann and not turn the outside tire all the way and if that's the only tire making contact you get less effective steering angle. Using a bolt on arm with no pivot point drilled yet is an easy way to set it up as needed. Some arms might only have a narrow area to drill so Ackermann might only be parallel or set to the allowable drill area. If you're road driving enough you might want to use a high steer arm with more area or a location that allows for Ackermann.

The hydraulic cylinder and high steer arm length need to match so the total ram travel is used and the knuckle steering stops are almost touching at max angle. I forget what I ended up with, but I think it was around 6" arm and a 8" travel cylinder with 45 degrees at both tires.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2fAa1UH...on_share_sheet

Great info on trade offs with ackermann... I'm going to quote this into the front axle build thread if you don't mind. I really want to get that going so info is available to all the wannabe builders like me
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Old 10-17-2019, 12:43 PM   #59 (permalink)
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Great info on trade offs with ackermann... I'm going to quote this into the front axle build thread if you don't mind. I really want to get that going so info is available to all the wannabe builders like me
Fine by me. I updated the arm length in the quoted text so revise as needed.
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:08 PM   #60 (permalink)
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The height of the high steer also determines the loading of the ball joints.

I went extra high to get the tie rods and cylinder up out of the rocks. This puts all the steering load in line with the upper ball joints. In stock form the steering load is down lower and centered between the upper and lower ball joints which better distributes the steering load.

With the high steer pivots up higher and closer to the upper ball joints, the tie rods can also take some vertical weight load off the knuckle ball joints when not steering. It would act as having two upper ball joints when no steering load is applied. This is beneficial for high G's or gravity loading when landing from a fall or jump.

I don't know what type of load is breaking upper ball joints or if its even an issue, but height of the steering arm does have an effect.
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:19 PM   #61 (permalink)
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I first started out looking at the weld on due to the cost savings since a lot of people have success with weld on. After researching the weld on and talking to a company that is one of the common top choices they said if your going to run it like an Ultra4 don't run a weld on, get a bolt on.

I would have no problem welding it with with the correct methods. But I still never was comfortable with the idea. I decided bolt on was the way to go so I could sleep at night and not dream of having the high steer break off and cause me to drive off a cliff and burn to death in a pile of twisted metal.

Bolt on methods varied so much as well as options for sending the knuckles out. By the time I was done researching. I saw the high steer in my head and figured it was easy enough to weld up a high steer bracket and drill and tap the knuckle and mount it. This allowed to put the tie rod location exactly where I wanted it. The bolt on design also grabbed the knuckle over more area than most key or step using smaller studs in a concentrated area. In the end I'm confident it is the strongest solution using the stock knuckle. Going to an aftermarket knuckle designed for high steer would be a better solution but I can not justify the cost and need.
Pictures of it can be found on IG @Dustdynamics
as a machinist and welder by trade, the answer is about always "bolt on" when given the choice. if you can make something bolt together instead of weld together without much more effort, the serviceability is well worth it.
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:51 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Decided to set back and see what happened to this thread. I too want to apologize to the OP for veering off.

Seems there is a satisfaction with making the SD work. Brighter folks are building their own out of two axles. Folks are seeing the issues and are attempting to "correct" or "make do" with them. Some approaches are novel while others are common sense designed to fit the need.

You guys busted my balls and I guess I had it coming. Other than the bling factor nobody commented as to why I went the way I did.

The RJ has better ground clearance, pinion oiling, pinion support and the housing design captures the main caps better than a standard housing which helps with deflection. My WB is short and a HP in the rear really helps with DS angles.

After retubing many a Ford short side and making a number of HP passenger drops. I wanted an axle that didn't need a bunch of work to create. Yes I couldva retubed again but the advantages of the RJ housing were appealing.

The SpiderTrax outers allowed me to do the TR to the Ackerman I wanted. Plus the TR could be positioned both X and Y to clear any obstructions and maintain the Ackerman setting. Mounting the Ram directly to the knuckle was another plus. As was adding positive steering stops.

Doing all this with cast outers is tough to do. Simply welding to the SpiderTrax parts was easy.

Custom shafts were needed both front and rear. Again, took advantage of the services SpiderTrax offers. The pricing wasn't that outrageous and the design has advantages.

Whether you have a big fancy shop or a dirt floor under a tree you can often make whatever you want. It takes ingenuity and understanding. Sometimes you can modify OEM parts and sometimes aftermarket bling has its place.

At the end of the day only you can decide what is satisfactory. I just hated to see the OP simply drive into the SD world without having at least a taste of what else is out there. Both pro and con. SD and non SD.
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:49 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Ackermann, steering angles, and arm length are an important factors to decide on for the high steer setup.

I chose parallel arms with no Ackermann effect so both tires would turn at the max angle for tighter turning in the rocks. Trade off is tire scrub on flat traction surfaces. But I'm not building for pavement use.

Double shearing off the stock lower eye as a tie rod pivot is going to keep the stock Ackermann and not turn the outside tire all the way and if that's the only tire making contact you get less effective steering angle. Using a bolt on arm with no pivot point drilled yet is an easy way to set it up as needed. Some arms might only have a narrow area to drill so Ackermann might only be parallel or set to the allowable drill area. If you're road driving enough you might want to use a high steer arm with more area or a location that allows for Ackermann.

The hydraulic cylinder and high steer arm length need to match so the total ram travel is used and the knuckle steering stops are almost touching at max angle. I ended up with 5.54" arm and a 8" travel cylinder with 45 degrees at both tires.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2fAa1UH...on_share_sheet


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Old 10-17-2019, 02:57 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Decided to set back and see what happened to this thread. I too want to apologize to the OP for veering off.

Seems there is a satisfaction with making the SD work. Brighter folks are building their own out of two axles. Folks are seeing the issues and are attempting to "correct" or "make do" with them. Some approaches are novel while others are common sense designed to fit the need.

You guys busted my balls and I guess I had it coming. Other than the bling factor nobody commented as to why I went the way I did.

The RJ has better ground clearance, pinion oiling, pinion support and the housing design captures the main caps better than a standard housing which helps with deflection. My WB is short and a HP in the rear really helps with DS angles.

After retubing many a Ford short side and making a number of HP passenger drops. I wanted an axle that didn't need a bunch of work to create. Yes I couldva retubed again but the advantages of the RJ housing were appealing.

The SpiderTrax outers allowed me to do the TR to the Ackerman I wanted. Plus the TR could be positioned both X and Y to clear any obstructions and maintain the Ackerman setting. Mounting the Ram directly to the knuckle was another plus. As was adding positive steering stops.

Doing all this with cast outers is tough to do. Simply welding to the SpiderTrax parts was easy.

Custom shafts were needed both front and rear. Again, took advantage of the services SpiderTrax offers. The pricing wasn't that outrageous and the design has advantages.

Whether you have a big fancy shop or a dirt floor under a tree you can often make whatever you want. It takes ingenuity and understanding. Sometimes you can modify OEM parts and sometimes aftermarket bling has its place.

At the end of the day only you can decide what is satisfactory. I just hated to see the OP simply drive into the SD world without having at least a taste of what else is out there. Both pro and con. SD and non SD.
this post and your other post was chock full of great information thank you, i do appreciate getting to hear your thoughts and experience on building an axle, your delivery was just off and in the wrong thread
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:41 AM   #65 (permalink)
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From what I can tell, the only commercially available machine/bolt high steer arms for 05+ SD are Weaver Fab and Four Wheel Supply

I'd like to run parallel steering, or at least minimal ackerman. It seems like both of these kits retain close to stock ackerman. Am I missing any other options?
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:01 AM   #66 (permalink)
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is there a text version of this image? I can't see it
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:03 AM   #67 (permalink)
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is there a text version of this image? I can't see it
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:34 AM   #68 (permalink)
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Why would you want to run minimal
Ackerman ?
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:59 AM   #69 (permalink)
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Why would you want to run minimal
Ackerman ?
let's phrase it this way: in a high slip environment (offroad) and a low traction surface (offroad) what kind of slip angle are you getting that is low enough to be influenced by the minimal influence of high ackerman angle?

i'm in the "not important in offroad" camp. for a rock crawler or trail rig, the cornering speed isn't high enough to matter about weight transfer or contact patch.

"off road racing" also runs such a (relative to road racing) large sidewall and soft tire, that patch slip isn't well controlled anyways. the tire can withstand a pretty big amount of deformation before it gets forced by the wheel/steering. turning in dirt is more about the tire digging in to the ground and building or following a "rut", not maintaining high load and contact at the patch to get grip to have the inside tire help pull through the corner.

edit: that being said, what would I consider to be important when setting up knuckle and steering arm length? Making sure you don't break your shit how much angle can your knuckle and axle physically handle? 30*? 40*? 50*? set your steering stop (ram or other physical) so that your tire, without regard to inside or outside, does not go beyond your physical limit. For a higher speed rig, most of your cornering is going to come from your outside tire, if you want the most steering, then you want that tire to maximize angle. That means you will either have neutral ackerman (// steering) or negative ackerman (inside, low weight tire will toe IN). extremes should be avoided, because you don't want to have your inside tire push you out of a corner in the event it is getting traction.

building with high ackerman is silly, for a high speed dirt rig, because then you are limiting the angle of your outside tire to whatever the max physically allowed is by the amount of the ackerman for the inside tire, and you would be hoping that your inside tire is going to pull you around the corner. the outside tire does most of the work and is the path that will be followed.

for a dedicated crawler, maybe you want to steer with the inside tire, I dunno, but you won't have weight transfer putting more bias to the outside tire. that would relate more to the 'lower' tire
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:38 AM   #70 (permalink)
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Your comment is spot on.

The forces in the “Offroad” environment and the tire manners themselves would tend to negate much of the advantage of the angularity difference Ackerman provides.

If proper conditions did prevail (slip and sidewall rebound) the Ackerman would come into play, More-on the higher traction surfaces Where tire slip is less.

My response was more generated along the lines of on road handling where the slip angle and sidewall stiffness were more in focus.

Saying you don’t want Ackerman seems counterintuitive.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:49 AM   #71 (permalink)
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I don't have time to make them for sale. Its mainly all labor as the flat bar and laser tabs and bolts are around $100 total. Hopefully others can get ideas and build their own versions or a vendor starts makes a none machined bolt on version. I don't know what it would look like on a regular SD 60 knuckle as mine are F550 SUPER 60 knuckles.
That's a great looking setup.
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Old 10-22-2019, 03:17 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Why would you want to run minimal
Ackerman ?
By minimal, I really meant as close to parallel steering as practical.

Your maximum steering angle is limited by universal joints and/or body/link clearance, typically on the inside tire. I think for maximum rock crawling performance, you would you want both tires to be capable of maximum steering angle. In a rock crawler, you have no way to know which wheel will have more traction or which will have zero traction.

I am now wondering if anyone has actually experimented with this. With a bolt on arm, it's reasonably easy to try.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:53 AM   #73 (permalink)
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I`ll mention this here and on the other thread.

At some point the "parts" and tire clearance limit what you can do with the steering angle. Its within those limits that you have to decide what setup works best for you.

Personally I like to have Ackerman even if it does limit my SA by a degree or two.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:30 PM   #74 (permalink)
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99-04 knuckles are cast iron and is a poor candidate for welding. The 05+ knuckle are cast steel and will take to welding much better. That said the artec arms I feel have the best design since they have much more welded surface area and gusseting to spread the load across the knuckle. I haven't come across or seen any pictures of a failed 05+ weld on high steer. Fusion 4x4s solution for these is very nice and the way I would go if doing it over again.
Nope... both are cast steel..
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Whose hi steer arms are keyed? Looks like the Weaver fab ones aren't?
Uugh, really? My arm is keyed around the caliper ear and the front step down. If you are thinking a slot type key, then no, but this is stronger..
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Originally Posted by Jeffh555 View Post
From what I can tell, the only commercially available machine/bolt high steer arms for 05+ SD are Weaver Fab and Four Wheel Supply

I'd like to run parallel steering, or at least minimal ackerman. It seems like both of these kits retain close to stock ackerman. Am I missing any other options?
Well, i generally try to keep my opinion of that hack to myself, but, if we must compare.. you might notice "his" hi steer arm looks just like mine but a crappier version. That is because he copied it, directly, just like he has done to solid and others. "His" 05up setup is a 99-04 arm (theft of my design) flipped over and bolted to the knuckle with all thread and lug nuts. (Edit: looks like he decided to copy our socket head bolts also). My 05-up kit is keyed around the caliper boss and doweled with 4130 dowels, retains vacuum hub locks (if desired), sits inboard of the stock arm for extra wheel clearance (5.25" b/s) and is longer than stock so you dont need offset tie rods to clear the diff cover at full lock..
And yes, since our arm sits inboard, ackerman is reduced if both sides are used..
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I`ll mention this here and on the other thread.

At some point the "parts" and tire clearance limit what you can do with the steering angle. Its within those limits that you have to decide what setup works best for you.

Personally I like to have Ackerman even if it does limit my SA by a degree or two.
Agreed..
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Old 10-25-2019, 05:08 PM   #75 (permalink)
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My arm is keyed around the caliper ear and the front step down. If you are thinking a slot type key, then no, but this is stronger.

Well, i generally try to keep my opinion of that hack to myself, but, if we must compare.. you might notice "his" hi steer arm looks just like mine but a crappier version.

Agreed..
FYI for those of you thinking why should I pay more for Weaver vs a knock off.
The "Hack" shows a little gap between the step on the arm and the knuckle which makes the step ineffective at taking load before the bolts shear. Tolerance means everything.
I built my own so I have no bias toward either vendor.

Last edited by HydroDynamic; 10-28-2019 at 12:51 PM.
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