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Steering Version 4 (FINAL!)

I think I have it nailed this time!


Intro

OK - not happy with the rod ends of version 1 and 2, version 1 design caused binding, version 2 placed too much stress on the knuckle mount of the draglink, version 3 placed the tie rod in a vulnerable location - resulting in bending or TRE breakage. Time to put it all together in a system that will work. The major changes were the use of TREs at all 4 mounting points, and the use of a 2" spacer block of cold rolled steel placed between the knuckle and the steering arm.

Due to the fact that the weld in radius slugs I used on my linkages have a 3/4-16 female thread, my choice of TREs was somewhat limited. There are only 2 TRE's available with 3/4-16 threaded shanks. They are:

1) Moog ES-150L left hand thread and Moog ES-150R right hand thread

These have the "medium" size taper that is from .714" to .636"

The stock application include:

FORD TRUCK F100/F250 61-65
GMC TRUCK K1500/K2500 63-66
CHEVROLET TRUCK K10 64-66

They will be listed as "inner" and "outer" tie rod ends, with the inner being the left/drivers side (left hand thread, PN ES150L) and the outer being right/passenger side (right hand thread, PN ES150R)

They are also available from: http://www.afcoracing.com/ and http://www.stockcarproducts.com/

2) The other choice for a 3/4-16 TRE is with the "big" taper, that is from .776"to .667" (same as the TRE taper in stock Chevy and FSJ Dana44 knuckles)

The part numbers are:

Moog ES375L - left hand thread, drivers side "outer"tie rod end (left hand side) for '67-'72 1/2ton & 3/4ton GMC trucks

Moog ES375R - right hand thread, Passenger side"outer" tie rod end (left hand side) for '67-'72 1/2ton & 3/4ton GMC trucks

The catch with these is that they have a "dog leg" in them, that an either really help or really hurt your design, depending on application.

There is no "straight" TRE with 3/4-16 threads and the "big" taper.

ES150L.jpg

This is the Moog ES150.

ES375.jpg

This is the Moog ES375 - Photo courtesy Jeff Ayers

Dcp_3479small.jpg


The "trick" that made the setup work for me was mounting the draglink to the top of the steering arm with an ES150 TRE, and mounting the tie rod underneath the steering arm using an ES375 TRE. The 2" spacer under the steering arm and the dog leg in the ES 375 allowed the tie rod to clear the springs, even mounted under the arm.

Dcp_3480small.jpg


Chad and I bought a Tapered reamer for $200 Cdn from www.afcoracing.com This expensive but cool tool allowed me to taper the original 5/8" straight holes drilled for the rod ends to be tapered for both the ES150 and ES375 Tie Rod Ends.

The tie rod attachment points remain vertically above the stock Chevy knuckle locations. The draglink attaches to the steering arm 5.75" from the balljoint center. I moved it back 1/4" from the original 6" location to ensure no clearance issues between the linkages.

Dcp_3481small.jpg

Drivers side, tie rod mounted under the steering arm with Moog ES375L

Dcp_3482small.jpg


In this pic you can see the drag link mounted to the (stock) pitman arm with a Moog ES150L.

Dcp_3483small.jpg


There is plenty of clearance between the tie rod and springs.

Dcp_3557small.jpg


Up and out of the way again, perfect for my driving style :)

Dcp_3558small.jpg


There is also plenty of clearance between the drag link and the tie rod, no more linkage bind.

Dcp_3559small.jpg

Dcp_3560small.jpg

Dcp_3561small.jpg


The 2" spacer, however, raises the steering arm to the point where is just rubs on the tire. No worries - custom beadlock wheels with less backspacing are on the way !!

Dcp_3563small.jpg


The 2" spacer also raises the draglink attachment enough for really nice angles on the draglink, resulting in no bumpsteer and plenty of allowable droop.


Summary:

Well, I think I have it now! In retrospect, if I were to start all over again. I would probably use an inverted T setup using '85 Chevy Blazer parts, where the drag link connects to the tie rod. Only trick would be either tapping the right size tube for the 7/8-18 threaded shanks of the Blazer TREs, or having the machine shop drill out and re-taper the weld in radius slugs (only issue is - try finding a local machine shop with a 7/8-18 Left hand tap, and even worse finding jam nuts in 7/8-18 (if they don't come with your TREs) is virtually impossible, and they too have to be custom made. See the RESEARCH page for details on this kind of setup. Right now, I'm very happy with my setup.


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