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Discussion Starter #1
Any special method for determining optimum adjustment of the mini-truck steering box? Just turn the screw in till...?

Installed the mini-truck power steering gear and pump on my 40 last month. Steering was tight before install, and worked fine afterwords with 33" x 9.50" BFG's on OEM wheels.

Worked fine with 16/35 Boggers at first, but started to wander after a week of occasional street driving. Drag link, center arm and tie rod ends are tight. Mini-truck box is fairly tight in the garage, but gets sloppy out on the road.

I'd say it was just the nature of having such wide tires if it had'nt drove so well in the beginning?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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The screw is a preload adjustment for the sector shaft and doesn't really adjust for any wear, although if you tighten it too much you might think there is less slop as it will be harder to turn. Wandering is more a problem of worn steering knuckle bearings, tie rod ends and front end alignment (especially caster) than it is a problem with the steering box. With a tight front end and good alignment the truck won't wander even with no steering box. Since you didn't have a problem with the smaller tires and you are convinced that the front end parts are tight, the problem may be caster. With larger tires and PS, you could use a little more than stock caster; maybe 2-3 degrees.
If the box is worn, you should be able to tell by rocking the wheel back and forth while looking at the pitman arm. If the sector shaft wobbles in its hole, then the bearings are worn. If you can rock the wheel 5-6 inches befoe the arm begins to rotate, then it is likely that there is too much wear on the worm gear, power piston or sector shaft gear. Used boxes are pretty cheap, so try to get one from a low mileage truck that has stock tires that isn't worn out.

[ 10-19-2001: Message edited by: Pin Head ]
 

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Originally posted by Pin Head:
<STRONG>worn steering knuckle earings
</STRONG>
I hate it when my steering knuckle earings go bad <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">

Pinhead is right Lift one tire off of the ground at a time and check for anything loose. Are your knuckle seals leaking? rod ends tight? The center idler arm(?) thingie is also a place for a lot of slop in the cruiser. I never managed to get mine adjusted. That is untill I went to the Saginaw setup <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
I run about 4* caster in my cruiser. Runs straight down the road with 38.5 sx's
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well - Replaced lower 3 tie rod ends with OEM last year, drag link end replaced with cheepo BW part from TPI. New center arm bushing last year as well. Drag link end in good condition (almost no wear on end), maybe I tightened too much on reassembly?

Previously ran 33" x 12.5" BFG's with the stock steering box, no wander whatsoever.

Barely move the wheel and the steering arm moves. Likewise when I grab the steering shaft and move it, the arm and tire move proportionately. I did not look for any wobble on the pitman arm shaft, will check when I get home.

Checked the knuckle "earings" a few weeks back when swapping out tires, seemed fine.

Had a friend double check for slop last night, and he agreed it appeared to be negigible at all the usual places.

I'll grease everything tonight, and recheck.

Damm frustrating when everything appears to be in order, and the thing starts tracking on painted centerlines - now I know what everyone else has been talking about all these years - damm huge pucker factor on the interstate when going 60+... <IMG SRC="smilies/puke.gif" border="0">

Getting new springs next week and will go ahead and replace the knuckle bearings.

Rambling....
 

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You gotta love it too when your driving down the interstate next to one of those preconstucion concrete walls with a semi truck on the other side, and the road is as rough as a corn cob!! Now thats pucker factor to the extreme!! <IMG SRC="smilies/eek.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/skull.gif" border="0">
 

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Originally posted by Bill C.:
<STRONG>Well - Replaced lower 3 tie rod ends with OEM last year, drag link end replaced with cheepo BW part from TPI. New center arm bushing last year as well. Drag link end in good condition (almost no wear on end), maybe I tightened too much on reassembly?

Previously ran 33" x 12.5" BFG's with the stock steering box, no wander whatsoever.

Barely move the wheel and the steering arm moves. Likewise when I grab the steering shaft and move it, the arm and tire move proportionately. I did not look for any wobble on the pitman arm shaft, will check when I get home.

Checked the knuckle "earings" a few weeks back when swapping out tires, seemed fine.

Had a friend double check for slop last night, and he agreed it appeared to be negigible at all the usual places.

I'll grease everything tonight, and recheck.
</STRONG>
I'm going to go with Pin Head on the caster suggestion. I was running 31/10.5s and my cruiser wandered. I switched to 33/12.5s at the same time I added caster shims and it tracks very straight.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, I bet it is the castor. I've been running the 2.5" Confer lift shackles. I have a set of 3 degree shims and will install with the new springs.

Frustration comes in when I coulda swore it tracked fine when I first installed the Boggers, and seemed to get progressively worse. Maybe I was just too damm happy to have the new tires <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

I'll put the 33" x 9.5" BFG's back on until I get the new springs, and install the shims.

Thanks for the input.
 

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Ok, Ok, I edited the earing thing. If I wasn't screwing off at work reading this stuff I might have more time to run the spell checker. <IMG SRC="smilies/smokin.gif" border="0">
If you have the extended shackles in front, you will most likely have negative caster if you didn't add a shim and this is the prescription for wandering. I wouldn't fool with the bearings if they check out tight, but because of the way they wear, you have to check them several times after rotating the knuckle a bit in order to find the worn spots.

[ 10-19-2001: Message edited by: Pin Head ]
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok. Put another 50 miles on it yesterday, and wandering was minimal, downright tolerable as a matter of fact? Must have been on something the other few days (no I don't do crack)??? I did grease the center arm, tie rods, etc. but that should'nt made the difference as everything checked out tight to begin with. Oh well - I'm stumped, cause it was definitely wandering...

Left knuckle bearings do have some play now, but they did'nt when I first put the Boggers on, so maybe they're just tired (worn out) and were ready to go.

Will install 3 degree shims with new springs next week. New knuckle bearings at same time, and might even kick the toe in a hair.

Not as bad as I originally thought, and will be bout near perfect after the rebuild.

Thanks for the input. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
 
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