Alignment and steering questions

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by Chiarored, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. Chiarored


    Likes Received:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Hey guys! I am new here and was told this is the place to ask all those tough questions. I recently bought an '82 FJ 60. The suspension was shot and steering was really loose. First I put a tie rod and relay rod end kit in it. Then I put tires on it and had it aligned, the caster and camber were both off. The camber was -1.5 instead of +1. The caster was 0 instead of +1. No adjustment for either. I was told that the tires would wear badly. Of course the toe-in was no problem.

    Since the springs were sagging so badly that it was reverse arched, I bought a BDS 2.5 lift spring set, hung them with OME anti-inversion greasable shackles which are a centimeter longer than stock. I also replaced the shocks with OME and the steering damper. Now it drives far far better. I haven't had it aligned again but based on how it returns to center after a turn etc. I am guessing that the caster is still less than it should be so am considering putting a 2 degree caster shim in it.

    The steering is much tighter but it still seems to have a bit of slop. Seems to be coming from the steering column spiders... though I can't tell how much and I suppose that the steering box could have some play? I really feel it in the steering wheel when I go more slowly over a cattle guard or washboards. It is pretty civilized on the highway and rides well but the bit of play that is still there allows a side wind to make it wander accassionally. What is involved in pulling out the steering column? Is it a huge job?

    My knuckles are also leaking a bit and I was told that putting a kit in them could possibly improve the camber? Is this possible and how much work is that?

    Funny thing about the camber and the tires is that the old tires didn't look too unevenly worn. Is it possible that the camber problem won't wear the tires too badly? (or should I just drive the damn thing as a few have told me!!!) It is much much better but I plan on keeping this one and want it as right as is reasonable. Thanks!

  2. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew On the way there SILVER Star

    Likes Received:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Sacramento, CA
    A full knuckle rebuild on a new to you cruiser is a great idea. Do that first before anything else. It's a fair amount of work, but very instructive, and you will be fully initiated into the cruiser world afterward. After the knuckle rebuild, set the toe yourself, and then have the alignment checked. The shims may be needed to correct the caster.
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