Bounce steer, vague steering over 45mph , where to start.

caladin

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Got my 60 back from the shop looking to the motor over for me. drove it back, the longest and fastest trip it's been on.(45mph, like 15 min)

When I hit bump or ruts the steering is all over the place, like fighting it to keep it straight..
When I get to 45 (as fast as she's gone) the steering gets vague, and the tires bounce a little.

under 40 on flat streets drives great.

I have no Idea what the PO did or did not do. it has 33s on it.

An alignment is obvious, but it drives straight at low speed. No idea if the PO aligned it after putting 33s and a lift on it.

After taking it in for an alignment, my only idea is to start grabbing parts and see what wiggles and replace those. On my tundra we replaced a bunch of rubber bushings and the vague steering went away, but for the 60 all I see are spring bushings.

what should i check? in what order should i check?

I seem to remember castor shims, for after a lift and big tires, is that a place to start?

Thanks,

E-
 
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Check .. tire condition, wheel balance, toe-in, wheel bearings, drag link and ends, spring bushings, u bolt torque,

If everything is new or good, the bigger tires and lift my be contributing to bad castor angles. Many people use a steel 4 degree shim to provide positive castor numbers.

A 60 series can and should be able to cruiser straight and effortlessly at highway speeds.. one finger
 
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Like dbleon said, if the rig is lifted, check to see if caster shims were added to correct the caster angel. I just added 4 degree shims this weekend after 3 years of driving on an OME 2" lift with 33" BFGs. Adding the shims made a noticeable difference in how the steering tracks.
 

RDub

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I started with 2-degree caster shims after my OME lift. Before adding those it was really sketchy at speed with the new springs. The 2-degree shims helped, but it still felt a bit skittish. I finally went to 4-degree shims and now it's great. I bought both sets from Valley Hybrids/Cruiser Brothers.
 

Gretsch

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I have no Idea what the PO did or did not do. it has 33s on it.
but for the 60 all I see are spring bushings

Plenty of additional wear items on the 60 series front axle that can contribute to this kind of thing. You'll want to just get the front tires off the ground and shake things. Grab the wheels at 12 and 6 and see if you get any play in the wheel bearings. Grab the wheels at 3 and 9 and check for wear in the TRE's. Lift the wheels up and down to check for play in the trunnion bearings. Might need a jack for this. You can also put the wheels back on the ground and have a helper turn the wheels. Watch for shifting movement where the axle is mounted to the springs, movement in the bushings etc. Check the torque on the U-bolts. What's the condition of the shocks and steering damper? Not sure if you mean you have taken to an alignment shop already or are going to OP. An alignment shop will likely be able to point out worn parts. The place I take mine won't align it if they detect parts issues as they would have a tough time getting the alignment machine to work and prolly won't want to spend the time on it only to have it fail.

I don't use the caster shims with OME lift and truck tracks fine. Truck used to wander everywhere. After replacing springs, spring bushings, TREs, a full knuckle rebuild, new steering damper, new drag link, and properly balanced wheels truck tracks right as rain. Caster shims are not a bad idea if lifted, but you want to make sure the basics are handled. They won't help if you have worn parts that need replacing. Balance the wheels, check the wheel bearings, etc. If you are unsure as to what's been done in terms of steering, any part is likely ripe for replacing at this stage. Might want to just include this stuff in your baseline so you know its done. Your Cruiser will thank you.

See here for some additional resources:


HTH.
 

2mbb

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Find a good alignment shop. They should do an inspection of the steering linkage parts, etc. and give you some feed back. If your caster is not within specification, they should be able to tell you this too. I think getting an alignment done is your good first step. However, if there is a laundry list of issues that need to be fixed, you may have to pay for another alignment after.

1. download a copy of the body and chassis manual. You can find a copy of '84-'90 under the "Resources" tab above. Don't worry if your truck is earlier than 1984. The steering didn't change much.

2. check the steering knuckle where the axle enters the wheel hubs. it is greasy messy? Is there oil leaking out? This is an indication you need to rebuild the seals in your steering knuckle.

3. Be prepared to replace all the ball joints (2) and relay rod ends (2). You can get a kit for this. I would do this anyway for a new-to-you truck with the symptoms you are experiencing.

4. The steering gear box has an adjustment screw that should take up some of the steering wheel free play.

Good luck!
 

RDub

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On mine I replaced all steering link ends, adjusted the relay rod ends to reduce play, rebuilt the steering box, checked the steering shaft u-joints, rebuilt the knuckles and hubs with all new bearings, added an OME steering stabilizer, full OME Medium spring/shackle, shocks kit, replaced sway bar links and bushings...everything I could think of before finally playing around with caster shims. Getting the front end and steering tight made a world of difference on mine, but did nothing to help skittishness at speed after the OME install. I had alignment specs taken and discovered that while barely in spec the caster was on the low end. I run 31's on stock wheels, by the way. I also spent hours measuring the positions of both front and rear axles and found them to be pretty much where they are supposed to be. The alignment check also revealed a small amount of rear thrust line misalignment, and I am fairly certain that is what causes mine to pull ever so slightly under power. It's hardly noticeable, but being a rather anal mechanical engineer things like that bug the you know what out of me.

At any rate, all this said, the caster shims are what finally settled mine down at speed and I can now comfortably steer it with one finger. Talking with several other 60 owners with the OME setup I've found that some "need" caster shims, and some don't. I think there is a bit of psychological stuff going on there, too, where I am uncomfortable with things that aren't "just right" (it's a curse, especially with a solid axle vehicle), and some aren't bothered by a little play here and there. For me I will always be chasing it, but that's part of the fun. Blah blah blah...
 

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