Caster - Still trying to figure out the right thing

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by StressPuppy, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. StressPuppy

    StressPuppy

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    Quick recap: OME light/medium springs/shocks with offset bushings in arms. Caster is about 1.4 - 1.5 degrees. Very light/loose steering.

    I am going to redo the front axle this weekend. That should take care of any concerns on the bearing end of things. I am also going to replace the tie rod and relay link ends because I don't want to have to think about them again.

    My understanding is that the offset bushings give 2 degrees of correction and Slee's plates give 4 degrees. If I remove the offset bushings and put in stock, I should be at about -0.5 degrees. Then do the plates and I am at 3.5 degrees. Does that sound right?

    Since I am under there, is it worth it to just go ahead and do it all?

    We are taking a family vacation at the end of August and plan to put 1400+ miles on the LC. It is not a relaxing ride as it is right now, and doing 1400 miles with 4 kids in the car over 7 days could get a bit tense!!

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Boston Mangler

    Boston Mangler

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    Curious, what is the stock (or ideal) caster?

    Thanks
     
  3. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    The position of the bushings will effect how much the caster is affected. So the 2deg thing is more likely it's max available.

    It's important to make sure the front bushing is set so that molded line is plumb when the truck is parked on level ground.
     
  4. elmariachi

    elmariachi

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    Maybe I am missing something, but you don't need caster bushings AND plates with those light springs and small lift. I ran that lift on my first 2 FJ-80s and did not experience anything I would call loose or light. The caster problem created by an OME lift should cause your truck to feel "darty" or quicker to respond, more like a sportscar. If you have loose or sloppy steering, its somewhere in the tie/connecting rod ends, steering knuckle bearings or steering gearbox.

    Are you sure you installed the OME caster bushings correctly? I agree with Rick that I would check to see if the molded lines are plumb before doing anything else.
     
  5. StressPuppy

    StressPuppy

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    2 - 4 degrees I believe.

    I am told that lighter (2 or lower) will make the truck feel light in the front from a steering perspective. Some came with caster in the lower range while others were closer to 4 and didn't have any problems.

    I am not looking to do both. If I go with the plates, I will put stock bushings back in and use the plates. One or the other.

    I disagree. When I first did the lift with no change to the bushings, sports car feel is not what I remember. I remember the truck just randomly heading in directions I didn't want it to go. Could have been a bump in the road or something, but it required a LOT of redirection to keep it on track. Every sports car I have ridden gives feed back through the wheels, but doesn't get "squirrely".

    I will be replacing the tie rod and relay link ends, as well as the bearings as part of my front axle rebuild. Not sure the best way to check the gearbox and not sure I want to know what a new or rebuilt one costs.

    I am 99.9% sure they are correct as I remember how anal I was about making sure I followed the directions and made sure things lined up. I'll check tonight and let you know.
     
  6. StressPuppy

    StressPuppy

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    If it is the steering gearbox, how would I know for sure? At $542 for a reman part, I can't just replace that on whim!!!
     
  7. Darwood

    Darwood

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    Here's a thread on how to adjust the steering box.

    https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=18153&highlight=steering+box+adjust

    What's your toe at? Too much toe out can create a darty feel.

    Also does the steering still feel like this? This is exactly what negative caster feels like.
     
  8. StressPuppy

    StressPuppy

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    It feels better after the bushings, but still a bit squirrelly. No casual drives.

    For me, it seems to catch something in the road or something and then just heads off in a different direction (like into the next lane!). I have to correct to get it back, but there is a bit of slack in the steering wheel, so it seems like you have to over correct to get it to get back on track.

    I'm afraid it is several things added together.

    And now it seems that if I go with the plates, there are other issues to contend with there.
     
  9. Boston Mangler

    Boston Mangler

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    I had different problems. Once i installed the OME lift (and BEFORE the bushings), my rig doesnt return to center too well and needs a contstant hand on the wheel due to wandering.
     
  10. sleeoffroad

    sleeoffroad Supporting Vendor

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    Have you had the allignment checked and actually got a print-out of the readings? This is the only way to see if everything is in stock. Do not just throw parts at it. With the standard lift used correctly (ie, heavy springs with bumpers etc) you should not have issues. If you have issues, it might be that the lift has magnified an alignment issue that might have been there before.
     
  11. Boston Mangler

    Boston Mangler

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    If your reply is to me Christo, i have NOT brought it to an alignment shop yet. I lifted the truck and threw 305 MTR's on at the same time (before bushings). I just today finally got the caster bushings pressed into my CA's and i will finish installing them when i get home from work and then test drive it.

    Do my symptoms sound standard for a rig without the bushings?

    Thanks
     
  12. elmariachi

    elmariachi

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    Then I agree with Christo, you may have discovered a separate alignment issue.
     
  13. sleeoffroad

    sleeoffroad Supporting Vendor

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    Boston, reply was really to Stresspuppy, but your description sounds like a truck with to little caster. You should be happy when you have it done.
     
  14. Boston Mangler

    Boston Mangler

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    Thanks, but the thing drove AWESOME before the lift. Damn near flawless, i might add! :D

    I guess i will bolt up the arms tonight, test drive it and see, either way, i think a trip to the alignment shop is in order!

    Thanks
     
  15. StressPuppy

    StressPuppy

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    Here are my numbers:

    https://forum.ih8mud.com/showpost.php?p=566755&postcount=34


    It was really squirrelly before the bushings.

    This weekend I will be doing the axle and I will be replacing all the bearings as well. Also, I'll be replacing the tie rod and relay link ends (just got off the phone with Ben!). Hopefully by Monday this will all be a moot point because I don't want to keep messing with it!!

    Cristo - what are your thoughts on those numbers?
     
  16. Darwood

    Darwood

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    I would personally opt for a little more toe. I know it's within specs, but I noticed quit a bit of improvement when I toed my truck in more when it was already "within specs". Tire wear isn't that great but the handling is better.
     
  17. StressPuppy

    StressPuppy

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    What do you have yours set to?
     
  18. Darwood

    Darwood

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    I think it's around 1/4 inch toed in. I really should go to an alignment shop to get it in degrees. I also could do the math to figure out what that is in degrees as well.

    So if my tire is 33.2 inches long, and I have it toed in 1/4 inch, devide 1/4 inch by 2 gets us .125 inches...

    so:

    sine (.125 (opposite) / 33.2 (hypotinuse)) = .000066 degrees toed in... um is that right?
     
  19. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    uh? 66 millionths of one degree? that ain't much...
     
  20. Darwood

    Darwood

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    If my math is correct then yeah not much at all, which is why I think my math is off... but it seems on. The one difference here vs spec is that it is negative toe... not by much though.
     
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