Handling. How do I tame that front.

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cruiser711

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Dec 18, 2003
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Clare Valley, South Australia
Hello. I wish to ask another question. What would be causing my car to handle so badly on bunpy roads. I'm constantly battling to keep the car going straight. It seems to want to go all over the place. It tracks ok on very smooth flat roads but on anything other then perfect roads the steering wonders all over the place. Nothing seems obvious underneath. There is not much play in the steering. i can feel the steering constantly pushing left to right on every bump on the road. It make real hard work of any long trip. I assume this is not normal for a 60. or is it? I'm running 31 x 10.5 Bridgestones with pleny of all terrain tread. The car seems to lifted probably about 2.5". This is how I purchased it. I tested allignment and I was told this was ok and so was toe in. WHat else can I check? I've seen caster angles being talked about. Not sure what this is exactly but is there some way of changing angles or something? Could this be my problem? Any help is appreciated.
 
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Bryan-71

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May 8, 2003
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I had the same problem in my '40, turns out my front end was toed out 2", I adjusted it so it was toed in 1/2", spec is 1/8" I think but I run really low air pressure so I went in a littel farther. It tracks great now.
 
hammerhead

hammerhead

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Have a friend wiggle the steering wheel back and forth while you watch the steering system and all links and rods for slop.
 
vtcruiser60

vtcruiser60

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I recently had a similar conversation with suspension shop in town. You may want to examine the steering dampener and replace if necessary. If the steering wheel is flying out of your hands when hitting a bump then that is likely the problem. If your truck bounces excessively, then your shocks are not dampening the vertical-up-and-down motion and you are literally springing along on your leafs. If you have 3-4 inches of slack in your wheel, before the tires start turning, then you have.....as Hammerhead put it...."slop". You can tighten this up.....check your Haynes manual for specifics.

By the way....Kurt at Cruiseroutfitters sold me a used OME dampener for about $20 bucks. The unit was in good shape and a hell of a lot cheaper than a new one. Good prices on maintenance items like seals too.
 
srafj40

srafj40

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Cruiser711:

As the above have stated it could be many things. Just some food for thought. I forget which post it is in but there are 20 some bushings involved and if each is worn just an 1/8" then by the time you turn the wheel you have 1 1/2"'s of play. Throw in a possible tie rod issue, and as Woody said a bad stabilizer.....

I could be a combo of all these things. Same issues (waiting for bushings from SOR)

Stacey
 
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cruiser711

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Clare Valley, South Australia
Thank you for all the replies. I was a little surprised to see so many responses so quickly. Well I've checked for slopiness from side to side. There does not seem to be much at all. The tyers seem to much the instant you move the steeringwheel. The suspension shop had said that the damper was fine. But what's a good way to test this?And the truck definitely does not bounce, in fact it's really stiff in the suspension and I thought this may be a factor. I was running 45psi tyre pressure for highway use. Is this too much? would somewhere in the 30s be ok? And what is the consensus on toe in figures.

In a way I'm glad that I may have something to fix. I was starting to wonder if it's something inherent of the vehicle itself. :-\
 
Poser

Poser

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If the preload is gone on the knuckle bearings, not a steering stabilizer in the world will make it track strait, nor all the new steering components in the world will change this. There are a number of factors in play here. Look at the front shakles, are they longer than stock? If so, you may have zero caster or even a degree or two negative, which would not lend anything to keeping the truck going strait. The condition of all suspension components, and steering components must be looked at very closely. Have one, or even two spare sets of eyeballs looking at things, can often help in pointing out issues. The suggestion earlier of getting someone to help look at this is a very good one.

Good luck!

-Steve
 
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cruiser711

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Dec 18, 2003
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Clare Valley, South Australia
How do you measure caster angles? I'm not sure what springs it has on it. It seems to be reasonably high but I'm unsure as to the height. I'm thinking maybe 2.5" and I'm not sure if the springs are too long. This is the problem when you buy someone else's project.

Would anyone be able to tell if I sent a piccie?
 
60wag

60wag

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Both of the FJ60s I've owned have/had a 2"-3" lift - One OME and the other Ironman. Both required 2 deg caster shims to get back to the +1 deg caster. I've seen some posts that rec' higher positive caster as you run larger tires. I'm on 33s and the +1 seems to work well. I think caster can only be measured accurately with the equipment found in an alignment shop. I had the alignment done to find out what if any shim was needed.
 
toddslater

toddslater

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I believe shims are what you need as well, however it is not positive 1 degree of castor....rather you need in the neighborhood of 3-4 degrees negative castor to correct your squirrely handling. Castor angle is the degree to which the top swivel of the hub is rearward of the bottom swivel (negative castor), it gives the steering feel and a certain degree of self-centring. Alot of people confuse the neg/pos castor angle thing...it's easy to do. When I lifted my 40 and before shimming...I thought I was going to kill myself and others on the NJTP... those ruts in the asphalt caused by the big boys were tossing me around like a little biatch. After shims it was mucho better.
 
geocrasher

geocrasher

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[quote author=cruiser711 link=board=1;threadid=8915;start=msg77508#msg77508 date=1071788882]
Ok I'll go and take a photo. or 2 or 3. Sorry I'm still very excited with my new camera. :D
[/quote]
And here they are, in no particular order:
 
billmc

billmc

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Apr 30, 2003
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If it drives fine on smooth roads with no appreciable wander, but goes crazy on the bumps, especially at speed, replace your steering stabilizer with a new on from Toyota. Easy cheap fix.

Bill
 
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cruiser711

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Dec 18, 2003
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Clare Valley, South Australia
Ok, I think i will change the stabiliser as a start. It wont hurt and I'm not sure how old it is.

How high do you think this truck is lifted? From the photos? Those tyres are 31x10.5.

Also, can any suspension shop supply the shims that change the castor angle? Are they adjustable once they are on ot will one need to replace them if there is a change in lift/tyre size ect.

One thing I did notice is that the handling appears to have gotten worse since the engine conversion. I believe it may due to the front sitting a tad higher. I think the 350 SBC V8 might be a little lighter than the 2F it had in it. Does this give any more clues?
 

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