i'm finally back on the road, but...

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Oct 15, 2002
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i finally got done installing 4x4 labs hi steer kit and doing the soa conversion. it may not be a professional job and my welds aren't perfect, but for a beginner i did ok. i put in a 90 cadillac steering column and a late model caprice gear box and it still drives like it's all over the road. the steering wheel is a little loose, like maybe from the accident the car was in that i pulled the column out of, but i can't think what else to do. any suggestions? i did the angle iron on the drums trick to align the wheels.
 

Josie'sLandCruiser

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Hi All:

Have you installed shims under the front springs to bring the caster back into spec after using those over-length front shackles?

Regards,

Alan
Seattle
 
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Jeez!! That first pic was scary! Looking good on the second though. You said the steering is all over the road, did you go through the steering box before you put it on? Watch out! People have been killed by loose steering box internals.
 

pbgbottle

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also maybe a steering stabilizer might help a bit ,how are people adding stabilizers with the 4x4 labs high steer . can't wait to buy that kit for mine . it looks sweet .
 

pbgbottle

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also did you replace the spring bushings . everything tight . u-bolts . i guess the 4x4 labs stuff is new . .one other thing . is the steering loose .or is it a close ratio box . you might be over correcting yourself . when i first put my sag in i thought the same thing .this sucks all over the road . until i realized everything was tight just a really sensitive box i was over correcting and wondering all over the road . now i'm used to it . and i will not let anybody else drive my rig . whenever someone tries it they always say the steerings shot . just a thought
 

Trollhole

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Lusedekache said:
Jeez!! That first pic was scary! Looking good on the second though. You said the steering is all over the road, did you go through the steering box before you put it on? Watch out! People have been killed by loose steering box internals.

You want to see scary.
 

76 TOY

 
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Looks good.
I just finished installing mine as well.
Have you figured out where to mount a stabilizer?

Chris
DSC04501.JPG
 

1973Guppie

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for the steering stabilizer I used a rancho steering stabilizer, came with brackets, bolted one side to the axle the other to the rear oversteer bar, can't remember if I had to alter/fab the rancho bracket.

Noah
 
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I don't have a high steer kit. But on my saginaw setup I mounted a stabilizer with the stock bracket on the frame. But I cut the rivets and moved it to the other side of the frame. It's bolted to the stock (relocated) bracket on one end and to the tie rod using one of those little ubolts with a plate deal on the other side. Looks like something similiar would work on this too.
 

dgangle

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I have been lurking on this thread. I think your method of measuring Toe is inovative, but too complicated. I lift and support the axle on stands. I take a tire pen and holding it stationary, rotate the tire to mark a line around each front tire's circumference on the tread. Then with a helper measure at 3:00 & 9:00, compair, subtract and adjust.

I would double check everything including toe in and caster. I have found around 3/16- 1/4" toe in and +3-5* caster works well. If you can't accurately measure these take it to an alignment shop and have it aligned. Shouldn't be over $60. They probably won't be able to adjust your caster as this will involve adding shims that may cause other problems like your front d-shaft lower U-joint binding. This is corrected with a cut and turn which you make no mention.

Regarding the steering box, see and feel how much play it has. Depending on it's age/wear, etc it may have some play in the straight-ahead position. This can be adjusted with the allen screw on the top plate. Loosen the locknut, adjust the allen in and tighten locknut. If this corrects but now the box binds or shows interference when turned it is too tight and you will have to find a happy medium.

Alot of people swear by the 4 turn boxes saying the other ratios provide too quick of steering input. I have never been lucky enough to find one in a boneyard and I refuse to pay +$100 whatever for a new/rebuilt. Other than some leaky seals I have never had a problem with wear on a $20 junkyard box. Maybe I'm lucky but I like to think the 800-series Saginaw box is a good design.
 
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Joined
Oct 15, 2002
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Josie'sLandCruiser, sorry i haven't gotten back to this thread sooner, work and landlording has been maddening. as far as shims and caster i'm not sure what that means. if you could explain it i would appreciate it, though. and actually since the air has worked itself out of the power steering fluid the steering has vastly improved. but there's still a slight mind of it's own, where i would be afraid of handing over the keys to my wife or a friend for a ride.

Lusedekache, the steering box seems really tight. it's off of a 90 caprice so it shouldn't have taken too much abuse.

pbgbottle, from what i'm reading, quite a few people with 4x4 labs' hi steer aren't needing steering stabalizers at all, so i'm trying to look at every other possible problem first. the bushings are new, those came with the new shackles. i've tightened all the u-bolts and stuff because i did the soa at the same time. the steering column does need a part in it replaced which will get done next week so we'll see what happens after that.

dgangle, i opted not to do a cut and turn, mainly because of expense, second because i didn't think the ride height wasn't going to change that much after the alterations with the gigantic shackles the previous owner had on there. but i wasn't completely right about that.
but if somebody could tell me what canter is i would appreciate the education.
 

wesintl

 
 
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Holy before pics :eek: Did that thing even stay in it's own lane before? Monster shackels. :D

76.. you could just weld a tab on the rod and run an OME from the stock location.
 

60wag

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I'll 2nd the caster correction. Have a shop set the toe in with allignment equipment and tell you what the current caster is on both sides. Shim it to +2 to +5 depending on tire size and I'll bet you will love your new setup.
 
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I just got mine done this year also. you'll love it. Try adjusting the box itself, it is probably just worn. Depending on tire size, 36" or up, you may need a stabilizer. I didn't cut and turn mine either, but I was doing a SOA at the same time and it seems to do just fine. Mine has a 3 1/2 turn Cadillac box and it took a little getting used to.
 

dgangle

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milesstarkey said:
dgangle, i opted not to do a cut and turn, mainly because of expense, second because i didn't think the ride height wasn't going to change that much after the alterations with the gigantic shackles the previous owner had on there. but i wasn't completely right about that.
but if somebody could tell me what canter is i would appreciate the education.
Milesstarkey,

Caster is the angle at which the front wheels tilt backwards from vertical. Think of the shopping cart wheel.
 
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