Saginaw Questions - 40 series turn radius (1 Viewer)

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You possibly have a couple things going on.

The knuckle stops do a couple things
1) They keep your inner tire from touching or binding on the leaf springs
2) They keep your Birfield joints from binding and breaking

There are also internal steering stops inside the Saginaw Steering Gear. Contrary to belief, (and another Steering Shop likes to add value to his products by claiming he builds his steering gears with internal stops) MOST ALL Saginaw Steering Gears have internal stops so don't be fooled if you experience that!

The internal steering stops are used to keep inner tire rub from happening as well on stock applications. For example, a steering gear is on a 6cyl Camaro with a skinny tire it has more room to rotate the wheel and tire, but the same year Camaro that is a SS or Z28 has a much wider wheel and tire and could be equipped with an internal steering stop to keep the tire rub from happening. Almost all makes and models of GM vehicles had steering stops in some and not others depending on that vehicle's trim package.

Is there a way to tell if your steering gear has in internal steering stop? Nope, not without taking it apart. There is one behind the piston and one in front of the piston. These steering stops are 50 thousands, 100 thousands and 200 thousands of an inch thick. And yes, that makes a difference in the steering gears final rotational reach (travel)

As far as a longer or shorter pitman arm, it also will change the drag link travel, not just speed the travel up or slow it down. I have universal heavy duty pitman arms that are not drilled for custom applications specifically for travel requirements, but they are all flat and typically used in desert racing and prerunner applications where the steering and suspension geometry are designed for a flat pitman arm.

It is possibly @RWBeringer4x4 that the steering gear has internal stops and could gain you some more steering angle with your current set up
 

RWBeringer4x4

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You possibly have a couple things going on.

The knuckle stops do a couple things
1) They keep your inner tire from touching or binding on the leaf springs
2) They keep your Birfield joints from binding and breaking

There are also internal steering stops inside the Saginaw Steering Gear. Contrary to belief, (and another Steering Shop likes to add value to his products by claiming he builds his steering gears with internal stops) MOST ALL Saginaw Steering Gears have internal stops so don't be fooled if you experience that!

The internal steering stops are used to keep inner tire rub from happening as well on stock applications. For example, a steering gear is on a 6cyl Camaro with a skinny tire it has more room to rotate the wheel and tire, but the same year Camaro that is a SS or Z28 has a much wider wheel and tire and could be equipped with an internal steering stop to keep the tire rub from happening. Almost all makes and models of GM vehicles had steering stops in some and not others depending on that vehicle's trim package.

Is there a way to tell if your steering gear has in internal steering stop? Nope, not without taking it apart. There is one behind the piston and one in front of the piston. These steering stops are 50 thousands, 100 thousands and 200 thousands of an inch thick. And yes, that makes a difference in the steering gears final rotational reach (travel)

As far as a longer or shorter pitman arm, it also will change the drag link travel, not just speed the travel up or slow it down. I have universal heavy duty pitman arms that are not drilled for custom applications specifically for travel requirements, but they are all flat and typically used in desert racing and prerunner applications where the steering and suspension geometry are designed for a flat pitman arm.

It is possibly @RWBeringer4x4 that the steering gear has internal stops and could gain you some more steering angle with your current set up
Thanks for all the added information. It's good to know that the box has stop (in most cases) - but even so, I think I'd rather the steering stops on the axle take most of the pressure from being "locked" hard off-road. Seems like focusing that on the box is a risk, but you certainly would know better than I do! My steering box definitely reaches a point where it stops spinning, but I've never had it apart so I have no idea what is causing it to stop at the end of its travel.

I am nowhere close to hitting the springs or the frame at full lock currently. I don't think I'd even get there with articulation. I have 4-5 inches to go in either direction. Basically, the stops in the box are what is stopping my turn, I just have the axle stops adjusted to hit the tiniest bit before the box hits maximum travel. That's why I'm looking at the pitman arm - a little extra length there would allow the box to "swing" the relay rod farther and (hopefully) allow me to get a tighter turn radius, lock-to-lock. The problem being that the pitman arm in question seems to be a unicorn.
 

flee

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RWB, I am currently using a 7 inch flat arm on my Saginaw box.
I'm going to stick with it even though it could use about a 2" drop to be ideal.
You probably know you can have a pittman arm custom made by several outfits.
 

RWBeringer4x4

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RWB, I am currently using a 7 inch flat arm on my Saginaw box.
I'm going to stick with it even though it could use about a 2" drop to be ideal.
You probably know you can have a pittman arm custom made by several outfits.
@flee - how do you like it? I’m assuming that’s with a 4 turn steering box? What’s the rest of your setup look like?

Rick,
Give Luke call or check out his stuff at: Pitman Arms and Tapering
Actually I was not aware of the custom option. Generally “custom” means “expensive” but at this point this truck is both entirely custom, and entirely too expensive 😜.

I found a 72 Nova Arm that might fit the bill by the looks of it online, but it’s really tough to tell without actually seeing one. It’s 6 1/2” eye-to-eye, and maybe an inch of drop. So the drop wouldn’t be perfect but I’d gain an inch of swing.

The other issue is I’m not sure what taper the SAE drag link end provided by cruiser outfitters is, so I’m not sure what taper I’d have cut. Their website mentions “small SAE” which I’m guessing might mean “Small GM” but I’ll shoot Kurt a PM and dig into it a bit.

I know the threads are 11/16-18 but not sure what the taper is.
 

flee

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@flee - how do you like it? I’m assuming that’s with a 4 turn steering box? What’s the rest of your setup look like?



Actually I was not aware of the custom option. Generally “custom” means “expensive” but at this point this truck is both entirely custom, and entirely too expensive 😜.

I found a 72 Nova Arm that might fit the bill by the looks of it online, but it’s really tough to tell without actually seeing one. It’s 6 1/2” eye-to-eye, and maybe an inch of drop. So the drop wouldn’t be perfect but I’d gain an inch of swing.

The other issue is I’m not sure what taper the SAE drag link end provided by cruiser outfitters is, so I’m not sure what taper I’d have cut. Their website mentions “small SAE” which I’m guessing might mean “Small GM” but I’ll shoot Kurt a PM and dig into it a bit.

I know the threads are 11/16-18 but not sure what the taper is.
I got about 90% of my Saginaw parts from BTB before I started reading ih8mud.
It's a 3 1/2 turn box with their stub D adapter to a Borgesen steering rod. So far very happy with the improvement in steering.
My 40 has at least a 2" to 2 1/2" lift. I may end up reducing that a bit so the flat pittman arm should work out OK.
 

RWBeringer4x4

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I got about 90% of my Saginaw parts from BTB before I started reading ih8mud.
It's a 3 1/2 turn box with their stub D adapter to a Borgesen steering rod. So far very happy with the improvement in steering.
My 40 has at least a 2" to 2 1/2" lift. I may end up reducing that a bit so the flat pittman arm should work out OK.
3.5 turn box and a 7” swing? Seems like you’d have some pretty darn quick steering!
 

pb4ugo

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If I remember right, the Scout Saginaw arm gives you 7” hole to hole with 1” drop
The Scout 2 pitman arm is real long. When I 1st installed Scout p/s I couldn't believe what a monstrousity it was. There's 1 4sale on ebay, its dimension states 9.25 center to center with a total length of 11". It does drop slightly in a slight "s" shape. It would probably create bump steer because the drag link end at the box would be too far forward in relation to the tie rod. I think I have a jeep cj arms and others in the shop. I'll try to get dimensions of them this wkend. I think they are close to 6 or 7" centr to center.
 

jim land

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How your box is positioned can ad to the problem , i have the same situation on my 40 , i need a 7" arm ,or a relocation of the box with a notch on the crossmember.
drag link and tie rod need to be parallel on both view ( from front and from above)

My 42 turning radius is alot better with the stock PS set up
 

Steamer

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About internal stops, which I just learned about in this thread, couldn’t the existence of stops or size of them be determined by measuring the degree of arc that the output shaft rotates?

For instance, I have a 4-1/4 turn box numbered 5691676 ordered for a 69 Impala and it measures out to be 90 deg of arc. Is there a max arc for a Saginaw box?
 
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RWBeringer4x4

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How your box is positioned can ad to the problem , i have the same situation on my 40 , i need a 7" arm ,or a relocation of the box with a notch on the crossmember.
drag link and tie rod need to be parallel on both view ( from front and from above)

My 42 turning radius is alot better with the stock PS set up
I'm definitely not parallel from the top down. The drag link is way forward of the tie rod. I'm almost parallel from the front as it stands. My box sounds like it has the same setup yours does. The hose ports sit out in front of the crossmember, the "nose" of the box is angled down to the point where it conflicts with the shackle mount. Less than ideal for sure, but really I don't have any issues with bump steer or steering at all, aside from that it's a bit slower than I'd like on road, and turns a bit wider than I'd like offroad. Barring re-doing the whole setup, seems like a longer pitman arm would address both issues.
 
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... I have a 4-1/4 turn box numbered 5691676 ordered for a 69 Impala and it measures out to be 90 deg of arc. Is there a max arc for a Saginaw box?
I am also interested in the max arc of the Saginaw box. My 2 3/4 turn box does not give me a great turn radius, with a reasonable-length Pitman arm. I suspect I've got some internal stops limiting my arc travel.
 
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It sounds like this has already been covered, but I had a horrible turning radius on my Saginaw equipped FJ40 when I bought it. The problem was the Pittman arm being shorter than the steering arms and not being properly clocked. I installed a Pittman arm from a Jeep Wagoneer that matched the steering arms on the knuckles and was clocked to point almost straight back. I had to cut and weld the drag link to fit . It fixed things right up and had been going fine for more than a decade.

crappy old PhotoPhuckit pics.

 

RWBeringer4x4

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It sounds like this has already been covered, but I had a horrible turning radius on my Saginaw equipped FJ40 when I bought it. The problem was the Pittman arm being shorter than the steering arms and not being properly clocked. I installed a Pittman arm from a Jeep Wagoneer that matched the steering arms on the knuckles and was clocked to point almost straight back. I had to cut and weld the drag link to fit . It fixed things right up and had been going fine for more than a decade.
I've seen a lot of mention of the "wagoneer arm" since it's 7" (this almost perfect match to the steering arms) but when I try to google/buy one there's so many "versions" that I'm not clear on which to buy. What is the importance of a pitman arm being the same length as the steering arms? I've seen this mentioned before but not entirely clear why it's considered optimal. :

I think the "Wagoneer arm" everyone talks about is something like this one below. It appears to have a slight drop to it (maybe an inch, probably less?) but most of the pictures show a flat pitman arm and almost none of them specify anything in terms of length, taper, etc.
1604081395121.png


On a similar note - I have no idea what the taper is on my own Tie Rod. It came from Cruiser Outfitters many years ago and matches their Tie Rod Ends. I know my drag link is threaded 11/16-18 on that end. So I guess for the Wagoneer Arm I'd need to find a Tie Rod end with whatever taper jeep uses, and a 11/16-18 shank. Does such a thing exist or is everyone reaming out the Jeep ends?
 

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