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sloppy squirrely steering in fj40 with power steering

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by wantatlc, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    on a 1974 fj40 with power steering, the steering seems very (hyper) sensative and rather squirrelly. a little steering movement makes a lot of movement on the road - so lots of over correcting and paying attention as you could quickly veer to the side if not paying attention or going around a pot hole with a sudden move. is there a way to adjust this out? I read you can adjust a bolt maybe and tigthen it up or take some play out so it is not so squirrelly?

    could this also mean the steering stabalizer needs replacment?
     
  2. HawkDriver

    HawkDriver

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    Have there been any suspension or mods done to effect the caster angle (longer shackles maybe)? Caster out of adjustment can cause some pretty squirrely driving on the road and inadvertent lane changes if bad enough. If it is out, it can be adjusted with wedges between the spring pack and the spring perch on the axle.
     
  3. camcruiser13

    camcruiser13

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    what is your turn ratio lock to lock? i rode in one it was 3 turns and it turned rather fast, to fast, a little scary
     
  4. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    yep, shackles were added - 4". do not know what caster angle is, but shackles for sure.

    the guy said the steering stabzlizer needs replacing becuase of this... but I am not sure the one is related ot the other? that is, squirrelly related to a bad steering stabalizer and does that even effect steering as I understood it takes the shock out when you hit a hole or something so that the wheel does not go flying out of your hands. so, I wonder if he is wrong?
     
  5. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    how do I test for this? put wheels all the way to one side then turn until they stop on the other?
     
  6. HawkDriver

    HawkDriver

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    Yep I'd say you're right. It only dampens shocks as you said. I did the extended shackles a long time ago and had that same thing. Easy fix though. Go to any parts shop and pick up some of those wedges for cheap (or try CCOT). Loosen up the Ubolts and slide them in place. It will basically fix it but you should go to an alignment rack and use the exact sized wedge/shim to be perfect within specs.
     
  7. HawkDriver

    HawkDriver

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    Oops don't forget to tighten the ubolts back up ;)

    Goes without saying I know, but you never know.
     
  8. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    will an alignment place have the wedges I need as well as being able to take this slop out? I would like to save $ and do it myself, but do not know the parts on CCOT to get.
     
  9. Pin_Head

    Pin_Head

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    If it is a front mounted Saginaw, either get a 4 turn box or try a shorter Pitman arm.
     
  10. snailwagon

    snailwagon

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    And if you add some correcting shims, please don't forget the longer spring pins that will be needed. when everything is correct, the steering dampener shouldn't be necessary. Instead it should just add a little comfort.
     
  11. AlaskanWheeler

    AlaskanWheeler SILVER Star

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    Before you decide to take it to a shop; find out what the steering ratio is first. Your system might not need any adjustment just a wider ratio steering box.
     
  12. sine80

    sine80

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    You might be able to get the wedges at a local spring/truck lift shop. I got mine on SOR for $20.00.

    SOR (almost to the bottom of the page)
    http://www.sor.com/sor/cat287.tam?xax=19084&page.ctx=cat287.tam

    CCOT
    http://store.yahoo.com/coolfj40/shimsspring.html

    Get the degree based on your shackle lift.
     
  13. Pin_Head

    Pin_Head

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    This sounds like a steering box ratio / Pitman arm length issue.

    If it wanders without turning the steering wheel, this is a caster issue that can be corrected with shims.
     
  14. Josie'sLandCruiser

    Josie'sLandCruiser Stop calling it a "FJ."

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    Hi All:

    My FJ40 has a 4 turn Saginaw PS gearbox, 2 inch lift springs, and 33X12.5 inch tires. It tracks fine on smooth surfaces, but wanders a bit on rougher pavement. I have assumed this is a result of the wider tires following ruts. etc.

    I can't imagine having caster issues with stock-length shackles up front and a 2 inch lift spring!

    Regards,

    Alan
    Seattle
     
  15. VTFJ40

    VTFJ40

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    It doesn't take much, but it's prolly bumpsteer. Any angle on the draglink from pitman arm to steering arm will cause it. Even though it would be minor with a 2 inch lift.

    Good luck.
     
  16. HawkDriver

    HawkDriver

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    I'd say that your steering arm geometry will not effect your caster, but yes you will have bumpsteer. Bumpsteer doesn't necessarily mean wandering or following ruts or not self centering though. And that with a 2 in lift and stock shackles it shouldn't effect caster much either, BUT that's the way mine is set up (stock shackles, 2 in springs) and by looking at it and caster seems a little off, and I am having the same slight wandering (not self centering) issues on a small scale. You might be right that it doesn't take much and that setup could cause caster issues to some degree. Definitely the bigger difference you make on the caster angle the worse it gets and 4" shackles make it pretty bad.
     
  17. Josie'sLandCruiser

    Josie'sLandCruiser Stop calling it a "FJ."

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    Hi All:

    The "wander" issue on rutted or uneven pavement existed before the Saginaw P/S swap, hence my feeling it is the wide tires.

    I've been planning to swap-on a set on narrow-width tires for a test drive to, well, test the theory! ( ;) ) but I don't know anyone with a Land Cruiser who still runs stock tires!

    Regards,

    Alan
    Seattle
     
  18. honk

    honk

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    It doesn't hurt to experiment with caster angles a little to overcome a specific problem. If you can make your own shims or find a cheap source of them going as high as four or five degrees caster will help overcome some of the mods and big tires.

    I think that all of Spectre and CCOT shims are aluminum. They'll work for a while but can crack or thin out in time.

    Be sure to use a longer centerbolt in springs with thicker than normal shims or you'll just spit out the shims and have dangerously loose u bolts.

    Steering faults can make things happen fast on the roads. Don't take chances with this stuff.