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sloppy steering

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by trd4x4, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. trd4x4

    trd4x4

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    Hello all. just purchased my first fj40. '72 with original drivetrain. ome lift and holley carb and front disc brakes are a few of the previous owners additions. truck runs great with the exception of some sloppy steering. any ideas? planning on starting with a replacement of all the tie-rod ends. should i dig into the steering gear box while i've got it all taken apart? how big of a job is this, and are there any rebuild kits available/recommended? any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
     
  2. warfin

    warfin

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  3. razorback06

    razorback06

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    I also had the same problem you are having, I ordered the front center arm rebuild kit, and also a new rag joint, It now drives like it should with no slack or slop, good luck
     
  4. trd4x4

    trd4x4

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    rag joint?? sorry but i'm not familiar with that term
     
  5. DSRTRDR

    DSRTRDR I can mangle anything ... SILVER Star

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    there is no rag joint on a '72, the column goes right into the steering box

    if you order the center arm rebuilt kit, Kurt at cruiseroutfitters.com is the man

    tightening the nut on the steering box might help, but I would first seriously look at replacing the tie rod ends (again, Kurt's da man) and checking the status of your shackles and bushings - that made a HUGE difference for me

    some people also recommend caster adjustment
     
  6. trd4x4

    trd4x4

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    cool cool. thanks for the help. i'll probably start with the tie-rod ends since they seem really warn out. i guess the center arm seems like the next thing to look into.
     
  7. DSRTRDR

    DSRTRDR I can mangle anything ... SILVER Star

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    yeah, in that order

    bushings after that

    and if then tightening the nut doesn't help, there is still the option of opening the steering box (major pain, requires removal of entire column) and removing shims
     
  8. KOOTENAY KRUZER

    KOOTENAY KRUZER

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    If your steering is stock you have a bellcrank on teh driver's side where the crossmember under the bib joins the side rail of the frame. Leave the weight of the vehicle on the wheels and have someone turn the steering wheel. If you can see ANY up and down or side to side movement your problem is probably right there. Sometimes it can be fixed by tightening down the adjusting screw on top of the bellcrank. If that doesn't work give serious thought to converting to a Saginaw power steering system.
     
  9. KOOTENAY KRUZER

    KOOTENAY KRUZER

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  10. PabloCruise

    PabloCruise

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    Free stuff to check:

    Center Arm
    Rag Joint (search the two penny trick)
    Steering Box adjuster

    Then the TRE's...
     
  11. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon

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    Would the above be applicable to an FJ40 with wander?

    Mine does fine on a good road. But if the road is worn, it badly climbs in and out of the grooves. Add a stiff wind and highway speeds and it can suddenly leap from one edge of the lane to the other.

    In addition, my FJ40 sits at a bit of a rake. The rear is a bit higher than the front. I haven't added longer shackles in the front yet, waiting until I add a winch. But perhaps this has thrown the caster angle off too much. Even with the large tires, the steering is nearly effortless.
     
  12. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon

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  13. trd4x4

    trd4x4

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    ok i put on all new tie rod ends, and rebuilt the center arm. Steering seems much tighter, still some slight adjustments to be made. I'm still not completely satisfied however. When you let go of the wheel the truck will hold a straight line, however once you hit a bump in the road the truck takes off and is difficult to get back in line. Also at freeway speeds (55-65) steering seems better than at 20-50. perhaps it's the quality of city roads in the ghetto. i've noticed people talking about shims underneath the leaf springs being the answer to some steering problems. How do i determine if i need them, and if they are the right size. I have an old man emu lift kit put on by the previous owner, i think its about 2". I'm running 32" bfg at's on 15" rock crawler steelies. Any help would be great, thanks.
    Also any hints on tightening the cap on the center arm body. I heard its tight and half turn back, but the arm doesn't spin on axis unless its tighter, and once i tighten it, when i let go of the steering wheel after making a left or right turn the wheels won't turn straight by themeselves. I'm having trouble finding a right balance.
     
  14. FF LC FREAK

    FF LC FREAK

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    Looking back through the posts, I'm not sure if you ever determined where your slack was coming from. Did you? In other words, did you have someone turn the steering wheel while you looked at components to determine what was loose/in need of adjustment. All of the things you mentioned could be the cause of sloppy steering, but there are others. In my case, most of it came from the gearbox. I had someone turn the steering wheel and could see that the steering shaft turned, but the drag link did not move. So, I rebuilt the gearbox. It was really pretty easy. Coolerman's website has a pretty detailed description of how to go about it. The hardest part for me was disconnecting the column shift and getting it reconnected correctly. In simple terms, to fix the gearbox, I had to replace a $6 seal that I got from SOR, and I pulled out some shims. Now my steering is pretty tight.

    Figure out where your slop is coming from and move on from there. You mentioned a lift. Do you have extended shackles? If so, do you have castor correction shims? How are your wheel bearings? There are still several things to check. You asked about checking castor. If you don't have a gauge, you can take it into the shop and they can tell you your castor. If it is off, you can order shims from several online vendors. I believe castor should be around 1*.

    By the way, tightening the nut on the back of the gearbox only pushes the sector shaft tighter into the shims. If your worm gear is worn, tightening the nut will not help without removing shims. This will then allow the worm gear to mesh better.

    Good luck! :cheers:
     
  15. trd4x4

    trd4x4

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    well the tie rod ends were shot, so those needed to be replaced. i had someone turn the wheel and watched the center arm turn all out of whack, so that was my next step. it turns on a straight axis now. The drag link seems to move in correct response to movement in the steering wheel. I do have castor correction shims but i'm not sure if they are put on correctly. Other than taking it to an allignment shop is there a way for me to check castor myself? It just seems like the shims are installed the wrong way. By lifting the truck the angle of the axle seems like it needs the thick part of the shim in the front to help correct it. My shims are positioned with the thick part towards the rear of the vehicle, this seems like it throws the angle off even more. The previous owner was a mechanic so i figured that he would have lifted it correctly, but it doesnt seem right to me. Is there an idiots guide to castor correction shims somewhere on this site???
     
  16. FF LC FREAK

    FF LC FREAK

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    Fat part of the shim goes forward. That could definitely be your problem. Flip them around and see if that helps things.

    :cheers:
     
  17. trd4x4

    trd4x4

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    thanks, i'll try that next.:beer:
     
  18. exmodlad

    exmodlad

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    i am offering last resort option if all else seems ok, but there is a chance you need a St box rebuild....

    i do have one all rebuilt, should you require one

    Best Regards

    Gord
     
  19. Coolerman

    Coolerman SILVER Star

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    zetasig maybe looking for a steering box. How much do you want for it?
     
  20. exmodlad

    exmodlad

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    here is the link to the parts

    https://forum.ih8mud.com/showthread.php?t=137556

    Box is rebuilt new sector shaft, all new seals, repacked and ready to go....went to power steering after this was done


    [​IMG]


    price is $125.00 plus the ride

    Best Regards

    gord

    **** also have a used one that worked ok with no leaks***