Steering/Draglink woes

Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
423
Location
E. Washington
Steering/Draglink woes UPDATE

I replaced all my tie rod ends the other day and now I have a bent draglink. I recently put a 2.5" lift in my '79 FJ40 and I've been having to hold about 30 degrees to the right to drive straight ever since. I was under the impression that if I lengthend the relay rod it would return everything to center. When I lengthend the rod it drove the "y" shaped arm off of the steering gear box forward requiring me to lengthen the draglink. Now when the draglink pushes forward so I can turn right it gets pinched by the arm.to the point that it bent the draglink aft of the TRE. Any suggestions?

I'm moving in about a week and my tools and manuals are gone so I took it to a local shop and it's still doing the same thing. We talked about how to fix it but I don't know if it's the best way. He wants to shorten the relay rod back up to return the geomtry to standard and then take the steering wheel off and center it that way. I told him I thought that would just mask the problem and leave me not being able to turn one way as far as the other.

Is there any problem with what he's suggesting? How would you fix it?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 1, 2004
Messages
290
Location
courtenay British Columbia
do a sginaw conversion

cruiser steering in stock form is pretty crappy

if you start lifting and adding big tires is becomes even worse


I dont have any stock steering parts on my cruiser

this is my setup camaro tilt column to custom splined u joint steering shaft and saginaw box mounted on drivers side frame horn and 4x4 labs high steer takes over from there works good all i need now is hydro assist!
 

honk

 
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
3,413
Location
PNW
Let the guy return the lengths to shorter. It sounds like you WAY overdid it and screwed it up yourself. There's NO reason that a simple lift would cause any of this.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
423
Location
E. Washington
Honk-

Why wouldn't a lift change the way your steering compents interact? Aren't you changing all sorts of geometry? I was reading this thread and it's where I got my info. I didn't have the steering wheel problem before the lift. :confused:
 

CruisinGA

 
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Messages
6,169
Location
Georgia Tech
Replace what's bent and readjust.

You got it that way with normal adjustment, it can be returned to normal with standard adjustment.

I have 4" of lift with minitruck PS. No way 2.5" did anything.
 

nuclearlemon

not an addict
Moderator
 
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
16,116
Location
meh-ico, colorado
next time you lift, before driving, with wheels centered, pull drag link, center steer wheel, adjust drag link to match, reinstall. i've never done it that way, but a friend used to do all his that way (and he had a bad habit of going through vehicles, so he did a lot...never had steering issues though :) )
 

65swb45

Elder Statesman
Supporting Vendor
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2004
Messages
24,973
Location
818-953-9230
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that you've missed the real culprit here.

When you did the lift, you replaced the shocks as well, no? And the new shocks are prolly a little fatter than the ones you took off, no? And the new shocks are a little more vertical than the older ones, since the distance between the upper and lower mounts is increased, which has the effect of moving the shock housing inboard relative to the frame, in the same area the drag link needs to move thru.

Take a look at the inside of your shock and see if the paint is rubbing off. Tell us what you find.
 

honk

 
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
3,413
Location
PNW
Herky said:
Honk-

Why wouldn't a lift change the way your steering compents interact? Aren't you changing all sorts of geometry? I was reading this thread and it's where I got my info. I didn't have the steering wheel problem before the lift. :confused:
I didn't say that it wouldn't change the way your steering components interact, I said that the lift did not cause the problem you describe. The lift would alter the angle of the axle in relation to level which affects camber but not the way the draglink moves the center swivel.

Mark MAY have something although I think that if a shock pressed on the draglink it would be noticeable mostly by increased steering effort and would not in any case LENGTHEN the draglink as yours sounds to have been lengthened as you described with "When I lengthend the rod it drove the "y" shaped arm off of the steering gear box forward requiring me to lengthen the draglink. Now when the draglink pushes forward so I can turn right it gets pinched by the arm.to the point that it bent the draglink". That lengthened rod must be SO long now as to cause it to cam over toward the center of the vehicle and thus bend it by the unusual leverage applied when you attempt to turn.

Frankly, I'm having trouble visualizing HOW you could have gotten the links so screwed as to do what you say happened. They don't have all that much range of adjustment.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
423
Location
E. Washington
I don't have the 40 here or I would take some pix. It's not binding on the shock. It's actually bending on what the draglink TRE screws onto. The relay rod had 5 threads exposed originally and when I put it back on i had 10 threads exposed in order to bring the steering wheel back to center. The longer relay rod drove the "y" shaped arm forward so I had to lengthen the draglink. If the relay rod was long enough and the tires didn't limit the travel, you could bend a full cirlcle in the draglink. Here is a lame attempt at a diagram. The yellow area is where the binding is occuring.

 
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
423
Location
E. Washington
honk said:
That lengthened rod must be SO long now as to cause it to cam over toward the center of the vehicle and thus bend it by the unusual leverage applied when you attempt to turn.

Frankly, I'm having trouble visualizing HOW you could have gotten the links so screwed as to do what you say happened. They don't have all that much range of adjustment.

You're right about the cam'ing over but I only changed the length of the rod (to my knowledge) by 5 threads. Maybe there is another culprit that I'm not thinking of?
 

lingo

 
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Messages
778
Location
Nashvegas
try returning the drag link back to the original position and lengthening the relay rod. that should be the only adjustment needed when doing a suspension lift. because you are in fact pulling the body away from the axles, if you don't extend the realy rod the tires should turn to the left slightly after the lift.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
423
Location
E. Washington
lingo said:
try returning the drag link back to the original position and lengthening the relay rod. that should be the only adjustment needed when doing a suspension lift. because you are in fact pulling the body away from the axles, if you don't extend the realy rod the tires should turn to the left slightly after the lift.

That's what I did. When you lengthen the relay rod it pushes the y arm forward. We centered the steering wheel and the wheels and then attached the draglink to the arm which was now farther forward. Maybe you're right. I'm sure we can get it back together and make it not hit the arm, but what I'm really trying to figure out is if we do that and just recenter the steering wheel am I simply masking the problem/creating more, or is it an approved solution?
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
423
Location
E. Washington
I think we've figured it out. A simple mistake as it turns out was the culprit. I put the tie rod end upside down on the steering box arm. The arm is offset so it won't bend the draglink if put on properly. Oops. Live and learn I guess. Thanks for putting thought into it.
 

74fj40

 
Joined
Mar 12, 2005
Messages
2,771
Location
Littleton, Colorado
greencruiser said:
do a sginaw conversion

cruiser steering in stock form is pretty crappy

if you start lifting and adding big tires is becomes even worse


I dont have any stock steering parts on my cruiser

this is my setup camaro tilt column to custom splined u joint steering shaft and saginaw box mounted on drivers side frame horn and 4x4 labs high steer takes over from there works good all i need now is hydro assist!

do you have and pictures of this? how did you mount it?
 
Top Bottom