Steering / suspension issue(s) (1 Viewer)

Joined
Oct 14, 2020
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110
Location
Charlotte, NC
Hi guys,

When I accelerate or drive, things seem OK'ish. However, when I let the foot of the gas (not even hitting the brakes), she darts to the right. Then, when I hit the brakes, she starts body-rolling and swaying left to right. It literally feels like the truck car body-rolls based on swerving the steering wheel left and right.

I recently posted about vague steering (Vague steering and lift question) that I am experiencing on my FJ80. While investigating, I saw the following:
  • Left front rotor had a few deep ruts in it -> replaced brakes and rotors all around
  • Front drive shaft universal joint busted (at the diff side) -> replaced the universal joints
  • Some play in the tie-rod ends -> replaced the tie-rod ends and drag link ends
  • Almost no absorption in the steering damper -> replaced the steering damper
So, with great gusto, I went to the alignment shop today for an alignment and for hope of a (huge?) difference. No such luck. They adjusted the toe-in some, but it didn't make much of a difference.

IMG_2434.jpg

So....what can be the problem?
  • swaybar bushing?
  • I know I need to adjust the caster, but it doesn't explain the swerving. Or does it?
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
664
Location
Fontana, CA
For starters your truck probably feels like your driving a shopping cart due to lack of caster.

Do you have a lift and what size? Anything to correct the caster for that lift?

EDIT: It's likely the caster. My I don't recall my truck exhibiting a pull to one direction necessarily but it was all over the place before installing the Delta VS arms.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
110
Location
Charlotte, NC
Somewhere in her past she received a 2 inch lift. Just the coil springs. I don't see an caster bushings. There is certainly no caster plates.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
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Location
Charlotte, NC
I would prefer the least invasive caster adjustment. Either the bushings or plates that will not require me grinding or drilling the existing brackets. Ideas?

Also, once I address the caster, I reckon I still dont know whether that will fix the steering issue or not.
 

Delta VS

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Boise, ID
I would prefer the least invasive caster adjustment. Either the bushings or plates that will not require me grinding or drilling the existing brackets. Ideas?

Also, once I address the caster, I reckon I still dont know whether that will fix the steering issue or not.
Least invasive (and most expensive) are bolt on radius arms, next would be bushings but don’t think you can get 4* from bushings.

Not sure about plates that don’t require cutting/drilling/welding. Some do, some don’t, believe only the larger lift ones can do without all that (don’t quote me on that though).
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
117
Location
Redding, CA
Alternating right-left darting that is sensitive to accel/decel sounds like a bum control arm bushing (or worse). Sloppy bushings can allow one end of an axle to move fore/aft while the opposite end stays pinned like it should be...the shifting motion makes the axle steer the rig when you ain't trying to. This can occur on either the front or rear axle.

Regarding the "or worse" above...my buddy's 3rd-gen 4Runner had this going on and we found one of his rear upper controls arms had snapped!
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
664
Location
Fontana, CA
Least invasive (and most expensive) are bolt on radius arms, next would be bushings but don’t think you can get 4* from bushings.

Not sure about plates that don’t require cutting/drilling/welding. Some do, some don’t, believe only the larger lift ones can do without all that (don’t quote me on that though).

Agreed. Although bushings aren’t that expensive a shop could charge a couple hundred bucks to press them in and to bolt up your arms again. About half way to buying some arms.

Not sponsored by Delta, I learned my lesson the hard way.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
110
Location
Charlotte, NC
Just crawled under the truck (AGAIN) and pulled at everything. Seems tight, except for the stabilizer bar cushion on the drivers side. Seems worn and it looks like a rub mark on the stabilizer bar. Could that contribute?

Also, I reckon the oversized tires might not help (285/65R18)??
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2019
Messages
612
Location
Maine
Bad caster aided by bad panhard bushings will give you what you describe for symptoms all day and night.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2019
Messages
612
Location
Maine
Also you can't judge tightness of bushings by pulling on them. The forces under driving conditions are huge. You need a prybar with lots of leverage on things to see how easily they move. Bushings in good shape will resist any metal on metal contact most everywhere even with a good effort with leverage.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
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Location
Charlotte, NC
Bad caster aided by bad panhard bushings will give you what you describe for symptoms all day and night.
Front or back? Or both?

Also you can't judge tightness of bushings by pulling on them. The forces under driving conditions are huge. You need a prybar with lots of leverage on things to see how easily they move. Bushings in good shape will resist any metal on metal contact most everywhere even with a good effort with leverage.
That makes sense. I lifted the front and put jack stands right behind the leading arms. I used a 24 inch pry bar and pulled in everything with a bushing that I could see. Admittedly, I wasn't able to put much torque on it, but did notice the bushing on the DS of the stabilizer bar seemed shot.

Other than 1) taking it to a shop that has the tools to man-handle it or 2) trying to fit a GoPro during driving, I am not sure what to do next. I might order the caster correction bushings to see how that does. Caster needs to be fixed anyway.
 
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Maine
The panhard bushings is a no brainier. If you have reason to question it, then fix it. Those play a major role.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
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Location
Charlotte, NC
Ok, thanks. Will look at that tomorrow. Then will have to decide on plates vs bushings for caster.

Once I have either bushings or plates done, do I need swaybar drop brackets also?
 
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Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
797
Location
Canyon Lake, TX
You said your tire size are on 18 inch rims?? Do you have some aftermarket wheels with a crazy backspacing that has drastically changed the scrub angle?

It's a pain in the ass and can become a little dangerous for a home wrench monkey who only has a jack and jack stands, but it may be very telling if you can raise the front of the truck up by jacking it up under the frame. This will get the front axle to hang down under it's own weight, and then a loose bushing will show itself more readily. Also, have you looked at the frame where the steering gear bolts on to it? Also look at the welded connection at the frame where the upper end of the pan hard is attached. I had cracks in both that had to be rewelded.
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2016
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813
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Magna, UT
With a helper, and with the engine running--just turn the steering wheel back and forth while parked on pavement. Not lock-to-lock, just like 1/2 turn each direction, repeatedly. Look at everything you can see under the vehicle while the helper is turning the wheel. The force of the power steering will let you easily see motion where there should be none...especially in all your steering linkage, steering box and mount, and panhard bar.
 

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