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towing problems

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by kerry, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. kerry

    kerry

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    My 69 FJ will not track when I try to tow it. Driving straight is fine, however when I turn and the front tires of the tow vehicle (the FJ) travel over an uneven surface like a curb cut the tires make a sharp turn in the opposite direction that I am turning. In other words when I am trying to make a left halfway through the turn the tires shoot to the right and bring me to a skidding stop!
    I have new leaf springs, new 4" shackles, new shocks, new tie rod ends, alignment was rechecked yesterday the toe is slightly in.
    All experiences and advise is welcomed. Help!
     
  2. corsair23

    corsair23 SILVER Star

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    Kerry,

    Do some searches...I know I read real recently about flat towing a FJ40 and making sure the alignment (was it Caster?) is correct. As I recall there isn't really much you can align on an FJ40 but those that do tow stated getting the caster (or whatever it was) correct was critical...Me, I plan on using a dolly with brakes someday...
     
  3. nilepoc

    nilepoc

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    could caster have been camber?
     
  4. erics

    erics

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    I've flat towed my parts truck back and forth between where I keep it andhome and have the same issue... I address it with a couple bungee cords on the steering wheel that force it back to center when I turn. Not very elegant and probably not addressing the core issue, but it gets me there and back.

    I'm definitely curious to know what this thread turns up since my experiences to date have soured me on flat towing as a "to-the-trail" option.
     
  5. TemeculaTim

    TemeculaTim

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  6. pjohnson

    pjohnson SILVER Star

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    Tie off the steering with the wheels straight. You will still scrub the tires, but the truck will follow ok. Common problem with flat towing.

    Phil
     
  7. kerry

    kerry

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    towing problem

    I paid a visit to Man-a-fre this morning and spoke with their mechanic (robert?). He said to install caster shims 4 degrees. When installing these the thick end of the shim should be towards the shackles. I bought both 2 and 4 degree shims and have an appointment with the alignment guy tomorrow.
     
  8. dgangle

    dgangle total rice SILVER Star

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    Stock caster setting is +1 degree. No idea what you have now. It's real easy to measure reasonably accurate yourself with a $10 angle finder. Search as there was an excellent thread recently. Most with mods will set their caster from +3-6 degrees, but again, opinions vary. I had the same exact problems as you and with a cut and turn (+5* now) it flat tows fine. The caster correction shims are really a bandaid and have a tendency to corrode, come loose and spit out. besides that they point the pinion down which affects the pinion U-joint angle negatively. So much has been talked about on these subjects. Search for "cut and turn".
     
  9. OswaldtheBold

    OswaldtheBold

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    If your new shackles are 4" longer than stock, 4 degree shims might not be eonugh, you might have to go to 6 ". I disagree about the pinion angle. The longer shackles will rotate the pinion up, so adding the shime should bring it back down ( flange vertical).
     
  10. dgangle

    dgangle total rice SILVER Star

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    You are correct. I was thinking about degree shims not longer shackles. A spring reversal has nothing to do with it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2006
  11. kerry

    kerry

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    towing problem

    Last night I installed 4 deg caster shims, hooked it up and towed. I am happy as poop to say it tracked fine. I think the problem is solved.

    Thanks !!

    Kerry (pigdaddy)
     
  12. corsair23

    corsair23 SILVER Star

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    Kerry,

    Good to hear! I saw some comments re: tying off the steering wheel but have read elsewhere to NEVER do that. Bungee cords might be a middle of the road approach. But it sounds like you may have a more permanent fix unless you loose those shims as someone mentioned (not sure how since the bolt goes through them?).

    Anyway, you may also want to read up re: flat towing and what to do with the transmission, drive shaft, tcase, etc. if you've never flat towed before.
     
  13. theo

    theo

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    If you wheel hard you may be looking for steel shims to replace those aluminum ones. I am. ;)