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Found the problem with my loose steering

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Mad-Lad, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Mad-Lad
    Joined: Jul 2, 2005
    Posts: 734

    Mad-Lad
    Member
    from California

    Something hasn't been feeling right for a few days. The pick up started making a creaking noise while turning. It was intermittent so I thought nothing of it. On the way home I noticed it was wondering a bit while driving down the road. Strange.

    Went with my gut feeling and tore into it. When I pulled the hub it was clear a bolt sheared off and the other that was holding the steer arm on was loose (the creaking noise).
    Just a reminder to periodically check your stuff out. I cant imagine loosing steering at 65+mph.

    :eek:
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Diavolo
    Joined: Apr 1, 2009
    Posts: 810

    Diavolo
    Member

    Wow!

    Glad you're safe.
     
  3. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 5,928

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    You're lucky.. Good thing you checked.. Make sure you have lock washers on those bolts...
     
  4. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,466

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    Now the trick is to figure out why it sheared??? I'd be sure to evaluate the movement and alignment of everything when you reinstall. May be a forewarning of another problem. Glad no one was hurt and nothing damaged.
     
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  5. Happened to me in a 79 dodge pickup once...talk about an ass sucking up a seat cushion. Turned that wheel for all I was worth and nothing was happening
     
  6. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,681

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    It probably sheared because of the loose bolt that was still there. Once one gets loose, the pressure is applied to the tight connection and it fails. I use Loctite on all my steering and suspension component threads, even if they have lock washers or locking nuts.
     
  7. Just curious did you use grade 5 or grade 8 bolts?
     
  8. Mad-Lad
    Joined: Jul 2, 2005
    Posts: 734

    Mad-Lad
    Member
    from California

    This.

    I believe the problem was that the previous owner ground down the steer arms to have clearance for the dropped axle. The steer arm mount bosses were cut or ground down but were cut to much causing the steer arm to hit the axle before getting tight enough against the spindle. And to further exacerbate the problem the mount bosses weren't ground or cut flat so one side had a tiny gap between the mount boss and the spindle. :eek:

    After digging I found some other issues that need immediate attention. The other side is the exact same. Whoever put this front end together kinda micky mouse'd it and used whatever parts they had on hand and modifying them instead of purchasing/ using the proper parts.

    Scary indeed. Could have ended totally different for me if that other bolt let loose.
     
  9. Someone else built the car?

    If I were you I would check everything before putting it back on the road. HRP
     
  10. I had one sheer the bolts on the steering box once. A GM and only one bolt holding it on. it happens and is good reason to check things over periodically.

    Glad you found it before it found you. Good catch.
     
  11. Mad-Lad
    Joined: Jul 2, 2005
    Posts: 734

    Mad-Lad
    Member
    from California


    Yes someone else built it probably in the mid to late 90's. I got it about 2 years ago from a gentleman that had it stored for at least 10 years. It was purchased as is in "good running condition". Ha!
    I think I have a winter project on my hands....At the very least a front end rebuild.


    In the attached photo of the steer arm you can see where the mount bosses were ground down compared to the new one. Also note the pin hole in the old steer arm from drilling and taping to deep. :eek:

    The other picture is of the truck at my dads place. Its the only picture I have on my computer of the truck but that's what I'm playing with.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  12. Bill Nabors
    Joined: Jul 24, 2011
    Posts: 279

    Bill Nabors
    Member

    I had the thread in type on my 36 pu that I sold at the first americacruise. On the way to Sac Cal. One side bolt broke with the new owner driving. It came out ok, but since then I only use bolt through arms an have no more trouble
     
  13. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,263

    Dan Timberlake
    Member

    I think you are right, if the steering arm mods prevented the bolts properly clamping of the parts.

    Keeping bolts from "loosening" does not protect them from fatigue failures.
    Tightening to provide clamping force greater than loads they are subjected to in service prevents loosening and prevents the stress reversals that cause fatigue failures, which the busted bolt's fracture surface appears to be.

    http://www.shotpeener.com/library/pdf/1944000.pdf
    J.O. Almen was a key guy in GMs Research Laboratory. Among other things he was practically the inventor of shot peening, which is what keeps valve springs, torsion bars, and a bunch of other parts alive.

    "The strength of most highly loaded bolts and studs is determined by the man with the wrench and not by the designer, the metallurgist, or by the manufacturing processes. In highly loaded bolts and studs we rarely find the disign so bad, the fabrication practice so poor, or the material so weak as to cause failure in service provided the nut is properly tightened against reasonable rigid members."
     
  14. Mad-Lad
    Joined: Jul 2, 2005
    Posts: 734

    Mad-Lad
    Member
    from California

    Dan T. Interesting read. Thanks for sharing that link.

    Sidevalve. I used grade 5 when I replaced them. They are the common hex head bolts typically used to mount brake calipers.

    Bill N. I was looking into getting the bolt through style steer arms. However Pete and Jakes had them back ordered and I wasn't sure if I liked the thin nut that is used. It seems as if only 2 threads are grabbing with that real thin nut on the back. So I went with the same style. I still may purchase the bolt through steer arms and compare and see what I feel more comfortable with.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  15. I would always use Chassis Engineering dropped spindle arms, they are bolt thru and
    come in drop or deep drop. www.chassisengineeringinc.com also they are FORGED
    STEEL NOT CAST always use grade 8 bolt with lock nut. IMHO
     
  16. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,459

    seb fontana
    Member
    from ct

    Yes they are nice but the set I got and one set I seen on a car both have the tie rod end boss/hole at an angle, don't know the reason..
     
  17. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,583

    Andy
    Member

    I think the bolt on arms are scary as hell! The bolts are in bending due to the load applied way below them. The two bolts would like to be inline with the load so one can be in tension and the other compression. The side to side deal does not brace against the low loads. A friend had to use some, so I added a third bolt above the other two so the things had some base to absorb the loads. I would never consider using them as designed.
     
  18. ntxcustoms
    Joined: Nov 10, 2005
    Posts: 905

    ntxcustoms
    Member
    from dfw

    I was using the same style dropped steering arms on my 31 A and could never keep them tight. They flex quite a bit on the cheesy round back speedway spindles causing excessive play in steering and alignment issues. So I took all that crap off and went back to forged Ford spindles. No more slop.
     
  19. Mad-Lad
    Joined: Jul 2, 2005
    Posts: 734

    Mad-Lad
    Member
    from California

    Yeah I don't like them all that much either. I'm just curious though. How did you add a third bolt?

    The way its looking I may just swap out the entire existing setup with a stock '40 front end that I have out back. Maybe get the axle dropped a bit but not as much as the Superbell thats under the truck now. Decision time... The way it sits now now it basically needs all new tie rod and ends, shackles, and steer arms. I may be going overboard but I just want it right with stuff I can trust. It may not need all of the above but I think that's the route I'm headed.
     
  20. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,583

    Andy
    Member

     
  21. kursplat
    Joined: Apr 22, 2013
    Posts: 288

    kursplat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    wow, good catch.
    that PDF was very interesting. the bottom of page 5 "nut tightening practices" makes me wonder if i should just throw out my torque wrenches...
     
  22. mediumriser
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 342

    mediumriser
    Member
    from Ohio

    Mine came loss on my Model A. I drilled the bolt heads and safety wired them. Never came loss again.
     

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