Register now to get rid of these ads!

Straight axle steering...is this right?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Leadsled51, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Leadsled51
    Joined: Dec 21, 2001
    Posts: 333

    Leadsled51
    Member

    Well I didn't get much help for the rear of my Falcon, so maybe I can get some help for the front. Take a look at the front end of this and tell me if this will be ok....this is how I bought it. Looked ok, but when I drove the car, it seemed to wander all over the road. Seems like there might be too much flex in the steering arm coming off of the spindle. It's set up like a cross steer, but hooked up like it would be traditional steering. It uses the original Falcon pitman arm. Any comments on how it should be changed? Or should I look for another problem.? This is a strip only car, and will not be on the street, but I want it to be safe! It has a small block chevy in it, and it looks like if I went to cross steering, it would hit the oil pan, unless the engine is raised way up. If you have any pics of yours, please share, maybe this will help. Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. KENDEUCE
    Joined: Jan 14, 2010
    Posts: 332

    KENDEUCE
    Member

    I'm leary of that steel arm on spindle, lots of places for twisting and bending. Cross steering to pass side would be hot tip IMHO. Sometimes you have to do the best fix, not the easiest. Hang in there.
     
  3. abone1930
    Joined: Jan 16, 2006
    Posts: 1,321

    abone1930
    Member

    I think you need to run the drag link to the the right side of the car. Will need to make up a longer drag link bar. If the drag link bar is at to much at an angle you can bend it to where the heim or tie rod ends are straight. With the setup you have I can see how it wonders. Also after you change the drag link you can also add a steerring stablizer which helps put a whole lot:D
     
  4. modelacitizen
    Joined: Jun 24, 2006
    Posts: 877

    modelacitizen
    Member

    Cross steering would be ideal but the way it's set up now should work regardless. The pitman arm, drag link, and steering arm all look pretty under-built though. It couldn't hurt to try and get some stronger parts in there. If it's wandering all over the road however, I would start looking at your steering geometry. Are you sure your caster, camber and toe are set correctly?
     

  5. DICK SPADARO
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,887

    DICK SPADARO
    Member Emeritus

    You can answer your own question by doing a check in your garage. Short drag links should be avoided but I see the issue you are working around with the oil pan. This short link may induce some type of steer issue as the chassis rises under acceleration or compreses during bump.

    To shop test this linkage, position your car on a smooth shop floor, get 2 pieces of 3 Ft 3/4" aluminum angle and two short rubber bunge cords, You are going to do a toe steer test with these. Take the angle and align the flat side horizontal to the center line of the tire sticking out evenly on both sides of the tire, using the bunge cord strap the angle to the tire thru the wheel vent holes on both front tires. This will enable you to check the toe of your vehicle and check to see if it changes during operation.

    With a tape measure check and record the toe of the car. Now with a floor jack and a 4" x 4" cross brace positioned just in front of the front spring hangers slowly raise the vehicle to replicate the lift of the car during acceleration. Doing this at 1" , 2" and 3"" rises from stock height. Each time you will check the toe measurement to see if it has changed and recording it to determine if the vehicles steers right or left or remains straight ahead. By droping a plumb bob from the angle front edge at the tire you can plot out any induced turn of the steering by noting the action of the bob point in relation to the floor as the car is raised or lowered. The amount of change closer to none will indicate to you if this steering will work or be a hand full to drive.
     
  6. Try to mount the drag link in the lower position ( upside down) in the pitman arm.
    This will make it parallel to the tie rod. Make sure there is no play in the steering box.
    2X the spindle arm is very thin (put the car on the ground and have someone turn the wheel back and forth to check for movement).
     
  7. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,628

    BJR
    Member

    It wanders because of bump steer. The link from the pitman arm to the spindle is too short and at an angle. As the car bounces up and down the short drag link goes through an arc, which steers the car left and right as it moves up and down. Have someone hold the steering wheel straight and bounce the car and watch the front wheels move left and right as the car goes up and down. If you cross steer it to the passenger side it will flatten out the arc to almost nothing thus eliminating the bump steer.
     
  8. What's the caster? Big effect on wander
    & this:

    Bump steer from a short drag link #1
    #2 compounded by this:
    Hard to tell from the pics but it looks like your steering arm bolted to the spindle is at least twice as long as your pitman arm. That's going to give the the "wheels wanting to wander" action considerable advantage over the "keep it straight " action of the pitman arm.

    Cross steer set-up looks like it would need to go right thru the oil pan ? Help with bump steer but wont make any difference if the problem is length ratios.
     
  9. That plate steering arm was designed for a sprint car/t-bucket with a lot less front axle weight. Pretty sure it's gonna flex when you turn or hit a bump.
    X2 on the drag link being WAY too short. The leaf springs force the axle to move straight up and down. That short link is pulling the tires to the left as the suspension rises, then to the right and BACK to the left as it compresses...
     
  10. 52pig
    Joined: Jun 9, 2007
    Posts: 436

    52pig
    Member

    Go check out a 2 wheel drive Jeep Cherokee, the 90's years, they have a very nice cross steer system. Then apply it any way you can to your car, and you'll be happy.

    If you have pan clearance issues, more engine set back baby! That's how I'd roll it.
     
  11. jfg455
    Joined: Apr 22, 2011
    Posts: 171

    jfg455
    Member
    from NH

    is it right? Absolutly NOT! the drag link should go to the right side of the car. the longer the arm the less the bump steer will be. that will just be scary to drive! first bump at speed and you will get a death wobble in the front end. get a forged arm for the passengers side and a long drag link. fix the pitman arm so that the angle is better.
     
  12. carkiller
    Joined: Jun 12, 2002
    Posts: 849

    carkiller
    Member

    On my falcon I ran cross steer. I dropped the steering arm down two inchs to clear oil pan get it paralel to my right side steering arm. I did this useing a hiem joint and seamless heavy tube two inchs long and 3.5 long grade eight 5/8 bolt. Launch to shut down steered good. Cal
     
  13. hugh m
    Joined: Jul 18, 2007
    Posts: 2,142

    hugh m
    Member
    from ct.

    I'm willing to bet that's not the only pitman arm that will fit on that box...if you can find a longer one and reshape it to work for a cross steering setup, who's better than you?
     
  14. hotrod1948
    Joined: Jan 17, 2011
    Posts: 456

    hotrod1948
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Milton, WI

    For what it is worth, the cross sterring is the best fix, but if that doesn't work you could rotate the arm attached to the steering box 90 degrees. That may take broaching the wide spines out of the arm so you have infinite positioning, and then convert the steering arm on the spindle to one that is inline with the axle line (again changing it 90 degrees) and then fabricating a new drag link. This fix looks lie it would require relocation of the shock(s). Also, you will need to check the shaft out of the steering box to determine if you will be able to rotate the piman arm. Had a 60 comet with a straight axle from a chevy van with this set up and it worked perfectly. Used the comet box, fabbed a steering arm and then connected with a fabbed drag link.
     
  15. chopt top kid
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 959

    chopt top kid
    Member

    The spacer between the rod end and the steering arm on the drag link is inducing a lot of torque on the steering arm. I suspect the flat strap is twisting both clockwise and counter clockwise from steering input and feedback from the roadway.
     
  16. cross link, you may have to extend the joint mounts to elminate bump steer.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. hotrod1948
    Joined: Jan 17, 2011
    Posts: 456

    hotrod1948
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Milton, WI

    Another thought...that steering arm does not look like the normal arm used to connect the box to the spindles, it looks like a lower steering arm used to connect the spindles via the tie rod. It is definitely not strong enough for the current use.
     
  18. KrisKustomPaint
    Joined: Apr 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,107

    KrisKustomPaint
    Member

    Holy crap! Is that a Model A hollow kingpin? I'd change that first.
     
  19. DICK SPADARO
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,887

    DICK SPADARO
    Member Emeritus

    Some of you guys are looking at this setup the wrong way, odd as it is, it may actually work. Since this is a parallel spring front there is no side shift of the axle, the axle position is fixed by the springs, they can only go forward as the flex due to the rigid rear mount and can only move the swing of the shackle upon extension. This may not exhibit as much bump steer as you think.

    What you need to do is see what is going on as the suspension moves and how much that short link effects the steering which may be not much by luck.

    The items that need to be addressed are the parts in use. The first thing that I notice upon closer inspection is the use of 35/6 spindles with the king pin installed upsidedown. What holds that king pin in place? Most tube axles don't have provision for king pin locks. The next point is that the upper steering arm seems to be plate fabricated, except there are no gussets at the right angle bends which lead to flexing and possible structural cracking.

    Where I think the problem develops is in the ratio of the steering arm to the pitman arm and the steer angle produced as the steering box revolves thru lock to lock and this may be the down fall of this short drag link. Anyway good you provided pictures and the conversation will continue.
     
  20. Leadsled51
    Joined: Dec 21, 2001
    Posts: 333

    Leadsled51
    Member

    Wow you all had some great advice......I thought exactly what everybody said. It seemed as if the steering arm was way to flimsy, I had my son move steering wheel back and forth and you could see it flex! I'm not really sure what the drag link is from. I know cross steering would be the best, but that darn oil pan is really in the way! I would love to really set the engine back, but don't really want to get into the whole cutting into firewall, moving seat back, etc. even though it looks cool. I like Hotrod1948's idea of turning the pitman arm on the box....this may solve my clearance issues with the oil pan, plus I can put a more ridgid steering arm and get rid of that flat one....I appreciate all the help, and if you have any more ideas, please keep posting....and if anybody wants to come help...:)
     
  21. Leadsled51
    Joined: Dec 21, 2001
    Posts: 333

    Leadsled51
    Member

    So Dick Spadaro, do you think what i have I can make work? I think a lot of the problem is in the steering arm and that short drag link. I will try and see if your earlier post will work tonight....see how much movement I have...
     
  22. Ratrod37
    Joined: Apr 12, 2007
    Posts: 276

    Ratrod37
    Member

    Get yourself a front sump oil pan.They are made from the factory for small block Chevy engines in early Nova's.This should solve your oil pan clearance problems.Run your steering link to the pass side.That's how most cars are built from the factory because it works best.If they could have made it work with the shorter link to the drivers side they would have done it on all cars to save money.Don't try to reinvent the wheel,go with what works already.My 2¢!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  23. Times 2 on the steering arm to pitman arm ratio. The way it's now set up, I'll bet the car steers super easy but probably doesn't turn very sharp...or maybe sharp in only one direction. That steering arm [that you're going to replace] is really long in relation to the pitman arm. If you shorten up that steering arm the car will be a little harder to turn but it'll be much more responsive to steering input and should help with the wandering around.
     
  24. Me too. Cross steer is the only way to go. I would not want to drive it that way other than to limp it home.
     
  25. Goztrider
    Joined: Feb 17, 2007
    Posts: 3,066

    Goztrider
    Member
    from Tulsa, OK

    Would it be possible to fabricate a 'stepped or dropped' steering arm to go from the Pitman arm to the opposite side spindle? It could be gusseted and braced and work quite well.

    Or...

    You could build something of the above mentioned nature, but in effect connect the draglink and the steering arm into one piece - think of those big ass lifted 4x4 trucks with the huge suspension lifts. You would basically have a triangle braced steering arm that attaches directly to the draglink.

    Or...

    You could even go one step farther and build a 4-point steering draglink/pitman arm/steering arm combination. Add an Idler Arm to the right frame rail, and then build bracing that goes from the idler arm to the draglink, and from the pitman arm to the draglink, and give yourself drop clearance around the oil pan, and just basically connect them all together in one strong setup. I guarantee that this will stiffen up the steering and I'd bet do away with the bump steering as well. I'm not sure though about the bump steering, as others would know more about that than I do.

    Forgive me my poor drawing skills, but here's an example of what I'm thinking:
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  26. R Frederick
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 2,660

    R Frederick
    Member
    from illinois

    I ran a steering box from a 66 Bronco. It hooks over the outside of the frame, and the body is tall enough to run the pitman arm pretty low. the box was cheap, and is probably the same as the f150 boxes that are common. It will be run in the same configuration as it was on the bronco.
    [​IMG]
     
  27. Leadsled51
    Joined: Dec 21, 2001
    Posts: 333

    Leadsled51
    Member

    Ratrod37: now that might be a good idea.....this might give me enough clearance to do the cross steering, which seems to be the consensus so far.....

    Gotzrider: your system might work, but that might be more work than what is necessary for what I want to do....

    Wicked50: I like they way yours looks, I was hoping not to have to change the steering box, column, etc. but it is an option.

    Does anyone have a pic of their Falcon with stock steering box for me to look at?
     
  28. 34toddster
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 1,481

    34toddster
    Member
    from Missouri

    Not that it has any "bump steer" effect going down the track, but does it have enough compression travel on the shocks?
     
  29. 69fury
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,419

    69fury
    Member

    if you dont like that steering arm-here's what i'm doing to my Falcon.

    the stock chevy van axle steering arms connect the two tires together with the tie rod.

    I'm moving the stock falcon box forward, reversing the pitman to run to the passenger spindle-to another steering arm mounted upside down on the top two spindle bolts. this means the steering arm is pointing forward of the axle. so the drag link crosses INFRONT of the engine (and axle) while the tie rod is under the engine in rear steer configuration.

    rick
     
  30. Leadsled51
    Joined: Dec 21, 2001
    Posts: 333

    Leadsled51
    Member

    69fury.....do you have any pics of that set up? If you are moving your steering box forward, are you still using the stock column? or an aftermarket?
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.