Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-03-2017, 05:01 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
arctictraveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2,787
Improving the steering on my van

This started as a PM between MGmetalworks and me when I asked him about the ramifications of increased drive line angle when adding wedges under my leaf springs to improve Caster and hopefully calm down my steering for once and all. That lead to the issue of the springs and my desire for new ones. So, rather than discussing this with MG in private, I thought I would seek the wisdom of everyone, hope you don't mind MG. So, here's where we left off...........

"I don't think that a small wedge will be a big concern for driveline angle. You need to get on an alignment rack and see where you're at for caster first though. Oregon Auto Spring in Portland sells wedges of various sizes for reasonable price".


Ok, thanks for your time. I've made an appointment with a frame shop to check the alignment, and hopefully adjust it if needed. He said he has wedges in stock. I learned some other stuff too when I started discussing my desire to get new springs. He too refered me to Oregon spring where I discussed them making me a set of progressive, multi leaf springs. It turns out that he will make them, but he won't design them. Deaver can do that for you he said. He told me makes springs for them all the time. Listening to Chris talk about lead times from Deaver made me wonder why that is, when Oregon spring said two weeks at most. That makes me think the the back up at Deaver is more about engineering them, not getting them built. Sadly, I'm sure there is no way I can get Deaver to design them for me while I source them my self. So, short of buying directly from Deaver, got any ideas how I can get a set of progressive, multi leaf custom springs designed and built? SD might have something, but I don't have all my spec's yet, so I can't say for sure. http://www.sdtrucksprings.com/

So, hopefully adding some Caster to my front end will make an improvement in the steering stability and I can then make some more handling improvements with new springs, I just need to figure that part out. Moab's coming up quickly, and I expect to pile up a bunch of miles this summer, so I've got to get this done quickly. I'm open to about any ideas.
__________________

__________________
Arctic Traveller
KC6TNI
2001 GTRV
Advanced 4wd
Agile Ride improvement package
www.arctictraveller.com
arctictraveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2017, 06:44 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Santa Maria, CA
Posts: 406
Cut and turn! Besides being an undertaking that is not for the faint of heart, doing a "cut and turn" of your inner c's is the way to get both castor and pinion angles where you want. You'd start by shimming under your leafs (or mill the diff side perch and cut/reweld the other side) to get the pinion angle perfect, then grind out the welds that hold your inner "c"s to the axle tube, heat them up and whack 'em with a BFH to rotate them to your new desired caster angle and weld them back on.

I wouldn't even consider that until your ride height is set and you've zeroed in on what castor angle works best (shims under your springs with no concern for your pinion angle) first.

What is the real issue you are trying to address though? Shimmy/death wobble, bump steer, just a general wandering, overly sensitive to steering input? Do you run a trac bar?
__________________

TheLetterJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2017, 10:48 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 83
What is the problem? What is your caster angle now?

Trying to provide advice to fix someone else's issue can lead to a long and frustrating road.

I'll say that ujoint leaf springs (made by atlas spring) and a full ujoint setup with axle, leads to 3.8 degrees of caster. At least with a 6" ujoint kit. Despite Chris claiming that his kits have 5 or more degrees. I bought a fully built stage 2 axle and all his gear, had a brand new drive line built. Even without pinion/caster wedges, I can't run with the hubs locked over 50mph without driveline vibrations. Frustrating considering the money I spent, especially when I inquired about paying extra for a custom dynatrac axle and he told me it wasn't worth it.

Long story short, increasing caster angle also increases pinion angle and causes more driveline vibrations. Just like on my Jeep, the only PROPER fix is a custom axle with specific caster angle and pinion angle changes, or cutting/welding outer c's and/or axle tubes.

I tried ordering custom progressive springs through Deaver for my tacoma and they were terrible to deal with. Wouldn't return calls, rude, quoted $900 at one point and then said "we can't do it". I provided them with actual axle weights and specific measurements. A month of wasted time. Finally I went to Oregon auto spring and they built me amazing progressive springs for a few hundred less, although it did take longer than promised. The impression I got was that they would rather just hammer out springs accord to designed specs, rather than spend the time trying to design them and get it right.

But before you do anything, post up your alignment specs, what your problem is and what you're hoping to change.
Brianjwilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2017, 10:53 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
arctictraveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2,787
[QUOTE=I wouldn't even consider that until your ride height is set and you've zeroed in on what castor angle works best (shims under your springs with no concern for your pinion angle) first.

What is the real issue you are trying to address though? Shimmy/death wobble, bump steer, just a general wandering, overly sensitive to steering input? Do you run a trac bar?[/QUOTE]

No trac bar. Since I got the van, the steering has been what I call busy, requiring constant input to mostly go straight. Take your eyes off the road for two seconds and the van is off somewhere other than where it should be. It's got Ramseys fox shocks, good tierod ends and good balljoints. I made it better with a new steering box, then a little better yet with a new damper (a crappy Rancho). I also have to run the Duratrac tires at near full inflation, anything less really makes it worse, (but that is probably mostly due to the weak sidewalls). Anyway, 1 year later it's getting back to it's bad habits, no doubt the damper is going, but rather than try to fix it again with a Fox adjustable damper, I would like to address the core problem, which I hope is a lack of caster. Once that's fixed, I want new springs since the old ones are sagging some, and not very progressive. So, two seperate issues...or are they? Hopefully a little more caster with shims or offset ball joints if there bad, and then I can look for new springs and if they move the pinion angle too much more, I might have to cut and turn which I had never considered before, but it makes total sense. Thanks for the idea
__________________
Arctic Traveller
KC6TNI
2001 GTRV
Advanced 4wd
Agile Ride improvement package
www.arctictraveller.com
arctictraveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2017, 11:07 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
arctictraveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2,787
[QUOTE=Brianjwilson;But before you do anything, post up your alignment specs, what your problem is and what you're hoping to change.[/QUOTE]

I pretty much addressed your questions in my post above, but I won't know what the alignment specs are until Monday when I take it to a frame shop. To start, I'll have them do what it takes to get it to about 4.5degs if it's not already really close. If that fixes the steering, I can address the pinion angle later. I rarely drive over 40mph in 4wd, actually I rarely use 4wd unless I really need it. I just did 3000 miles through B.C. with hundreds of miles of snow and ice, and only put it in 4wd twice when I got stuck in parking lots, so I can live with a couple added degrees of pinion angle for a while. I'm amazed that Oregon spring made you a custom set as he told me, unless I provided the design, he could only make standard sets, so I'm thinking you got lucky. I guess what I really need is to find someone who can design a progressive multi leaf pack that will also eliminate the 4 inch block in the rear, but at this point, just getting the steering improved is the main goal for now.
__________________
Arctic Traveller
KC6TNI
2001 GTRV
Advanced 4wd
Agile Ride improvement package
www.arctictraveller.com
arctictraveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2017, 10:29 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Glider's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 589
Garage
I recently had a chat with the owner of Right Way Spring Company in Tacoma, WA. He struck me as a reasonable and knowledgeable guy. He is a Deaver dealer, and also builds his own designs. I called about getting rid of my 4" blocks in the rear. He offered me a couple of different options, and generally seemed thoughtful, easy to work with and reasonably priced. When I am ready to lose those blocks, he is going to the first person I visit to discuss the project in more detail.
__________________
The Silver Streak
2006 SMB EB45ish.
5.4L, QuadVan 4x4
Glider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2017, 11:18 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
arctictraveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2,787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider View Post
I recently had a chat with the owner of Right Way Spring Company in Tacoma, WA. When I am ready to lose those blocks, he is going to the first person I visit to discuss the project in more detail.
Wow, thanks I had not heard of Right Way. It seems like the discussion you had was the exact same discussion I need to have. Did you discuss a multi leaf, progressive pack with enough arch to eliminate the blocks? If so, did he give you a ball park price? Thanks for the tip, perhaps we can get a bit of a discount if we buy more than one set.............
__________________
Arctic Traveller
KC6TNI
2001 GTRV
Advanced 4wd
Agile Ride improvement package
www.arctictraveller.com
arctictraveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2017, 11:28 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Glider's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 589
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by arctictraveller View Post
Wow, thanks I had not heard of Right Way. It seems like the discussion you had was the exact same discussion I need to have. Did you discuss a multi leaf, progressive pack with enough arch to eliminate the blocks? If so, did he give you a ball park price? Thanks for the tip, perhaps we can get a bit of a discount if we buy more than one set.............
Yes, we discussed a multi-leaf, progressive pack with enough arch to eliminate the blocks as one option, and re-arching the existing springs--with added leaves--as another option. I know exactly nothing about suspension, so I was not able to ask all of the questions I needed to ask, however.

I love the idea of a two-van discount. If you talk with him, and think that you might want to pursue having him do the work, let me know. We could meet up at the shop so he can look at both vans at the same time, and work out the details.
__________________
The Silver Streak
2006 SMB EB45ish.
5.4L, QuadVan 4x4
Glider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2017, 11:39 AM   #9
REF
Senior Member
 
REF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Boulder, CO.
Posts: 1,772
Send a message via MSN to REF
Check the bushings on your track bar! Key in ignition and rock steering wheel back/forth, have someone else look under, if there's play at the pivot points the bushings are shot on the track bar, you will clearly see movement. I am having this problem addressed right now, unfortunately they were not able to find new bushings that fit so are building a new one....I started noticing my handling getting sloppy and a bit of wandering on the road having to make constant wheel adjustments, then the sensation of it "grabbing" then having to correct in the other direction.


'03 Ford E350 7.3L Diesel
RB "50" SMB
Quigley 4X4, Deaver's and RIP kit
CCV high profile pop top
__________________
'03 Ford E350 7.3L Diesel
(de)SMB'd Custom RB-50
Quigley 4X4 w/Deavers & Agile Offroad's R.I.P. package
CCV High Profile Pop Top
REF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2017, 11:45 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
arctictraveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2,787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider View Post
Yes, we discussed a multi-leaf, progressive pack with enough arch to eliminate the blocks as one option, and re-arching the existing springs--with added leaves--as another option. I know exactly nothing about suspension, so I was not able to ask all of the questions I needed to ask, however. .
Most excellent. As far as re-arching, I've already done that once,(in the front) and it lasted a couple years, but they are beginning to sag again which is why I plan to replace them and get rid of the blocks in the rear at the same time. I may pass by there in a few weeks on my way to Moab, so I'll be sure to stop in. As far as a group buy, I'd guess that unless they were the exact same design we wouldn't get too far, but it's worth asking. Did he happen to mention any prices?
__________________

__________________
Arctic Traveller
KC6TNI
2001 GTRV
Advanced 4wd
Agile Ride improvement package
www.arctictraveller.com
arctictraveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.