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Old 11-05-2010, 11:13 PM
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59 chevy truck power steering

Hi,
was wondering if some of you well seasoned steering guys could help with an issue im having getting my 59 1/2 ton to track right down the road. wants to wander, does not pull back straight after a turn or curve. this is what i have and have done. I am using an 1986 chevy suburban 2wd power st. box in front of the axle (with no bump steer problems assosiated with this conv.)switched from ball to tapered roller bearings in the front and was forced to use 1'' tool aluminum spacers to allow use of my stock wheels to clear the calipers, the rear wheels incorporate the same thickness of spacer to keep everything even, the king pins and bushings were installed correctly , and other than the spindle and pitman arm none of the factory geometry was changed. after taking it to an alignment shop the toe was correct the camber (built in to the axle or spindles) good and the caster was 1.2 on one side and 1.3 on the other with a spec of 1.5 I am running radials and my boss who is 82 says they used to reverse the caster when changing to radials, I disagree and even went to 3 degree shims under the axle today with not much change. it is just squirley over 45 mph. I wouldnt mind any suggestions. I am a mechanic In a small ma pa shop but have never had the front end experiance or had access to an alignment rack. Respectfully, Mark

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Old 11-08-2010, 08:40 AM
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squirrelly

hi there, with the suirrelly feel,
-jack the front wheels off the ground and check every joint in the front end for play. put a prybar under the wheel and lift while you inspect play in the wheel bearings and kingpins.
-make sure the wheel bearings are adjusted properly.
-try unbolting the tie rod ends with the thing off the ground and the wheels off. with that done check to make sure the kingpins move freely side to side like you simulate doing a turn. if it has a sticky spot that would show it up. squeeze a little grease into the kingpins and make sure it comes out on the far side of the thrust bearing, above the lower kingpin bushing, just to make sure everything is lubed properly there and not jamming up with the weight of the truck on them.
- make sure the steering box pitman shaft bushing is tight along with the pitman arm nut and the box is adjusted properly and is centred. they have a bigger spot in the steering box gears when in the middle of the "lock to lock" steering wheel turn count so it will be tight when the steering is in the middle of it's travel, but a little bit loose when it is just off centre, so it will have no problem returning to centre. count the number of turns from lock to lock and then put the steering box in the middle of that number of turns. then check to see if the wheels are straight forward at that point and the steering wheel is centred. also adjust the box then. if the wheels aren't straight ahead with the box centred you gotta fix that problem first. this is assuming the gears in the steering box aren't worn out. also check the steering column shaft for binding or tight spots, and make sure the box mounting is secure and tight.
-assuming all that is good, next check the spring pins and bushings and shackles for any play. also make sure you check the frame mounts for loose rivets. anything that will allow the springs to move will allow the axle to move and that will cause headaches.
-assuming that checks out good, go to the rear axle and check the spring pins and bushings, spring hanger mounts for movement, leaf springs for broken leafs, rear axle bearings for play, anything that will allow the rear axle to move.also check to see if the rear axles have too much play in and out, maybe the axle reatiner clips and the grooves in the axle where the clips go are worn out and allow the wheels to move in and out too much. that would make the truck feel skittish while driving because the rear end can move side to side.
-next check the frame front to back for cracks, or movement where the rivets are (sometimes broken or worn rivets will allow a crossmember to move which allows the frame to move, usually there is some rust coloured powder in the area where things have been working).
-next try a different alignment shop. sometimes the alignment guys don't know what to do with solid axle vehicles so they guess a little. you may be better off at a big truck shop where they deal with solid axle front ends all the time.
-did you happen to swap the wheels at the same time? if they have a different offset or outside diameter that could cause a problem too.
hey, good luck. let me know how it turns out.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:53 AM
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wheel spacers

hi again,
sorry I didn't read the part about wheel spacers. that could be your problem right there. steering geometry says if you extend a line through the centre of your kingpins, down to the ground, and you also extend a line through the centre of your wheels, down to the ground. the lines should intersect right under the centre of your tire. when you put spacers in, or you change the tire size, or you change the whhel offset you mess with that stock geometry. can you source a set of wheels/tires from a newer truck that have the correct offset and diameter and will also clear the calipers? (you did a disc brake conversion? got some pics?). you could swap tires and take off the spacers and try that on a road test to see if it clears up the problem. if so, you at least know what the #@#$ is going on. I don't think you should need the spacers on the rear, other than to make things look right.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:16 PM
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thanks for replying

thanks raven for replying. it really is appreciated. before responding I do want to say that it is always possible that I have missed something. this particular vehicle is a result of a seven year resto that I personally did all the work on, with exception of the 235,s line boring and such. I am sure about no cracks in the frame as I inspected it thouroughly before and after glass beading, when i rebuilt the rear diff i did use an oversized block for the axle spacer to remove all slop(with exception of oil clearace) I disected each leaf spring and had them acid dipped, respayed them and installed all new leaf spring bushings as well as rebuilt the all eight mounts with new inserts, pins and shackle kits.when I installed the king pins, i do remember when dry fitting I had a choice after intalling the load bearing washer stack between the lower part of the spindle and axle , there was still maybe a .005 gap and I used a shim from the old kit to tighten it up. however with all the vehicles weight on it, i can by hand move the wheels without any hard spots.before using the steering box , i also went through it. no hard spots like when you overtighten the worm gear adj. I did this weekend realize after carefull study that my front sway bar was actually preloading the axle , Ihad a bad design flaw when i made the brackets, after making new ones I had a guy who helps us out take it on a long road test and he said it was like a different truck.not as much weaving, but you still have to bring the st. wheel back after a turn. I do believe you are on to something with those spacers though, trying to find a more modern wheel set with the offset i need would be difficult, but i may be able to get something from wheel vintiques or something.Im glad , as far as I had this apart, and as many alterations as i have done, if thats all the problems i have Im doing good, Ill keep you Informed, thank again for the input, Mark
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:20 PM
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pictures

sorry, i will post some picts of the steering and the disc. brakes. I may even have some from before assy. Mark
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:57 PM
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here are a few picts fromm assy.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:58 PM
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58

that is one sweet looking ride you have there. if you did all that work yourself then congrats. are those bumperettes stock? mine doesn't have those. that looks like a pretty beefy disc brake set up as well.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:57 PM
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bumperettes

thanx for the compliment, the bumper guards are an aftermarket product I purch. on e bay. rest of the chrome all original. the disc brake set up Is a good idea, however I think the added thickness and my spacers add to my steering problem. as far as functionability they work awsome, pedal on top and can lock them up in a heartbeat.ill never buy another product from the company again, however the simplicity of this conversion deserves credit.what year is yours ? newer project ? if there is one thing I have learned with this project is that just about everything you buy will most likely need some machining or re engineering to get it to work the way companies claim LOL...
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:22 PM
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58 frame swap

my truck is a 58 chevy fleetside longbox. it was a farm truck all it's life by the look of things and is so ugly I had to cover it with a tarp when it came home. the wife was far from pleased but then she has a hard time seeing the potential in some of my projects. the truck is pretty rusty and the box is pretty much a write off. the front fenders are hanging off it and the box side is caved in and torn apart. you could check your shoelaces by looking down through the box, or the floor of the cab for that matter. I do have a few pics but am new to this site and don't know how to download anything. I plan to put a 88-98 short box stepside on the back and then extend the cab out to match. just having a hard time finding a box right now. only just got the truck a couple days ago though. I also plan to put a late model 5.3 engine with drive by wire fuel injection and an electronic automatic behind it. I will be doing everything myself so any input would be appreciated. hope you find a donor. when I remember the site I will let you know. it was gmupfitter or something like that. the s10 frame that you would use if long box would be a ext cab short box s10. that would give you 122.8 wheelbase and the long box 58 is 123.25. the s10 frame has a spot where the front frame meets the rear frame and they can be extended or shortened a little by grinding off that weld where the 2 parts connect, then extending or shortening by sliding those 2 parts. of course take good measurements etc. anyway, good luck with it. I think I decided to go with a mustang 2 ifs. just don't know from where yet.
dennis
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:42 PM
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stoveboltmark,

So if I am understanding what you have done here is, install a power steering box to a straight axle? I think there in lays the problem.
The straight axle without power steering would "self center" because of the caster settings. In power steering you must bring it back to center. The power helps you do this at low vehicle speeds but it will not "self center" You might try putting the caster shims in from the other direction. That is you say you have a 3 degree shim in the truck now so I am guessing that that is 3 degrees positive caster. Put them in so you have 3 degrees of negative caster and take it for a test run. I think you will be happy.

Scholman
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:18 PM
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What Company?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stoveboltmark
thanx for the compliment, the bumper guards are an aftermarket product I purch. on e bay. rest of the chrome all original. the disc brake set up Is a good idea, however I think the added thickness and my spacers add to my steering problem. as far as functionability they work awsome, pedal on top and can lock them up in a heartbeat.ill never buy another product from the company again, however the simplicity of this conversion deserves credit.what year is yours ? newer project ? if there is one thing I have learned with this project is that just about everything you buy will most likely need some machining or re engineering to get it to work the way companies claim LOL...
Hey Mark, Nice ride Man. Would you care to elaborate further on the company you had issue with? I have future purchases to make on my '57 and would like to know who not to deal with because the conversion kits are available through a number of vendors. Thanks in advance for your reply. Nolan

Oh, I forgot, Mr. Scholman knows what he talking about according to the design load specifications. This is '56 specs;
http://chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com...esto/56136.htm

Last edited by OLNOLAN; 11-09-2010 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:56 PM
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what company

CPP. If I could , I learned a valuble lesson from these people. when a comany has a toll free number to order parts than make you call a toll call for customer support, thats a good indication to pass them on by.$ 40.00 worth of 2 calls to be put on hold .than the guy made me call back and re descibe what the problem was and told me the following "I cant remember all you guys with problems out there" after spending $1,900 worth of product I was hurt, But Got an education through the ordeal...LOL a lot of companies offer the same products but they come from the mentioned company. if you find something your interested in, go to thier tech page and click instuction or info and if they redirect you to cpp......Run !!! Having vented on all that I cant speak on any other products they offer but that for the 55 2nd through 59 chevy an GMC, thanx for the compliment on the truck
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scholman
stoveboltmark,

So if I am understanding what you have done here is, install a power steering box to a straight axle? I think there in lays the problem.
The straight axle without power steering would "self center" because of the caster settings. In power steering you must bring it back to center. The power helps you do this at low vehicle speeds but it will not "self center" You might try putting the caster shims in from the other direction. That is you say you have a 3 degree shim in the truck now so I am guessing that that is 3 degrees positive caster. Put them in so you have 3 degrees of negative caster and take it for a test run. I think you will be happy.

Scholman
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thank you for the advice, It is appreciated and I will try it. Should I reverse the 3.0 degree shims I put In or go back to the 1.5's I took out and reverse them??? thank you, Mark
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:06 PM
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thanks

Good to know, have heard of other problems with them. Piss poor customer service and boxing the wrong parts, then going through a ton of crap to make them realize they boxed the wrong stuff. They will be x'ed of my favorites list of suppliers. Nolan
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:11 PM
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stoveboltmark,

If you have the old ones try them first. I think this will help a lot.
This will help it to track straight but I do not think it will ever self-center not with the power steering box.

Scholman
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