Author Topic: My steering sucks  (Read 417 times)

Offline Coleman64

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 8
  • Junior
My steering sucks
« on: August 13, 2018, 12:34:40 AM »
I have a 1990 1 ton crew cab long bed 6.2 td lifted 6 inches on 37 inch Toyos. When I bought it it had a homemade  crossover steering system. Since then I have rebuilt the whole truck and have installed a complete crossover system from off-road design. New steering box new skyjacker springs new shackles mounts bushings sway bar and king pin bushing. The thing drives like absolute garbage. It is all over the road and when you hit a bumb it throws you all over the road. Doesn't pull. Wanders on rough road and jerks the wheel. I don't get it. Everything is tight there is no slop in the wheel. Why am I using this system? There is so much flex in the frame at the steering box it's not even funny. It flexes so bad the front bumper bolts pop and make noise. I just don't get it and I'm kinda frustrated
1990 CREW CAB  Sierra 3500 6.2 Detroit diesel 4sp 4x4 on 37s
1977 k20 sbc350/400 longbed 4x4
1974 Camaro street beast 350/350 1973 body conversion
1997 trans am ws6
1937 dodge pickup cab/bed rat rod dragster tubbed w/ 454/400

Offline bd

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4929
Re: My steering sucks
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2018, 10:48:07 AM »
Have you checked the alignment?  Have you inspected the left frame rail for cracks at the steering box mounting?  Cracks typically leave visible rust tracks that develop sub-concentric around and radiating away from the steering box mounting bolt holes.  If the frame rail is flexing excessively and there are no cracks, it is certain they will develop.  Adding a torque arm support that stabilizes the frame rail can be an important step to taming the steering.
Rich
It's difficult to know just how much you don't know, until you know it....
In other words... if people learn by making mistakes, by now I should know just about everything!!
87 R10 Silverado Fleetside 355 MPFI 700R4 3.42 Locker (aka Rusty, aka Mater)

Offline Coleman64

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 8
  • Junior
Re: My steering sucks
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2018, 01:25:15 PM »
There are no visible cracks I've had the box off recently and inspect it every time I do. I check the alignment frequently as well, and keep it well adjusted. Why do I even need this system? I by no means do any excessive off-roading. It is my daily and is only used for farming. This system seems over complicated and has already worn the bushing out on the shaft of my brand new steering box. My 77 k20 which is lifted 4" and has 35s and has the original steering system and the aftermarket steering arm. Is drives incredible and does everything I want. Has no frame flex but does flex the spring a little.  At this point I'm ready to just toss the crossover setup.
1990 CREW CAB  Sierra 3500 6.2 Detroit diesel 4sp 4x4 on 37s
1977 k20 sbc350/400 longbed 4x4
1974 Camaro street beast 350/350 1973 body conversion
1997 trans am ws6
1937 dodge pickup cab/bed rat rod dragster tubbed w/ 454/400

Offline Irish_Alley

  • Tim
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12731
  • Family is not an important thing. It's everything.
Re: My steering sucks
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2018, 10:42:49 PM »
the cross over is supposed to help with the steering when lifting the truck. what type of tires do you have on it? could they be the issue? also what has been done to the pitman arm or steering arm?
If you can’t tell yourself the truth, who can you tell it to?~Irish_Alley

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth ~Sherlock Holmes

Offline ehjorten

  • Junior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 934
Re: My steering sucks
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2018, 08:35:58 AM »
I have 8" of lift in my 1991 V3500 with crossover steering and it works just fine!  There must be something wrong on your front-end.
-Erik-
1991 V3500 - Gen V TBI 454, 4L80E, NP205, 14 bolt FF, D60, 8" Lift on 35s
1977 K20 Silverado - 350, THM350, NP203, 14 bolt FF, D44, Stock Lift on 31s
1969 Chevelle Malibu Sport Coupe - EFI350, THM350
1968 Chevrolet Step-side Pickup - 300HP L6

Offline Irish_Alley

  • Tim
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12731
  • Family is not an important thing. It's everything.
Re: My steering sucks
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2018, 03:08:37 PM »
ive heard if the adjustment sleeve and drag links arnt parallel to the ground then it will cause all sorts of issues. you dont happen to have blocks up front do you?
If you can’t tell yourself the truth, who can you tell it to?~Irish_Alley

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth ~Sherlock Holmes

Offline VileZambonie

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 17011
Re: My steering sucks
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2018, 06:43:07 PM »
With the tires on the ground, perform a dry park check of the steering and suspension. Have an assistant turn the wheel left to right from center while you inspect. Look for where the movement is and if the frame is flexing that much, I suspect loose rivets and or cracks in the frame.
,                           ___ 
                         /  _ _ _\_
              ⌠¯¯¯¯¯'   [☼===☼]
              `()_);-;()_)--o--)_)

Offline Coleman64

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 8
  • Junior
Re: My steering sucks
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2018, 11:37:12 AM »
All off-road design parts. Drop pitman arm and new steering arm. Tires have some unfavorable wear from the king pin bushing being bad before I replaced them.  37 inch Toyos. Very heavy turds. I will take another look at it, but there are no cracks in the frame anywhere. I've never seen any loose rivets, only flex. The only thing I haven't touched or rebuilt on the front end is the lower king pins. How do you test to see if they are bad? It used to have bad death wpbble before I replaced the whole crossover system and steering box. Have also been contemplating a dual steering stabilizer.
1990 CREW CAB  Sierra 3500 6.2 Detroit diesel 4sp 4x4 on 37s
1977 k20 sbc350/400 longbed 4x4
1974 Camaro street beast 350/350 1973 body conversion
1997 trans am ws6
1937 dodge pickup cab/bed rat rod dragster tubbed w/ 454/400

Offline Irish_Alley

  • Tim
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12731
  • Family is not an important thing. It's everything.
Re: My steering sucks
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2018, 03:07:32 PM »
the main cause of the death wobble i have found to be the upper king pin bushings. but not sure i understand if you did the dry park as vile suggested or not.
If you can’t tell yourself the truth, who can you tell it to?~Irish_Alley

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth ~Sherlock Holmes

Offline roundhouse

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1366
  • Newbie
Re: My steering sucks
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2018, 11:06:48 AM »
Do you have a brace on the steering box ?


And we need lots of well lighted good focus pics of the steering setup

And doing the dry park test

I drive parallel to a curb
Scrub the sidewalk of the tire against the curb and then have a helper rock the steering wheel back and forth while I look at the linkage with a high powered light

This test will usually reveal the looseness somewhere if there is any

Too much lift can eliminate the caster
In the alignment
you need a certain amount of caster to make it drive in a straight line

Also check the toe in


For lifted trucks I recommend you find a good shop that works on heavy trucks
That does alignments and suspension and steering repairs on 18 wheelers and such

Most shops that deal with cars are clueless about solid axle vehicles
And usually your lifter truck won’t fit on their rack anyway