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SAS Mountaineer undrivable

Discussion in 'Solid Axle Swap Registry' started by SploderXLT, February 19, 2015.

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  1. SploderXLT

    SploderXLT Active Member

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    I completed my sas and soa setup on my 00 mountaineer. Front axle is a wagoneer Dana 44 with new wagoneer leafs up front. Steering is handled by a Toyota steering box mounted outside the frame. The first test drive was extremely disappointing. The truck drove terrible and the bump steer was uncontrollable. I added a track bar which helped the bump steer some, but over 30mph it was still totally dangerous. Took it to a shop to get aligned. They said the caster was off 5degrees and that is causing the poor handling. I ordered a pair of axle shims and put them in before attempting to rotate the knuckles. Even with the shims it still drives terrible. It darts around the entire time and if you hit a bump, you never know what way it's going to go. I haven't read where anyone has had any steering issues, nor have I seen where anyone used a track bar with leaf springs.
     
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  3. SploderXLT

    SploderXLT Active Member

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: December 1, 2017
  4. 2TimingTom

    2TimingTom Well-Known Member

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    Everything tight? Steering box is securely mounted? If a helper were to turn the steering wheel back and forth while you looked at the steering (specifically the steering box) what would you see? Do you have a gopro that you could rig up and watch as you drove?
     
  5. Brian1

    Brian1 Elite Explorer

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    Your drag link is far from ideal. Have your passenger side knuckle machined (assuming it is a flat top already), buy a high steering arm for the passenger side and run your drag link to the high steer arm. I am betting if you do that it will be a very big improvement.
     
  6. MidnightRebel07

    MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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    +1

    Plus RuffStuff sales these now to help with steering problems but that draglink is that main thing.

    http://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/catalog/R1768.html
     
  7. boominXplorer

    boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    I'm interested to see more pics of the truck but +1 on the drag link. It does look like the pinion is pointed up so caster could be the actual issue.
     
  8. MidnightRebel07

    MidnightRebel07 Elite Explorer

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    Ya, I'd love to see the build thread, mainly because I'm in the middle of my SAS and you can never have enough info or helpful pictures.
     
  9. Brian1

    Brian1 Elite Explorer

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    Do your shackles have a piece of tube welded between them in the middle? It looks like there is but it doesn't look painted to match so that is throwing me off. If not, you should put one in there to strengthen them up and prevent side to side motion of the individual shackles.

    I have also been looking at your castor angle and it really doesn't look that bad (hard to judge though from a front picture) so the shims you added may or may not be needed. Park your Mounty on a level surface and put an angle finder on the knuckle and pinion and let us know what it says. Do you have a print-out of the alignment specs the shop gave you? What was the measured castor angle before the shims went in?

    Lastly, you will likely need a "tall" or "thick" steering arm or a normal arm + a 1" spacer to work with your leaf springs.
     
  10. turboexplorer

    turboexplorer Elite Explorer

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    +1 on drag link. Think about how your suspension cycles, most of the time the leafs will go straight up and not shift side to side but your steering moves in an arch so each bump if your holding the wheel ridged turns the tires. Down travel turn you to the left and up to the right even though your steering wheel is straight. Leaf set up = drag link about dead straight at ride height.

    Also hard to tell but does look off to me on caster. Upper ball joint needs to be further to the rear than the lower ball joint. If both drag link and caster are there I bet it is rough to drive for sure.
     
  11. SploderXLT

    SploderXLT Active Member

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    The caster was +2 degrees. I put a 5degree wedge in it which should have put it close to where it needs to be for testing. Unfortunately I dont have flat top knuckles. I have maxed out my budget for this truck, but its useless right now. I have been trying to find some cheap options for flat tops to fix the draglink issue.
     
  12. SploderXLT

    SploderXLT Active Member

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    Newer picture with the track bar

    [​IMG]

    Steering box

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: December 1, 2017
  13. SploderXLT

    SploderXLT Active Member

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    edited
     
    Last edited: February 20, 2015
  14. Kirby N.

    Kirby N. Elite Explorer

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    Looks like you did a great job. I would guess caster. If you added 5*, you are still only at -3*. Shims are pretty ghetto in the front too. What's toe in? I wouldn't think that drag link would be aweful, especially if you added a track bar. That should have fixed bump steer. I would check caster as was suggested and go from there. Looking for loose or worn parts as suggested is a great idea too. Let us know what you find out.
     
  15. Kirby N.

    Kirby N. Elite Explorer

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    Also, describe what you call bump steer in the first post.
     
  16. SploderXLT

    SploderXLT Active Member

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    Well, I dumped another $1k into it and it didnt change anything. I bought a Reid high steer knuckle so my draglink is now straight. I also replaced the steering box with a new one, just in case. Still drives terrible. I pulled the whole front axle down, cut off the steering yokes and welded them back on, they now have -3* caster, still drives exactly they same. All those changes and there was absolutely no change in how it drives. Had it aligned, camber is -.5* on each side and caster is -3*. I have had the toe all over the range and it makes no difference. I'm at a loss of what to do now. I guess a steering stabilizer and sway bar.
     
    Last edited: March 20, 2015
  17. Kirby N.

    Kirby N. Elite Explorer

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    I am sorry to hear that man. Reid knuckles are cool though.

    You are going to have to give us more info before we can help. Did you look for loose stuff like suggested?

    Tell us what it is doing when you say bump steer? What speed? Is it when you hit a bump, it darts or the steering wheel starts to wobble and the truck bucks?

    3 degrees caster isn't enough in my experience. 5 or 6 would be better.

    A sway bar isnt going to do anything for bump steer, but I am not sure what you mean by bump steer, so I cant tell you if it will help your problem. Sometimes a steering stabilizer helps with bump steer or death wobble, but usually just masks another problem that is worn out parts or misaligned parts.

    Help us help you. I want to see you get that thing on the road. Its rad.
     
  18. jmdirk

    jmdirk Active Member

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    My opinion is that steering stabilizers are for high speed stuff. Having to use them on trail truck or on the street is simply a band-aid masking the actual issue.

    I agree with Kirby - Can you describe what you're calling bump steer?

    You said the track bar helped, but didn't eliminate the issue. I interpret that as your axle is moving side to side when it shouldn't be - especially with leafs up front.

    The spring hangers at the back look like they are well braced I doubt that's moving much. But Brian1 pointed out the shackles. It almost looks like it just a single piece of 3/16" or 1/4" in there horizontally. it should be a like a box running vertically front and back to prevent the shackles from skewing out of square

    Maybe it's just a bad picture but right now your shackles look an H, they should look more like this:
    [​IMG]
     
  19. SploderXLT

    SploderXLT Active Member

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    Bumpsteer is an issue but its not the main issue. By bump steer I mean, when I hit a bump, like a railroad track, the steering wheel is pulled to one side fairly aggressively. The main issue is the truck darts around. How bad it darts is dependent on the road, on flat 4 lane roads it isnt near as bad as a 2 lane with a crest in the middle. If the road changes "angles" you dont know which way the truck is going to go. Anything over about 30 mph on a back road is completely dangerous. You might be able to run 50mph or so on a nice smooth road. I have checked every nut and bolt on the suspension and steering. All steering components are brand new.
     
  20. SploderXLT

    SploderXLT Active Member

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    As far as the front shackles, its a bad picture, there is a piece of angle steel welded in between them.
     
  21. Kirby N.

    Kirby N. Elite Explorer

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    Caster has large effects on return to center tendencies. I think more caster would help the darting around. You can go up to 7 degrees.

    You said you tried a bunch of different toe in settings. Like how much? On 35s I shoot for around 1/4" at the edge of the tire. (that means you measurement at the front of the tire is 1/4" less that at the rear) Anything less and it will wander as well.

    How is your rag joint or u joint in your steering shaft? Is it tight? Whats the angle on the shaft going in the box. It looks pretty steep. Angle could put stress on the shaft joints causing slop.

    The MTR Kevlars are known for grabbing grooves in the road and causing wandering.
     

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