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TTB Steering Mod - build thread

RustySJohnson

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I'm prematurely posting a build thread as I believe I have a cure for the TTB steering woes, maybe not the cure, but a cure, and I'm not using a Superrunner kit, or a complex swingset. Parts are on order, and a majority have just arrived. I'll either be hailed as a hero genius or lauded as one of the pariah's on the http://128.83.80.193/scarysteering/index.html site. I'm going out on a limb here, bare with me.

I've been reasearching a solution for a while, hand drawn a few sketches, stared at the front end for hours, and have found many respectable setups only to find myself to not be satisfied with the cost of a custom fabrication shop, unhappy with shopping cart type bolt on options, or accepting handling compromises.

I'm in this pickle because I installed the Skyjacker 8" TTB bracket lift with 1.25 front coil spacers and the FA600 drop pitman arm. The steering geometry is gone. Here's a link: 8" Skyjacker Lift for '92 Ranger on a '92 Ex???

BOM
Off-Road Fabrication Parts - RuffStuff Specialties
Qty (3) P/N: 7818TA, 7/8" Hex Head TRE Tube Adapter (18TPI) RH 1" Tube ID $12.00 36.00
Qty (1) P/N: 7818TA, 7/8" Hex Head TRE Tube Adapter (18TPI) LH 1" Tube ID $12.00 12.00
Qty (3) P/N: 7818JAM, 7/8" TRE Jam Nut (18TPI) RH $4.80 $14.40
Qty (1) P/N: 7818JAM, 7/8" TRE Jam Nut (18TPI) LH $4.80 $4.80
Shipping $6.20
Subtotal1: $73.40
Delivery: Shipped same day, arrived in two. California to Indiana
Comments: Provided excellent customer service via phone. Added to my order after I realized my counting error and provided measurements upon request.

YOUR OFF-ROAD PARTS SOURCE! | POLY PERFORMANCE
Qty (1) P/N: PPM-3620-07-18-10 Synergy Suspension Double Adjuster Tube Adapter, ID Tube Size: 1" ID Tube (7/8"-18 LH)
$45.00
Shipping: $12.08
Subtotal2: $57.08
Delivery: 14 days.
Comments: Excellent Technical assistance, provided part dimensions upon request. Item overpriced. Shipping inflated.

RideTech.com - Performance Suspension Specialist
Qty (2) P/N: 90000188, Large Rod End Bracket for 3" Wide Rod End $15.00 $30
Qty (2) P/N: 90000195, Weld-On Sleeve 2-7/16" width - 3" w/bushing $6.75 $13.50
Tax: $3.04
Shipping: $14.59
Subtotal3: $61.13
Delivery: 9 days. Southern Indiana to central.
Comments: I had to pay state sales tax, not their fault, just makes me want to order out of state. Sleeves didn't include bushings, I misunderstood the description, my fault mostly. Couldn't order the bushing online, I had to call to get the P/N and then place the order separately via phone. Provided part dimensions upon request. Great online C/S chat tool. Long delivery lead time.

Warner Steel Sales
DOM tubing 1 1/2" od x .250 wall - 1.0" ID $10.00 p/ft X 6ft = $60.00
Qty (1) 30.5" - Drivers side tie rod
Qty (1) 22.5" - Passenger side tie rod
Qty (1) 15.5" - Drag Link $
Qty (1) 8" X 18" X 3/4" flat steel plate $17.50 p/ft X2 = $35.00
Shipping: No charge, local pickup
Tax: $6.65
Subtotal4: $101.65
Comments. I only needed 18" 3/4 steel plate, but they charged me for the full 2' (they rounded up). Next time, I'll ask for an 18" and 6" so I get my money's worth. I'm always needing extra steel. They cut to length, no wait. Friendly staff. They close at 5pm, SHARP. It took me two trips. I arrived at 5:07 the first time, because I got lost and was driving my steeringly-challenged X-plorer, not their fault.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ENS-9-9489R/
Qty (1), 1.5 OD Polyurethane bushing, Set of two, $16.95
Shipping: $4.95
Tax: None
Subtotal5: $21.90
Delivery: 2 Days
Comments: Shipped same day.


Duralast Center Link ES2913R - Read Reviews on Duralast #ES2913R
Qty (3) P/N ES437L, 7/8" (18TPI) 9/16" stud tie rod LH, $16.99 $50.97
Qty (2) ES2913R, 7/8" (18TPI) 9/16" stud tie rod RH, $16.99 $33.98
Tax: $5.95
Shipping: None, Local Pickup
Comments: Ask for 1975 Ford E150.
Subtotal5: $90.90

Odds and ends:
1 Each White primer and Red enamel = $14.00
Qty (2) 16mm x110mm bolts, nuts and washers $25.00
Grease Zerks $5.00

Motion Industries – Industrial Supplies, Bearings & Equipment
Item Number02143966
DescriptionID - 3/4" OD - 1-1/2" W - 1", Sealed On Both Sides, Caged Roller Bearing
MFG. Part NumberMR 16 SS/MI 12
Manufacturer MCGILL BEARING COMPANY
Available InventoryAvailable
Qty (4) - Price $39.87 $180.00

Farmed out labor:
Finish Welding, pipe bending, inner tie rod plate drilling and machined tapers $150.00

Grand Total: $780.06

Install Time 8 hours

In an effort to reduce posting clutter, I'll be editing this post on this thread often with pictures, details, information, links, and spelling/grammar corrections. I estimate 3 weeks till I'm finished with the build.

As soon as I can provide additional details, pictures, etc.. I'll be starting an additional alignment thread (post link here). I have access to a state of the art Italian alignment rack made by Ravaglioli. I have gained valuable experience with aligning the TTB myself, and have exceptional success just by eye and feel on the first gen Explorer. I'd like to share that knowledge with the DIY'rs and Wheeler's alike.

TBC.... Rusty

ExplorerSteeringParts.jpg
 
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tweakedlogic

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I like where this is going. From the pic it looks like we had similar ideas. I however, didn't have the drive to try and work it out. But those brackets and bars look like what I envisioned. I will be following.
 
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Maniak

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Keep us posted.

~Mark
 
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unclemeat

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My 91 has steering issues. So I will be following.
 
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Naasau

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I'm excited as well, do you feel like posting up a pic or two of your cocktail napkin drawing so we know where you're headed?
 
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RustySJohnson

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Rough Sketch

The measurements are accurate with some minor exceptions.

Scale: 1 block=1/2"

Please, by all means, poke holes in my concept. I guarantee I will not take it personal, it may save me some money, provide insight, or change direction, maybe you had an idea we could expand upon. In the end, we all benefit. I know a lot, but I don't know it all. Next step is to have the plate which the inner tie rods connect to.

My Philosophy:

"It's not failure if you try and don't succeed, failure is if you never even tried."
"Do it even if it's wrong, it's better than doing nothing at all."

Rusty

Picture.jpg
 
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Brian1

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Get rid of the jack screw, that will be the first failure point in the steering. There is no reason to even have it in there, it is just a redundant adjuster that will bend and break under compression. Go to a solid link with an appropriate wall thickness (.188 to .25) and do not use those links made for swaybars. DOM and threaded bungs are relatively cheap. Steering is not a place you want to experiment.
 
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tweakedlogic

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Nope, not what I was thinking. That looks like the Chevy idler arm set up.
 
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RustySJohnson

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Plug the holes

Nope, not what I was thinking. That looks like the Chevy idler arm set up.

Please provide more details, It may change my direction, if I can use as many stock parts as possible, that would be beneficial, less fab work, cost effective, and easier for the DIY'r.

Get rid of the jack screw, that will be the first failure point in the steering. There is no reason to even have it in there, it is just a redundant adjuster that will bend and break under compression. Go to a solid link with an appropriate wall thickness (.188 to .25) and do not use those links made for swaybars. DOM and threaded bungs are relatively cheap. Steering is not a place you want to experiment.

I was on the fence with using these chromemoly swedge rods for steering, even though they are listed for this use in race cars, not that it's justification to and of itself, and maybe they are good for other applications but not this one? I've seen Indy cars built with these on the front end but aero shaped of course, and I'm not betting my life on it, and a trail rig is a whole other arena. They were more of an adjustable, proof of concept, driveable till I'm satisfied setup. The solid links, can you provide me a link to the appropriate material? I will cut/bend/thread a more suiteable material.


At least 1 jack screw adjuster is required on the passenger's side because of the bend, or it wouldn't be adjustable. It's pushed forward of the tie rod mounting plate. It must have some adjustment without changing the indexing. With the steering maxed out turned left, it will interfere with the tire. I will provide a top view.

Other concepts welcome!
 
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Brian1

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The solid links, can you provide me a link to the appropriate material? I will cut/bend/thread a more suiteable material.

For an example using 7/8"-18 TRE's:

http://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/catalog/7818TA.html

http://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/catalog/15X25DOM.html

What size is the jackscrew? I wouldnt trust anything under 3/4" and even then it is not the best application of one. From what you describe this would be a better option:

http://www.polyperformance.com/shop/Synergy-Suspension-Double-Adjuster-Tube-Adapter-p-19276.html
 
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RustySJohnson

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Return, restock, reorder

What size is the jackscrew?
Ans: 5/8-18 Stainless

All parts are returnable, not installed, and kept origal packaging. Easy/sleezy. I'll take your advice, it appears DOM w/ threaded bungs are more cost effective, time proven, and a better application. A few shops down the road in Gasoline Alley have this on the shelf, save on shipping, and pre-cut for my convenience. If nothing else, I have the measurements.
 
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Scott B.

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Interesting...

Subscribed.
 
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Backwoods "X"

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This is looking ALOT like the drop kit that "Pro-comp" used in the kit for the 1st Gen. Dodge Dakota pickup. I have used the "GM" style set up before, with somewhat mixed results also. You can find mixed thoughts about it over on a certain RBV site. I not naming them because I don't feel like getting "slapped" here for doing so.
 
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F150hybred

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It shows some promise. I did notice that you made the tie rods a different length side for side... nice! I'm just glad you didn't go the way of the GMC Astro van (double idler arms). I would look into using normal tie rod ends if It was me... just to comply with local legalities. Keep it up! Lookin good!
 
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RustySJohnson

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Get rid of the jack screw
Gone, along with all the moly swedge rods and hardware.

For an example using 7/8"-18 TRE's:
Ordered

Synergy Suspension Double Adjuster Tube Adapter
Ordered

I would look into using normal tie rod ends if It was me
Agreed, I'm researching using an off the shelf option, Moog preferrably. I returned the original because they were only 5/8" to fit the initial setup in response to Brian1's comments. I'll be using 7/8" to fit the double adjuster and 1.5 DOM

I did notice that you made the tie rods a different length side for side
It is, seemed the only way to get the geometry right.

I'm picking up the 1.5" OD-0.250 DOM rod today. Hopefully, the other parts arrive by the weekend to continue mocking up.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thoughts on the inner tie rod plate, anyone? I was thinking > 1/2" steel.

TREadapter1in.jpg


DoubleAdjusterWnut.jpg
 
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RustySJohnson

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On hold till parts arrive

It's looking like this weekend is shot. None of my parts showed up yet and both orders have shipped from California, but I'm in Indy. I'm getting antsy, I feel the heat of a vacation day getting burnt up next week to wrap up the mockup.
 
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Naasau

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Rusty, I'm intrigued by your design, and I agree with your philosophy. TBH, I was expecting a derivative of ThatFabGuy's SCS steering setup that was used on his James Duff test vehicle, before the SAS test kit was installed.

Pics of what I'm talking about can be found here:
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=265477&page=2
 
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4x4junkie

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Nice work so far :thumbsup:
Agreed on the jackscrew things, IMO, anything with threads less than 1" located in the middle of a link like that would've been asking for trouble (especially on one that already has a bend in it).
For the centerlink plate, I'd suggest 3/4" (1/2" might work if you weld pieces of 1/4" or 3/8" plate on the backside of where you drill your tapered holes, otherwise there won't be enough thickness there to hold the full length of the TRE's stud).



I've tossed designs exactly like this around in the past myself, however I always keep coming back to the more simple K-link where the tierods mount directly in the center (ala Superlift's junk) compromising slightly from ideal geometry just for the rugged simplicity of it. I have not experienced any noticeable bumpsteer as long as the centerlink (tierods) are directly on a level plane with the axle beams (something Superlift failed to do with theirs).
I'll also add I don't dabble too much in the high-speed Baja/Prerunning scene, mine's mostly a DD-type rig/trail rig/crawler, so it's possible any bumpsteer wouldn't be as noticeable with such use. Crawling tends to put tremendous strain on steering links, so another reason that kept pushing me back to the simpler K-link.

I definitely would like to see how well this works out for you though, so I'll be watching this as well. :chug:
 
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RustySJohnson

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Thanks for following, appreciate the constructive critisism

I was expecting a derivative of ThatFabGuy's SCS steering setup
I hadn't thought of this, and I'm not going to slam this idea. I think it's applicable to the right situation. I saw it yesterday when surfing the 'RBV' setup, of which is the same. That wouldn't help my geometry, just not for me.
stonecrusher steering= bad bumpsteer?? - The Ranger Station Forums
mine's mostly a DD-type rig/trail rig/crawler
If this idea works, and I think it will. But because my knowledge of wheeling is limited, I'm careful as to what I state as fact or if it's my opinion. Mine's a road queen, and I make it no secret. I don't even have manual locking hubs. With that said, I think it will lend lend itself well to both of these applications. When I picked up the 1.5 DOM tie rods, I was shocked at the weight. I'm worried about this much mass hanging off the idler and pitman arm, but especially the pitman. It's my opinion, this is overbuilt for my application. This is work in progress, and I may use it for wheeling eventually. I want it to be built right. The steering concept and the materials to me looks stronger than the rest of the suspension.
For the centerlink plate, I'd suggest 3/4" (1/2" might work
I went with 3/4", I almost regret not going with a full 1". BOM is updated now.
Nice work so far
Thanks for the vote of confidence.
the more simple K-link where the tierods mount directly in the center (ala Superlift's junk) compromising slightly from ideal geometry just for the rugged simplicity of it.
Again, I don't disagree with this design. Rugged simplicity is just that, and well said. I believe it's suited for some applications.

Parts came in shortly after I wrote the previous post, except for the passengers side adjustable outer tie rod end. I'm in Northwestern Indiana for the better part of the weekend, so till tomorrow.... I did find a local shop to complete the bend on the passenger side tierod and lined up the finish welding. I'm not setup or qualified to weld this size. I can weld, but I'm not a welder. I'm not betting my butt on my own welding skills. Nor can I cut 3/4" steel plate. I have to farm out the plasma cutting.

Here's what caught my eye driving home from work the other day, I had to stop in. Mike from Big Time Off Roadis is going to do my welding and 3/4" inner tie rod plate cutting. This beast was parked outside his shop, I tried to convince my wife this would be a great family van but she didn't buy it:

1202111502.jpg
 
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