Dana 60 Steering Help

Discussion in 'Axles / Suspension / Tires' started by Mac5005, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. Mac5005

    Mac5005 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rocky Mount
    I have been running chevy 1tons from a cucv ever since I broke the suspension in the first Uwharrie 4x4cross race in 2008.

    When I swapped them in, I did like 90% of these swaps, and used XJ springs up front, and this meant I needed to change the steering box to accommodate for the front stretch. I found an Astro Van box, and drilled and tapped it for hydro assist.

    Ever since the front steering has been marginal at best, but I dealt with it because it worked, and I have never had any problems with any steering component since the swap. My only complaint is the lack of steering angle, and having to 5 point turn everywhere. I am running a spool in the back, and on the road or dirt, chirping or spinning the inside tire is very common to improve the turning radius.

    I checked my steering angle against my 2500 avalanche, and my fiancé's 91 YJ, as well as the turning radius, and was pretty disappointed.

    Here is the Data:

    1990 YJ Chevy 1tons. 42" Sx2's, Astro Van Box, 3.25 turns lock to lock of the wheel, 21 degree steering angle at tire. locker front, spool rear. Ballistic generic high steer arms. two holes on pass side, one on driver. drag link runs from pittman arm to forward hole on pass side arm. Hydro ram is mounted above axle tube at same height as tie rod.
    6.4375" Kingpin to Tie rod, 8.75" from kingpin to drag link. The tie rod travels 5". Pittman arm is 6" long, and travels 7" from lock to lock, giving it a travel angle of roughly 71 degrees.
    105" wheelbase, 89" overall width.
    All turning circles are measured at innermost diameter of a circle driven on packed dirt/rock screening lot, idling.

    43 foot diameter circle.


    My Fiance's Stock Jeep. 91 YJ, 4" lift, 35" tires, ford 8.8 swap. otherwise stock. 93.5" wheelbase, 76" overall width, 3.5 turns lock to lock of wheel, 30.5 degree turning at tire, open/open. 6" tie rod travel,5" long pittman arm, 8" travel of the pittman arm, giving pittman arm travel angle of 106 degrees.

    19 foot 5 inch turning circle.



    My 2004 2500 Avalanche: stock, open / gov bomb. 285's. 3.25 turns lock to lock, 130" wheelbase, 80" overall width, 33 degrees of steering at tire.

    26 foot 6 inch turning circle.


    It would appear at first that steering angle of the tire has more impact on turning radius than the effects of wheelbase or track width.

    I plan to document the changes I make, and the effects on turning radius that these changes make.

    Plans:
    1) swap Detroit in place of spool in rear axle
    2) improve steering angle of tire, without encroaching on design limits of front axle shafts/ujoints ( ECGS chromo stuff, not high clearance bling)
    depending on results of above:
    3) cutting brakes on rear axle.


    I don't even have a turning radius I am shooting for, just better than what it is now. Jeep has been beaten on hard trails and I have worked out the weak links, upgraded those items and have a very capable rig that has checked off numerous trails. Everything is working great other than the turning radius.

    What is the max turning ability of the 60 shafts? Some sites say 40 degrees, some say 37?
     
  2. Mac5005

    Mac5005 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rocky Mount
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1421029541.786121.jpg
    Pass side

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1421029559.250601.jpg
    Driver side

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1421029588.091739.jpg
    Pittman arm

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1421029611.411107.jpg
    Surplus center ram

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1421029637.374703.jpg
    Angles

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1421029655.083375.jpg
    Dirt circles.

    My fiancé SAMs jeep circle fit completely Inside of the circle my jeep did.
     
  3. offroad cowboy

    offroad cowboy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Location:
    Monroe
    My stock d60 in my dually turns about 35 degrees i can make a complete circle in a coldesack in this ImageUploadedByTapatalk1421032614.770322.jpg

    Now the d60 in my old dodge with high steer would turn 42* but i clearenced the shafts and cut the stops i also had my draglink on the hole closest to the kingpin on the pas side
     
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  4. Mac5005

    Mac5005 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rocky Mount
    Thanks @offroadcowboy.

    That's the info I'm looking for.


    Others what is your steering angle?

    As well if you have a rig/buggy on tons, post your steering angle, wheelbase, and turning radius.
     
  5. orange150

    orange150 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Falls Church, VA
    Why do you not want to go full hydro? Can't you get a return to center box to make it more street friendly?
     
  6. paradisePWoffrd

    paradisePWoffrd Recovering Project Junkie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Location:
    Newton, NC
    What is the turning angle of the steering arms? It could be that you have some scrub, loosing turning angle.

    A detroit will help, the rear wont push as much.
    Getting a longer pitman arm or shortening the draglink position of the steering arm will assist. Since your steering arm is longer than your pitman, you are loosing turning angle.
     
  7. GubNi

    GubNi 8 lug disc brakes?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Jonesborough, TN
    You are missing the problem. The rear axle will help maybe 2%. Is the stop on the knuckle hitting the inner C? If not they you need to work on that first. Maybe your pitman is not long enough or many other possibilities. If the knuckle stop is hitting the C on "both sides" then you can adjust it for more angle but from what you posted I'd bet it is not.

    Also, almost unrelated, but twin stick you transfer case if you haven't yet. Then engage the front axle only on tight turns. With practice you should be able to hold the brakes half way and turn on a dime.
     
  8. Mac5005

    Mac5005 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rocky Mount

    Roger than. The stops are no where close to hitting. My first guess is the Pittman arm is too short compared to the distance from the drag link to king pin.

    Going to try to get as much angle as I can without changing hydro rams. So can't go over 8" of tie rod travel.

    Already have twin sticks on the d300, and use them often to turn on the trails. But with the spool in the back, a front dig is nearly pointless. Both rear tires just drag, but it does allow me to move the front end sideways a couple feet.

    I want to be able to swap between spool and Detroit and document the changes. I agree with your post completely Gubni and want to prove that steering angle has more effect on turning radius than rear locker choice and/or width or wheelbase.

    The other issue I have is also with spool in rear, and a low steering angle, the jeep only backs up straight. Pretty much just drags the front straight instead of turning. The problem is definitely more noticeable in reverse.

    The main goal is to get the steering angle as high as possible, without binding the ujoints/ears or going over 8" tie rod travel.
     
  9. rockcity

    rockcity everyday is a chance to get better

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Location:
    Greenville, NC
    I didn't see where you mentioned anything about steering stops...
    Have you checked to see if your steering stops are actually hitting? If so, maybe adjust those to start with. If they are not hitting, then your limitations are likely from the box/pitman arm/geometry/etc

    Is the turning radius the same both turning left and right?
     
  10. GubNi

    GubNi 8 lug disc brakes?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Jonesborough, TN
    My rear is welded also. It takes practice, but can be done. I do it often. I hold the brake about half way. My goal is to lock up the rear and spin the front tires to let the front pull me around. I don't think it would work on pavement.
     
  11. XJsavage

    XJsavage Warlock of Zante plantation

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Second vote on pitman arm/steering arm ratio. Being that your numbers crunch 8.75" and 6", you're not getting close to a 1:1 ratio. In the steering setup I have I'm in the neighborhood of 6.5" and 6.5" on pitman/hi steer and get my knuckle stops to come within 1/8" of touching both sides. For reference, I have a stock YJ box, btf hi steer arm, psc HP LS pump (irrelevant) and using stock Chevy knuckle location for tie rod and unmolested 2x8 sc se ram.
     
  12. drkelly

    drkelly Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
    The easiest solution that jumps out at me is to connect your drag link to the tie rod. Your steering will be quicker, and give you less turns lock to lock, so you may actually want a slightly shorter pitman arm to reduce the 7" of travel to something closer to the 5" that the tie rod travels.
     
  13. XJsavage

    XJsavage Warlock of Zante plantation

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I hate to say but you would almost need to clock and push a factory style jeep box flat and foward, or keep the astro box and relocate it back. Idea here is to swap the tie rod location with the drag link location on the steering arms. I know that's a monstrosity of extra work though.
     
  14. jeepinmatt

    jeepinmatt Still Fat

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Stanley, NC
    Maybe I don't get it, but it looks like the problem is the steering box, unless something else is preventing it from turning. It doesn't matter what all the ratios and clearances are if the box isn't telling it to turn any further. You're getting 8" of travel from a 5" arm on the stock jeep, so the longer pitman should be giving you greater travel, but instead its giving you less travel with a longer arm.
     
  15. Mac5005

    Mac5005 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rocky Mount
    The Astro van box I am running and the stock yj box are apparently geared differently internally. The astro can box moves 71 degrees and the yj box moves 106 degrees. The degree of travel of the gearing inside the box is the same no matter the Pittman arm length. The longer the Pittman arm, the longer the travel, but at the same angle change.

    The astro box max angle of travel is 71 degrees, so if the levers are the same length, meaning pitman arm effective length equals the distance from draglink mount to kingpin, then I should have 35.5 degree steering at the tire.

    As of now the drag link is farther away from the kingpin than the Pittman arm, reducing the angle change.

    Again, no where close to hitting stops on the axle/knuckle.

    Options appear to be longer Pittman arm, or move the drag link mount closer to the king pin.

    I want to get as much angle as possible without exceeding 8" of tie rod travel as to not bind the steering ram.


    Anyone have any numbers on what their rigs steering angle, turning radius, and wheelbase actually is?

    Just curious as to what is common with a 60 front, non high clearance shafts, and 105-115" wheelbase. Aren't most fully hydro rams 8" travel as well? If that's the case, what is you guys distance from kingpin/ball joint to tie rod/ drag link mount?
     
  16. drkelly

    drkelly Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
    If you want to use the full 8” of stroke on the ram, then the proper way to calculate it is the following:
    - Measure steering angle right before axle shaft bind
    - Half of the ram stroke (4”)/sin (max steering angle) = distance of king pin to mount tie rod
    Example: 4”/(sin 35 degrees) = 7”
     
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  17. XJsavage

    XJsavage Warlock of Zante plantation

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I'll snap a few pics of mine with measurements this afternoon when I get home from class. Off the top of my head I'm 6.5" from draglink to center of kingpin, 6.5" from sector shaft center to draglink center at the pitman arm and using stock location for tie rod with ram mounted at diff cover.
     
  18. Jody Treadway

    Jody Treadway Croc wearing fool Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    Here's my take on this as this exact issue happened to me WAY back in the day when I swapped 1 tons into my old YJ.
    Your pitman arm is too short. I won't get into formulas, trig or geometry, but essentially what is happening is your box is done before your knuckles are. You can correct most of that with a longer pitman arm. I corrected mine with a Waggy arm. They are flat and a tad longer than what you have now.
     
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  19. jeepinmatt

    jeepinmatt Still Fat

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Stanley, NC
    I had Sky Mfg Hi Steer arms on mine, and if I remember right, it was 5.5" from kingpin center to tie rod center, and 7" from kingpin center to draglink. Stock XJ pitman arm, 8" travel hydro assist ram mounted to the inside of the tierod, and a PSC big bore box for a TJ. I never measured the angles, but it would travel all the way to the stops on the axle in both directions and still be pushing.
     
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  20. Jody Treadway

    Jody Treadway Croc wearing fool Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Hendersonville, NC
    My MJ had a Chevy 60, Waggy arm, stock XJ box and 8" ram. Just like Matt said, I had 100% steering travel without issue.
     
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  21. Benjie

    Benjie It's a Toyota thing...

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Steering geometry. On tons, the distance of the path of the tie rod on the steering arm while turning is much greater than on smaller axles. That translates to more distance traveled by the steering gear tie rod to get equal turning angle. Some have mentioned a longer pitman arm. Be careful with a longer arm. It puts a lot more stress on the steering gear.
     
  22. OnlyOneDR

    OnlyOneDR Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    R
    Yup. Skip the pitman arm and get a box with more swing. It would also help if that steering box was pushed backwards so that the drag link was straighter, you are losing throw from the end of the drag link physically moving forward and aft in it's travel. Unfortunately it looks like that would create clearance problems for you.
     
  23. fordtrucknut

    fordtrucknut Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Location:
    bedford va
    Checking in...too come. Back when I have more time to read...how does your set up drive on the road?
     
  24. Mac5005

    Mac5005 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rocky Mount
    Drives great on the road, other than the aforementioned lack of steering angle.

    After a bunch of research, and comparing and compiling tons of info,

    On my ballistic hi steer arms, the drag link mounting location (8.75") is too far from the kingpin, for my Pittman arm.

    Not all hi steer arms are the same, some farther some shorter.

    I have yet to find my solution, but i am working on it.
    Here are my current options I have yet to evaluate.
    1) re-drill mounting hi steer holes, or mount drag link to tie rod directly instead of farther away on arm.
    2) longer Pittman arm, which would make angle worse from drag link to steering arm
    3) move tie rod behind the axle to get proper Ackerman angle, and this would allow me to improve drag link to steering arm angle, get tie rod farther from hitting Pittman arm shaft at full bump. And allow me to free up front side of steering arm to place drag link at proper location.
    4) bite the bullet and convert to full hydro
    5) least desire able solution, change to a different steering box, and then re-drill/tap for hydro, and again have to match drag link and tie rod hole locations for the throw of a different box/pitman arm
     
  25. Mac5005

    Mac5005 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rocky Mount
    Going to be drawing a bunch of the angles and distances and possibly putting them in solidworks to find the dimensions I'm shooting for to get 7.75" of steering ram/tie rod travel and ~35* steering.
     

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