Dana 60 Steering Help

fordtrucknut

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Joined
May 16, 2012
Location
bedford va
Ok so how far foward is yours stretched?
What pitman arm are you currently running?
Are you aware there are 3 different astro steering boxes? Do you know which one you are using?
I am in the middle of building my steering..my concern with mine was the angle of the drag link..but I was concerned with having too much angle..where it seems you think your issue is not having enough of an angle
I have debated going full hydro.. but I want to drive mine on the street and most folks so full hydro on the street doesn't work well
 

Mac5005

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Oct 19, 2005
Location
Rocky Mount
Ok so how far foward is yours stretched?
What pitman arm are you currently running?
Are you aware there are 3 different astro steering boxes? Do you know which one you are using?
I am in the middle of building my steering..my concern with mine was the angle of the drag link..but I was concerned with having too much angle..where it seems you think your issue is not having enough of an angle
I have debated going full hydro.. but I want to drive mine on the street and most folks so full hydro on the street doesn't work well


I'm stretched 6-7" in front, not sure rear. Rear is linked, wheelbase is 105".

My steering box was from 94 model astro van, stock Astro van Pittman arm, it's flat, 6" long. Had to re-ream taper for tre on opposite side.
The box I have is capable of 71 degrees travel.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1421530708.093916.jpg


ImageUploadedByTapatalk1421530726.012032.jpg


The jeep is street legal, and after speaking with several inspections officers, the only requirement is to have a dependable steering, doesn't specify mechanical or hydraulic.

I drive on the road some but not a lot. Mostly around town when it's nice or at evarts to/from trails.

Don't want to invest the $$$ in full hydro right now but if the cost to fix the mechanical steering is going to exceed full hydro, I will definitely pull the trigger on swapping over.
 

fordtrucknut

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Joined
May 16, 2012
Location
bedford va
Ok yea I thought Xj springs where a 6 inch stretch but I wasn't positive. .I guess I am just going to have to go mount the box and start measuring and experimenting with pitman arms..I have heard of guys using waggy pitman arms..I've also heard of people using stock 79 f150 pitman arm on the astro box
 

paradisePWoffrd

Recovering Project Junkie
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Location
Newton, NC
If you are only searching for 35* of steering, your box should give you that if your pitman arm and steering arm are the same length.

If you are changing things, I might go for 45-50* capability and use the stops to limit it. That way you can get more if you decide to upgrade shafts in the future

If you place the tierod in the correct position, you should be able to keep your ram.
 

Mac5005

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Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Location
Rocky Mount
If you are only searching for 35* of steering, your box should give you that if your pitman arm and steering arm are the same length.

If you are changing things, I might go for 45-50* capability and use the stops to limit it. That way you can get more if you decide to upgrade shafts in the future

If you place the tierod in the correct position, you should be able to keep your ram.


Thanks @paradisePWoffrd for that idea. Honestly hadn't thought about it that way, and I don't know why.

It costs $300 to have the shafts machined by branik to get 50*, but I'm not sure what the stock knuckles are capable of.

Is it worth the extra $300 to get the 10-15 degrees?

@Cperry @Lee @stinkbomb will having the shafts machined for 50* degree steering void the warranty? Bahahah pretty sure I know the answer to that.
 

OnlyOneDR

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Joined
Feb 10, 2006
Location
R
You will want a box with more swing. The thing to consider is that you are measuring everything at level ride height. When you get to flexing the thing side to side all those measurements go out the window. If you droop out the passenger side the distance between the knuckle and the steering box increases and the lack of angular change on the box will result in weird steering issues. You always want a box that can swing further than the axle at level ride height.
 

Mac5005

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Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Location
Rocky Mount
You will want a box with more swing. The thing to consider is that you are measuring everything at level ride height. When you get to flexing the thing side to side all those measurements go out the window. If you droop out the passenger side the distance between the knuckle and the steering box increases and the lack of angular change on the box will result in weird steering issues. You always want a box that can swing further than the axle at level ride height.

Got that. But the length of the Pittman arm, and the distance from the kingpin centerline to the draglink TRE on the high steer arm doesn't change with axle position. To even get equal degree change when comparing box to knuckle, both of these dimensions need to be equal. That will ensure the knuckle is at least traveling what the box is capable of. As it currently sits, the ratio is 1:.68.

Even though the box is capable of 71ish degrees, that movement at the knuckle is only 48 degrees.

I really don't have any issue with the angle of the drag link to steering arm when in straight position.

To reduce that angle would mean shorter Pittman arm, which would make the steering angle issue worse.
Or, move the box rearward some, which would create clearance issues with tie rod and Pittman arm, and steering box to radiator.

Any ideas on a steering box that shares yj/Saginaw bolt pattern that is reverse throw like astro van, but offers more angular travel than 71 degrees and doesn't exceed 3.5 turns lock to lock?
 

OnlyOneDR

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Joined
Feb 10, 2006
Location
R
Mine is a 78 F-150 4x4 forward swing. it mounts on the outside of the frame rail so that could help with your radiator clearance issue. Running a Parts Mike steering arm drilled out to the max 7" center to center. It swings the end of the pitman arm about 8-3/4" between stops. I believe the box has more in it, just limited by the stops. Drawback is the ratio, it is 4-turns lock to lock so it feels a bit like driving a school bus. I built a t-link steering using the tie rod in the stock position.

Can you slide that box up and back, flip the drag link to the bottom and get it closer to parallel with the tie-rod, then put a longer pitman arm on it?

The discussion about the longer pitman arm being a hazard is valid, but Scout IIs had freakishly long pitman arms and I do not hear about those boxes blowing up (and they had really long sector shafts as well). Their Dana 44 knuckles were different than all the others in that they had extended arms where the drag links and tie-rods would connect.
 

drkelly

Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
I still say the easiest and cheapest solution is to connect the drag link to your current tie rod.
 

Caver Dave

Just holdin' it down here in BFV
Moderator
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Location
Hooterville (24171)
I still say the easiest and cheapest solution is to connect the drag link to your current tie rod.

What's needed on the the TR to connect the TRE from the draglink?
Can it be home fabbed? Does anyone offer a suitable block that can be welded into the TR?
Will the TR want to rotate, putting pressure against the TRE's at the arms?
 

drkelly

Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
What's needed on the the TR to connect the TRE from the draglink?
The TRE with hole in it for the drag link to connect to.

Can it be home fabbed? Does anyone offer a suitable block that can be welded into the TR?
I built the steering on my cab truck with rod ends, and did something similar. I drilled a hole through the tie rod tube, and welded a 3/4" dia bolt in place, then attached the drag link to the tie rod like that. Overall looks very similar to the way it is done with TRE's.


Easiest way is doing it like this:
InvertedT.jpg


Will the TR want to rotate, putting pressure against the TRE's at the arms?

Yes it will if like shown in the picture where the drag link comes down at an angle to the tie rod. In the OP's case, his drag link is roughly parallel to the tie rod, so I would not anticipate any rotation of the tie rod.
 
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Caver Dave

Just holdin' it down here in BFV
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Thanks DK... what I was fishing for was whether anyone made a block or clamp that allowed for TREs to be used, similar to the numerous clamps w/ threaded bosses for heims. Dang sure ain't D60 in the front of my junk (NT D30 :D ), but have DL clearance issues under the PS leaf and was thinking about a similar "fix" (DL to TR). Should be fine, but would have a pretty steep angle from pitman arm to TR given the narrow-gauge axle. Since the steering box mount is now bullet-proofed, along with 1.125" x .375" wall DOM DL/TRE... that would make the @#$% arms the "weak link"!

Guess it's time for an upgrade :D
 

paradisePWoffrd

Recovering Project Junkie
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Location
Newton, NC
The TRE with hole in it for the drag link to connect to.


I built the steering on my cab truck with rod ends, and did something similar. I drilled a hole through the tie rod tube, and welded a 3/4" dia bolt in place, then attached the drag link to the tie rod like that. Overall looks very similar to the way it is done with TRE's.


Easiest way is doing it like this:
View attachment 177864



Yes it will if like shown in the picture where the drag link comes down at an angle to the tie rod. In the OP's case, his drag link is roughly parallel to the tie rod, so I would not anticipate any rotation of the tie rod.

That will for sure help the issue but not fix it. The kingpin-tierod distance is larger than the pitman arm length. The pitman arm length needs to be longer than the steering arm, or he needs a box with much more angular travel.
 

drkelly

Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
That will for sure help the issue but not fix it. The kingpin-tierod distance is larger than the pitman arm length. The pitman arm length needs to be longer than the steering arm, or he needs a box with much more angular travel.

Crap, I think I see my mistake. For some reason I was assuming when he said the tie rod traveled 5", that he meant that distance was when the knuckles were turned to the stops, but after rereading it I now believe he means that is how much it is traveling with the steering all connected and NOT turning all the way to the stops. Man do I feel dumb now. I don't know how I got my mind so off track.
 
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Caver Dave

Just holdin' it down here in BFV
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We run into a similar issue using "universal" (labeled CJ/YJ/XJ/TJ) pitmans that are about 5.5" center spline to center taper (= unit bearing D30 balljoint to steering arm taper is about 5.5") on older D30s that have 6.75" balljoint to taper arms... the net result is the knuckles will never hit the stops & <70% steering angle. As I saw mentioned above, a longer pitman is needed... I'm using that same Waggy pitman @Jody Treadway
 

OnlyOneDR

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Joined
Feb 10, 2006
Location
R
Thanks DK... what I was fishing for was whether anyone made a block or clamp that allowed for TREs to be used, similar to the numerous clamps w/ threaded bosses for heims. Dang sure ain't D60 in the front of my junk (NT D30 :D ), but have DL clearance issues under the PS leaf and was thinking about a similar "fix" (DL to TR). Should be fine, but would have a pretty steep angle from pitman arm to TR given the narrow-gauge axle. Since the steering box mount is now bullet-proofed, along with 1.125" x .375" wall DOM DL/TRE... that would make the @#$% arms the "weak link"!

Guess it's time for an upgrade :D

I can make a block to weld on to that tie-rod that has a Chevy 1-Ton taper for you or @Mac5005. I am about to trade out the one heim at the axle end of my drag link for a Chevy DLE and I already have the tapered reamer. All this talk in this thread made me finally get around to ordering the chunk of steel to do it. If you need a different taper (and I am guessing you do) and can find the correct reamer I could make one to match your other steering parts.
 

Mac5005

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Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Location
Rocky Mount
I can make a block to weld on to that tie-rod that has a Chevy 1-Ton taper for you or @Mac5005. I am about to trade out the one heim at the axle end of my drag link for a Chevy DLE and I already have the tapered reamer. All this talk in this thread made me finally get around to ordering the chunk of steel to do it. If you need a different taper (and I am guessing you do) and can find the correct reamer I could make one to match your other steering parts.

I've got plenty of tube around to split and make a clamp mount to be able to mount DL to tie rod. Probably going to have to do that and use waggy arm. Going to cut DL off and weld a new insert in the tube and use a heim instead of tre.
Thanks though.
 

MarsFab

Will work for money
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Location
Harrisburg, NC
I hate to chime in so late but there are two extremely important things that have missed here. I built a samurai 5 years ago that had the exact same problem and I went through all this same stuff you are....
1st is the lack of attention to Akerman angle in aftermarket high-steer arms. Akerman angle is used in steering to eliminate the inside or outside tire scrubbing in a turn. When a vehicle turns the inside and outside tire travel in different radius. If this isn't right on a rig with huge soft tires and a rear or even front locker it will cut down on turning radius tremendously. Akerman angle is set buy changing the angle that the steering arm on the knuckle comes fore or aft from the kingpin. On almost all 4wd solid axle rigs we deal with the arms point to the front. If both arms point straight forward then both tires will travel in the same radius as the axle is steered. To get the ideal akerman angle you'd draw an imaginary line from the tie-rod hole in the arm back through the kingpin to the center of the rear axle on both sides. meaning the arms should point slightly outwards. The longer the wheelbase the less they will point outwards. That will make the inside tire turn slightly sharper than the outside as it should. Unfortunately in the 4wd world handling and proper steering are thrown to the side in favor of making the hi-steer arms and tie-rod ends clear large tire and wheel setups. Your arms appear to be completely straight forward. Strike 1.

2nd is that you desperately need a panhard bar. I've been in countless arguments over panhard bars on leaf sprung rigs and I'll stand firm on the fact that one IS needed. Your rig may drive fine down the road but leaf springs especially soft springs with some arch allow the front axle to move side to side under the vehicle. When you steer you are basically pushing the axle side to side via the steering box. Without a panahrd bar to locate the axle centered you will have much less responsive steering as well as a dead spot in the center of steering travel because the steering has to push the slack out of the springs/bushings left to right. That slack is why your steering radius sucks as well as the fact that your front inside tire is trying to drive straighter forward than the outside tire. These two things combined will do exactly what you are experiencing. Strike 2. I'll bet you a 20 dollar bill that if you put a panhard bar on your jeep you'll have a much better radius. Unfortunately there isn't much you can do about the akerman angle though. Unless you wanna machine your own hi-steer arms. I'm not aware of any companies that make hi-steer arms with proper akerman angle built in for a determined wheelbase.
 

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OnlyOneDR

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