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Old 07-25-2012, 12:16 AM   #1
fgray
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Default Steering stabilizer

I am new to the Model A so be gentle. I just purchased a 31 roadster PU and the truck goes pretty smooth to about 45 mph, however anything over that it get pretty shaky up front. The tires were new when I got the truck and have balance weights on the wheels. A friend who is familiar with these vehicles suggests a steering stabilizer. Any thoughts?
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:06 AM   #2
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

Welcome to the world of Model-As, ...and to Fordbarn!

Since you are new to Model-As, I suggest you find someone who is a little more mechanically versed in them to give your pick-up a complete mechanical check-up. A steering stabilizer is really nothing more than a "mask" to cover some deficiency up. A "shaky" front end is not normal and could be dangerous if left uncorrected or if it was masked by the stabilizer. My suggestion is find the root problem and correct that first. Not sure exactly where Custer is, but hopefully there is a Model-A club with knowledgeable members close by.

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Old 07-25-2012, 05:31 AM   #3
Patrick L.
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

Yep, what Brent said.. Find and fix the problem and you'll be OK.. Heck, that may be cheaper and faster than the stabilizer..
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

What Brent and Patrick said. Still, for some Model As 45 mph is a comfortable top end, though some on this board speak of tooling along comfortably at 60+. My favorite driving is poking along at 35-40 on back roads.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:33 AM   #5
fgray
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

Thanks for the input. Unfortunately there are no clubs close to me. Custer,SD is in the Black Hills of SD, we are thirty miles from the WY border and sixty miles north of the NE border. I'm fairly mechanical spent my early years playing with cars and when I joined the Air Force worked on B-36 aircraft and the KC-97s, before becoming involved with the SAC command and control systems. Most recently riding motorcycles till the hips and knees started giving out, ergo the "A". Looking forward to a fun time. Will celebrate the wifes 86th birthday this Friday with a ride in the park. Fred
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:38 AM   #6
John Kuhnast
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

Keep it the way Henry made it he knew what he was doing.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:45 AM   #7
Farrell In Vancouver
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

Three quick checks before your ride with the missus. Check the ball at the end of the front radius where its sits under the bell housing. Make sure its together correctly and snug. Check the toe in on the front wheels, and check for play where the pitman arm attaches to the steering sector shaft. Of course, every other moving part is suspect in the system, these are just the suggested to get you looking.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:51 AM   #8
fgray
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Sounds like the old school methods are still in vogue. Thanks for the input.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:00 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

I agree with all of above, especially Farrell's specifics about where to start. However, to check the radius ball, you're going to need a picture. There are several good books out there, and you really should get a few--unfortunately, there is no one definitive "shop manual". I would start with Les Andrews' books, then the Model A Service Bulletins, then the various volumes published by MAFCA. There are several good parts suppliers, but you have to be alert for marginal repro parts; usually, the vendors will be candid about this IF YOU ASK. Snyders and Brattons are great and handy for east and midwest. I've only heard good things about Berts in CO, which may be handiest for you--they also deal in original used parts, which are usually your best way to go. Welcome to the hobby!

Steve
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:07 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

Thanks again, I have the Les Andrews book and two new catalogs with the third one on its way. Will try and tear into it today if the temperature will go down a bit.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:08 AM   #11
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Steve & Phill at Bert's are awesome. 800 321 1931
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:14 AM   #12
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

not to be different , but i have run a steering stabilizer for like 12 yrs . no problems & i like it . but as others have said , get the front end correct . i use it for my own preference ............ steve
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:04 AM   #13
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

You need to get together with Steve Schmidt, as he lives in the area and is a good Model A guy. I'll send you his address and phone number.
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:11 AM   #14
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

I had the same problem on my 31 sw . I rebalanced the tires and it solved the problem.Mine started shaking at about 55 mph . If this does not fix it follow the other folks suggestions .
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:34 AM   #15
fgray
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

Thanks, will appreciate any help I can get. Fred
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:46 AM   #16
jerry shook
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

I agree you need to check and fix any problems you find. Then decide on a stabilizer. I find the stabilizer helps even with a tight front end. I am sure henry would have put them on like they do the modern cars of today.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:53 PM   #17
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

Quote:
Originally Posted by fgray View Post
Thanks for the input. Unfortunately there are no clubs close to me. Custer,SD is in the Black Hills of SD, we are thirty miles from the WY border and sixty miles north of the NE border. I'm fairly mechanical spent my early years playing with cars and when I joined the Air Force worked on B-36 aircraft and the KC-97s, before becoming involved with the SAC command and control systems. Most recently riding motorcycles till the hips and knees started giving out, ergo the "A". Looking forward to a fun time. Will celebrate the wifes 86th birthday this Friday with a ride in the park. Fred
I am not sure where Custer SD is located. There is a club in Spearfish, SD called the Black Hills Model "T" Club. They have members with Ts, As ,Bs, v/8s and A/8s. Call Clauser Machine Shop and they will provide you a lot of information. Gloria Clauser knows when the meeting are held and the breakfasts. They go on tours and it is a real nice club. There must be about 10 machinists in the group. None of this quarter of an inch talk here. They talk in 10,000. of an inch.
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:17 PM   #18
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

Did some checking and found a few questionable things. The right spindle arm where it goes into the spindle was loose. The radius rod appears to be secure, but the toe in is 1 and 1/16 inches, a bit much I think as the book says 1/16 to 1/32". The left wheel bearing was a bit loose, and the wheels appear to be out of balance. No one in Custer will try to balance them, so I spit into the wind and balanced them on the spindle not too good I'm afraid will get it to town soon and get a pro to do it. Haven't set the toe yet will tomorrow and then see where we are.Fred
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:28 PM   #19
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

Rechecked the toe in with the front end jack up and got a different measurement. It measured just 3/8" toe in. What am I missing? Which is right, I really thought the measurement would be the same both on the ground and jacked.
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:40 PM   #20
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Default Re: Steering stabilizer

Slop in king pins, bearings, and other connections all gets gooshed to one extreme when wheels are hanging and other extreme when weight of car is on them?
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