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Old 03-21-2020, 06:49 PM   #1
JOHNCL
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Default Uni-Steer advice sought

I am converting a 34 Ford pickup to cross steer. There are two ways to route the drag link as I under stand things, to the P=side steering arm's second hole or to a Jeep style tie rod end's provision for a drag link end. Anyone car to advise me about pros and cons?
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:26 PM   #2
TJ
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Default Re: Uni-Steer advice sought

To the spindle is the preferred method rather than the tie rod.
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:04 PM   #3
V8COOPMAN
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Default Re: Uni-Steer advice sought

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ View Post
To the spindle is the preferred method rather than the tie rod.

OK TJ, I'm gonna play Devil's advocate here and ask what makes "to the spindle" the "preferred method"? Or is it really more like....."Well, that's the way you usually see it done!" DD
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:14 PM   #4
Krylon32
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Default Re: Uni-Steer advice sought

There is nothing wrong with using the Jeep tie rod end on the right side if you don't have 2 eyes on the right spindle
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Uni-Steer advice sought

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Originally Posted by Krylon32 View Post
There is nothing wrong with using the Jeep tie rod end on the right side if you don't have 2 eyes on the right spindle

The KEY words used above were " preferred method ", and I'm just curious as to where that idea came from. DD
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Uni-Steer advice sought

If you have later spindles, hook it up to the steering arm eye first; then check if it will turn lock to lock. If not, the use of a "Jeep" tie rod end will effectively shorten the steering arm and and give you more turning radius. Maybe also check the dead end of the rack for wishbone clearance, can get pretty tight there. Those Unisteers are kinda made to work around a four bar.
Personally I would go with a Vega if want cross steer.
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:53 AM   #7
JOHNCL
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Default Re: Uni-Steer advice sought

Thanks for your responses. One thing has occurred to me and that is that the Panhard bar length ought to be about the same as the drag link length and that might be tough with the Jeep tie rod end.
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: Uni-Steer advice sought

Quote:
Originally Posted by V8COOPMAN View Post
The KEY words used above were " preferred method ", and I'm just curious as to where that idea came from. DD


I'm sure it's TJ's "preferred method", nothing to get upset about. No one was challenging your authority.
Do you have a suggestion for the OP, or just a bone to pick with TJ?
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:17 AM   #9
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Default Re: Uni-Steer advice sought

I did that on my truck 20 years ago and it worked OK,. Hower, the steering was very hard. Later I converted to a 42/48 front axle and used aaa\the proper drag link. The steering was much easier. Also if your considering using a different steering box,I suggest the Toyota celtic. The Ford pitman fits and the GM rag joint fits. This box has the input gear over the frame giving more clearance from the exhaust manifold.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:22 AM   #10
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Default Re: Uni-Steer advice sought

The term "preferred" may or may not have been the correct term, but the Ford engineers ran it to the spindle for a reason. In all the info that I have seen the drag link should run parallel to the tie rod.. Using the tie rod method has the drag link running at an angle to the tie rod. Ol' Ron makes a point that the car steers harder when the link runs at an angle. I figure the Ford engineers spent a lot of time to design steering and suspension, so following what they have done is "preferred"
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:43 AM   #11
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Default Re: Uni-Steer advice sought

The OP must have already swapped spindles if the RH arm has 2 holes, so it would be as TJ said, the preferred way to use the second hole for the drag link. Maybe he was just wondering if using the Jeep tie rod end was somehow better.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:16 AM   #12
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Default Re: Uni-Steer advice sought

I have started assembly of the new hubs on my 34. My hydraulic backing plates, year unknown, fit on the spindles perfectly. The bolt-on steering arms with 1 3/4" drop allow the tie rod to pass under the stock, but split, wishbones. Hence my first two worries about new parts were unfounded. I did have to run to an industrial bolt store to get 1/2" fine thread socket head cap screws for the steering arms. I'm awaiting Fed Ex deliveries on other stuff to continue the cross steering build process.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:23 AM   #13
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Default Re: Uni-Steer advice sought

John if the socket head cap screws are going in to a "dead hole" on the steering arms be sure to use some "Loctite" on the threads.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:35 PM   #14
JOHNCL
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Default Re: Uni-Steer advice sought

That happens tomorrow. :-) I received a bunch or packages this afternoon to help the cause. My last effort today was to try to grease the spindles and I came to suspect I have to drill the grease hole in the bushings. Darn it.

I spent most of today working on the 32 pickup. I had it set up for a special extra long hood, but I changed my mind and moved the radiator and grill shell back atop the cross member. I am using a 33 cab, lengthened through the doors 5" by a professional shop in order to achieve comfortable seating. And that pushes the back of the cab almost to the rear fenders. The 33 firewall's front bolt places the body back a small amount so that the stock length 32 hood is too short. I still have to use a longer hood, but not as much as I was originally planning to use.

Spring is here and I am out of hibernation. :-)
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Old 03-27-2020, 04:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: Uni-Steer advice sought

I have the brakes on the new spindles now. I had to lengthen an existing tie rod; I put the original in storage. I found the Uni-steer drag link will hit the underside of the stock wishbone when the frame rises relative to the axle. Very unsafe. So I am installing split hair pin style radius rods when I get them from Pete and Jakes. I did not want to install a 4-bar setup even though I have one in storage; it is for another project with a tube axle. The steering arms allow the tie rod and drag link to be either on top or bottom of the steering arms. Things are coming along slowly.
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Old 03-28-2020, 08:35 AM   #16
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Default Re: Uni-Steer advice sought

JUst heat and bend the arms down, they only have to clear by a "smig", as the radius rod follows the axle.
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:29 AM   #17
JOHNCL
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Default Re: Uni-Steer advice sought

I understand about heating and bending forged steel steering arms. Not to belabor the obvious, hopefully, with Vega or Uni-Steer cross steering setups on my 34 there has to be clearance between the tie rod and drag link and the lower side of the frame, thus I don't want to bend the arms upward. And the drag link has to be over the wishbone for when the suspension jounces upward or when the engine weight is removed so that the drag link doesn't contact the wishbone. You're right about the tie rod, though because it is not frame-position related like the drag link. In my 32 with a 4" dropped axle (2" beyond the stock 32 axle drop) the tie rod clears the top of the stock radius rod with the same steering arms I'm using on the 34. But there isn't much clearance with the 32 frame bottom and that is no problem because of the side steering.
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