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Old 01-09-2013, 02:32 PM   #1
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Default Stoping Steering Slop

I have a 99 Freightliner FL70 that has been converted to a Toter. The rig runs great and pulls my '28 enclosed great as well. My question is on the steering -there is still some slop before the wheels start to correct. I have replaced the steering box (there was a lot of slop in the old box) and added a stabilizer link to the front "I" Beam. It is still not where I would like it, but not sure where else to start looking. The tie rod ends and drag link are tight, King pins seem good as well. Has anyone tried the spring loaded shock set-ups that I see for some of the big Class A's?? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:53 PM   #2
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have someone turn steering wheel as you watch linkage. there shouldn't be more than 2 " travel in wheel with engine running. check universal joints in steering shaft from steering gear box to steering wheel. may have a slip joint also that shouldn't any play.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:21 AM   #3
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Did the steering stabilizer help any? I was thinking of adding one to mine, but if it was useless, then I save the money for something else.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:13 PM   #4
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My first vehicle was a '68 VW bus. It had a horendous steering shake at certain speeds if I hit a bump. Figured out the steering stabilyzer was shot. Put a new one in and no problems. Don't know if it's as big a deal on the FL70 tho.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:01 AM   #5
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Checked out the linkage from column down to wheels. There is less than 1" play in the wheel before the wheels are turning. Steering itself seems tight - something else is not quite right!

The stabilizer that I installed is more of a 5th link from the Front Axle to the Frame. Runs parallel with the Front axle. It definitely helps. I do not have the Shock/spring style on the tie rod. I've seen them on some of the big class A's and they make quite an assortment for Lifted Pick-ups. Has anyone had success with this set up?

I found that I have mismatched air bags in the rear. I am going to see if I can get a matched set under the rear before I try anything else. The right rear bag is about 1.5" shorter than the left rear bag. Spring rate would be different on both as well which may be causing the squirm in the cross winds.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:31 PM   #6
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When I was a kid, just learning to drive, and didn't know any better, I used to drive our old Ford Econoline van. It had about 180 degrees of steering wheel slop. I called it "bump steering". 180 left, bump, 180 right, bump, and so it goes. Things would get exciting when you hit an unexpected pot hole and the front wheels would jump half a wheel turn on their own. Nowadays I would be skeered to drive the thing, but it all seemed quite normal at the time. Too soon old and too late smart I guess.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:59 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input so far. I have swapped air bags in the back - no real change. I took it to an alignment shop to check things out - they found it was out 3/32" of an inch. No issues with anything else. I am looking at adding the steering stabilizers to the tie rod. I'm not too excited about spending the $500 plus that they want at Camping World for the kit. Has anyone looked at adapting a kit from Skyjacker for a one ton 4x4?

It still steers better than the Model T's that I have, but I would like to reserve that excitement behind the wheel for when I am driving the T's not hauling them!
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:07 PM   #8
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I have not had direct experience with add on steering stabilizers, but my Dad added one to his class A rv years ago and reported better handling. For myself, I had a chevy 1 ton 4x4 with a straight axle that had a god awful shimmy in the steering at about 45 mph. After changing virtually everything else under the front end, I finally changed the shock on the factory steering stabilizer and the shimmy went away.

I would think that a guy that was handy with a welder and a little mild fabrication (ie anybody on this site!) ought to be able to make one of the kits for a pickup work. They basically clamp to the tie rod and bolt to the axle on a supplied bracket, and it should not be too hard to modify the bracket. My only question would be if it would be enough for the higher weight of the tires/wheels on your truck vs. a pickup. They do have dual stabilizers as well, and some of those lifted 4x4's have pretty heavy tires. I would suggest National Tire & Wheel Off Road Tires Wheels & Accessories as they carry all brands and may be able to direct you to a kit that is closest to what you want to do.

Google "steering stabilizer" and a ton of pics on stock and modified pickups pop up, maybe one of those custom will give you a good idea.
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