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Old 02-12-2013, 10:25 AM
Asillymick Asillymick is offline
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Steering Stabalizer

How can I tell if my stabalizer is shot? I got under my truck and checked for loose or worn parts because whenever I hit a patch of bad road I am doing lucky to not hit the curb or swap lanes. Everything is tight and I have been told that my steering box is in wonderful shape. But the bad roads just about make me wet myself.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:52 PM
willowbilly3 willowbilly3 is offline
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I guess take it off and see. But if you are getting death wobble, you probably need a new one. My roadster gets it bad when I hit a bridge seam or some small bumps and everything is new on it, just the nature of a solid front axle. I have a stabilizer to put on it.Even new 4x4s come with a stabilizer so the manufacturers don't have an answer either.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:02 PM
Asillymick Asillymick is offline
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I guess what is messing with me is there is no way they drove that bad when they were new, I mean the roads didn't exist like they do now and on a dirt road it would be down right scary. I had a straight axel in a roadster and never had this issue and it didn't have the stabalizer, or cross bar steering. I know I have a bit of sag in the leaf springs but I can't imagine that causing the issue.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:07 PM
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Mick, the benefit that the stabilizer provides is subtle. Definite , but subtle. It is not intended to eliminate bump steer. I installed mine as the final step in renewing my front end, including the most dramatic improvement, replacing the king pins. You cannot expect it to be a fix-all for worn front end parts.

I would just systematically replace all worn parts in your front end - king pins, tie-rod ends, etc., replace the stabilizer last of all if you feel you still need to.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:04 AM
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Mick; welcome to the fridge orphanage!
I see from your profile that you have a 57 F100. Do you have any modifications?
I would start with truck sitting on solid ground reaching through the drivers window run the steering wheel back and forth while watching front tire. How far does the steering wheel move before the tire starts to move. This will show how much slop or wear and tear the steering gear box, and drag link have. Then raise the front end taking all load off the springs, king pins and wheel bearings. Grab the front tire top and bottom push and pull opposing hands to see if you can feel the slightest bit of slack. This could be wheel bearings or king pin. Now grab the tire front and back wiggle it feeling for slack and watching the pitman arm and drag link for any slack. If your springs are weak or broken, or if spring end bushing are worn, this could be part of the cause. Check the tie rod ends also.
Some where something is worn. For your truck to be wondering around. With the front suspension unloaded you may find the problem. There are many parts that could contribute to the problem and/or it may be a combination of all. I agree the stabilizer is for assisting the system, not for correcting problems These old trucks didn't come with them.
Good luck in your quest.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:13 PM
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Remember these truck were not meant to go much over 40 or 50 mph.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibuzzard View Post
Mick, the benefit that the stabilizer provides is subtle. Definite , but subtle. It is not intended to eliminate bump steer. I installed mine as the final step in renewing my front end, including the most dramatic improvement, replacing the king pins. You cannot expect it to be a fix-all for worn front end parts.

I would just systematically replace all worn parts in your front end - king pins, tie-rod ends, etc., replace the stabilizer last of all if you feel you still need to.
I would echo what Steve has said here. Worn parts have to be replaced. I completely went thru the front end of mine and it is very tight. I live on what some might consider a "seasonal", road in upstate NY where the frost really tears things up. I do not have any trouble navigating over the bumps other than the springs in the seat are a little too weak or I am a little too heavy for them. Replace the kingpins and have someone with the proper reamers fit them into the new bushings. You will not regret it. I should add that I did replace my stock steering with the larger unit from a F500. You can practically steer the thing with one finger. No amount of stabilizers are going to compensate for wear in front end components.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:51 PM
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Well just got done going over it again and EVERYTHING is in good order. About the only thing I see that might be an issue is the bushings in the eyes of the springs. I don't have any play there even when putting a jack on the spring but they look a bit dry. Interesting enough I came across a manual rack and pinion system that mounts to the stock beam. Anyone ever seen this setup or know anything about it? And I guess my next step is to find good quality bushings and press them into my springs. With the truck jacked up and moving the steering wheel I have maybe an inch of play which I would call no play for a beam front end.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:03 PM
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I have had cars and trucks that had bad tie rod ends and they would walk when you hit a bump or hole and set you across the road. I would have some one get in the truck and move the steering wheel an inch one way then the other way. If you do this you will most likely see the play rather than going a 1/4 turn. You will have to crawl under the truck and see what is going on. Start at the pitman arm and work your way all the way across the drag link. There has to be play some where.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:09 PM
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Have you had the front end alignment checked? Maybe you have a bit of toe out? Is the axle bent to where you have negative camber? what's your caster? Is the back end of the truck jacked up? That'll mess with your caster and can be corrected with shims. Summit has 'em IIRC.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:09 PM
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