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  #31  
Old 01-26-2014, 08:31 PM
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To check using the broomstick method I guess I could try to get it into a vise until the mounting pads are level. I was putting the pin in there and eye-balling it against a speed square but it looks very close to 0 degrees that way. I guess an inclinometer would be helpful. Is 2 degrees enough in a stock spring set up?

I replaced the pins and bushings in the springs and frame so now the springs don't move sideways anymore. Funny how this king pin job snowballed on me. Shoulda known...

Anyway, how much inclination is built in to the axle? One needs to know how to recognize that to determine which way of the beam faces forward? Or is there another way to tell?
Look closely at the axle where the spindle stop would hit on a full lock position. You may see small wear / contact /witness marks on the back side.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:27 PM
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Which way do the kingpin locking pins go in on a '56? Those holes are tapered on BonusBuilts, I'd assume also on mid-fifties. Try your pins in the holes, as I recall on BB's they go in from the front. Looks to be the same on 53-56. Also, are the shock studs still in the axle?
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  #33  
Old 01-26-2014, 11:00 PM
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The lower shock mount is a plate that is attached under the axle by the u-bolts, so no pin in the axle in this case. Ill check for a taper in the lock pin hole though....
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  #34  
Old 01-27-2014, 12:33 AM
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This came up during my build a month or so ago (1956 F100). The kingpin lock pins went in from the back and the nut was on the front of my axle. The holes were tapered, albeit slight.
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  #35  
Old 01-27-2014, 09:01 AM
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I set the axle up n a vice and got the spring pads pretty level. With various pins and broom handles inserted into the the axle boss, it's pretty clear which way it tilts. I did find, by the way that the hole for the locking pin is bigger at the front which puts the nut to the back.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:34 PM
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Now that I'm pretty confident which side of the axle faces forward, I am thinking about shimming it for (more) positive caster. I don't know how much caster is built in to these axles, and if after almost 60 years of use if whatever was built in is still there or not. I read that stock trucks got about 4 degrees.

I realize I'll need to get everything back together and on the wheels before the caster can be measured, but I am wondering since mine had no shims when I took it apart, if it wouldn't hurt to try 2 degree shims and see how it goes.

I don't plan on power steering, so since too much caster can increase steering effort, I thought 2 degrees couldn't hurt to start with. I do have an extra leaf in the rear since this truck used to carry a camper, so there is a bit of rake, which is geometry that can be benefitted by some caster.

Does anyone have experience with how much the steering effort increases as caster angle increases? The thing is hard enough to steer already....
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  #37  
Old 01-28-2014, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Now that I'm pretty confident which side of the axle faces forward, I am thinking about shimming it for (more) positive caster. I don't know how much caster is built in to these axles, and if after almost 60 years of use if whatever was built in is still there or not. I read that stock trucks got about 4 degrees.

I realize I'll need to get everything back together and on the wheels before the caster can be measured, but I am wondering since mine had no shims when I took it apart, if it wouldn't hurt to try 2 degree shims and see how it goes.

I don't plan on power steering, so since too much caster can increase steering effort, I thought 2 degrees couldn't hurt to start with. I do have an extra leaf in the rear since this truck used to carry a camper, so there is a bit of rake, which is geometry that can be benefitted by some caster.

Does anyone have experience with how much the steering effort increases as caster angle increases? The thing is hard enough to steer already....
I would recommend that you start at factory specs and then change as necessary.
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  #38  
Old 01-28-2014, 08:17 PM
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I agree with Pete, the stock setup is fine, very stable even at highway speeds.
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  #39  
Old 01-28-2014, 09:16 PM
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IMHO it depends on the tires you use, the air pressure, tire size, type of driving, you do. If you don't want to use PS, then I'd suggest using radials with a narrow tread, high wear rating, simple (non agressive) tread pattern. Use manufacturer's maximum recommended pressure for your wheel width (NOT the maximum pressure on the sidewall!) Be sure the steering gear box is in excellent shape, has been cleaned of all old lube and filled with fresh lube. Lube the bearings/bushings in the steering column.
If you are using new stock springs and a similar weight engine to stock, and a couple degrees rake (rear higher) I'd expect the unshimmed axle will give you 2-3* pos caster. You want +4 to 4.5* caster for today's highway speeds. Yes it will be a bit of work at low speeds (parking etc) but that the trade off for not having the drunken monkey highway wander too little caster will give you.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:43 PM
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Thanks for the responses. The tires are radials, front springs are stock, re-arched about 15 years ago and still in decent shape. The truck is basically quite stock with a 292 Y. It's sounding reasonable to put it back together with 2 degree shims and then check it on the ground and see how it drives. If the axle has about 2 degrees built in, then it should be close enough.
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  #41  
Old 01-29-2014, 08:07 AM
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If needed, a good alinement shop should be able to taper shim the axle to change the caster or camber. Or, even bend the axle into adjustment.
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  #42  
Old 01-29-2014, 02:32 PM
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Chuck Frank
Inexpensive but sufficiently accurate digital as well as mechanical inclinometers (angle measuring tool) are available. makes it is very easy to measure the caster as well as pinion angle, frame rake angle, engine angle, etc. and should be in everyone's tool box.
here's one: http://www.rockler.com/wixey-digital-angle-gauge
A knockoff available from Harbor Freight (20% off on one item coupons are readily available)
http://www.harborfreight.com/digital...uge-95998.html

Less than 1/2 the price of an alignment shop visit. Mid Fifty sell the caster shims.
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:47 PM
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How could you measure the caster with that, with the brakes/wheels on and on the ground, weight on the wheel? Going off the kingpin bosses isn't accurate.
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  #44  
Old 01-29-2014, 06:46 PM
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I have the same question. One could find a vertical line through the spindle axis on the outside of the wheel, but to what is that vertical line referenced to? Does the frame need to be level?
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:04 AM
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Chuck Frank
Measuring off the spindle bosses is close enough, we're only measuring full degree or more differences. That's also why the inexpensive gauges are plenty accurate enough.
frame should be at ride height, with the digital gauges you can zero off the floor, so the floor doesn't even need to be level like an older bubble level inclinometer.
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