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6.7L Power Stroke Diesel 2011-2015 Ford Powerstroke 6.7 L turbo diesel engine

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  #31  
Old 06-16-2010, 12:16 AM
asphaltman asphaltman is offline
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Epic..AWESOME truck! Man I wished I would have got the 20" wheels... would have saved money as I could have kept them with new tires, rather than buying new wheels and tires...Your setup looks awesome. H DAY Ford wants $1,200 for a Level Kit... So... I think Ill be getting one like yours.


For the best alignment ever, go to Russ' on 21st and Redwood. Nice price and best front end experts in town.
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  #32  
Old 06-16-2010, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by asphaltman View Post
Epic..AWESOME truck! Man I wished I would have got the 20" wheels... would have saved money as I could have kept them with new tires, rather than buying new wheels and tires...Your setup looks awesome. H DAY Ford wants $1,200 for a Level Kit... So... I think Ill be getting one like yours.


For the best alignment ever, go to Russ' on 21st and Redwood. Nice price and best front end experts in town.
Thanks for the tip. I'm heading into town today so I'll stop by Russ's. I'm also thinking of going over to Tuff Country and look at the dual steering stabilizer setup. Link HERE. They're local in SLC so it would be easy to pop by. My truck is wandering a bit with the 35" tires so this will be a good solution to try.

And yes, you need to bag the overpriced dealer solutions. Ed Kenley offered the same thing but his was $1,000. What a bargain! (sarcasm) Don't know why they charge so much except they are replacing the shocks with longer ones. Still, totally unnecessary in my opinion with the Autospring doing such a good job with its shock extensions.
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  #33  
Old 06-16-2010, 09:58 AM
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Stay away from the dual stabilizers. When you have the alingment done drive it a few miles. If you still have the wander go back and ask for an extra .5 to1.0 degree of positive toe in. This will help out.
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  #34  
Old 06-16-2010, 04:34 PM
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I'm surprised you haven't needed to make adjustments to the track bar. I forget the exact formula, but lifting 2" should have shifted the axle close to an inch over to the driver's side.

If you haven't had it alligned yet, ask the shop to check the castor angle. Unless the front suspension is different than the '08-10, your leveling kit might have taken out the factory castor which influences the return to center feel of the wheel and, for me, it made a difference in how my '09 tracks down the road.

This is all just some advice. You have an awesome truck and I'd hate for something so minor to take away from the joy of driving a Super Duty pickup.
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  #35  
Old 06-16-2010, 05:12 PM
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Ok guys, thanks. I didn't get to the alignment shop today as planned because I made a run to the wind turbine farm just north of Evanston, WY. About 180 miles round trip. I was paying close attention to steering performance and can say it's just a little "looser" than I'd like. Since I didn't drive enough with the factory setup, I can't tell if it is different than stock. I do know the steering wheel is off-center so it's obvious an alignment is in order. I'll ask about the castor angle and track bar. A couple of questions though:

1. How would adding a spacer on top of the front springs shift the axle to the driver's side?

2. Why wouldn't I want to add dual steering stabilizers? Wouldn't that tend to firm up the steering some? Never used them before so I'm just asking.

Thanks
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  #36  
Old 06-16-2010, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EpicCowlick View Post
I do know the steering wheel is off-center so it's obvious an alignment is in order.
I'm not an expert on suspension geometry, so what I'm saying is simply something to ponder for yourself.



The axle is located under the vehicle by means of two lower control arms which keep front to rear movement in check. Because of those massive arms, your axle stays centered in the fender wells in a front to back manner. But the axle can still move side-to-side- coil springs don't locate an axle.

This is what the track bar does: it keeps the axle centered under the vehicle. The control arms keep it front to back; the track bar keeps it side to side.


One end of the track bar is mounted to the frame on the driver side. When you lift the truck, you push the axle downward, away from the frame. The length of the track bar has not changed, but the distance from the axle to the frame has changed. Therefore, the axle "shifts" to that side to compensate for the canged distance.

You're also noticing this because the steering wheel center has changed. The tie rod is mounted to the steering box, which is mounted to the frame. The other end of that tie rod is mounted to, you guessed it, the axle knuckle which is now off center under the vehicle. Not by much, but enough for you to notice through the steering wheel's misallignment.



Check out the thumb below. You can see the adjustable track bar that I bought to get the allignment of the axle back to stock.




I could be all wrong on this, but like I said, it's something to ponder.
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  #37  
Old 06-16-2010, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mikebob View Post
Stay away from the dual stabilizers. When you have the alingment done drive it a few miles. If you still have the wander go back and ask for an extra .5 to1.0 degree of positive toe in. This will help out.
Why stay away from them? And won't adding more toe in prematurely wear out the tires? Especially at 1.0 degree.
I was under the impression that Epic was running a 35x12.5x20 tire. In that case that is a much larger tire than stock. Having a much larger tire translates to much more forces on the front end, and much greater forces on the steering components. So if he hits a bump or a rut, that will tend to pull the truck all over the place and translate more forces into the steering wheel... into his hands. A stabilizer will dampen that movement. And a single stabilizer is a waste of time since stock already has one.

I agree with what Seminar says about adjusting the trac bar, and castor angle. This made a big difference on my 06' as far as letting the truck come back to center after turning without me touching the wheel. The truck should always straighten out on its own... you shouldn't have to steer it back to center. So epic pay attention when turning, do you feel like you have to turn the truck back to center? Or does it come back on it's own?
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  #38  
Old 06-16-2010, 05:50 PM
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1. By adding height or spacing, the axle is now further away from the point of connection where the track bar is. The angle of the track bar increases thus pulling the axle over to one side. I'm not sure I agree it's an inch proberly more like 1/4". The radius arms although not designed for side to side movement will proberly not move side to side that much.

2. Dual steering stabilizers will only oppose one another and just add undue stress. Install a good rebuildable 50-50 stablizer, like a KING or a FOX unit. Far superior simple to rebuild and will last the life of the truck. Some of so-called shock company stablizers or just that Shocks that are valved so heavy it will appear everything is tight in realality it's tight because it's hard and induces more stress on the power steering pump.

I think in the old days 70's, 80's alot of the big tires were bias plys which required heavy damping. I believe the ole shock on the tie rod came form those days.


These are only my humble opnions however with Racing in SCORE & BITD for 12 plus years I have gained a little bit of knowledge. Being a Civil Engineer does not make me an expert in this field.
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  #39  
Old 06-16-2010, 06:20 PM
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No being a civil engineer doesn't mean your an expert but it does give a you one up on me! As well as your 12 years of racing experience. However, I am not sure about the stabilizer comment since it depends on what company you go with. I think the gas pressure shock will give you that issue since it always wants to extend. But a std oil shock which is already 50/50 would work right? And by having two, that are both 50/50 you are essentially just doubling up the effect, and not canceling out like a gas shock would do. I may however, be completely wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebob View Post
1. By adding height or spacing, the axle is now further away from the point of connection where the track bar is. The angle of the track bar increases thus pulling the axle over to one side. I'm not sure I agree it's an inch proberly more like 1/4". The radius arms although not designed for side to side movement will proberly not move side to side that much.

2. Dual steering stabilizers will only oppose one another and just add undue stress. Install a good rebuildable 50-50 stablizer, like a KING or a FOX unit. Far superior simple to rebuild and will last the life of the truck. Some of so-called shock company stablizers or just that Shocks that are valved so heavy it will appear everything is tight in realality it's tight because it's hard and induces more stress on the power steering pump.

I think in the old days 70's, 80's alot of the big tires were bias plys which required heavy damping. I believe the ole shock on the tie rod came form those days.


These are only my humble opnions however with Racing in SCORE & BITD for 12 plus years I have gained a little bit of knowledge. Being a Civil Engineer does not make me an expert in this field.
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  #40  
Old 06-16-2010, 10:07 PM
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Hey Guys,

This is has been a great thread. It started out just being a cosmetic comparison to see the visible effects of a leveling kit but has evolved into a really useful conversation on the consequences of leveling. I was so intrigued by Ranger's explanation above that I dropped what I was doing and took the truck to a very good alignment shop. Here's what I've learned:

1 - Pretty much everything discussed in this thread is true. My alignment shop quickly confirmed that my caster was lost and the axle was shifted to the driver's side by 1/2 inch. I've got to say, that was a huge revelation to me on how all the steering and suspension parts work together. Anything you do to one, will affect the others in some way. In my case, the caster was essentially zero which resulted in the "looseness" of my steering wheel or a feeling of driving on top of a ball (if that makes any sense). I hadn't realized that my truck's steering wheel was not returning fully to center on its own after a turn but sure enough, it wasn't.

2. Correcting the caster by one and a quarter degree makes a huge difference. The steering wheel now behaves normally and the freeway wander is absolutely gone. I'll be dog-gone.

3. A small amount of horizontal shift of the axle can be corrected by the alignment shop without making changes to the tracking bar. They said the truck will drive like factory now and I don't HAVE to adjust the bar if I don't want to. They said once they correct the steering wheel position, it would be difficult to tell by looking that anything was different from factory. (I'm thinking I will get an adjustable trac bar just because I know now and that kind of stuff bugs me).

4. The factory suspension is highly engineered and tuned for precise and reliable performance. When Joe Average (like me) goes and messes with it, the results may look good but top performance will have been lost. The tragedy of it all is that a person may not even know they screwed things up and, like Ranger said, live with a poorly performing vehicle for years.

So it started with a desire to improve the looks and performance of the truck by a adding leveling kit and larger tires. That necessitates a quality alignment and optionally requires a replacement tracking bar (trac bar, pan bar, pan-hard bar, all the same). Once a person does all that, he can feel good that everything was done properly. But if you think that for $112.50 plus shipping you can level your truck and be done with it, that is a mistake.

Dang, this is a great forum!
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  #41  
Old 06-16-2010, 11:47 PM
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Great post Epic! I am glad you were able to get your front end sorted out and she is riding like new again. Pay attention to how the steering wheel feels when you hit bumps and potholes in the road. Also see what it feels like on older highways were there are actually grooves in the road from the constant traffic over course of many years. If you feel like you are having to battle with the wheel a lot, then at that time it would make sense to look into steering stabilizer. However, it sounds like you don't need anything which is great!
Good luck bro, enjoy that beautiful truck!
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  #42  
Old 06-17-2010, 07:10 AM
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Thanks Playa, I will pay attention to the stabilizer and see if needs help. It's good to understand that a stabilizer may be necessary due to the tires and not the lift. Knowledge is power. And it is kind of ironic that the truck is riding "like new" again. It has 600 miles on it! Good to figure this out now and not 50,000 miles down the road. To everyone doing the leveling kit: DON'T FORGET TO FIX YOUR CASTER ANGLE!
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  #43  
Old 06-17-2010, 12:31 PM
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I'm glad you did get it corrected.
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  #44  
Old 06-17-2010, 02:59 PM
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Looks like I need to get to the alignment shop now too,I havent noticed it as I drive some rough roads. Im at 3700 miles on mine now and just now going to get the castor angle checked out.
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  #45  
Old 07-11-2010, 02:39 PM
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Great thread!

I intend on installing a levelling kit and after reading this entire thread I now understand what steps to take to complete the job. Thanks!
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