pre61-list-digest Thursday, April 1 1999 Volume 03 : Number 094

Ford Truck Enthusiasts - 1948 - 1948 truck and vans
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In this issue:

Re: FTE Pre61 - Steering box



Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 11:56:13 EST
Subject: Re: FTE Pre61 - Steering box

Stan wrote...

>I am finally getting this '51 F 1 running and it wanders all over the road. I
>read in the original owners manual that this can be adjusted. Has anybody
>the adjustment and is it something us non mechanics can do. I have finished
>cooling, gas, and electrical systems. Am now working on brakes, and front
>end. An exhaust leak repair should finish the mechanical side of repairs.
>Thanks in advance for any help. Stan

You can easily adjust the steering box to take up some of the looseness in the
steering wheel, but if your front tires are wandering the first thing you
ought to try is a front-end alignment. Usually, a bit more toe-in will keep
the wheels headed straight down the road (Down that theoretically flat,
straight and true road, anyway).

I assume your king pins are sound, Stan; if they're shot, get them done before
you spend your money on an alignment.

That said, my '49 F-1 has new kingpins and a fresh alignment and I still have
to work to keep the truck pointed where I want it to go. I run bias ply tires,
which is a big part of it. But the other thing is, government at all levels
has allowed the roads to go to hell, and people tolerate it because modern
radials do a pretty good job of eating up defects in the driving surface.

I just got back from a 1,000-mile run up through Maine and had a devil of a
time compensating for road defects: places where the traffic has worn troughs
in the asphalt, or rolled up a series of waves in it. Half the time I felt
like I was surfing instead of driving.

These old trucks are work to drive, which is something you either like about
them or you don't. I do. But considering how bad the roads have gotten, I
believe I've had all the bias-ply fun I can stand. I'll probably invest in a
good set of radials for highway travel in the future.

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