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Shimmy '49 F4

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Old 01-02-2018, 02:44 PM
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Shimmy '49 F4

Drove my truck a mile down the highway to my Mom and Dad's house a few minutes ago. Coming back it started a pretty violent shimmy at probably about 35-40mph. I did it the last time I drove it also, but I thought then it was a front tire out of balance. It was definitely a shimmy today. It has new king pins, spring shackle bushings and the pitman arm has been rebuilt. I don't remember if I have checked the toe in or not. I have not changed the tierod ends, they felt tight when I checked them a while back. Maybe they have loosened up from use once again. I haven't adjusted the steering gearbox yet either, although it doesn't fell like it has excessive play. It just started doing this the last two times I've driven it. Other things I should look for?
Thanks, Mark
 
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:01 PM
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Start with tires and wheels.....if it has widow makers on it ......make an effort to find some budd wheels.....
 
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:12 PM
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I have 19.5 wheels all around. The front tires are older radials with about 90% of the tread left. I will change them before I license the truck. One of them could be separating and start bouncing, but I would think something in the front end would have to be loose or out of wack for it to turn into a shimmy.
Mark
 
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:50 PM
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With radials, you want slight toe-in. If you have toe-out, it will rattle your teeth and wear the tires quickly.
 
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Old 01-02-2018, 05:14 PM
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Checking toe in would be the first thing I would do. Second thing would be to add shock absorbers. I used hardware from a 1956 to add shocks to mine. I did have to drill additional holes in the frame for the top mount and the lower mounts bolted right on. I got the hardware on FTE from a forum member.
Edit: Remember, without shocks, the springs are the only thing to dampen any oscillations that may get started.
Edit 2: If yours has shocks, forget step 2. Just make sure the shocks are good. A wimpy shock won't do much good for the larger tires and wheels that will weigh well over 100lbs each.
 
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:44 PM
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Thanks, Ross. I will check the toe in. I didn't take the tie rod apart, so the toe in is still set at what it was when the truck left the farm in Kansas.
Mark
 
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:50 PM
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Thanks, Ray. I don't have shocks. I have a set of shocks and brackets I saved from a '71 F600 U Haul truck I parted out. I will order a new pair of shocks and new U bolts and get them mounted on the truck.
Mark
 
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Old 01-03-2018, 11:25 AM
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Mark check toe. If it was abused on the farm anything like my truck the tie rod will be bent. Rear steer so that will toe it out. Also check axle alignment. If it's dog walking that will also change toe since ackerman will toe you out if you are slightly turned left or right. Shocks will help but something is driving the oscillation. Separated, flat spotted or out of round tires due to extended sitting will all drive an oscillation. Most tires in general are not that round. I was really impressed by the Michelin X-line steers I put on my truck. Less that 1/8" runout on a 40+" tall tire. Premium tires are worth having up front.

Wally
 
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:31 PM
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I checked the toe. It is toed in just over 3/8". I haven't checked the manual, but it should probably be 1/16"-3/32". I checked the steering for any looseness. I can move the steering wheel back and forth less than an inch and the wheels move. The tierod ends and drag link are tight. I jacked up the front and turned each tire. The driver's side tire is out of round over 1/4", the passenger side less than an 1/8". Some of that could be a flat spot from being parked and the cold weather, but I would think they would be the same. I have to replace the front tires anyways, so I will eliminate that, if it is an issue.
Thanks, Mark
 
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:42 PM
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Here are my shock options. The tube shock came off of a '71 F600 that I parted out. The upper bracket has TDAA-18188A on it, same as a '56? I would have to drill the frame for the upper bracket and narrow the lower bracket to fit the front u-bolts. I would also replace the shocks. The lever shock came off of a '51 F5 US Army truck that I parted out. The truck had low mileage and the shocks are still tight, although one is starting to leak. They would be a direct bolt on, but I'm thinking the tube shocks would be the better option.
Thanks Again, Mark
 
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:36 PM
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Ray, I measured the tube shocks fully extended and fully collapsed to get an idea if they would work on my truck. They are 24 1/2" center to center of the eyes fully extended and 15" fully collapsed. Even fully collapsed they are too long. Could you take a photo of how you mounted your shocks and take measurement of the center to center length? My mounts may work fine if I can get a shorter shock.
Thank you, Mark
 
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:09 PM
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Mark, I will find time tomorrow to do this. FWIW, I used stock 1956 set up. I had my stock F350 next to the F4 when I was building it and it was obvious that the parts would interchange. The 1956 uses the bayonet type shock, both ends. So my F4 uses the same exact set up.
Edit: 3/8" is way too much toe, IMO. I think I am running 1/16".
 
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:15 PM
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Hope these pictures better explain my shock set up, Mark.
Static dimension between the shock bayonet centering points is 14",
The dimension between the bump stop and the top of the spring is 2".
The shocks will not reach extreme either extension or compression.
I would like to have a heavier shock but this set up worked on my '56 and it is working well on my '49 F4.
 
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:58 PM
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Thank you! Ray for the photos and measurements. I wasn't sure where the top bracket would mount, but from your photos it looks like the top of the shock is almost centered, fore and aft, on the hole in the inner fender for the rubber bumper. With my shock fully collapsed, I still wouldn't be able to mount the top bracket that far back. If I can find a shock short enough, I think I can make what I have work. If not, I will place an add here and see if I can find a set of '56 F350 mounts like you are using.
I will adjust the toe to about 1/16". I think I am far enough along in the build that I can buy a pair of new front tires. I will do that in the next week or so. I will then take it for a test run to see if that helped, but I will definitely add the shocks soon.
Thank you again for your help! I tried to send you reps again, but it keeps telling me I need to spread them around.
Thanks, Mark
 
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Old 01-07-2018, 07:12 PM
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Mark, one of the bolts in the top bracket uses an original hole in my frame. I just positioned the bracket around that hole and drilled a couple more.
 

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