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1967 - 1972 F-100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Bumpsides Ford Truck

Pitman Arm and drag link issues

 
  #1  
Old 07-10-2019, 12:51 PM
goodm3
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Pitman Arm and drag link issues

Hello:

1971 F250 4x4 owner here. I recently did a small 1" or so lift on the front to clear the tires from rubbing. Truck has a power steering conversion, using the 1978 box. See the video below, the drag link angle does not look good. I bought a Rough Country 6602 dropped pitman arm, but it hits the leaf sprint when turning. I bought a 22822 pitman arm from Bronco Graveyard, and it increased the drag link angle even further. Anybody have a solution for this? See a poor quality video I did below. Any further drop then the current pitman arm has will hit the leaf spring.

https://imgur.com/gallery/iZQM6Ta
 
  #2  
Old 07-12-2019, 02:05 AM
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Hey goodm. Sorry to hear you have to deal with steering angle issues. I can't wait to have to deal with mine too!
There are four basic parts that can be used to correct your issue, and some might be better suited than others depending on the truck.

They are the dropped pitman arms from the steering box, but most dropped arms are not the right style for your setup (same as my '79) and I think your #6602 is for the standard F150/Bronco layout with coil springs and radius arms. Hence why it hits the leaf springs.
The next is the "S-shaped" draglink. This might do it, but not sure who still makes them. Superlift, Skyjacker and Trailmaster used to, but I have not checked their availability in awhile.
The other is a raised steering arm from the knuckle. Common on Chevy's and some Fords (like SuperCab F150's maybe?) but not often in the right bolt pattern for your axle (is that a 44 or a 60?).
The last I know of is a spacer block that lifts up the existing steering arm. Less expensive than the S-shaped draglink, but effectively does the same thing.

Seems like the draglink or block would be the ticket for your minimal lift.
You might check JBG for some of those. We don't carry much in the way of stuff for 250's and 350's but that might be something they have access to.

By the way, do you have regular safety inspections in your area? Reason I ask is that some may call you out on a block-type lift in the front. Not sure just how those regulations read, but it's generally considered a no-no. However, a 1" or less block is not much, and if it's got alignment pins and your u-bolts get re-torqued after a 100 miles or so, they probably won't give you any grief over the years.

Good luck!

Paul
 
  #3  
Old 07-12-2019, 01:50 PM
goodm3
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Originally Posted by 1TonBasecamp View Post
Hey goodm. Sorry to hear you have to deal with steering angle issues. I can't wait to have to deal with mine too!
There are four basic parts that can be used to correct your issue, and some might be better suited than others depending on the truck.

They are the dropped pitman arms from the steering box, but most dropped arms are not the right style for your setup (same as my '79) and I think your #6602 is for the standard F150/Bronco layout with coil springs and radius arms. Hence why it hits the leaf springs.
The next is the "S-shaped" draglink. This might do it, but not sure who still makes them. Superlift, Skyjacker and Trailmaster used to, but I have not checked their availability in awhile.
The other is a raised steering arm from the knuckle. Common on Chevy's and some Fords (like SuperCab F150's maybe?) but not often in the right bolt pattern for your axle (is that a 44 or a 60?).
The last I know of is a spacer block that lifts up the existing steering arm. Less expensive than the S-shaped draglink, but effectively does the same thing.

Seems like the draglink or block would be the ticket for your minimal lift.
You might check JBG for some of those. We don't carry much in the way of stuff for 250's and 350's but that might be something they have access to.

By the way, do you have regular safety inspections in your area? Reason I ask is that some may call you out on a block-type lift in the front. Not sure just how those regulations read, but it's generally considered a no-no. However, a 1" or less block is not much, and if it's got alignment pins and your u-bolts get re-torqued after a 100 miles or so, they probably won't give you any grief over the years.

Good luck!

Paul

Hi Paul:

Thank you for the ideas. S shaped drag link sounds interesting if I can find one. I'm in Miami, Florida, no inspections here. I wish I could mount the drag link on top of the steering arm. I guess even if I did that, I would need some type of fabricated drag link because the ball joint ends on the drag link would have to point in different directions. Upward on the pit man, downward on top on the steering arm.

David
 
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Old 07-12-2019, 03:03 PM
1TonBasecamp
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Yeah that's been done too. I believe that some have cut and threaded theirs and used a standard adjusting sleeve from like a tie-rod of the right diameter. But I also think that someone once found a factory piece that had the proper orientation of the ends, so he just re-reamed the steering arm from the top and installed it as is. Many years ago though, and I think we discussed it on ProjectBronco.com back ten years or more ago. I wonder if that kind of stuff is still lost in the mysterious depths of the internet archives?

But Skyjacker used to make a draglink like that. I think I have the Superlift version for mine, which I have not installed because I have not lifted it yet. But it's there waiting for me to get off my butt and do the lift like I'd planned to do years ago.
So no, you can't have it!

But any of them are legit. Even the block is, or was an accepted method. Lots of people used them. The ones that had the trouble were the GM curved steering arms with three bolts. When blocks were used with longer studs, they often worked loose but most of that was traced to incorrect torque, and not checking and re-torquing at least once after the install. We didn't have any trouble with them when installing them on customers trucks. At least as far as I know.

Paul
 
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 1TonBasecamp View Post
Yeah that's been done too. I believe that some have cut and threaded theirs and used a standard adjusting sleeve from like a tie-rod of the right diameter. But I also think that someone once found a factory piece that had the proper orientation of the ends, so he just re-reamed the steering arm from the top and installed it as is. Many years ago though, and I think we discussed it on ProjectBronco.com back ten years or more ago. I wonder if that kind of stuff is still lost in the mysterious depths of the internet archives?

But Skyjacker used to make a draglink like that. I think I have the Superlift version for mine, which I have not installed because I have not lifted it yet. But it's there waiting for me to get off my butt and do the lift like I'd planned to do years ago.
So no, you can't have it!

But any of them are legit. Even the block is, or was an accepted method. Lots of people used them. The ones that had the trouble were the GM curved steering arms with three bolts. When blocks were used with longer studs, they often worked loose but most of that was traced to incorrect torque, and not checking and re-torquing at least once after the install. We didn't have any trouble with them when installing them on customers trucks. At least as far as I know.

Paul
Looks like these may work?

Dana 44

Now I need to determine if I have a D44 or D66. It seems its not that clear:

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/newb...a-44-60-a.html
 
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:44 PM
1TonBasecamp
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There are several identifying factors. Can you post up a few pics?
But basically, if it's got king-pins it "should be" a 60 and if it's got ball joints it "should be" a 44.
If you put them side by side you can easily tell the 60 is larger in just about every dimension. The covers are exactly the same shape and number of bolts, but one is larger than the other.

More often than not, one of the webs near where the tubes enter the center section will have the number welded/cast into it. You'll see a very clear "44" or "60" right in the web. If you don't see one on the front face, look on the rear side.

Probably other defining factors by the book too, but those are a couple of basics.
The only way that first part will work for yours is if yours has three bolts. If it's got three bolts then it's 99% a 44. Pretty sure all D60's of that vintage would have had king-pins and four bolts holding the steering arm on.
And speaking of steering arms, the 60's side facing arm is integrated into the bearing cap, while the 44's arm is a separate part.

Some pics will tell the tale. Since it's been swapped in, we just have to look at the details.

Paul
 
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by 1TonBasecamp View Post
There are several identifying factors. Can you post up a few pics?
But basically, if it's got king-pins it "should be" a 60 and if it's got ball joints it "should be" a 44.
If you put them side by side you can easily tell the 60 is larger in just about every dimension. The covers are exactly the same shape and number of bolts, but one is larger than the other.

More often than not, one of the webs near where the tubes enter the center section will have the number welded/cast into it. You'll see a very clear "44" or "60" right in the web. If you don't see one on the front face, look on the rear side.

Probably other defining factors by the book too, but those are a couple of basics.
The only way that first part will work for yours is if yours has three bolts. If it's got three bolts then it's 99% a 44. Pretty sure all D60's of that vintage would have had king-pins and four bolts holding the steering arm on.
And speaking of steering arms, the 60's side facing arm is integrated into the bearing cap, while the 44's arm is a separate part.

Some pics will tell the tale. Since it's been swapped in, we just have to look at the details.

Paul
I wrote to the people at http://www.bonzpartz.com/, and while they said they could fab me a spacer block, they also said flipping the drag link to the top would be the easiest way. Now to find the proper drag link, or find someone to modify mine. That does seem like the easiest route. Said I could use a tapered insert.
 
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:40 AM
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Depending on your budget and needs, crossover steering is a better solution. aka connect steering box to right knuckle not the left. More complicated, $.
 
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:51 PM
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goodM3

As Smoky Diesel said a crossover would be ideal but if you do not want to go this way the spacer for the knuckle steering arm would be the next option followed by the "S" type drag link. However if you went with add a leafs to the front a ditched the lift block which would never pass inspection here I think you would not have an issue. Parts Mike has some other options for pitman arms as I used a Jeep arm to get the clearance I needed when I did a crossover with power steering and a 4" skyjacker kit on my 68.

The tapered inserts will need to have the arms reamed and the insert welded into it to flip the drag link. But the original drag link will not work as both ends face up and you will need one that faces up and the other down.

cstoyer
 
 


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