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suspension setup

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  • suspension setup

    Hi Guys , I am now at my wits end.My 58 silverhawk is undriveable! It wanders badly and the steering will not return to centre by itself after a turn. I have checked all the ball joints and replaced the left side joint which had siezed. The wheel bearings seem ok , the king pin bushes have recently been replaced and seem to move easily enough , the steering box is not adjusted too tightly , the tyre pressuse is equal on the two front tyres ( 205/65 R15 radials),the bell crank shaft moves ok without any major bearing play. The wheel alignment shop says they cant cure the problem because it is caused by the negative camber, which they have set at -2.5deg and they say they are unable to make it any more positive because the outer pin is adjusted as far as it can go. I have noticed that the manual says that both left and right outer pins are adjusted from the rear of the bushing but on my car , the adjustment on the left side is from the front of the bushing , is this installed incorrectly and preventing further adjustment to get more positive camber ? Is the caster actually the cause of the problem ? I have also noticed that all my wheel rims are buckled to a greater or lesser degree. I also have a power steering setup using the original steering box and a zf pump. ?????????

  • #2
    camber wouldn't cause a wander but can you fix it by flipping over the inner shaft of the upper control arm? I suspect you need more caster as well; is the rear of the car sagging maybe?

    nate

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    • #3
      Hi Nate, The guy at the wheel alignment shop also says that camber is not the cause of the problem. He insists it is the negative camber.I have read the manual several times but still dont understand how to flip over the inner shaft. I forgot to mention that all shocks are also good , if not a bit soft. There is no sagging of the back suspension that I can see.

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      • #4
        loosen the pivot bolts for the rubber bushings, then remove the two large bolts that hold the shaft to the crossmember - be careful, the nuts are not welded to the crossmember so they will fall down in. then just rotate the shaft 180 degrees.

        BTW I don't think the upper outer being installed backwards is the cause of your problem; one of them is like that on my car and it aligned OK.

        nate

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        • #5
          I just thought of something; a post on the newsgroup jogged my memory. Have you tried loosening all the bolts for the steering box and column mounting, and adjusting everything so there's no bind?

          good luck,

          nate

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          • #6
            You say the steering box isn't too tight. Has it been adjusted recently? The reason I ask is this. Over time, the play in the steering box on my 1-ton dodge truck got to where I could rotate the steering wheel nearly 1/4 turn without actually steering the vehicle. I tightened the adjsuting screw to where it felt about right, or at least what I thought felt right. I was wrong because I had it too tight. I could turn the wheel just a bit going down the road and it would not return to center. I loosened it up a bit and that fixed it. If it hasn't been adjusted, that shouldn't be the problem because they loosen with wear, not tighten up. You also might make sure there is still lube in the box because the increased internal friction could increase the drag.

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            • #7
              It never fails, as soon as I hit "post new reply" I think of something else. I've found radial tires (or tyres as you folks call them) can cause some really strange steering problems, but look fine visually. Maybe try swapping the front tires for the rear and see if that makes any difference. I've had cars that would pull severely to one side. I'd check all the suspension parts and finally swap tires side to side and guess what, it'd pull in the other direction. Stupid me, I always leave the simplest part for last. If it still has plenty of tread, you can put the bad tire on the back and be ok. Not great, not fine, just ok. I had one that even when on the rear, it tried to steer the car from the back, just like a combine! Not all, but some of those tires can be spotted visually because one sidewall will be more vertical than the other side. A radial tire on the front of the afore mentioned Dodge truck pulled a louie on me also. I could hit a slight bump, and the wheels would go to shimmying back and forth so severely that I'd have to stomp on the brakes to keep from loosing control. And with 1/4 turn of play in the steering, that was a real wild ride! Tightening up the play didn't make a bit of difference though. Again, it was a bad tire. I found which one it was by putting a spare on one side then the other. This time I put off trading wheels for a good reason, those 8 hole dished wheels are a pain to change and changing the tire on a split rim is even worse. Good luck!

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              • #8
                Man this sounds like a bell crank problem. What you describe. When
                you checked the end play on the bell crank, did you only move it up
                and down? The reason I ask is, the bearings could have wear in them
                allowing the bellcrank to "rock" side to side, but the end play be
                right not allowing up and down. With this, when the bell crank rocks
                to one side, it binds, causing the wandering.

                Its also possible as John mentioned, that the steering box is too
                tight and causing these problems. If the box was adjusted when it was
                not at the "high point" it could get tight to one side.

                To clarify what Nate mentioned, the inner upper suspension pivot has
                a bolt at the front and rear, and two bolts that attach it to the top
                of the frame. To make the extreme camber change you are rotating the
                shaft 180 by turning it on the front and rear bolts. You dont have
                to remove the front and rear bolts. I have heard of some people that
                have actually pushed out the rubber bushings and flipped it that way
                instead of just turning it over. The shop should be able to look at
                the pivot shaft, and figure out if flipping it will help or not.

                Tom

                '63 Avanti, zinc plated drilled & slotted 03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, soon: 97 Z28 T-56 6-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves, 'R3' 276 cam, Edelbrock AFB Carb, GM HEI distributor, 8.8mm plug wires
                '63 Avanti R1, '03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves.
                Check out my disc brake adapters to install 1994-2004 Mustang disc brakes on your Studebaker!!
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                • #9
                  Thanks guys , here is my plan of action and i will let you know the result. change tires rear to front , loosen and retighten all box and column bolts and if no success , remove and check bell crank , if still a problem chuck a can of petrol at it , set it alight and let it roll down the road into my neighbors garden hopefully shutting his yapping dog up , once and for all !

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                  • #10
                    Tried changing the tires around but still no difference, have found something I cant understand, I have jacked the front of the car so that both front wheels are off the ground,without switching the motor on , it is fairly easy to turn the steering by pushing on the front tyres. When I turn the motor on , it is much harder to turn the steering by pushing the front tyres , when I increase engine revs above idle it seems even harder to turn. It is almost as if the power steering is working in reverse. I cant feel this effect when I use the steering wheel , in fact it feels about the same with the motor switched off.Could the power steering be tightening the steering as engine revs increase? I bought the car with the power steering and it has steered badly from when I first drove it. The previous owner said the steering comes from an older 5 series BMW.

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                    • #11
                      Power strg boxes can be a real pain when the hydraulics misbehave. But you didn't mention your toe-in / toe-out. I once had a brand x car which wandered badly. It turned out to be too little toe-in and too much play in tie-rods and ball joints. Near as I can make out, the toe-in changed to toe-out when driving. Not a lot of fun. Some new components later and toe-in re-set to 1.5mm/metre, the car became a pleasure to drive.
                      /H

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                      • #12
                        Wo, now you threw us a curve! Did I understand you to say this car has a power steering setup off a BMW? Is it somewhat similar to the Stude setup of control valve in the linkage and a power cylinder on the bellcrank? As for the wander, I'd take the belt off the pump and take the car for a drive. Does it still wander? If not then the problem lies with the power steering setup.

                        Tim K.
                        '64 R2 GT Hawk
                        Tim K.
                        \'64 R2 GT Hawk

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                        • #13
                          Is it possible that the supply and return lines are reversed? You'd have to deliberately move fittings around to make this happen on the stock Stude setup but if this is all custom then anything is possible.

                          Did they use the BMW steering box? or just the P/S pump? If the former, DETAILS MAN WE WANT DETAILS

                          nate

                          (used to own an '86 535i, BMW steering boxes are teh rox0rs)

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                          • #14
                            You mention resistance with th eengine running. That's the way power steering systems are supposed to work. Hit something or blow a tire and the hydraulics try to compensate by pushing back which prevents the steering wheel from spinning around like a propeller.

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                            • #15
                              Hi guys,Yes it is a BMW steering box and pump , no control valve on the bell crank. I know the system works reaaly well because there are a few installed out here. Spoke to the power steering shop and he confirms that steering will be harder when both wheels off the ground and pump operating . He has suggested that I disconnect the tie rod ends and draglink then jack up each wheel to load the suspension and check if kingpins still turn easily.If the kingpins are ok , he says bell crank will have to come off to check smooth operation of bush and bearing. If problem still persists it will be a defective steering box but this is very rare, So here goes , will work on the car tomorrow and let you know progress.

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