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Suspension & Steering Discuss OEM & aftermarket suspension, lifts, air ride suspension, shocks, steering components, etc.

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Old 10-15-2011, 06:25 PM
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Help needed

Hi folks. I'm happy to report that I purchased a very nice '00 F-350 diesel today. It has a "Pro-Comp" lift (believe it's 7") and 355/55/18 Nitto Mud Grapplers.

Anyway, the issue I'm having is that I can barely turn with the tires that are on the truck it's ridiculous.

What options do I have to correct this? Skinnier tires? Are there other options that I can do? Spacers?

thanks in advance!
-Tim
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:07 PM
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is it easier when you get the engine revs up?
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Old 10-16-2011, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Betaracer View Post
is it easier when you get the engine revs up?
No. I can hear it hitting the inner fender and it's clear to me that it's like binding because of how wide these tires are.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:13 AM
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A 7" lift will handle the 37x13.50R18 tires you are running. Wheel width could be a factor, as could back spacing.

What I would suggest is jack the front end up and use jack stands under the axle to keep the suspension weighted. With the steering wheel unlocked turn the wheels from left to right and see where the rubbing occurs. I am guessing it will be on the leafs (which is quite common). Drilling and tapping the steering stops and threading in a bolt will keep the tire off the leaf.

The hard steering is related to the width of the tires coupled by a possibly weak steering pump, or a wearing steering box (where the internal seals could be allowing fluid to pass through the piston and not use full force to help steer. Check by having the vehicle parked on a relatively level asphat or concrete surface. With the engine running but transmission in park (or neutral w/ e-brake set if manual) and keeping foot off brake pedal turn the steering wheel. See if giving more engine revs helps any. Important to not press the brake as steering and brakes use the same hydraulic system.

If steering improves as engine speed increases, then the first thing to suggest is replace the pump and add new fluid. Pumps aren't expensive. Look for evidence of leaking on the steering box, and see if there is play. It might be time to replace the box soon, as they wear faster with the larger tires. The final option is to use Ram Assist.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Betaracer View Post
A 7" lift will handle the 37x13.50R18 tires you are running. Wheel width could be a factor, as could back spacing.

What I would suggest is jack the front end up and use jack stands under the axle to keep the suspension weighted. With the steering wheel unlocked turn the wheels from left to right and see where the rubbing occurs. I am guessing it will be on the leafs (which is quite common). Drilling and tapping the steering stops and threading in a bolt will keep the tire off the leaf.

The hard steering is related to the width of the tires coupled by a possibly weak steering pump, or a wearing steering box (where the internal seals could be allowing fluid to pass through the piston and not use full force to help steer. Check by having the vehicle parked on a relatively level asphat or concrete surface. With the engine running but transmission in park (or neutral w/ e-brake set if manual) and keeping foot off brake pedal turn the steering wheel. See if giving more engine revs helps any. Important to not press the brake as steering and brakes use the same hydraulic system.

If steering improves as engine speed increases, then the first thing to suggest is replace the pump and add new fluid. Pumps aren't expensive. Look for evidence of leaking on the steering box, and see if there is play. It might be time to replace the box soon, as they wear faster with the larger tires. The final option is to use Ram Assist.
Thank you so much for your reply! When you say drilling and tapping the steering stops can you expand on that a little bit please? By the way, the rubbing seems at least from the little bit of driving that I was able to do that it's more prominent turning left.

EDIT: Another question since I'm a diesel and 4X4 newbie..... where can I jack this beast up to ensure I do it as you mentioned?


Thanks again!

-Tim

Last edited by Blown284; 10-16-2011 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:03 AM
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with 37s you would need to roll forward or back slightly while turning in order to move 37" tires from stop to stop with stock steering gear and pump. While rolling slightly is should turn pretty well though. I have upgraded to hydro ram assist, as it is the only true fix, but expensive. for me backing the trailer up into campgrounds or the backyard i had to do a lot of slow speed maneuvering, with trailer hooked up hydro was a must
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:58 AM
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Jack up directly on the axle tube beside the differential housing. Need a strong jack (3ton or more).

Steering stops are, one cast on each knuckle about 1" diameter on the forward side.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Betaracer View Post
Jack up directly on the axle tube beside the differential housing. Need a strong jack (3ton or more).

Steering stops are, one cast on each knuckle about 1" diameter on the forward side.
I figured out *some* of the rubbing issue was the inner fender cover, however, I can also see that I have really limited amount of turning radius with this truck. There's also evidence of where the tire was definitely meeting the leaf spring on each side.

As it stands, I'm not sure how in the world that I'll be able to get the truck + trailer out of the driveway with this limited amount of turning radius.

BTW, rev'ing it up seemed to help a little bit but if I was a good guesser (I've worked on a race cars), it's almost like the pump is shot given the amount of effort I have to put into turning. I mean it's almost like I have NO power steering.

Oh and by the way, I had the tire size wrong (sorry it was dark out), it's actually 355/65/R18 vs. 355/55/18. < Doh! >.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:21 PM
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The inner fender can be pulled back. Some people use zip-ties. I used a carriage bolt and 'Allround' strap bolted to the pinch weld (all galvanized).
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Betaracer View Post
The inner fender can be pulled back. Some people use zip-ties. I used a carriage bolt and 'Allround' strap bolted to the pinch weld (all galvanized).
Ya I'm not worried about the inner fender that's no biggie. I'm more concerned about banging into the leaf springs. What can I do to get more turning radius? My only option to go to a skinnier tire now? If so, what would you recommend?

Thanks again for all your help.
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