Steering issue after lift - Page 3 - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
Suspension & Steering Discuss OEM & aftermarket suspension, lifts, air ride suspension, shocks, steering components, etc.

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post #21 of 34 Old 03-10-2016, 09:18 AM
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In agreement with everyone on here. Sounds like slop in the gearbox or super light caster. An alignment shop calling it "Good" isn't good enough as others have touched on. Ford specs these at 1-4. 1 is undrivable to me; too light and the truck wanders. We like to see them at a minimum of 3 to 4.5 for the best drivability without sacrificing pinion angle.

All the caster in the world won't make up for a sloppy gearbox, nor will a stabilizer that limits movement of the steering "tighten" a sloppy gearbox. If it was wandering before the stabilizer installation, you temporarily masked an issue that's now resurfacing because you're lifted. Your steering stabilizer's job is to limit transfer of road forces into the steering wheel, not to keep your front end composure.

The radius arms aren't a gimmick; we're a premium suspension manufacturer (Carli) and we offer them as well. These trucks are light on caster in the 2011+ for whatever reason. Your issue sounds like it existed previous to the lift and is now surfacing again. If you lifted the truck 4.5" and your drop brackets are 4.5" drops, then the manufacturer of your lift did their due-diligence to ensure they returned you to factory specification. If you're light, it's Ford's fault. As @layson said, there are arms our there that allow you to adjust this out and set the caster to whatever you want. I prefer arms that can be installed in the dropped location to keep travel as linear as possible but many install them (extended) from the factory location with no issue. It will, however, delinearize (Word? lol) your travel.

Lastly, I would check the torque on your upper track bar bolt. This can cause the symptoms you're describing (steering wheel sticking one way or another in the center and lack of responsiveness) but is usually accompanied by a clunk. The bolt should be torques to 406lb/ft. I've yet to see a shop get it there so it's not uncommon, either.
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post #22 of 34 Old 03-10-2016, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by layson View Post
I would figure out your issue before you start spending too much money. A start would be to find out where your caster is at.
What he said. You want to understand where things are at before investing money. If caster is already good, adding adjustable radius arms wouldnt be worth the investment.
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post #23 of 34 Old 03-10-2016, 05:41 PM
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Make sure the connection to the pitman arm is tight. If it's loose center will shift around as the tie rod end isn't seated.

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post #24 of 34 Old 03-10-2016, 06:02 PM
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Make sure the pitman arm nut is tight. It will cause the same issues.


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post #25 of 34 Old 04-10-2016, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Ok - I installed the rough country radius arms which allow you to adjust the castor and sent it to the alignment shop. They set it to the high side of factory spec which is 1.5 - 2.0 degrees I guess. Its definitely a lot better, I think there is still some room for improvement though.

Has anyone done a 4.5 inch or so lift on a 2014-ish model that can share a castor spec that they like?

The alignment guy said try it out and see how I like it, if I want more castor I can come by anytime and get some more put in. I can live with it as it, but the perfectionist in me wants to see if I can make it as clean as possible.

2014 F-250 SRW | 4 Inch BDS Lift on 325/60/20's | Airlift Air suspension with compressor | dual add a leaf | EGR Block Off | DPF Delete
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post #26 of 34 Old 04-10-2016, 06:49 PM
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Yea I would try more castor - like the experts said, these trucks like around 4.5 degrees. I've read that numerous times.

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post #27 of 34 Old 04-11-2016, 06:52 PM
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With fewer and fewer solid axle rigs around it's getting harder to find alignment guys who actually know how to do them right.

Myth 1 Caster and Camber can't be adjusted. Wrong.. They both can be adjusted via bushings.

Dana 44 here.. The 60 bushings are different but accomplish the same.

https://youtu.be/tKsyifhXZwY

I'd shoot for 4.5 caster..

It's probably going to handle best while not killing tires with a teeny, teeny bit of negative camber. I'm thinking negative camber... -.2 to -.5 degrees.. -.2 is probably best since we are dealing with 35 plus tire diameters.. Since it would be more angle at the contact patch on the truck than if I only ran -.2 camber on the Maserati.. I'm not running track alignment but it's not stock either. It wears the inner more than stock but only slightly. It handles better and only lose 3K miles on a front set of tires over stock.. The way it corners is worth it.

The truck is a different animal, different use with a different goal so it takes a different strategy.

OE spec might be + or - .5 degrees.. So one front could be at -.5 degrees camber and wear the inner portion of the tread while the other front wheel is at +.5 degrees and wear the outer portion of the tread.. The negative side -.5 degrees will actually wear more even than the +.5 degree side.

I'm adjusting both my camber and caster when I lift. The stock camber on the right wears the outer blocks off the front tires too much.

A second way to change camber is a spindle shim.

http://www.4x4review.com/how-to-fix-axle-camber/

Myth 2. No way to do a 4 wheel alignment... You can't change rear camber and such on a solid rear like IRS. True.. However you can fix the thrust angle of the rear axle.

https://youtu.be/51WIcdGdYPQ

Thrust plates.

Removed the worn out stock tires, steps, flaps and installed 60% tread used 37x12.50x20 procomps on the stockers. Will run like this until my vacation from work when I'll put on a 4.5" dominator kit.</a>

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post #28 of 34 Old 04-11-2016, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Great info, but what exactly should I tell the moron at Sears who has the only digital and calibrated alignment rack around? I have to assume he doesn't understand anything beyond what the computer tells him and factory specs. Hence why he set it at 2.0 degrees (factory spec).

Should I just say "set the caster to 4.5 degrees" and be done with it, or is there more to it?

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post #29 of 34 Old 04-11-2016, 07:48 PM
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Just walk in an tell him to set it at 4.5*. Easy as that.


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01 f-250, Standard
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post #30 of 34 Old 04-11-2016, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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awesome, thanks!

2014 F-250 SRW | 4 Inch BDS Lift on 325/60/20's | Airlift Air suspension with compressor | dual add a leaf | EGR Block Off | DPF Delete
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