Rethinking My SAS - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Rethinking My SAS

For lack of a better word, I'm frustrated. After running into some major alignment issues with my rig I've decided to explore the option of redoing my SAS. Over the last 6 to 8 months I have been chasing gremlins with my front end. Fortunately, I don't have anything like death wobble. The problem occurs after accelerating and then letting off the gas the truck feels like it wants to pull off to the right.

I was told by a tire shop that I had a camber problem a second/ off road shop looked at things and said the c-bushings were shot and I had a very loose coil bucket. The 4 degree c-bushings were replaced with 7 and all of the bolts were tightened up, but the the problem still persists somewhat and now the passenger side tire is wearing unevenly on the outside.

The SAS I have is your run of the mill variety, extended radius arms with the coil bucket set up using the ttb coils and retainers, custom fabbed drop radius brackets and trac bar. The steering was made from DOM with heavy duty tie rod ends.

I know there is any number of things that can possibly go wrong with these components, but I have to believe it's something simple that's being overlooked.

That being said, I'm thinking about taking the axle and just starting from scratch, maybe going with cage arms or something like that, so for those of you who have done the swap and have had it for a while, what would you have done differently with your swap if you had it to do all over again?
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post #2 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 12:53 PM
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I have had and witnessed the change in direction on and off the throttle in a few jeeps before. It was because of the Detroit locker in the rear and the soft rear springs with no traction bar. The jeep with a healthy small block would torque to one side so the spring was twisting up and the locker was pushing both tires in one direction. Since the jeep was so short it would feel like nose was going in a different direction when you would let in and out of the throttle.

I don't know if I explained this very well, but I would take a look at your rear suspension and see if anything is loose. Maybe the springs are to soft and causing a little axle wrap on one side and changing the direction?
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post #3 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 12:55 PM
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Are the front and rear axles parallel with each other?
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post #4 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 01:46 PM
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sometimes i think i'm the only person brave enough to drive my bronco. it crab walks, veers right, and generally wanders left to right with vague steering. i've tracked down most of the problems.

it crab walks because the rear axle is ~3/4" off center, but with the 14 bolt in back the pinion is centered (vs 8.8 where it is offset) slightly to accomodate fords off center drivetrain idea. if the axle were "centered" i would have some pretty nasty compound angles at the pinion. broncos are also heavier towards the passenger side.

it veers right because of the detroit, staying on the gas noticeably improves straight line tracking. its not bad enough to make you change lanes, but you won't forget its there. not sure how long you've had a detroit, but it sounds like 75% of your problem.

it veers left and right because it has worn out leaf springs in front with no pan hard in front, so it is directionally challenged.

not sure how any of this helps you, but it is ideas as to what causes drive ability problems. i would check your wheelbase, and compare left to right. then i would check your radius arms, and mounts for front/back equal positioning. then i would tighten every single bolt i could find. have you checked your toe in/out? the unequal wear sounds more like a ball joint issue.

heres the big whopper question: is your axle housing straight and not bent from a crash, heat warping etc?

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post #5 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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I do have a Detroit in the rear and can sense it has a tendency to pull I guess that is just something I have to live with. I've now gone back and checked and retorqued all of the bolts. The rear springs are definitely not soft, if anything, they're probably a little too stiff

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brochoncho View Post
I have had and witnessed the change in direction on and off the throttle in a few jeeps before. It was because of the Detroit locker in the rear and the soft rear springs with no traction bar. The jeep with a healthy small block would torque to one side so the spring was twisting up and the locker was pushing both tires in one direction. Since the jeep was so short it would feel like nose was going in a different direction when you would let in and out of the throttle.

I don't know if I explained this very well, but I would take a look at your rear suspension and see if anything is loose. Maybe the springs are to soft and causing a little axle wrap on one side and changing the direction?
Dust, as far as I know they're parallel, but that is definitely something worth looking into.

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Originally Posted by Dustball View Post
Are the front and rear axles parallel with each other?
Andy, I know what you mean I don't think anyone else would want to drive mine either. The wandering is really pronounced when getting off the gas, it almost feels like something is unwinding. Again if that's a symptom of the the detroit I can live with it, I just want to make sure I'm not overlooking anything.

I'll certainly check the wheel base, but I do know the last shop I was at said that one of my rad arm drop brackets was about a 1/4 of an inch lower than the other one. I'm not an expert by any means but couldn't that translate into a much higher number the closer to the axle housing it gets??

The tube has been checked and as far as I know is straight. I haven't personally put an angle on it but the guy at the shop said it wasn't bent..I do need to go back and find what the toe is.

Mine veers right just as you describled
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy351 View Post
sometimes i think i'm the only person brave enough to drive my bronco. it crab walks, veers right, and generally wanders left to right with vague steering. i've tracked down most of the problems.

it crab walks because the rear axle is ~3/4" off center, but with the 14 bolt in back the pinion is centered (vs 8.8 where it is offset) slightly to accomodate fords off center drivetrain idea. if the axle were "centered" i would have some pretty nasty compound angles at the pinion. broncos are also heavier towards the passenger side.

it veers right because of the detroit, staying on the gas noticeably improves straight line tracking. its not bad enough to make you change lanes, but you won't forget its there. not sure how long you've had a detroit, but it sounds like 75% of your problem.

it veers left and right because it has worn out leaf springs in front with no pan hard in front, so it is directionally challenged.

not sure how any of this helps you, but it is ideas as to what causes drive ability problems. i would check your wheelbase, and compare left to right. then i would check your radius arms, and mounts for front/back equal positioning. then i would tighten every single bolt i could find. have you checked your toe in/out? the unequal wear sounds more like a ball joint issue.

heres the big whopper question: is your axle housing straight and not bent from a crash, heat warping etc?
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post #6 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 03:48 PM
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I second or third the whole detroit discussion. gotta understand the affects of the detroit when gassing/letting off...understand that first as something totally unrelated to the front end (though a very soft suspension makes this more pronounced).

Andy, you can put your 14B in alignment and run a compound angle. Here's a good read from spicer, go to page 11 for compound angle, and how to calculate your true operating angle (ujoints) if you do run a tranny/tcase offset from the axle:

http://www2.dana.com/pdf/J3311-1-HVTSS.PDF

In doing my calculating, I likely have some vibe due to a true operating angle of a little more than 4* (rear pumkin of D60 is centered, tcase is about 2" toward passenger side).


As far as what I would have done differently, nothing. Have been very pleased. I did recently correct a C bushing issue I've known about for some time, but other than that...I wish I could run a 17x9 rim and tires, but I choose not to due to cost for that vs. what I run.

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post #7 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 04:26 PM
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How are these holding up?





I've never really gone out and looked at all your SAS pics, not sure I like these, I see why you're curious about the cage arms. This would also be the time to move from ttb coil setup to solid axle springs.

How is all that heim stuff holding up in your steering, I see a lot of mud pics. Nice thing about chevy TRE's is they are greasable.

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post #8 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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They seem to be holding up fine. Ultimately, I wanted to have them gusseted but it's not a priority now. Thinking back to before I did the swap my rig had been in accident where I hit a deer on the drivers side. It tweaked the frame pretty good. I was able to have it straightened out, but I'm thinking may be part of the problem and we didn't take this into consideration when making the brackets. Either way, both of them are identical since they were cut from the same template so it can't be the bracket itself.

Right, I would definitely like to move to the solid axle springs. In the process I would probably quite a bit of weight on the front end, those reinforced stock RA's and the extensions weigh close to 70 lbs a piece.

Steering is good, I haven't had any problems at all with that, down the road I'd probably go with the chevy TRE's but what I have has worked well so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadofax View Post
How are these holding up?





I've never really gone out and looked at all your SAS pics, not sure I like these, I see why you're curious about the cage arms. This would also be the time to move from ttb coil setup to solid axle springs.

How is all that heim stuff holding up in your steering, I see a lot of mud pics. Nice thing about chevy TRE's is they are greasable.
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post #9 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 04:53 PM
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yea my SAS with a detroit rear goes right on the gas and left off it or the reverse i can't remember right now. it also likes to pull a little when stopping. i think the stopping and accelerating stuff is partly detroit and partly a too steep track bar angle. i think the shado is right that the softer front end makes any little handling issue more pronounced, but none of that makes it undrivable. it's not a stock truck and it doesn't drive like one.

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post #10 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Could be wrong, but don't think the track bar angle is too steep..I need to get out and take some new pics to post up here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jam0o0 View Post
yea my SAS with a detroit rear goes right on the gas and left off it or the reverse i can't remember right now. it also likes to pull a little when stopping. i think the stopping and accelerating stuff is partly detroit and partly a too steep track bar angle. i think the shado is right that the softer front end makes any little handling issue more pronounced, but none of that makes it undrivable. it's not a stock truck and it doesn't drive like one.
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post #11 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 05:11 PM
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i bet the single shear plate on the radius arms flexes. i don't care how thick it is, it needs some kind of gusset on the backside to prevent fore/aft movement.

did you run the detroit before you SAS?

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post #12 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadofax View Post
Andy, you can put your 14B in alignment and run a compound angle.
http://www2.dana.com/pdf/J3311-1-HVTSS.PDF
but then my shaft would rub on my exhaust

good link tho!

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post #13 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 05:44 PM
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i ment the track bar on mine not yours. lol if you don't put your pics in the thread i don't know they exist.

i second the question about when you got the detroit

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post #14 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 08:39 PM
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outside edge wear on the right front and a pull to the right are both signs of too much camber on the r/f. Solid axles usually don't have camber issues, but it does happen. Is it possible that it pulls left on the throttle, then stops pulling off the throttle, (but then pulls right due to too much camber)? Usually when I see truck with worn ball joints, the camber goes negative. I don't even know if you have ball joints.
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post #15 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Here are some more pics.. I got the Detroit after the SAS.

Shot from the front


Passenger side, you can see there is a little bow in the coil but not too bad, this was the side that the coil bucket was loose on



Drivers side



Not the greatest shot but here is a pic of the track bar bracket




Drivers side coil mount



Radius arm

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post #16 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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I totally agree that getting this gusseted is in order.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy351 View Post
i bet the single shear plate on the radius arms flexes. i don't care how thick it is, it needs some kind of gusset on the backside to prevent fore/aft movement.

did you run the detroit before you SAS?

I do have ball joints. As far as the pulling goes, I haven't really paid attention to what it does on throttle probably b/c the pulling was so pronouced when I got off the throttle, that's when it feels like it's pulling to the right.

The first shop I took it to said there was a neg camber issue but then he confirmed that the ball joints were fine, the second place I took it to said there was nothing wrong with the axle tube.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Theman View Post
outside edge wear on the right front and a pull to the right are both signs of too much camber on the r/f. Solid axles usually don't have camber issues, but it does happen. Is it possible that it pulls left on the throttle, then stops pulling off the throttle, (but then pulls right due to too much camber)? Usually when I see truck with worn ball joints, the camber goes negative. I don't even know if you have ball joints.
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post #17 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 11:35 PM
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Hey Jeremy, how about a couple pics of the tires, inside/outside, both sides. I run 37 radial Iroks so I'd like to see how yours are wearing. Do you rotate them to the rear every 5k or (I didn't my first set due to bad balancing issues and can show you pics of outer tire wear after 20k up front, which also increases imbalance dramatically)?

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post #18 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 12:33 AM
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Did they give you an alignment printout? The only way to get outside edge wear with negative camber is a lot of toe in. Could be radial tire pull (if they're radials), or just the bad wear making it pull. X the fronts or rotate front to back and see what happens.
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post #19 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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I can shoot some more when I get home tonight. These tires have less than 4K miles on them and I'm sure that whatever the front end problem is has caused an already fast wearing tire to wear even more quickly..None of the other tires are showing near the amount of wear the passenger side, the rears looks almost new. To answer the question, no I never got around to rotating them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadofax View Post
Hey Jeremy, how about a couple pics of the tires, inside/outside, both sides. I run 37 radial Iroks so I'd like to see how yours are wearing. Do you rotate them to the rear every 5k or (I didn't my first set due to bad balancing issues and can show you pics of outer tire wear after 20k up front, which also increases imbalance dramatically)?
No I didn't get an alignment printout, I'm kicking myself because I should have then I would at least have had a starting point..They're bias plys and I would agree that the bad wear is most likely making the pulling feeling more pronounced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Theman View Post
Did they give you an alignment printout? The only way to get outside edge wear with negative camber is a lot of toe in. Could be radial tire pull (if they're radials), or just the bad wear making it pull. X the fronts or rotate front to back and see what happens.
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post #20 of 347 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 09:05 AM
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My votes goes to the detroit rear. Mine always pulled a bit to the right when i let off and it unloaded, but it became more pronounced with the shackle flip.

I think my D60 was bent when i installed it, as when i was done rebuilding/installing it, the camber on the passenger side was off by 2, which made it pull to the right. A spindle shim fixed this, but i knew there was an issue right away, because it always pulled to the right, it wasnt just an on/off throttle thing, which is why im thinking your problem is in the rear. If one axle isnt straight underneath the truck id expect it to pull harder the faster you go, but all the time, not just when youre coasting. Same thing if one axle is shifted to the side; sure itll crab-walk, but it should do it all the time, not just decelerating.


Im with Dan, being able to see the alignment results would be nice.
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