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Discussion Starter #1
Been a pretty good run with my sas so far this year, dana 60 and sterling 10.5 (super douche era) ARB's 4.56's and 35's. After some good runs with a few bumps and scrapes its gonna be time to change some things around. For starters, Ive been running the stock super duty steering. I dont like how low it is, never have since I put it in. It has an offset that drops the steering a good 3-4 inches below the mounts in the knuckles. Here's what happens

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put a nice bend in it since it is almost below the axle. Thinking high steer.... I have read that it can have its downsides, I have seen andy 351 kinda frowns on it from some of his posts I've read (kinda hope he chimes in on this one) but I cant keep replacing tie rods every week & I dont like this design so somethings gotta change.
I'm considering the set up that solid axle carries. I saw shady started using it on his SD front... might be worth it

next up.... I'm taking the advice of many others. I got a deal on some 5 leaf blazer springs to put up front & I'm gonna finally put my sky shackle flip in that has been sitting in the box for 2 years

once I see what my front ride height changes with the blazer leafs & install my shackle flip I'll determine if I can keep my lifted bds springs in the rear or go back to the stock ... maybe make my own pack out of the 2 sets

next big issue

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my front leaf spring eye is 5 1/2 inches from the bottom of the frame. Had to come down that low to get my caster where it needed to be with my shackle in the rear. I have caught those damn "towers" on more rocks & ledges than anything else. They kill my aproach angle. Hopefully the arch of the blazer leafs will allow me to cut those down. If it weren't for those things hanging me up my lockers would pull me through anything....... well maybe

As for other things to change, just minor. U-bolt flip on the front & I am gonna need taller tires. If your gonna go one tons 35's just wont give ya much clearance from your diffs to the ground

kinda expected some of these "bugs" work out since this is my first season running it after it took me 2 1/2 years to get it together

Any input & suggestions very welcome.......... and yes I'm ditching the unit bearings when I go crossover steering :thumbup

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negative creep
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you will like the blazer springs they should ride pretty much the same height as what you've already got. just remember if you cut down your front hangers, you will have to move your rear up accordingly to maintain the same caster angle you've got.

here is my beef with cross over/hi steer: the knuckle is designed to take the steering load and capture it between the kingpins/ball joints. the webbing of the knuckle makes it really strong here. when you mount hi steer on the top of the knuckle, you are splitting the load unevenly across the knuckle. where the webbing meets the top of the knuckle becomes a stress riser, over time it fatigues and every knuckle i've seen fail fails there. most failures were with hydraulic assist or full hydro, but i've seen people break just crawling in granny gear with the tire torque grabbing a rock and just popping the knuckle. true, its much less of a problem if you run the fancy orange knuckles, but in my limited budget world i'd rather just be smart and use the stock knuckles how they were designed.

the reason the steering drops down is to clear the leaf springs. i'll take a picture of mine tomorrow, its heat treated 4130 cromo, doesn't drop down, and the drag link has a slight bend and clears the springs no problem. it uses common lifetime warranty chevy tie rods which are easily available.
 

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i'd rather just be smart and use the stock knuckles how they were designed.

78/9 dana 60's used a steering arm that bolted to the top of the driverside knuckle. Similar to the x-over design, only even crappier.

Im not disputing anything that you suggested, or anything that you stated, only throwing out the fact that the first king pin axles steered from the top of the knuckle.

Yes, I have busted these stockers, but I have also killed sector shafts too.

Just sayin,,,,,stuff breaks.

Ive got to find the pic of a broken knuckle. It sheered the knuckle at the point where you suggested was strongest.

Believe me I realize this is the exception, and not the rule, but I also believe that you give the x-over style steering a little less credit than it deserves.

Ford knuckles in general are weak. We dont see too many chebby guys having our problems, but this is a knuckle design issue, but not a problem with steering technology.
Sure a reasonable fix is to not run x-over steering on a ford, but is that a real solution?
I believe that the x-over design offers far more benefits than any stock configuration can.
Perhaps some of the pitfalls are not so great that this x-over is justified for some, but for me it sort of is.

Like I said, just a personal opinion.:whiteflag
 

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Discussion Starter #4
you will like the blazer springs they should ride pretty much the same height as what you've already got. just remember if you cut down your front hangers, you will have to move your rear up accordingly to maintain the same caster angle you've got.

here is my beef with cross over/hi steer: the knuckle is designed to take the steering load and capture it between the kingpins/ball joints. the webbing of the knuckle makes it really strong here. when you mount hi steer on the top of the knuckle, you are splitting the load unevenly across the knuckle. where the webbing meets the top of the knuckle becomes a stress riser, over time it fatigues and every knuckle i've seen fail fails there. most failures were with hydraulic assist or full hydro, but i've seen people break just crawling in granny gear with the tire torque grabbing a rock and just popping the knuckle. true, its much less of a problem if you run the fancy orange knuckles, but in my limited budget world i'd rather just be smart and use the stock knuckles how they were designed.

the reason the steering drops down is to clear the leaf springs. i'll take a picture of mine tomorrow, its heat treated 4130 cromo, doesn't drop down, and the drag link has a slight bend and clears the springs no problem. it uses common lifetime warranty chevy tie rods which are easily available.
I'm not doubting you at all andy, in the years I've been on here I can easilly tell you definitely have your $h!t together on the sas.

As far as the off set design my tie rods are already about 3" below the spring where they come off the knuckle and then they have the offset where they drop down further. (you can see the kind of clearance I have between the spring & tie rod in my top picture) I would like to see your steering set up & get some info on where to get it to
since I am running the super douche axles I am pretty limited to which way I can go for changing my steering around. Also the unit bearing hub design has its ups & downs... as for myself I just dont trust it, so I have to convert those over. Thats why I started looking into that high steer set up "solid axle" offers for when I get my UBH conversion. actually the high steer knuckles will be the least expensive part. If I can change my inverted T steering over where it wont be such a rock dragger, I may stick with that.

If you dont mind me asking andy, how low is your front spring I from the original bottom of the frame horn. I know you have lifted blazer springs, I'm just trying to get better info on how toimprove my approach angle

Thanks for the input so far :beer
One final concern with converting to the blazer springs is that my front end weight may be to heavy with the added weight of my winch bumper. The combination of my bumper, push bar & the worm driven ramsey 10,000 re has gotta bring me close to 250 lbs extra over the front
 

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negative creep
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i guess i just never saw the point of putting your steering between the spring and the frame. at full bump i would need about a 3" deep notch in the frame to clear a hi steer crossover setup. i've actually seen more chevy knuckles break in person than ford knuckles. again, junkyard parts + hydraulic rams = boom. but thats kind of expected anyway running junkyard parts.

my front spring eye is ~1.5" from the bottom of the frame, not sure why everyone always builds those huge drop brackets in front. however, to get my caster right i had to put the rear shackle eye through the frame. i kept my truck as low as possible.

you say you have a 5 leaf pack? does it have an overload as well? i would throw it in as it is with the overload and then tune from there. if its too stiff remove the shortest leaf. i doubt it will be too soft even with that extra weight over the front.

not sure whats so bad about uni bearings, they are actually kinda easy to replace. i would just replace both sides and always keep the old ones as spares. unless you move up to 40s and decide to start jumping cars i think they will be fine strength wise.
 

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For your low rider tie rod, why not just get a straight one from whatever of the 50 places that sells them, and run Chevy TREs with the SD drag link you've already got? The DL gives you the drop to clear leaves and you get a couple inches of tie rod height.
 

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negative creep
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heres what my steering looks like: 1.375" x .188" Heat treated 4130 cromoly tie rod, 1.375" x .188" mild steel drag link, 1 ton chevy tie rods, and stock f350 pitman arm. the 10* bend ensures no contact with the springs.



the best way to get steering clearance is bigger tires, plain and simple. and if you can't get more clearance, at least make it bomb proof. i have watched the heat treated cromoly on other rigs bend all the way to the tube and back without failing. the size tube i am using is roughly twice as strong as a piece of 1.5" x .250" wall mild steel DOM. it really is badass stuff and worth every penny. mild steel dom bends and stays there. not only is the cromoly harder to bend in the first place, it has a much greater elastic range.

i like running chevy tie rod ends because they have a larger contact area than a bolt through a knuckle, you can find them at most any parts store, and most will come with a lifetime warranty. with big trucks that get wheeled, its not a matter of finding something that won't wear out because everything within reason will wear out. its best to get something that is easily available and a good long term investment. every thing on my steering has a lifetime warranty save for the hoses. because everything on my steering wears out within 2-3 years of hard use.
 
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