springs question

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cb1987
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springs question

Post by cb1987 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:21 pm

on the '14+ models is it common for there to be about 1/2" lean to the drivers side or do they normally sit eqaul from side to side ? seen a '16 with full fuel tank that sat level from side to side but seen a '17 thats 1/2" low on drivers side with hardly no fuel. not sure if the springs are screwed up or just normal. i could see 1/8" being acceptable but 1/2 seems excessive even with these soft springs. maybe some people with a new truck could check theirs and see ?

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DamageWagon
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Re: springs question

Post by DamageWagon » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:33 pm

Driver, battery and fuel tank are on drivers side. Exhaust is on passengers side. That's a big offset. Especially if you run aftermarket springs and they don't have different rates for each side. That sounds pretty normal. When my old springs were sagged out I had about 1-1.125" lower on the drivers side.

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Re: springs question

Post by cb1987 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:42 pm

im talking new truck with stock springs. no driver and just 90lb fuel. 1/2" lean seems like alot but i dont know. hopefully a few other people with new trucks will chime in

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Re: springs question

Post by MikeKey » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:43 am

Alignment might be screwed up. Seriously. Don Thuren has a note about this on his site under 2013+ newer radius arm truck caster notes.... https://www.thurenfabrication.com/tech/ ... dling.html

My truck did not have a lean till just recently after getting an alignment. And apparently, shops have a bad habit of messing up our trucks.
It is VERY important on these trucks that you don't adjust the driver and passenger side cams too far out of balance. In other words, make sure there is not much manual cross caster. If one cam is for example pointed straight down, the opposite side cam should be no more than one mark forward or back. I have seen alignment shops do some crazy things here. If you do put them far out of balance, you can get some drastic lean in the suspension. Reason being, radius arms make the front axle act like one big swaybar. With the caster cams far out of balance, it gives a similar effect as having different length swaybar links, which would force a chassis lean. If you do need a little caster bias fine tuning, which is pretty normal, loosen the upper radius arm bolts at the axle also, then re-tighten once the handling is good. This will let the axle center up as best as it can, by using slop in the hardware to help the chassis find neutral.
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cb1987
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Re: springs question

Post by cb1987 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:12 am

it only has 1800mi and drives straight as a arrow with perfect tire wear. im thinking the alignment is fine.

im not understanding how your alignment would make the truck lean

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Reloaderguy
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Re: springs question

Post by Reloaderguy » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:04 am

Cross caster. It's the alignment.
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cb1987
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Re: springs question

Post by cb1987 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:15 am

ill check the radius arm cams and see if the factory may have adjusted it wrong

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Re: springs question

Post by Reloaderguy » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:23 am

cb1987 wrote:ill check the radius arm cams and see if the factory may have adjusted it wrong

This is the gut doing the OE alignment.
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Re: springs question

Post by MikeKey » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:25 am

I wish he was joking.
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cb1987
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Re: springs question

Post by cb1987 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:32 am

they put the bed on a bit crooked so i wouldnt be suprised with other crooked shit. funny thing is it had blue pencil marks all over the bed where somebody signed off on it

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Re: springs question

Post by Colibri » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:49 am

I'm going to agree it is likely cross caster, some fool did that to my truck once, cam bolts facing 180* opposite each other. Put so much bind in my suspension that the passenger rear corner was 3/4" low. When I went to adjust it the suspension unloaded and rocked the whole truck slightly. Cross caster is not possible on a solid front axle, the knuckles are welded in place. The only way to get a cross caster reading on a laser alignment rack is to put the whole thing in a bind, it's bushing deflection that allows the reading the tech is shooting for.

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Re: springs question

Post by cb1987 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:41 pm

i got to looking at thos cams but im not sure how accurate the dial plate is. since its welded on, i guess its only as accurate as the jig it was fixed in when the assembly was welded. not to mention the accuracy of the marks on the plate itself when it was made. anyways heres what they looked like. now where close to 180* off but maybe far enough to cause my truck to lean a bit, mostly in the LR corner. i measured ground to fender well and also axle perch to bottom of bump stop. LR is 1/2" low. LF is about 1/4" low. ill do some more digging into this because i still cant see 1/2" being normal on new truck with virtually a empty payload. when looking at the tail gate and bumper from the rear it seems to have a definite lean to the driver side in the LR corner. maybe im over exaggerating whats really there but that corner does seem to lean down alittle. according to that thuren article the cams shouldn't be more than one mark difference. clearly i have more like 1-1/4 or maybe darn close to 1-1/2 or so. perhaps that's enough to cause a lean ?

driver side. i put red mark to show where the passenger side arrow is
20170717_2038181.jpg
passenger. red marks shows where driver side arrow is
20170717_2039011.jpg

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Re: springs question

Post by Reloaderguy » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:04 pm

Get a real alignment at a real alignment shop.
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Re: springs question

Post by cb1987 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:14 am

MikeKey wrote:Alignment might be screwed up. Seriously. Don Thuren has a note about this on his site under 2013+ newer radius arm truck caster notes.... https://www.thurenfabrication.com/tech/ ... dling.html

My truck did not have a lean till just recently after getting an alignment. And apparently, shops have a bad habit of messing up our trucks.
It is VERY important on these trucks that you don't adjust the driver and passenger side cams too far out of balance. In other words, make sure there is not much manual cross caster. If one cam is for example pointed straight down, the opposite side cam should be no more than one mark forward or back. I have seen alignment shops do some crazy things here. If you do put them far out of balance, you can get some drastic lean in the suspension. Reason being, radius arms make the front axle act like one big swaybar. With the caster cams far out of balance, it gives a similar effect as having different length swaybar links, which would force a chassis lean. If you do need a little caster bias fine tuning, which is pretty normal, loosen the upper radius arm bolts at the axle also, then re-tighten once the handling is good. This will let the axle center up as best as it can, by using slop in the hardware to help the chassis find neutral.
did they have your cams screwed up and how did you fix it ?

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Re: springs question

Post by OH17wagon » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:42 pm

I have a 17 with just under 900 miles on it and it definitely has a noticeable lean towards the drivers side. I haven't had it looked at yet.

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Re: springs question

Post by cb1987 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:16 pm

OH17wagon wrote:I have a 17 with just under 900 miles on it and it definitely has a noticeable lean towards the drivers side. I haven't had it looked at yet.
if you get a chance you can check yourself and report back what you have. the method is from the 2017 service manual. I guess theorectically you could have a side to side difference of .8" and still be in spec. +.4" on one side and -.4" on the other.

I was thinking I might jack mine up on the frame and let the axle down all the way and see if maybe some suspension bolts have been over tightened and go from there in trying to sort this out.
20170720_160539.jpeg
20170720_160612.jpeg

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Re: springs question

Post by cb1987 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:48 pm

I started looking into this to try and understand whats going on. it seems that when the cams are turned toward the rear of the truck it increases the caster and thus can pull that side of the truck suspension down. it would have the opposite effect if the cam where turned toward the front, caster would decrease and it would try and lift that side. unless my thinking is backwards ? my driver side is the low side but it has the cam arrow turned more toward the front so I must be confused or my thinking is backwards. anybody want to chime in on this ?

also I found something interesting in the manual which seems to echo what thuren said. when the cams are out of phase it can mess with the ride height. " For 2500/3500, caster can be adjusted by rotating the cams on the lower control arm. Left and right cams should be rotated in the same direction to minimize ride height changes side to side. Cross caster should not be adjusted by putting adjust cams out of phase."

im still not perfectly clear on what cross caster meens. is that when the caster adjustment on each side is outside the range listed in the manual, basically causing a forward and backward twisting of the axle, frame, suspension ? basically one side would have a ton of positive caster and the other side would have very little positive caster ??

im thinking I might make some marks where my cams are set now, then ill turn them so theyre alittle closer to lining up with each other from side to side and see what affect that has on the ride height. im starting to think this is the reason why one side of the truck is being pulled down, or the other side being pushed up

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Re: springs question

Post by MikeKey » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:05 pm

cb1987 wrote: im still not perfectly clear on what cross caster meens. is that when the caster adjustment on each side is outside the range listed in the manual, basically causing a forward and backward twisting of the axle, frame, suspension ? basically one side would have a ton of positive caster and the other side would have very little positive caster ??
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Re: springs question

Post by Rodeoflyer » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:39 am

Those cams should be set the same on each side. I did my own alignment after paying $100 and getting the bait and switch from a local alignment shop. They said they would align my truck to the specs I provided but didn't TOUCH the caster cams. When I placed a gauge on the upper BJ it was at 3.5 degrees caster, much less than the specs I provided and had a worse right hand pull than before. I figured this was money out the window and just decided to do it myself. Initially I maxed out the caster, which maxed out at 5 degrees. That was actually too much. The steering was sluggish and was re-centering (it wouldn't recenter at all after the 'pro' alignment) but slow so I backed it out to the second highest caster setting which was right on at 4.5 degrees.

Image

Image

Then I did a string type toe alignment and plan to verify with some jegs toe plates but it's better than the alignment I got from the alignment place and I can now tweak it myself. It does not pull or wander, my mileage increased a few points on the evic which tells me there is less rolling resistance and the feeling of bumpsteer is gone which was likely insufficient caster. I know this because I dialed in too much and over corrected on caster then dialed it in perfectly. There is no reason to dial in cross caster unless you have a balljoint out of whack or other issue.

Image
Last edited by Rodeoflyer on Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DamageWagon
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Re: springs question

Post by DamageWagon » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:45 am

Good work! Bummer that a shop screwed it up for good money. How long did it take you to align it yourself?

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Re: springs question

Post by Rodeoflyer » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:53 am

It's a 30 minute job..I just thought I would let a shop handle it. They botched it so I went to another shop. They said 'your truck won't fit on our rack' so I went to an RV alignment place and they insisted on factory specs. I had caster/camber plates in the past on sports cars with alignment marks which made it easier but these solid axle front vehicles are super easy to align with string and a gauge on the upper ball joints. There's a nice level spot on the upper balljoint to place the gauge. Just like a jeep i suppose. I'm guessing there's about 2.5 degrees positive and 2.5 negative so you can play with it. I've lowered vehicles and this is the same concept just skyward. The Thuren .5'' springs had zero effect on steering and handling but the 1.5'' over definitely changed things.

With Thurens 1.5'' front springs it now handles and steers like stock.

Just something to keep in mind, I've heard a few here comment that you can just adjust the draglink when raising the truck. The draglink also affects passenger side toe.

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Re: springs question

Post by olyelr » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:18 pm

Rodeoflyer wrote:
Just something to keep in mind, I've heard a few here comment that you can just adjust the draglink when raising the truck. The draglink also affects passenger side toe.

How can adjusting the drag link possibly change the passeger side toe? There is a tie rod connected to both knuckles.
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DamageWagon
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Re: springs question

Post by DamageWagon » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:23 pm

Drag link has no affect on the suspension alignment. It does not affect toe, only steer-ahead. Toe is only affected by ball joints and the tie rod.

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Re: springs question

Post by Rodeoflyer » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:55 am

I thought I read somewhere it can slightly affect toe but you guys are probably right. I stand corrected on that point. This is a 'quick and dirty' alignment. It worked for me until I get the rest of my suspension pieces in a few weeks. I'm not suggesting anyone perform their own alignment if they can get it on a machine, just something that worked for me and decided to share it.

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Re: springs question

Post by olyelr » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:39 am

Ha, from what i have been reading quite frequently, most home alignment jobs are better than some of the guys doing it with machines.
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