I bought my '75 as a roller, the PO did a SOA on it. I've been reading the threads about steering geometry and decided to take a good look at mine. The tie rod is a little out of kilter, but I was shocked at what the PO did at the other end of the tie rod. Looks like he welded part of a knuckle to the steering knuckle to raise the tie rod, how scary is this?
If it was done right & welded good I wouldn't think it to be an issue. He was trying to get the tie rod over the leaf springs. There's a conversion kit that does basically the same thing. This is what it would look like if he did not do that
Now that's a scarier picture of mine rather then yours.
Thanks for the input guys, that is why I am asking now, before I dared to actually drive this thing!! I think I need some sort of solution, not sure what would be the best bet, that over-the-top kit cost almost as much as I paid for this thing!! Anybody have any ideas on a better way to do it??
It looks like lift springs, SOA with drum breaks and poor wellding...
I would not trust it as a daily driver.
A much better way to go would be disk brakes with flattop D44 knuckles and a high steer kit (don't forget to replace those stock shackles).
Does it have a dropped pitman arm? If not, I would replace the knuckles (or at least the passenger side knuckle and try a dropped pitman arm (it may interfere with the bottom of the existing spring pack).
How is the caster angle? If the front differential is tipped up ward very much you need to consider turning the knuckles to return the caster to within stock specks.
It is OK to weld to cast/forged iron but you need to use the proper welding rod, preheat the weld and cool it very slowly; from the look of the existing weld the person that did it probably did not do this (Do you feel lucky?... ).
Any way that you look at it it looks like you purchased a hobby...
...a well prepped, well driven, vehicle should do well in any terrain, including the highway.
Carburetors became obsolete during the last century... do what ever it takes to get fuel injection...It makes bigger grins off road.
Yeah I sure hope thats not coming down the highway when my family is out on the road. If you don't have the money to do the steering right you could change the knuckle(which you need to do anyways) and put the axles back on top of the springs.
Don't worry, this thing isn't going on the road until I feel it is safe. It didn't look safe to me, just wanted some opinions to verify this since I'm a newbie to SOA. I've got plenty of time to ponder, it has ALREADY become a hobby, and it'll be a while til it's roadworthy, just looking at my options to do this safely...
I agree that it's not a safe setup. Weld looks suspect and a steering system has the potential to apply a lot of force to that steering arm. Maybe okay on a trail rig but no way I'd run that down the street.
That drag link looks to be what?.. 8-10 inches above the tie rod at the pitman arm? Even a typical drop pitman arm would still leave it 4-6 inches high. That would cause a lot of bumpsteer. Best bet (although pricey) is to do a High Steer setup to get the drag link over the spring pack safely.
'80 CJ5 w/AMC360, T176, D44 w/Detroit 4.56, RE 4" YJ lift and 35s..
Your cheapst solution is to take the link back to stock location and run a dropped pitman arm. The best solution is flat top knuckes with new arms on them. Also get rid of the lift springs and get some stock ones.
I'll have to do some research, too much of a newbie to know about things like flat top knuckles & such. I think there is way too much to compensate with a drop pitman arm, will have to look into the other options, high-steer etc. I'm a motorcycle rider and don't take any chances with my bikes, I'm not about to get done in or do someone else in with a PO's half-*** attempt to get this thing up in the air, I'm gonna listen to your collective opinions and sort through my options (and get more of an education on this stuff)