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Old 02-21-2013, 09:31 PM   #1
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Crossover steering question

I'm putting crossover steering ony 87 and tommorow I'm going to get the 2wd steering box from the junk yard. Do I need to get a 3/4 ton steering box since my truck is a 3/4 ton or would the 1/2 ton box work?
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:40 PM   #2
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Re: Crossover steering question

Boxes are the same between 1/2 thru 1 ton 2wd....
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:46 PM   #3
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Re: Crossover steering question

What are you doing, competition rock crawling? Let us know how bad the bump steer is once you convert it to cross-over steering. Many end up bump steer or death wobble (often both) after doing that swap. I don’t see where crossover is really worth it unless it is a major trail rig. My rig sees more trails than most and I have no need or desire for crossover.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:07 PM   #4
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Re: Crossover steering question

Just a weekend warrior lol. My whole front end was shot along with my steering box so I figured I'd ipgrade, and I've had problems turning while flexed and I hate it. I will let you k ow how it works once its finally together. Thanks for the help. Here's how much flex I getName:  image.jpg
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There's one showing the fender destruction on the other side, I just have to find it. I'm planning on making it a good rock crawler as I go
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:16 PM   #5
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Re: Crossover steering question

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Old 02-22-2013, 06:56 AM   #6
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Re: Crossover steering question

You do not get bumpsteer with crossover. This is why one would go to crossover is to eliminate it with stock push-pull steering. Anything over 6" should have it...
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:00 PM   #7
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Re: Crossover steering question

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You do not get bumpsteer with crossover. This is why one would go to crossover is to eliminate it with stock push-pull steering. Anything over 6" should have it...
Really? If you say so It would be interesting to hear how many complaints ORD gets from customers after they installed crossover steering. Believe me, they get a lot. In fact, if you look at their website it does not say anything where crossover corrects or prevents bump steer, it is intended to address geometry shortcomings under major flex. Even ORD will tell you that point blank.

It says: The straight axle GM trucks suffer from some serious steering problems, one of the biggest is due to poor geometry. The factory GM steering will fail to steer the truck when you're in twisted offroad situations, in fact, there are many times when the steering box is all the way to lock and the tires are pointed straight! Our solution to this is a "crossover steering" system where the draglink runs side to side instead of front to back. This dramatically improves the steering geometry and makes turning to the axle stops possible under all conditions.

The reality is crossover works great for a dedicated trail rig, no doubt about that, but can be annoying to drive on daily basis or for long distances. There will always be a success story from someone who will pop up that did crossover without getting any bump steer. Yayy! Good for them. Unfortunately, the other 9 guys that did the swap at the same time got it. I’ve driven a Tahoe with a SFA swap and ORD crossover steering where it exhibited noticeable bump steer. Nothing that one couldn’t live with for a short ride but it was noticeable. In fact, this Tahoe was built by an engineer that also doesn't totally buy into crossover steering for a non-dedicated trail rig either but had no choice but to use it on his SFA swap. His Tahoe was on the cover of Peterson’s 4wheel and Off-Road in January. I've also driven several full size vans that have been converted to 4x4 (Sportsmobile type vans) and all of them had bump steer although some worse than others.

I am not saying crossover is a bad thing, but not an essential needed for an average wheeler. Dedicated trail rig, sure....it wouldn't hurt. . The world seems to think Dana 60’s, 14 bolts, lockers, and crossover steering are required to be able to drive over the curb in their driveway because of stuff they have read in cash cannon build threads. Meh
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:24 PM   #8
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Re: Crossover steering question

It says: The straight axle GM trucks suffer from some serious steering problems, one of the biggest is due to poor geometry. The factory GM steering will fail to steer the truck when you're in twisted offroad situations, in fact, there are many times when the steering box is all the way to lock and the tires are pointed straight! Our solution to this is a "crossover steering" system where the draglink runs side to side instead of front to back. This dramatically improves the steering geometry and makes turning to the axle stops possible under all conditions.

They are talking about stock style steering, NOT crossover. I had a couple trucks that were stock style steering, any big bump I would get bump steer. Another one that I had, had crossover, same big bumps, no bumpsteer.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:55 PM   #9
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Re: Crossover steering question

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It says: The straight axle GM trucks suffer from some serious steering problems, one of the biggest is due to poor geometry. The factory GM steering will fail to steer the truck when you're in twisted offroad situations, in fact, there are many times when the steering box is all the way to lock and the tires are pointed straight! Our solution to this is a "crossover steering" system where the draglink runs side to side instead of front to back. This dramatically improves the steering geometry and makes turning to the axle stops possible under all conditions.

They are talking about stock style steering, NOT crossover. I had a couple trucks that were stock style steering, any big bump I would get bump steer. Another one that I had, had crossover, same big bumps, no bumpsteer.
We’re communicating like an old married couple

Exactly, I thought that was obvious they were talking about the stock push/pull linkage. You said “This is why one would go to crossover is to eliminate it with stock push-pull steering. Anything over 6" should have it...”

My point was nowhere in ORD’s write-up does it say crossover corrects bump steer found in the original push/pull linkage. The reason why they don’t say that is because if don’t have bump steer on a push/pull (or even if you do) you will have bump steer with crossover to some degree. The only reason why the push/pull would have bump steer in the first place would be if steering arm wasn’t raised to compensate for a given lift. A lot of old 4x4’s and trail rigs shake, rattle and roll anyway where the newly added crossover may not even be noticeable but rigs that are driven hundreds or thousands of miles on an adventure run, bump steer becomes very noticeable, annoying and not worth the time or money to install it.

This probably just another one of those chocolate vs. vanilla, Coke vs. Pepsi, Coors vs. Bud, Gas vs. Diesel things….. Everybody has a preference and reasons why

No bump steer with this push/pull setup on around a 6 to 7” lift.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:57 PM   #10
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Re: Crossover steering question

when you hit a bump your leaf spring changes length. it flattens out and the axle moves back. the drag link stays the same length and is affixed to the frame so when the axle moves but your box doesnt, something got to give and its gonna steer.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:15 PM   #11
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Re: Crossover steering question

like dirtylarry says, some have success, some dont. my old '71 jimmy had a 12" lift & i bought into crossover is a better deal. it was-off road, on road was another story. current truck has 8" lift, steering block, dropped pitman, dropped drag link. much cheaper than cross over, much better on the street (belive it or not-no bumpsteer). have yet to have any problems off-road,(12yrs on this set-up). because i'm not running the rubicon with a 21ft long crew, i'll stay with the push pull set up
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:58 PM   #12
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Re: Crossover steering question

Some good info here. I need to buy some steering parts and was thinking of doing the crossover, but after reading this i do not think i need to. My truck is a DD and weekend warrior. If the stock set up is good with the exception of modifying to bring back to factory geometry, than that's the route I'll go.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:33 PM   #13
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Re: Crossover steering question

The only reason reason I did it is because EVERY steering component on my truck was bad and was old it is nice in the woods. My truck is not my daily, so I'm not all that concerned about the on-road issues it might have. Another thing to look at is how much it costs in the end. The ord kit was $425, I got new tie rod ends and axle joints which ran me $175 with a garage discount, the knuckles were $80 for the pair from the junk yard, $40 for a junk yard steering box, and I still need new ball joints and need to get the knuckle machined. $425 didn't seen all that bad, but about $800 is a little much if its not needed. I didn't have that many problems with the stock setup, just when the truck was very flexed
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:07 PM   #14
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Re: Crossover steering question

If that truly is the case, these "experts" are missing something, or using the term incorrectly....or both.
You cannot have "bump steer" with a straight axle, that has one solid tie-rod connecting the wheels. It is impossible.
Bump steer occurs when a wheel moving in it's travel changes the toe. Meaning that the control arms and tie-rods lengths, swings, ratios do not match and the wheelsteers differently than the other. This can happen with one wheel hitting a bump or both.
You want a perfect and very visible example of this, watch a slo-mo video of a super stock drag car land after a big wheelie....that is bump steer.

What they really mean is "roll steer" which is when suspension travel affect the relationship between the steering wheel and where the wheels point. It is not nearly as dramatic and easier to correct. A simple steering stabilizer can do a lot. Cross-over linkage does even more by reducing the angularity in the first place.
I hate to say it, but Ford got this right. After they figured out how to screw it up in their first attempt. The early trucks had what is referred to as "inverted y" style cross-over. It did not have the one piece tie-rod connecting the wheels that I mentioned in the beginning. The drag-link went from the steering box to the right side wheel and a short tie-rod connected the left wheel from the middle of the drag-link. Since the wheels were not connected directly, they did experience bump steer. When either wheel (or both) moved in it's path, the
relationship to each other was changed....as was the toe. Wheels move up, toe out, wheels move down toe in. It was rather unnerving to drive, so they kept the design for several years
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:51 AM   #15
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Re: Crossover steering question

I would disagree with Longhair on his definitions of bumpsteer and rollsteer, but I'm not here to argue technicalities. Bump steer can be loosely defined as unintentional steering motion of the tires as the suspension travels up and down.

Because the front of the spring attaches at a fixed point, and the rear attaches at a shackle that will pivot, the wheels don't travel perfectly up and down. As the tires move up, the spring flattens and pivots the shackle away from the wheel, and the wheel actually travels in an arc upwards and slightly backwards.

Stock GM steering can work well in preventing bumpsteer just because the steering linkage is pretty well located for vertical travel and moves in the correct arc to keep the steering wheel and the tires in sync. Crossover steering will have some bumpsteer because the leaf spring suspension moves straight up and down while the crossover draglink moves side to side. Since the draglink end at the axle will move in an arc, it will have some small component of side to side motion as it travels vertically and this side to side motion causes bumpsteer.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:23 AM   #16
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Re: Crossover steering question

The drawing obviously is not to scale, but I took great care to draw the spring lengths exactly the same for each view, so the travel should be a good representation. You can see how it travels slightly backwards as the suspension travels up.

I scaled the length of the linkage to match the spring length, from the few pictures I could find, you can see how it's arc does indeed approximate the arc of the springs as they both travel with the suspension. This is why the stock GM steering does indeed help reduce bumpsteer.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:14 AM   #17
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Re: Crossover steering question

The terms can be confusing, one person calls it this, another calls it that. Reason I say over 6" should have crossover, the 2nd to last truck I built was an 84 1/2t short box. Swapped entire drivetrain, 454, 4-speed/205, D44/14ff. I put in a 6" lift, think they were BDS springs up front. I moved the swing shackle forward for better angle, it improved ride, and flexing. I had the raised arm and nothing else. It drove great, didn't wander all over the road, used to love driving it. But the few times I took it out wheeling, it sucked. Get one tire stuffed in the wheel well, the other in a ditch or whatever, turn the wheel to get it out, and wouldn't do anything. Usually when the driver side is flexed, turning to the right does nothing. The wheel could be turned all the way to the lock, but the tires would almost be pointed straight. While on level ground, the draglink would be level with the ground, how it should be.

I haven't played with trucks in over a year. I go on this site I don't know why, maybe cause people here don't have attitudes like other sites. But I've forgotten many terms, and was never very good at explaining things, specially typing. I hoping to get back in the game, trying to sell my 4 wheeler so I can get another lifted truck. Found one, just don't have the money to get it. I hate being broke.....
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:44 AM   #18
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Re: Crossover steering question

It's simply confusion of terminology.
Bump steer has to do with the change of the toe (relationship of one wheel to the other)

Roll steer is when the steering wheel is effected in it's relationship to the wheels because of suspension travel.
Just as in the given example of extreme droop of the driver's side front wheel. As it droops, the wheels steer to the left....but they both do it equally since they are tied together.

The spring length example is accurate, as I touched on before, but the actual effect is minimal. The lower lift springs don't have much arch to them, so they would "potentially" move less. The higher ones are stiffer, also moving less than they look like they should. The shackles couldn't move enough to accommodate them if they could flatten out.
Heck, the stock 73-87 springs are de-arched, they would get shorter with travel, but there is only about 3 inches of travel before you hit the bump stops.
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:14 PM   #19
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Re: Crossover steering question

I don't think i've ever seen someone say crossover ended up giving them the death wobble i always thought they said it cleared that up lol but then again im not looking for everybodys crossover install, i do know i do not like my dana 60 as compared to my 10 bolt though i lost a whole lot of turning radius or whatever you want to call it and gained the death wobble.... im hoping the rebuild kit fixes this or i may go back to the 10b and i would like high steer though to move the tie rod out of the way
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:25 PM   #20
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Re: Crossover steering question

Not a "who is right" issue, but just to clarify my position, my understanding is that bumpsteer occurs when both sides of the suspension are moving together. In a solid axle setup, the axle would move up and down, but still be parallel to the frame. Rollsteer occurs when the two sides are travelling differently, like body roll while turning, or when traveling over obstacles, and the axle is no longer parallel to the frame. I've never heard bumpsteer referring specifically to changes in toe-in, even though that's generally what happens with IFS.

And I agree with Mr. 250r, I've heard very little mention of people claiming that crossover caused death wobble. Death wobble can be a very difficult issue to nail down and fix because it has a lot of possible causes and variables (duh, if it was a simple as "balance your tires" it would never be an issue because it would be so easy to fix) but it is very often caused by instabilities or slop in the steering components. Any slop or play in the drag link is going to more significant in an 18-inch drag link as opposed to a 48-inch drag link, because it's a larger percentage. And because crossover steering replaces so many components, you often change out worn-out or sloppy components with brand new.

There is no doubt that crossover steering is a stronger setup, and it's more stable as well because steering is naturally a side-to-side motion, and the added lengths involved reduce the severity of angles and also reduce the CHANGES in those angles as the suspension flexes. The only reason that the stock GM setup is more stable with regards to bumpsteer is because the drag link is parallel to the spring and moves in an almost identical arc with the axle as the spring flexes.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:45 PM   #21
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Re: Crossover steering question

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There is no doubt that crossover steering is a stronger setup, and it's more stable as well because steering is naturally a side-to-side motion, and the added lengths involved reduce the severity of angles and also reduce the CHANGES in those angles as the suspension flexes. The only reason that the stock GM setup is more stable with regards to bumpsteer is because the drag link is parallel to the spring and moves in an almost identical arc with the axle as the spring flexes.
What you said was my point all along as well. I do know a few guys that did end up with death wobble after crossover steering. Not just internet forum imaginary friends but real people I know and wheel with. Of course, they did a few other “upgrades” while doing the crossover steering swap that could be the culprit as well. As said above, many things can lead to death wobble. The xoversteer could have just been a coincidence.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:56 PM   #22
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Re: Crossover steering question

Well a bit of research turned up this.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steering_kickback

I was just going from memory from back in the day. It was 2 wheel drive control arm stuff, where roll steer was literally from body roll (one wheel up and one down) and bump steer was a toe change during suspension travel.

By the definition above, we have really been talking about kickback all along.

Either way, I am in complete agreement, cross-over is not the cause. And death wobble is a totally different thing...
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Bad planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an instant emergency on my part....

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Old 02-24-2013, 11:05 PM   #23
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Re: Crossover steering question

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Either way, I am in complete agreement, cross-over is not the cause.
We can just agree to disagree on that..
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:36 PM   #24
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Re: Crossover steering question

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What you said was my point all along as well. I do know a few guys that did end up with death wobble after crossover steering. Not just internet forum imaginary friends but real people I know and wheel with. Of course, they did a few other “upgrades” while doing the crossover steering swap that could be the culprit as well. As said above, many things can lead to death wobble. The xoversteer could have just been a coincidence.
Especially if one of those upgrades is a lift. I've seen a few people end up with a death wobble because the lift they install includes a shim on the front axle to rotate it to improve the pinion angle. Unfortunately, this also changes the caster angle, which is a huge factor in steering stability at high speeds. I'm not saying that is necessarily 100% the culprit, but in my experience it is much more common than crossover steering being the culprit.

I've never personally seen crossover steering as the cause of death wobble, and have seen very few accounts of it, but MANY accounts of crossover being the cure for death wobble.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:04 PM   #25
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Re: Crossover steering question

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Well a bit of research turned up this.
[url]By the definition above, we have really been talking about kickback all along.
I think kickback is something entirely different. Bumpsteer is a directional change as the tire moves upwards, and can be thought of as one (or both) wheels changing direction even though the steering wheel is stationary.

Kickback is caused by one tire hitting an obstacle and physically pushing the tire backwards, causing the tire to turn. If you have a steering setup that will transmit force both directions, like a rack and pinion, this will physically jerk the steering wheel.

With bumpsteer, the directional change of the tires is caused because the wheel and the steering components aren't moving in the exact same relationship, and is usually very subtle, a few degrees. With kickback, the directional change is caused by an outside object physically twisting the tire and changing the direction it is pointing. Imagine if your wheels were exposed, and you hit a tree stump with one tire. The tires didn't turn because of differences in steering geometry and angles, they turned because the stump jerked them off their course. That would be kickback.

And in reality, that's not even kickback, that's the CAUSE of kickback. Kickback is the amount of force you get back at the steering wheel due to the tire hitting and obstacle, and whether or not that steering wheel jerks out of your hands. With our trucks, it's very small because the steering box uses worm gears, and worm gears only transmit force one direction.
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