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Old 04-13-2019, 12:42 AM   #1
71CHEVYSHORTBED402
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Tips on building lower steering?

1971 C-10, BBC 400TH My son and I are installing the lower steering this next week. It's a complete rebuild, steering box and all. There's not a cab on the frame.

This has new 2.5" drop spindles. Stock height coils. I'm installing the old center link, idler arm support and sway bar. The pitman arm, idler arm and tie rods are Moog. The sway bar bushings are Energy suspension.

I managed to measure before I took apart the old tie rods. They were nice and even all the way around, just a pinch off in two places. So there's clue how to install tie rods, everything as even as possible. As for what the specific measurements were, I'm not sure how applicable due to new drop spindles, though probably a nice starting point.

Anyway, all tips how to build the lower steering appreciated. Including torque, should I just snug some things up pending alignment? How about with tires on the ground? the frame is on jack stands. For what it's worth, this will be transported 2-3 times without the upper steering and body.

Rapidly running out of things to do on this The rest of the year is primarily paint prison

Thanks
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71 C10 Custom Deluxe, SWB, fleet, 402/400TH, A/C...Resource intensive......And (*^(*^ leaf springs. Speak of, looking for OEM rear sport bumper brackets for this ride. They're unlike those more common, even the outer brackets are different.

72 Cheyenne Super, LWB, fleet, C20, 402/400TH, A/C. Driver and tinker truck
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Old 04-13-2019, 09:41 AM   #2
B. W.
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Re: Tips on building lower steering?

Just like you said, leave the adjusting sleeves on the tie rods snug until final alignment. Do a rough alignment with the rig on the ground.

I moved mine last week & thought I had the alignment close (didn't), guy on the left kept fighting with the guy on the right - "I'm straight - No, I'm crooked", so on & so forth. The truck looked like Jack Elam!
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Old 04-13-2019, 01:00 PM   #3
Rooster73
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Re: Tips on building lower steering?

Sounds like you're doing good. Don't worry about torquing. Just seat the taper firmly with a hand wrench. Just don't take it to an alignment shop until you have working brakes. The wheels can't have any movement forward or backward to get a true caster reading. All newer aligned will red flag if movement is detected.but it will show everything, S.A.i., thrust angle, setback. wheelbase difference. To bad your not close, I'd align it for you.I need a break from late model electric steering. Make sure the steerbox is centered, even though it will have 3 or 4 blind splines.
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Old 04-13-2019, 01:15 PM   #4
KQQL IT
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Re: Tips on building lower steering?

Make sure the center link isnt backwards. Does some strange things when they get flipped accidentally.
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Old 04-14-2019, 11:50 PM   #5
71CHEVYSHORTBED402
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Re: Tips on building lower steering?

Thanks for the info, appreciate it. Unless I'm mistaken, sounds like it's best to snug everything up, but wait to torque everything down until after the rebuild and alignment. That said, it might make sense to torque the pitman to the steering box now. Should make more sense when we get there.

@ "The truck looked like Jack Elam!"
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71 C10 Custom Deluxe, SWB, fleet, 402/400TH, A/C...Resource intensive......And (*^(*^ leaf springs. Speak of, looking for OEM rear sport bumper brackets for this ride. They're unlike those more common, even the outer brackets are different.

72 Cheyenne Super, LWB, fleet, C20, 402/400TH, A/C. Driver and tinker truck
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