Posted 09 June 2010 - 06:33 PM
1972 Ford Econoline 100 Supervan "My First Van"
Posted 10 June 2010 - 01:29 AM
On two different vehicles, '72 ranchero & a '79 E150, with the typically over boosted steering on older American cars I solved the problem by putting on a very small diameter, about 12"-13", steering wheel. Already had those tiny steering wheels laying around here anyway
Sounds weird but it worked. Before that they both seemed to wander a bit when going down the highway. That went away. I had less leverage than with the large steering wheel so it gave a more positive feel to the steering. That's good. It was also easier to spin that sucker around real fast if you wanted since you didn't have to move your hands that far. Cheap & easy fix with homemade adapters.
Steering dampers are mostly used on something that would give a lot of kickback to the steering wheel, like some cars with rack & pinion steering do. Never had a ride that really needed one either. I think the XKE had some kickback, but not enough to make me look for a damper. The type of steering boxes we have do not give kickback at all.
You can sometimes get rid of the overboost by putting a larger pulley on the power steering pump, thereby slowing it down. That is a common fix. I am sure that would be a lot cheaper than a steering damper setup, but it's your money.
For all I know there are valves or restrictors that could be used in the line to reduce pressure. Never messed with power steering to speak of & glad my vans don't have it.
So, now my question to you is: Has anyone with experience on this, besides the sellers of these things, told you that this would do what you want it to do? I can see how it might, but the real problem is the overboost.
I think that is what you are talking about when you say 'stable feel'. Unless you have an alignment problem of some sort.
Posted 10 June 2010 - 03:48 AM
i've been asking about the damper to see if that would help with some of the slop in the steering.
maybe some of the other guys with a little more experience will add some info.
i noticed quadravans have dampers.
so they can't be all that bad for regular vans...
Posted 10 June 2010 - 09:50 AM
I had a similar damper on my E 200 with manual steering. I put it on to help with the wandering feel it had on the freeway(due to worn steering parts). It did make a difference but not huge. Where it made the most noticeable improvement was when driving over potholes and if I accidentally hit the curb when parking. It kept the steering wheel from ripping my thumbs off and it made the van feel more secure at speed. It actuall didn't have much effect on the drum brakes tendancy to suddenly pull to one side or the other under hard sustained braking.
Overall I was happy that I put it on.
I have anE300 now and I kept the damper so I could put it on but haven't yet so I don't know if it fits. If I can find it(it's buried in my garage somewhere) I'll try to install it today or tomorrow and I'll post the results.
It's funny that you posted this because for some reason I was thinking about that damper last night.
Posted 10 June 2010 - 12:34 PM
EXIT NO said:
It will not help with the steering slop. You do realize that they are just a form of shock absorber? The slop will still be there. That needs to go. A 1/2" of play at the steering wheel might mean quite a bit with a small one.
Dampers on quadravans is a different story. A lot of 4x4s use dampers. Off the top of my head right now I can't say why. Not a 4x4 guy so I can't recall the reason but think it mostly has to do with off road running.
In F-nat's case it sounds like a bandaid for worn steering parts. Poor solution.
"It kept the steering wheel from ripping my thumbs off...when driving over potholes...hitting curbs"
Yeah, that don't happen if there ain't a ton of slop from worn, loose parts in the steering. Damper=shock absorber.
You are barking up the wrong tree. You dont need a damper. Adjust the box.
Posted 10 June 2010 - 02:05 PM
Posted 10 June 2010 - 02:48 PM
TOM- i understand that the damper is just a transverse shock absorber, so if anything, it would dull the steering feedback i'm getting from the road... and with your comments, i can see how it might even make steering less reflexive or precise by covering a problem instead of addressing it.
i'm not necessarily getting hard kick back, just the slop... so...
FASTER- maybe part of what you're describing is the lack of posi, or locking rears on some of these vans, combined with slop. when my van hits a pot hole i can feel the rear start trying to get out. this gets translated up into the steering, but because it's off by that 1/2 inch, i'll tend to slightly over correct. i'd say if not for the sway bars i already have on, i'd be swerving even more trying to get straight for at least a few hundred feet. the same will happen if my drums pull. when braking, the correction is to steer slightly in the opposite direction of the pull.... overcorrect though, and now you're swerving into a full stop at a red light and wondering if the guy behind you is about to call the cops on your apparently drunk skills. definitely post your results when you reinstall your damper.
GUILTY- gonna check those joints asap. thanks !!
Posted 10 June 2010 - 03:27 PM
Sounds to like your rear sway bar is way too stiff if it lifts a wheel on an incline like you described. You didn't put the front on on the rear did ya? You should try disconnecting one of the links on that rear bar & see how it acts when you hit a pothole.
You can also adjust the stregth of the rear bar by changing the angle of the links between the body & axle. More angle, less strength. this--> / instead of this ---> i
Posted 10 June 2010 - 03:36 PM
1972 Ford Econoline 100 Supervan "My First Van"
Posted 10 June 2010 - 03:37 PM
well, if his rear end is getting crazy, but the damper absorbs feedback to the steering wheel, then it's possible his steering set up isn't the entire problem. steering doesn't make the rear end go nuts... road unevenness - locking rear = rear end push or pull.
the damper is just minimizing the feel of the rear end running out at the steering wheel, which other than your behind, is just about the only other physical place you van feel what a car is doing under you while you're driving it.
i know the front is on front and the rear is on rear, because they arrived about 2 months apart from pst. maybe i will disconnect the rear and see if that helps me get over the driveway. hmmm.
Posted 10 June 2010 - 04:21 PM
Never said 'his van goes nuts' or anything quite like it. Worn out steering parts was his whole problem. Said nothing at all about the rear end. You are way off track here & reading something into it that isn't there.
Locking rear end push or pull ain't that drastic.
If, if, if.....
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