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77 D-150 Front Suspension Issues

Discussion in 'Classic Dodge Trucks - Pre 1981' started by 71Fishy, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. 71Fishy

    71FishyMember

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    Hi guys. New member, long time listener. I recently bought a restored 77 dodge D-150 2 wheel drive truck. It has a 440 with a 727 and a dana trac pack rear end with 271's in it and has power steering/brakes. My problem lies with the front suspension/steering. When turning the wheel all the way (either to the right or to the left) like I was in a parking lot and entering a parking space, the truck almost comes to a standstill and it feels like the tires are riding on the outer edge. If I give it some gas it'll move the truck, but the resistance is still there. This also occurs at low speed when backing into a spot, not just going forward. I've had the front end aligned (after replacing the front tires) and seemed to only help a little bit. I've noticed that both the front wheels lean (bottom of the wheel out) when fully turned one way or the other. I'm not sure if the idler/pitman arms or any of the front suspension for that matter, including the steering rack are correct (or wrong for that matter). So I don't have to go out and start buying parts that I may not need, any ideas on could be going on? As a reference, the tires are 275x70x15 mounted to 15" Mopar rally wheels. Thanx for the help.
     
  2. Polara_500

    Polara_500Well-Known Member

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    Do you notice any difference between going straight ahead vs a slight turn, or only at full lock?

    I had one I'd screwed up and it would "plow" with anything other than straight ahead. Was really only noticeable on gravel, but it was most always on gravel and it drove me nuts.
     
  3. 71Fishy

    71FishyMember

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    Drives well straight ahead and turning corners on the street. Only seems like it happens when at full lock. Haven't had it in the gravel yet...
     
  4. Polara_500

    Polara_500Well-Known Member

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    Sounds a bit different than mine if you can't feel anything at less than full lock. My problem was in reassembly, I managed to forget which side was which on the center drag link and reversed it. Alignment shop couldn't find the issue and I did a bunch of studying on Ackerman angles and the like trying to figure it out. Finally got lucky with another one parked next to it, happened to glance under the front end and the issue was immediately apparent - swapped it end for end and all was well with the world.
     
  5. 7mopar

    7moparWell-Known Member

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    With steering at full lock have you checked for frame flex? Also check the front strut bars and make sure no one has modified the spindle stops.
     
  6. 71Fishy

    71FishyMember

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    So frame flex doesn't look like an issue and strut bars also look ok. I'm looking at going back to the alignment shop to review camber. Does anyone have the factory alignment specs? Should the alignment shop check camber with wheels pointing straight as well as full lock each way?
     
  7. Polara_500

    Polara_500Well-Known Member

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    Can you get a good photo of the front steering linkage? From the front, showing the drag link and all? Post it up here and let's take a gander at that.
     
  8. 7mopar

    7moparWell-Known Member

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    With the new machines I don't think the wheels need to be turnt? That would be a caster check anyway.
     
  9. 71Fishy

    71FishyMember

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    Hope these help. If not, let me know and I can take more.

    Drivers side.jpg

    Passenger side.jpg
     
  10. Polara_500

    Polara_500Well-Known Member

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    That should do it, now for the snowstorm to end so I can get out to look at mine..... If I can get over the snowdrift in front of it, (wife was just saying the other day how happy she was that they're no longer visible from the house/drive).
     
  11. 7mopar

    7moparWell-Known Member

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    Confused.
    The house can no longer be seen from the road or she no longer has to look at your vehicles?
     
  12. Polara_500

    Polara_500Well-Known Member

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    She no longer can see some of the extra vehicles.
     
  13. 7mopar

    7moparWell-Known Member

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    Many be she will allow you to build so that they maybe perminitly hidden.
    How much snow have you got anyway?
     
  14. Polara_500

    Polara_500Well-Known Member

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    Supposed to warm up tomorrow, maybe I'll wander out for a couple photos.
     
  15. 7mopar

    7moparWell-Known Member

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    We made it to 9° today "heat wave"
     
  16. Polara_500

    Polara_500Well-Known Member

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    Okay, well, I couldn't get at the 79 for comparison. (I'll upload a couple pics later for 7) But, all things being equal, I did check my 83 and 84 and if I'm right, your drag link may well be reversed. It's really easy to do if you rebuild the front end - I've done it. The only visible evidence is the angle of the tie rods with respect to the drag link, and yours is different than mine. That's what I finally spotted when I had two of them side by side. I'd suggest you find a chunk of gravel road and try some turns - see if it "plows" and I'll bet it does. You can check it at low speed, (barely moving and up to half a rotation on the wheel), with the window down to hear the funky sound the tires make on the gravel.
     
  17. Polara_500

    Polara_500Well-Known Member

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    @7mopar - a couple pics to explain the "out of sight". The arrow shows the yellow hood I left up on the 79 D100 I mentioned that I can't get to the front suspension on right now....
    upload_2018-1-18_8-54-49.png
    All that's visible of one of my parts cars - NOTE: there's another one just to the right of that one just in front of the old fuel tank that's somewhere under the snowbank.
    upload_2018-1-18_8-58-51.png
    Both of the pics are of a spot ~ 100 yards from the house, house directly to the left from image area, so no longer seen from there, hence wife's pleasure.

    This one's a bit farther out but a bit more dramatic, can still see the top of the box on the farm truck from the house, but that's it.
    upload_2018-1-18_9-2-14.png
     
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    • 7mopar

      7moparWell-Known Member

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      Looks like you need to plant a row of trees or tall grass to hide them the rest of the year.
      We have about 2" of snow that will be gone this week sometime.
      -10 on Tuesday and supposed to be upper 50s Saturday.
      And so goes Missouri weather.
       
      Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
    • LocuMob

      LocuMobFluid Technician

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      Wow, that really piles up back there! Glad that wasn't around when I stopped by.
       
    • 71Fishy

      71FishyMember

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      Guys, thanks for all your help! The weather warmed up enough and long enough that I was able to take the drag link off and spin it around. Unbelievable difference!! Truck drives like a brand new truck. No more hopping, skidding or any of that other annoying stuff.
      One more question. I thought I read on this site somewhere what I had to do to lower the truck a couple of inches. If I remember right, does replacing the lower control arm with one from a 77 van do the trick or is there more to it than that?

      Thanks again for the great help.