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Thread: Steering

  1. #1

    Steering

    Hello all. My father recently picked up a 1952 M38. It's in great shape and is pretty complete. He has a concern with the steering. He says at 40 mph there's too much play in the steering. I've driven it and, having driven lots of older vehicles, both cars and trucks, think is not too bad. The front end looks and feels fine, I went over it pretty well. I dont believe it should drive like a car and for any serious off roading, play in the steering is preferred. Not that he's off roading in it (too bad), but it seems it's driving like it was built to and like it should. He's considering a front end rebuild. Before he spends the money, I told him I'd look into it. What's the consensus out there for how this rig should feel at higher speeds? Thanks for the feedback.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Tires make up a lot of front end drivability concerns. If the tires are bias ply, non directional tires, then they will want to follow every groove/rock/pebbles in the road. Being that your Father's Jeep is military, I'm sure he would want to retain the correct tires. Radial tires do have a lot better road manners, but then you get into purchasing some 15" wheels to accommodate the wider tires. The original wheels were 4.5 to 5" wide, and radials are often comfortable around 6" wide wheels.

    If you have excessive play in the steering wheel, there is an adjustment on the steering box that will minimize the play.

    http://www.earlycj5.com/xf_cj5/index...teering.21669/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtXQvVNg6vI

    There is an item that automatically adjust the amount of preload on the sector shaft;
    https://www.kaiserwillys.com/categor...0-71-m38-m38a1

  3. #3
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Loose Steering

    Quote Originally Posted by gmwillys View Post
    There is an item that automatically adjust the amount of preload on the sector shaft;
    I have one of these on the '48 and it works well. You're right, it isn't going to drive like an F-100, and bias ply tires will make it looser. There is one stretch on my local county road where the truck seems to want to head out into the corn/bean field - but I've learned that it's just a groove in the pavement and it really won't go there.

    A Tite Steer is an easy way to dynamically keep the sector where it needs to be.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    If you do not choose to go the Tight Steer option, you can always adjust the preload manually. I adjust mine every oil change. I tighten the allen screw all the way in, then back out a 1/4 turn.

  5. #5
    I'll check the sector shaft preload. I'm familiar with that on my 77 Ramcharger. Thanks for the responses all!

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