SFA PULLING LEFT

Having problems with your vehicle? Or need advice on repairing or servicing your Hilux? This is the place to ask for help
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Baasvark
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Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:30 pm

So my truck has been for wheel alignment twice now. Still pulls left. Stood by the last time and even helped

Any ideas what to look for?

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Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:09 am

Has there been an axle shift done on the vehicle?

Alignment should be about 1° toe in

I assume that the alignment centres would have checked the ball joints on the tie rod for play / wear ... did they actually do that?

What about play in the "king-pin" inclination (castor)? The SFA doesn't have an actual king-pin but instead has an off-set cone bearing on the top and bottom of the swivel hub (internal). If theses bearings are worn it will affect the castor and camber of a front wheel. Camber should be 0° with an acceptable tolerance of up to 1° either way. Not sure what the castor angle is supposed to be.

Most roads are built with a curved camber to facilitate the run-off of storm water. In most cases it's very slight and hardly even noticeable, but it's there. A vehicle will then naturally want to track off the camber, in our case where we drive on the LHS that will mean it will want to track to the left. To counteract this, manufacturers will set the vehicle up so that the outer front wheel (the LHS in our case) is either set about 5mm further forward than the inner front wheel, or they will adjust the camber of the outer wheel slightly more forward.

Other than that, the only other place where the problem can be is in the power steering box itself where a leaking internal seal is causing the box to steer a little without any input from the steering rod.

There are ways to check this. You could jack up the front wheels, start the motor (in neutral) and see if there is any steering movement without input. You could also find a perfectly level area (my preference) like a tennis court / sport field / runway and see how the vehicle behaves on that level area - you can then disconnect the drag link and see if it behaves in the same way ... this will also show you how it behaves without a built in camber on the road surface. From there you should be able to more definitively assess what areas to target in looking for the problem.

A lot of guys will tell you that the old SFA's just naturally pull to the left, but we all know that it shouldn't be so ... they didn't come off the showroom floor like that and then go on to become the most iconic 4x4 of it's time.
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Life is like a jar of Jalapeño peppers ... what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.
Don't take life too seriously ..... no-one gets out alive.
It's not about waiting for storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
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Baasvark
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Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:36 am

I actually had new BF's put on. That's where it started.

Since then I have moved the axle 10mm. For some reason it protrudes 20mm more to the left than the right?

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Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:22 pm

Mud Dog wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:09 am
Has there been an axle shift done on the vehicle?

Alignment should be about 1° toe in

I assume that the alignment centres would have checked the ball joints on the tie rod for play / wear ... did they actually do that?

What about play in the "king-pin" inclination (castor)? The SFA doesn't have an actual king-pin but instead has an off-set cone bearing on the top and bottom of the swivel hub (internal). If theses bearings are worn it will affect the castor and camber of a front wheel. Camber should be 0° with an acceptable tolerance of up to 1° either way. Not sure what the castor angle is supposed to be.

Most roads are built with a curved camber to facilitate the run-off of storm water. In most cases it's very slight and hardly even noticeable, but it's there. A vehicle will then naturally want to track off the camber, in our case where we drive on the LHS that will mean it will want to track to the left. To counteract this, manufacturers will set the vehicle up so that the outer front wheel (the LHS in our case) is either set about 5mm further forward than the inner front wheel, or they will adjust the camber of the outer wheel slightly more forward.

Other than that, the only other place where the problem can be is in the power steering box itself where a leaking internal seal is causing the box to steer a little without any input from the steering rod.

There are ways to check this. You could jack up the front wheels, start the motor (in neutral) and see if there is any steering movement without input. You could also find a perfectly level area (my preference) like a tennis court / sport field / runway and see how the vehicle behaves on that level area - you can then disconnect the drag link and see if it behaves in the same way ... this will also show you how it behaves without a built in camber on the road surface. From there you should be able to more definitively assess what areas to target in looking for the problem.

A lot of guys will tell you that the old SFA's just naturally pull to the left, but we all know that it shouldn't be so ... they didn't come off the showroom floor like that and then go on to become the most iconic 4x4 of it's time.

Agree 100% with you Andy
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Baasvark
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Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:03 pm

Mud Dog wrote:Has there been an axle shift done on the vehicle?

Alignment should be about 1° toe in

I assume that the alignment centres would have checked the ball joints on the tie rod for play / wear ... did they actually do that?

What about play in the "king-pin" inclination (castor)? The SFA doesn't have an actual king-pin but instead has an off-set cone bearing on the top and bottom of the swivel hub (internal). If theses bearings are worn it will affect the castor and camber of a front wheel. Camber should be 0° with an acceptable tolerance of up to 1° either way. Not sure what the castor angle is supposed to be.

Most roads are built with a curved camber to facilitate the run-off of storm water. In most cases it's very slight and hardly even noticeable, but it's there. A vehicle will then naturally want to track off the camber, in our case where we drive on the LHS that will mean it will want to track to the left. To counteract this, manufacturers will set the vehicle up so that the outer front wheel (the LHS in our case) is either set about 5mm further forward than the inner front wheel, or they will adjust the camber of the outer wheel slightly more forward.

Other than that, the only other place where the problem can be is in the power steering box itself where a leaking internal seal is causing the box to steer a little without any input from the steering rod.

There are ways to check this. You could jack up the front wheels, start the motor (in neutral) and see if there is any steering movement without input. You could also find a perfectly level area (my preference) like a tennis court / sport field / runway and see how the vehicle behaves on that level area - you can then disconnect the drag link and see if it behaves in the same way ... this will also show you how it behaves without a built in camber on the road surface. From there you should be able to more definitively assess what areas to target in looking for the problem.

A lot of guys will tell you that the old SFA's just naturally pull to the left, but we all know that it shouldn't be so ... they didn't come off the showroom floor like that and then go on to become the most iconic 4x4 of it's time.
My previous reply was hurried.

Thanks for the input. Will start off by working throufg everything you mentioned and tick them off 1 by 1.

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Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:23 am

Hmmmm ..... did this start straight after fitting the tyres and before the axle shift?
Could be that the tyres are the cause. Before you do anything else I would switch the tyres in front from one side to the other and see what happens then.

I also have to wonder, ...... how did you manage to move the axle just 10mm? The new holes in the pedestals would be overlapping the old holes to the point where there would be very little meat left to stop the location pin on the leaf packs to shift .... they will shift if they can, the u-bolts are not enough to hold them in place. Did you maybe stagger the holes? If you did, that would account for the difference in protrusion between left and right.

Having done such a small shift did you assume that it wouldn't be necessary to shorten the drag-link and the torque-rod? They need to be shortened accordingly otherwise the geometry won't be right.

Typically and axle shift would be 30 to 35mm. Some guys will shift the inner by 30 and the outer by 35 to help with counteracting the road camber but to my mind that's not really necessary. In your case I would redo that shift properly as the first priority. Either weld up the new holes you created and shift it 30mm or shift it 35mm so as to have a clean set of holes that don't clip the previous ones and still have about 5mm meat in between so that they don't elongate over time. Shorten the torque-rod and drag-link by the same amount. My opinion is that 30mm might be better in that if you ever fit 33" tyres and still have a standard bumper, the tyres won't foul against it. Most after market bumpers will have enough forward clearance.

Interested to hear what you've done and how you get along. :winkx:
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Life is like a jar of Jalapeño peppers ... what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.
Don't take life too seriously ..... no-one gets out alive.
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Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:04 am

The pulling started immediately after the new tyres, before the axle shift...

I actually googled it to see if BF's had this tendency but came up empty handed....

W.r.t the axle shift, we actually cut the brackets off and shifted the whole axle to the right by 10mm. They were then re-welded.

As for the rest, I did not shorten anything. Will go back and check if the geometery is still good (not sure how though???)

Having said that, my vehicle has been lifted - a lot! So might rather opt for suspension specialists as I'm not sure what all can affect this.

For starters I'll first swop out the front tyres!

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Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:54 am

You wrote:.... Since then I have moved the axle 10mm. For some reason it protrudes 20mm more to the left than the right? ....

.... we actually cut the brackets off and shifted the whole axle to the right by 10mm. They were then re-welded. ....
The axle should never have been shifted to either side, not sure why you thought it necessary to do so but those pedestals are pretty much precision fitted. I suspect that they were actually moved to the right and not the axle, hence the axle now protruding more to the left. :think:
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Life is like a jar of Jalapeño peppers ... what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.
Don't take life too seriously ..... no-one gets out alive.
It's not about waiting for storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
And be yourself ..... everyone else is taken!
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Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:57 pm

Also finding it to hard to understand why a shift to the side.

When doing a normal axle move forward move both sides (ie left and right) the same distance from the original hole, in my experience the offset to counter road camber makes it worse..
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Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:41 pm

Hi Stef. Quite some time "no see". :D:
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Life is like a jar of Jalapeño peppers ... what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.
Don't take life too seriously ..... no-one gets out alive.
It's not about waiting for storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
And be yourself ..... everyone else is taken!
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Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:19 pm

Mud Dog wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:41 pm
Hi Stef. Quite some time "no see". :D:
LOL..been lingering & reading
At least someone misses me :mrgreen:
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Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:32 pm

Mud Dog wrote:
You wrote:.... Since then I have moved the axle 10mm. For some reason it protrudes 20mm more to the left than the right? ....

.... we actually cut the brackets off and shifted the whole axle to the right by 10mm. They were then re-welded. ....
The axle should never have been shifted to either side, not sure why you thought it necessary to do so but those pedestals are pretty much precision fitted. I suspect that they were actually moved to the right and not the axle, hence the axle now protruding more to the left. :think:
Hi Andy,

It would seem that the axle brackets (???) have been worked on/changed in the past.

I know that Hoppy moved the axles forward when he put the KZ motor in.... He also lifted it an additional 50mm.

The problem was that the front & back axle were not aligned (ie tracking together).

The rhs front & back wheels were nicely aligned. But the front left wheel protruded some 35mm more than left back wheel. I also noted that the saddle on lhs was around 20mm lower than rhs...

So, right or wrong, I attempted to "balance" the problem as well as possible by moving the axle 10mm to the right. Thus leaving a 25mm "protrusion" .....

For some reason the front axle is longer than back one.

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Baasvark
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Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:34 pm

Baasvark wrote:
Mud Dog wrote:
You wrote:.... Since then I have moved the axle 10mm. For some reason it protrudes 20mm more to the left than the right? ....

.... we actually cut the brackets off and shifted the whole axle to the right by 10mm. They were then re-welded. ....
The axle should never have been shifted to either side, not sure why you thought it necessary to do so but those pedestals are pretty much precision fitted. I suspect that they were actually moved to the right and not the axle, hence the axle now protruding more to the left. :think:
Hi Andy,

It would seem that the axle brackets (???) have been worked on/changed in the past.

I know that Hoppy moved the axles forward when he put the KZ motor in.... He also lifted it an additional 50mm.

The problem was that the front & back axle were not aligned (ie tracking together).

The rhs front & back wheels were nicely aligned. But the front left wheel protruded some 35mm more than left back wheel. I also noted that the saddle on lhs was around 20mm lower than rhs...

So, right or wrong, I attempted to "balance" the problem as well as possible by moving the axle 10mm to the right. Thus leaving a 25mm "protrusion" .....

For some reason the front axle is longer than back one.

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For all of this it's now pulling less (after the last wheel alignment) , but still a little too much (I think).

Just swopped out the two front wheels. Will see after work if it helped.

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Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:05 pm

The saddle on the diff side is meant to be slightly higher than the opposing side's due to the differential housing's 'clash' with the leaf pack's position. The difference in the axle widths however...??? very strange. Take the wheels off and check the face to face distances of each axle's hubs using a plumb line and tape to make sure. No wheel spacers, or offset differing rims? Post pics of the front axle from the front, and rear axle from the back.
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Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:02 pm

Tim86 wrote:The saddle on the diff side is meant to be slightly higher than the opposing side's due to the differential housing's 'clash' with the leaf pack's position. The difference in the axle widths however...??? very strange. Take the wheels off and check the face to face distances of each axle's hubs using a plumb line and tape to make sure. No wheel spacers, or offset differing rims? Post pics of the front axle from the front, and rear axle from the back.
Thanks I'll do so. The LH saddle was 20mm lower! Had I known I would have raised it.

Will measure as soon as I can and revert.

Edit: By LHS I mean on the passenger side. Are we on the same page?

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Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:34 pm

Hi Andy,

It would seem that the axle brackets (???) have been worked on/changed in the past
. Hmmmm

I know that Hoppy moved the axles forward when he put the KZ motor in.... He also lifted it an additional 50mm.

The problem was that the front & back axle were not aligned (ie tracking together).

The rhs front & back wheels were nicely aligned. But the front left wheel protruded some 35mm more than left back wheel. I also noted that the saddle on lhs was around 20mm lower than rhs...
Yes, the RHS pedestal is higher and the leaf packs for front left and right have different curvatures for this.

So, right or wrong, I attempted to "balance" the problem as well as possible by moving the axle 10mm to the right. Thus leaving a 25mm "protrusion" ..... That's very odd ! :scratch:

For some reason the front axle is longer than back one. That's normal.
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Life is like a jar of Jalapeño peppers ... what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.
Don't take life too seriously ..... no-one gets out alive.
It's not about waiting for storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
And be yourself ..... everyone else is taken!
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Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:42 pm

Mud Dog wrote:Hi Andy,

It would seem that the axle brackets (???) have been worked on/changed in the past
. Hmmmm

I know that Hoppy moved the axles forward when he put the KZ motor in.... He also lifted it an additional 50mm.

The problem was that the front & back axle were not aligned (ie tracking together).

The rhs front & back wheels were nicely aligned. But the front left wheel protruded some 35mm more than left back wheel. I also noted that the saddle on lhs was around 20mm lower than rhs...
Yes, the RHS pedestal is higher and the leaf packs for front left and right have different curvatures for this.

So, right or wrong, I attempted to "balance" the problem as well as possible by moving the axle 10mm to the right. Thus leaving a 25mm "protrusion" ..... That's very odd ! :scratch:

For some reason the front axle is longer than back one. That's normal.
Ok so ot seems I've manage to muck it all up ImageImageImage

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Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:15 pm

:D: Really? Why, ... what did you do?
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Life is like a jar of Jalapeño peppers ... what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.
Don't take life too seriously ..... no-one gets out alive.
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Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:20 am

Mud Dog wrote::D: Really? Why, ... what did you do?
Well for a start I lifted the lhs pedastal to be level with the RHS.

Then I have to go back and see what effect this has all had on the suspension and steering....

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Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:21 am

"For some reason the front axle is longer than back one. That's normal."

Andy, on a '95 SFA with a Gearmax axle at the rear and a Toyota axle on the front, are the widths really different? i.e when both axles are centered properly on the vehicle will the rear wheels not track exactly in the footprint of the front wheels? Bit odd??
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Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:46 am

Quite common with a lot of vehicles that the rear track is actually slightly narrower than the front, especially with pick-ups.
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Life is like a jar of Jalapeño peppers ... what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.
Don't take life too seriously ..... no-one gets out alive.
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Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:55 am

Shane if it's not affecting anything adversely and the vehicle stands level, I would leave it be, but the fact that the axle is protruding more to one side than the other would cause me to look at it again closely and figure out why that is.

Have you noticed at all whether the nose "dives" a bit on either side when braking and turning?

Does it pull more to one side when braking? (There can be a number of reasons for this but it's also an indicator that the geometry is out.)
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Life is like a jar of Jalapeño peppers ... what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.
Don't take life too seriously ..... no-one gets out alive.
It's not about waiting for storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
And be yourself ..... everyone else is taken!
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Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:16 am

It used to stand skew, with the left side nose being lower....

Also it would pull right when you brake.....

It now stands more level and I made a plan for the braking issue... Wil post photos later.

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Aint it ironic that "Common Sense" aint so common after all...
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