Fixing Castor:Radius arms. vs. Swivel Ball - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old November 22nd, 2010, 09:25 AM
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Stephan Laputka
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Fixing Castor:Radius arms. vs. Swivel Ball

So my winter project is do redo the entire suspension on the 90 and make it perform better on the street with the lift. Right now it handles like crap, pulls and dives under braking and acceleration and will routinely blow out the pan hard rod bushing when off road.

So first thing first: The castor angle. I only have a 2 inch lift, which isn't huge. I was set to purchase some corrected radius arms but I don't fully understand why someone would need corrected radius arms AND corrected swivel balls. Why can't you just use the radius arm to restore the factory castor and leave the swivel ball alone?(which is what my plan was)
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  #2  
Old November 22nd, 2010, 09:49 AM
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You don't need them on a 2".
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  #3  
Old November 22nd, 2010, 09:59 AM
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Chris Murphy
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Hi Stephan-

On my '97, I installed RT springs, quoted at 3-4" of lift, but really more than that once installed. At first after install, I had a host of handling and drivetrain noise issues (and expected some in advance), but all I did for caster correction was QT radius arms. I did not need new swivel balls or offset center bushings.

I do also have Tru-Tracs installed, which have some helpful self-centering and a good neutral center as a by-product, but swivel ball replacement wasn't ever needed for my truck. I also had a newer OME steering damper on it when I did all the work.

More than 2" of lift will probably necessitate front driveshaft replacement and/or double cardon joints (especially under braking from speed and the resultant geometry/weight shift). I ended up with a hellacious rumble at times until I took care of it. The standard knuckle was banging at the extremes of bend.

Good luck!
Murph

------ Follow up post added November 22nd, 2010 10:04 AM ------

Just saw Pedro's post as mine posted, and I agree with him. Forgot to add that to my last one. You shouldn't normally need any of this stuff with only 2" of lift. (And why my '94 will not get more than the 2" of lift it now has.) You might look into loose joints, failing bushings, etc. before you throw any money at the problem. Something may be moving or shifting under load.

Murph
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  #4  
Old November 22nd, 2010, 11:05 AM
The Dro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeloBubba View Post
Just saw Pedro's post as mine posted, and I agree with him. Forgot to add that to my last one. You shouldn't normally need any of this stuff with only 2" of lift. (And why my '94 will not get more than the 2" of lift it now has.) You might look into loose joints, failing bushings, etc. before you throw any money at the problem. Something may be moving or shifting under load.

Murph
x2... your pulling has nothing to do with lift. you might have worn bushings, bad shocks, tie rods...
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  #5  
Old November 25th, 2010, 01:34 AM
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Bradlee Duncan
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Sounds like mostly a panhard rod issue to me. Put an adjustable one on there and you'll be a long way to good driving with only a 2" lift.

As for the swivel balls... You don't need it for a 2" lift, but for reference, with larger lifts, the radius arms (and the lift itself) end up rotating the third member so it is pointing up towards the t-case. Because the third member is connected t othe axles which are connected to the swivel balls and hubs, it ends up steepening the castor angle so it is closer to vertical so you lose the benefits given by a shallower castor angle. The corrected swivel balls simply rotate the swivel balls back in the other direction to bring back the correct castor angle while the third member is still pointing towards the t-case. Again, this only is desirable if you have a big lift AND you plan to do a lot of on-road driving. You won't notice much of any difference off-road.
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  #6  
Old November 25th, 2010, 07:54 AM
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x2 my Defender handles well with the OME ~2" Ive found my issue to be in the swivels. Im at ~80 and it handles fine and tracks well on the highway.

On another note and maybe I am really really asking a bad question, but why cant we shim the radius arms like the rear links to adjust pinion angles?
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  #7  
Old November 25th, 2010, 02:16 PM
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because unlike the trailing arms, the radius arms are attached at two points on the front axle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rover4x4 View Post
why cant we shim the radius arms like the rear links to adjust pinion angles?
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  #8  
Old November 25th, 2010, 07:32 PM
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Andrew J. Hutton
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You can modify the axle housing, but doing arms is generally less work and if you were to do the housing, then filling in the bolt-holes and re-drilling them is probably the better option vs messing around with other bracketry.

Castor can be off on even stock vehicles, if it has sagged the self-centre will increase and then you put a lift in and the springs are new the difference can be more than you anticipated as well. HOWEVER, it does sound like you're in need of more basic suspension maintenance, it's amazing how little free-play there needs to be to get something you can feel and checking every bushing and making sure there is no movement is always the first thing to do.
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  #9  
Old November 25th, 2010, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ren Ching View Post
because unlike the trailing arms, the radius arms are attached at two points on the front axle.

Duh



I assume this is adjustable with the 3link?
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  #10  
Old November 25th, 2010, 08:56 PM
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Brad Ingalls
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Is there a source for corrected radius arms in the States or is QT in England the only place they're available? And which one is needed for correction, the 3 or 6? What is standard 0, meaning no correction?
If a corrected radius arm is used must you also use a double-cardon shaft? If so, who has those? And, how much is all that likely to cost?
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  #11  
Old November 26th, 2010, 07:48 AM
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Justin at Lucky 8 sells all the QT stuff and has the radius arms. Rovertym can make you a set of caster corrected arms too.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 11:06 AM
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Brad,

I have RoverTym and they have been excellent and they are in NC. Rockware also sells a set.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 11:23 AM
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Daniel Chapman
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The folks who claim corrected swivel balls are not needed for a 2" lift are just simply wrong. The ONLY way to correct both caster and pinion angle is to address both caster and pinion angle. Swivel balls correct the caster, and the radius arms correct the pinion angle.

The QT radius arms are a little too bling-bling for my taste. I hate QT shit. Personally I would go with Rovertym arms. However, Rovertym charges $300 for their caster corrected swivel balls, whereas Lucky8 only charges $188. No it's a no-brainer to call Lucky8 for you balls (you may need cores).

You should not need to worry about your drive-shaft if you're correcting pinion angles the way they should be.
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  #14  
Old November 26th, 2010, 12:30 PM
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Brad Ingalls
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If corrected radius arms are installed, that will correct the castor but make the pinion angle wrong, right? It seems like the new radius arms would put the front diff back in the same position it had before the lift. Placing the diff back, as I understand it, would put a greater strain on the universal joints which may necessitate the double-cardon shaft.
I have searched this forum and a couple from England, lr4x4.com and landyzone.com, and that's the understanding I got from it. If I'm missing something here, and I may be, I'd sure appreciate some help clarifying this because it's one of the projects I intend to get into soon.
And, thank you guys for the stateside suppliers.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselDef View Post
If corrected radius arms are installed, won't that correct both the castor and pinion angle simultaneously? It seems like the new radius arms would put the front diff back in the same position it had before the lift. Placing the diff back, it seems, would put a greater strain on the universal joints which may necessitate the double-cardon shaft.
I have searched this forum and a couple from England, lr4x4.com and landyzone.com, and that's the understanding I got from it. If I'm missing something here, and I may be, I'd sure appreciate some help clarifying this because it's one of the projects I intend to get into soon.
And, thank you guys for the stateside suppliers.
What people are misunderstanding is the dc vs. regular shaft. If you run a DC you want the pinion pointed up at the t-case minus 1-3 degrees. IF you have a regular shaft, you want the two mounting surfaces relatively parallel to eachother. So the only way you are going to get your caster angle perfect and your pinion angle perfect for a DC shaft is to correct the swivel balls.

Here is the thing though, on a 2 in lift, nothing is required. A tiny castor change like that won't affect anything that much. I know a lot of guys that run 0 castor for easier turning. I run 8 degrees (buttload) for better return to center. There is a ton of room there. The DC shaft is a nice upgrade, but if you need one, your pinion is about at the right angle already. Close counts. For a rover, less close counts.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 04:01 PM
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Corrected Swivel ball housings will rotate the rear track arm downwards which will require the fabrication of a spacer to go between the diff and track rod support. Without this support, and with a locker installed, that rod will bend like a piece of bamboo. Thank god for the location of the winch to bend it back in a pinch. I looked underneath when it was pulling left and the wheels looked like a shot IFS setup and was shocked to see the resultant curve of the rod.
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