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  #1  
Old January 5th, 2009, 09:34 PM
johnpiero
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Front Wheel Spacer / Axle Question

Part I:
It's been brought to my attention that my 1994 D-90 with 100k miles on her, has a front axle which is shifted 2" to the passenger side. I can't take my eyes and mind off it.
The frame looks straight and so do the body panels. What could it be? Will an alignment correct this issue? I'm guessing the rigid axles don't allow for much adjustment other than toe in/out, but i may be wrong...actually i hope i'm wrong so that it can be corrected.

Part II:
She has a 2" lift with wheel spacers only in the front. Do i really need these spacers with 285/75/16 tires?

Thanks all and hoping for good news!
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  #2  
Old January 5th, 2009, 09:53 PM
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2in to one side? What? Check the panhard rod first. Actually, take picures of the panhard rod and post them up. This I gotta see. Does it drive straight?
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  #3  
Old January 5th, 2009, 10:07 PM
johnpiero
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That's right....2" !!!!
The right tire sticks out 2" past the fender while the left tire is perfectly in-line with the fender.
Sorry, can't take pics....too dark now...but will tomorrow.
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  #4  
Old January 6th, 2009, 12:57 PM
MonLand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpiero
Part I:
It's been brought to my attention that my 1994 D-90 with 100k miles on her, has a front axle which is shifted 2" to the passenger side. I can't take my eyes and mind off it.
The frame looks straight and so do the body panels. What could it be? Will an alignment correct this issue? I'm guessing the rigid axles don't allow for much adjustment other than toe in/out, but i may be wrong...actually i hope i'm wrong so that it can be corrected.

Part II:
She has a 2" lift with wheel spacers only in the front. Do i really need these spacers with 285/75/16 tires?

Thanks all and hoping for good news!
If it's lifted, then yes, the axle will move sideways, not sure by how much (2" for a 2" lift seems a bit too much though).
Do you need the spacer? You don't, but it definitely helps your turning radius! If you want to off load them, place an ad here and I'm sure you'll get great offers.
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  #5  
Old January 6th, 2009, 01:23 PM
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Well, its really only 1" from his description, but that still seems like an awful lot. I can't even notice mine being off with a 2" lift, so something else must be causing this. I tend to agree with Buck that it sounds like the panhard rod is FUBAR.
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  #6  
Old January 6th, 2009, 01:53 PM
rmuller
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This is my old truck...

It has a 2" OME lift on it, and 1" wheel spacers on the front axle (to avoid rubbing from the 285/75s). I personally never noticed the front axle moved over, but it could be... The only things I could think of that would move an entire axle would be something screwed up with radius arms or panhard rod.. but if it was shifted 2" to the passenger side, wouldn't the driveshaft be binding?

And the 2" lift, shouldn't that only move the axles slightly closer together, and not to the side?
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  #7  
Old January 6th, 2009, 03:45 PM
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No, it will shift it to one side because the panhard rod centers it and buy increasing the space between the frame (where the panhard rod mounts) and the axle, you are increasing the distance the panhard rod needs to reach, so it will pull the axle to that side a little. A two inch lift shouldn't move it anywhere near 1" though.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 04:12 PM
rmuller
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ahhh, makes sense...

Isn't the panhard mounting bracket to the frame on the drive side, and then it mounts to the left (while looking at the truck) of the differential? So wouldn't lifting it up, make the axle want to shift slightly towards the drivers side?
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  #9  
Old January 6th, 2009, 04:45 PM
MonLand
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And the front axle will also move back a little since it will rotate (and cause the castor issue).

Follow-up Post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmuller
Isn't the panhard mounting bracket to the frame on the drive side, and then it mounts to the left (while looking at the truck) of the differential? So wouldn't lifting it up, make the axle want to shift slightly towards the drivers side?
Dunno where it is on the top of my head, but if the mount is on the driver side of the chassis, then the axle would be pushed toward the driver, that would be correct.
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  #10  
Old January 7th, 2009, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmuller
ahhh, makes sense...

Isn't the panhard mounting bracket to the frame on the drive side, and then it mounts to the left (while looking at the truck) of the differential? So wouldn't lifting it up, make the axle want to shift slightly towards the drivers side?
Yes,

Thats true, but for the axle to move that much with 2in of lift the panhard would have to be 4in long. Thats why I'm really curious about what the cause is. It's not the radius arms, they don't locate the axle laterally.

The only thing I can really think of is the caster of the front end is screwed up somehow and the tires are turned messing with the measurement. If the panhard were screwed up that bad it would have to be bent which would also move the axle to the drivers side. And no, it would not make the driveshaft bind.

To give an idea, my front moves about two in total in 14in of travel, I have these timely pics from the buildup, so if he had a 14in lift this would make sense.
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  #11  
Old January 10th, 2009, 02:46 PM
johnpiero
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First off- thanks for the all the feedback.
Attached are some pics as requested.
Everything looks straight underneath even the panhard rod (with the exception of the curvature to clear the pumpkin).
I see what you mean: the panhard rod is the only component which orients the axle left-to-right. I'd like to buy an adjustable panhard (if they exist) but that would be Plan-B. Plan-A would be to get to the root of the problem.
Is it possible that i have an incorrect panhard rod from another model. The overall length from bolt to bolt is 32-3/8". Could someone measure theirs?
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  #12  
Old January 10th, 2009, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpiero
First off- thanks for the all the feedback.
Attached are some pics as requested.
Everything looks straight underneath even the panhard rod (with the exception of the curvature to clear the pumpkin).
I see what you mean: the panhard rod is the only component which orients the axle left-to-right. I'd like to buy an adjustable panhard (if they exist) but that would be Plan-B. Plan-A would be to get to the root of the problem.
Is it possible that i have an incorrect panhard rod from another model. The overall length from bolt to bolt is 32-3/8". Could someone measure theirs?
Ah ha!

It is very hard to tell in pics, but it looks to me like your frame mounted panhard mount is seriously bent towards the passenger side. That would do it.
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  #13  
Old January 10th, 2009, 05:54 PM
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I agree with Dave- it looks (could be the photo angle) like the panhard mount is bent at the bottom. Dave that truck is total bling.

Here's what healthy panhard brackets look like.
http://roversdownsouth.com/images/us...ketNTC9461.JPG
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Old January 10th, 2009, 08:23 PM
rmuller
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Weird, are the wheel spacers still on it on the driver side? I swear when I had it, both sides matched... both stuck out a bit..
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  #15  
Old January 11th, 2009, 11:08 AM
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it looks like the steering box and everything is bent in a bit as well. did you hit something really hard?
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  #16  
Old January 11th, 2009, 11:46 AM
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Well as silly as i feel, it's all making sense:

2 weeks ago I was on some rocky trails, the car was angled driver-side towards the down-slope. That's when i started slipping downhill and front axle got hung-up on a rock (i thought to my seft "good think i have a pumkin shield"). This impact kept the axle in place and moved the rest of my car down-hill (driver-side) at the expense of that panhard-rod-frame-mount-bracket.
I didn't think much of it, because it didn't feel too hard of an impact, but like i said, it's all making more sense. It wouldn't have felt that bad because the suspension is still absorbing all of the impact.

Well, before i buy a new one, i'm off to the dealer to see if they have any in the lot to do a side-by-side comparison. I'll let you know what i find.
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  #17  
Old January 11th, 2009, 12:02 PM
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where in NY? The dealer will not have one. Hopefully it did not bend the frame. is the steering box bent in as well? look where the box mounts to the frame.
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  #18  
Old January 11th, 2009, 01:36 PM
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The pic does make it look like the PH frame mount is tweaked, but it is cast so think it would break before it would bend that much. It may be the angle of the pic. Most likely it's the stock flimsy panhard, if you put a load on it like you describe I'm not surprised it bent. Easy solution is replace the stock panhard, they should be cheap to come by...if I still had mine I'd give it to you. If that resets everything, then have someone build you a nice one. If not, start investigating the other parts.

It is clear that it is not centered, draw a line down the spine of the upper shock tower and it should run down the centerline of the shock of the botton nut...it doesn't.
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