My '55 Chevy Half-Ton, Converted to 4x4....

Cross Steer Conversion, Page 3: Scroll Down for Latest Updates.....

The pitman arm is being rotated roughly 90 deg. to the rear, and will swing back and forth under the frame but above the leaf springs. To give the leaf springs as much clearance as I can, I am cutting a notch in the frame to clear the bolt on the top of the ball joint, and I will add a slight upward "S" bend to the pitman arm to get it up as close to the frame as I can.....

Used the piece I cut out of the frame flange and shaped two other pieces of 3/16" material to box in the notch in the frame....

Welded it all in and test fitted the pitman arm and this end of the old drag link.....

I'll have a little more clearance under the ball joint after I "S" bend the pitman arm a bit....

The original short drag link was cut in half. It is 1" heavy wall tubing, each piece is about 6" long. The new drag link will be about 36" long, exact measurements will be taken when the left side steering assembly is back on the axle with the new steering arm.

The O.D. of the original drag link is 1", with lots of wall thickness. I had some 1" heavy wall pipe that has an I.D. of 0.935, so will turn down 3" on each of the short pieces to about 0.925" and insert into the new piece and plug weld as well as circle weld the three pieces together....

Set up my "Smithy" lathe and trimmed off some steel.....

The top of the right side steering knuckle was rough, had to mill it smooth to get good contact between the new steering arm and the knuckle. Then got it drilled and tapped, and it's ready to go back on the axle....

Got the driver's side threaded piece for the drag link welded in, and after aligning the front knuckles straight ahead, and putting the steering box exactly in the middle, then setting the pitman arm on the steering box splines so it would be 90 degrees to the drag link, the final length of the drag link was marked, cut, and welded....

I machined the threaded ends (the old drag link cut in half) to fit 3" inside the new drag link, and fitted them so they are a tap-in fit into the new drag link, then plug welded and circle welded them in, no way this piece is ever going to cause a problem! It is STOUT!

Sanded it a bit, wiped it down with solvent, and hung it up for painting....

While that paint was drying, started putting the rest of the front end back together, with fresh grease, new dust cups, new cotter pins, freshen up the disk brake calipers, whatever is needed to "Freshen Up" the whole front end....

Well, I put the drag link in, the alignment of the hubs, steering wheel/box, pitman arm, all looked good. BUT, and it's a big one, I do not have the turning radius I had before! The hubs do not come around as far as they did when the steering box is at full turn, left or right.

The solution? I can either put on a longer pitman arm, or shorten the steering arm. Looking at it, I can drill another hole in the steering arm and "shorten" the stroke of the steering arm, increasing the angle of the turn at full steering box left/right.....

Meanwhile I pulled the motor apart to see if everything is ok there, checked the bore, rings, fit, on #2 cylinder and everything look great, so the motor is going back together with new gaskets....

More Later......

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