Steering Issues

Wandering Steering

Scouts wander from the factory. True, but why is this?

This is because of caster. Caster is the top to bottom angle on which the wheels rotate/turn during steering. Our Scouts came with 0 degrees caster, except in 1980 they had 2°. This allows them to turn in a tight radius but means that the wheels do not have any mechanical reason to return to center or stay in a straight line. In comparison, modern vehicles have about 7° of positive caster. Adding spring lift usually moves caster in the negative direction. 

Scout Steering Caster

The solutions for caster are as follows:

  1. Caster Correctors - these thread into the upper ball joint socket and can gain you up to 1.5°  of caster

  2. 4° Axle Pinion Shims - these go between the axle and the leaf spring and rotate the axle. By rotating the axle back you gain 4° of caster but will also hurt your front pinion/driveshaft angle by the same 4°. It will also act as a lowering block by about a 1/4". Trade offs. 

  3. Knuckle Cut and Turn - this entails disassembling the front axle, cutting and grinding off the outer knuckles, rotating them backwards to the desired caster/camber angle, re-welding them and then reassembling the axle.  Definitely the most labor and fabrication, but also the "correct" and final solution for the best setup. 


Loose Steering

Turn the steering wheel back and forth and get a delayed response...

Loose steering or sloppy steering is not factory original. At least not a lot of it. Sloppy steering usually comes from worn out parts. This will take a trickle down check of components from the steering column all the way to the wheels.

Below is a list of what to check followed by various solutions we offer. Have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth until they feel resistance each way during this check the following for loose/worn out parts or a difference/delay between the input and output at each component.

  1. Upper Steering Shaft Joint

    1. Scout II Borgeson replacement
  2. Lower Rag Joint 

    1. Scout II stock rag joint
    2. Scout II Borgeson replacement
    3. Scout 800 rag joint
  3. Steering Box 

    1. Scout II rebuild service
    2. Steering box brace
  4. Loose Pitman Arm

  5. Drag Link End Joints

    1. Stock Scout II
    2. HD Scout II
    3. HD Scout II replacement ends
    4. Stock Scout 800
    5. HD Scout 800 tie rod and drag link
  6. Tie Rod End Joints

    1. Stock Scout II
    2. HD Scout II
    3. HD Scout II replacement ends
    4. HD Scout 800 tie rod and drag link
  7. Ball Joints (upper and lower, both sides)

    1. Stock Dana 44
  8. Wheel Bearings (both sides)

    1. Scout II
  9. Spring Bushings

    1. Scout II
    2. Scout 80/800
  10. Bad/Worn Tires