However, there is trouble in paradise. Now I have seemed to develop a terrible sickness for parts and accessories that I cannot afford, and I'm beginning to think that this is what my common sense was trying to warn me about. So far, the best way I can describe this sickness is an overwhelming desire to purchase things like larger tires, winches, and lockers. Worst of all, the urge keeps coming back time and time again to lift my Scout about 4 inches higher then it currently sits. If this sounds crazy just tell me now!
Anyway, as I'm frantically searching the net for the most economical way of lifting my Scout, one annoying fact keeps popping up at every turn: bumpsteer! I found a bunch of information that describes the symptoms of bumpsteer, but I haven't found a lot of resources that describe what causes it and how to prevent it. I'm very concerned about this because my two young daughters love riding in the back, and as much as I'd hate to skip the lift I might do so if it would create a serious driving hazard.
So what is bumpsteer, how dangerous is it, and what are the best measures to prevent it? Thanks for your time.
Colorado Native John
If you want to take home a set of General Tires, just send in your best Nuts & Bolts quest
A To help with your affliction, we're going to prescribe a new set of General Tires because you're our letter of the month! General makes a whole bunch of different truck tires, including the new General Grabbers, and we'll be sending you a voucher for some new rubber ASAP.
As for bumpsteer, many factors are involved in causing it, but it is basically the draglink of the steering (the bar running from your steering box to the steering knuckle on the passenger side) moving during axle articulation and causing the wheels to turn, thus the name bumpsteer: You hit a bump and it steers the wheel. It usually steers toward the right when the right wheel goes up, and toward the left when the right wheel goes down.
The Scout comes from the factory with a short draglink that attaches to the tie rod. When you lift the Scout's suspension the angle of the draglink increases; this is bad, as you want it long and close to level for less bumpsteer. What you need is a passenger-side, flat-top knuckle, a high steer arm, and then a draglink that runs from the steering box to the high steer arm. PartsMike (530.885.0673, www.partsmike.com) can machine your knuckle or sell you the correct parts.
Also, as you lift the truck you may reduce the caster angle of the knuckles, especially if you use longer front shackles, and this can cause death wobble. The best remedy is to grind out the welds around the axle Cs and have them turned back to about 5 to 8 degrees of caster at ride height. Though this is a bit of work, it is the right way to do the job and can be done easily at most axle shops.
Your new tires from General will fit with or without the lift kit (depending on the size you choose, of course), but we agree that doing the lift and doing the steering correctly will make the Scout look, wheel, and drive better and be safer for the whole family.
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