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Old 10-26-2013
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Falling asleep at the wheel causes problems

Hi guys and gals

I am new to your forums, but have already found out a ton of stuff I needed to know without registering. If you are interested if finding out what I do for a living you can see at Flanigan Brother's Boatyard. Its fairly cool if you are into being able to do anything.

Today I got stuck and figured I would ask for help.

Tuesday I fell asleep at the wheel on the way home from work. Its a long complicated funny story why, but I will save that for later.

My truck ended up in a briar patch and I glanced off three trees on the way there. The steering rack had exploded basically, and there were parts everywhere. After doing a bit of research I decided that I would try to fix the mess myself, so I ordered a steering rack, new outer tie rod ends and scheduled a windshield and passenger side window replacement. I also ordered a new front right fender because that is smashed beyond repair.

Last night I finished replacing the steering rack, and got it flushed and filled. Steering works fine now although its a bit noisy ( I think that will subside as the air bubbles get worked out)

Here are my three problems.

1. After the accident I tried to turn the steering wheel and it just spun like a top and kept spinning. I have no idea if I have it centered correctly when I reconnected it, but I made sure it looked centered and it locked correctly when I removed the key.

2. After finishing up the steering I find it steers too far one way. Do I adjust the tie rod ends to fix that?

3. Also the camber is way out on the passenger side tire, what do I look for to see if there is something else damaged that I don't know about? I don't think I can do an alignment because I don't have a flat floor to work on it, my garage has a dirt floor until I can afford concrete. But I do need to drive it about 8 miles to get the windshield done on Monday, and I really need to wait at least a couple of weeks to save up enough money for an alignment. So I want to make sure I have inspected everything that could possibly be broken before driving it.
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Old 10-26-2013
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Oh, a word to the wise about tow truck companies. Here is southern New Jersey you don't have a choice about who tows your wrecked car, the police call them on a rotating basis. Watch them carefully. The guy that towed my truck damaged it even more trying to get it out, he smashed from the gas tank all the way to the front of the driver door. He was all set to yank the truck out and rip the left front tire off in the process before I convinced him to wait a couple minutes for my wife to get back with my chainsaw so I could cut down the tree that was causing problems. After seeing him at work I don't think I would ever let my truck be towed without standing there watching every move they make...
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Old 10-26-2013
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Damn man. I'm very leery of how truck drivers. I would call a friend first.

Glad to hear you're ok though. I haven't had specific experience with those issues but I'm sure someone can help.
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Old 10-26-2013
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With any steering part replacement you need an alignment.
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Old 10-26-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheltonfilms View Post
With any steering part replacement you need an alignment.

I know it needs an alignment. I already set the tow, but the camber is off, I can see it. I inspected everything this morning after getting the fender and mud guards off and don't see anything obviously bent. I want to wait at least a couple weeks for an alignment because I need to save up the money.

from the looks of it there might be adjustment in the fork that holds the upper ball joint, but I am not sure.
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Old 10-28-2013
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Changing the tire out for the spare and pumping them up to correct pressure helped some, but the camber on both front wheels still looks excessive.

Steering is fixed, changing the tire made everything work right as far as that goes.

After today the truck should at least be drivable. Shattered glass gets everywhere did you know that? I don't know how it worked its way into some of the places I found it.
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Old 11-04-2013
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Pics or it didn't happen!
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Old 11-04-2013
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I found that the back bolt holding the lower A arm had shifted. All three of the other bolts on this truck have clips to hold the bolt in the right position. The clips fit into a small slot. The bolt that moved didn't have a clip, and there is no slot for a clip to fit into.

after jacking the truck up and sitting it on stands so there was no weight on the arm or tire I loosened the bolt and shifted it back into position.

Strangely enough, the bottom of the tire was out too far (the tire leaned in towards the truck) and the bolt had shifted towards the center of the truck. By shifting the bolt on the bottom A arm out the bottom of the tire came in.

Makes no sense at all to me.

Anyway, for the doubters, here is a pic...

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Old 11-04-2013
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Wow, looks like you got lucky by missing that tree.
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  #10  
Old 11-05-2013
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I hit that tree with the area by the gas fill. Now there is a huge dent there. I also hit the other two trees on the other side. All glancing blows.

Got a ticket for careless driving in the mail today.

I am going to argue in court that there were no witnesses to me driving carelessly, and the only thing the cop should be able to ticket me for is improper parking. After all, I am sure there must be some regulation saying its illegal to park in a briar patch...
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