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1978 w150 318 727
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Getting ready to do the knuckle out swap on the 78 and this would be the time to convert to crossover Steering if at all. Wondering what everyone is doing as far as steering after lifting 4 inches or more.

This truck will be a daily driver with some weekends mudding and dirt trails. Nothing major.

Currently experiencing bump steer and road wander.

Is the crossover steer overkill for what the truck will be? Have in mind the adjustable draglink is the same cost as the crossover kit. Would just have to add a steering box plate and have the knuckle drilled.

Also read some guys having problems with the crossover and needing a panhard bar.

Let me know your thoughts and experiences.
 

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1978 w150 318 727
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I do not have anything at this time. I do have the original steering link block that came with the lift kit. I did purchase the skyjacker dl10 adjustable draglink specifically for dodge. I paid 220 for it from summit. After the fact I saw crossover Steering and thought well heck that's the same price and can correct several problems at once. Bump steer and recenter the steering and correct the radius. But I have read some people have had issues with out using a panhard bar
Don't want to make a mod that I will have to spend even more correcting another issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I also have to mention I am starting a knuckle out swap so have everything allready off if I need to have the knuckle drilled. So kinda have a pretty good head start.
 

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When I started lifting, I figured I was for sure going crossover... so I picked up arms, threaded inserts, etc. 

After lifting 3", I'm not so sure. The push/pull really is adequate for my needs. There's no bump-steer since I don't have increased suspension travel - only height.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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The factory Dodge drag link uses the same taper sizes as the TRE's.

The GM drag link ends are fatter. You can make it fit Dodge with a reamer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you. I have read some guys using Ford pitman arms. Do they fit our taper on the pitman arm?

I have this reamer from when I did my son's 97 tahoe tre knuckle ends that were wallered out. Would this be the proper taper to ream out a pitman arm to fit the above adjustable draglink?
 

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Lots of arms fit. Especially Jeep and other Dodge ones that also use a Saginaw box. I've mocked up 1stgen 2wd, and 2ndgen 4wd arms on my W250 for crossover.

Our TRE/DLE tapers and square-body GM are 1.5" per foot, 7ᵒ taper.
https://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/catalog/REAM.html
 

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Steering "corrections" on factory steering only make the steering functional on the street for lifts over 4", but they usually introduce bump steer.  At 4" or less you don't need any correction.

Crossover steering is functional on road and off road allowing for more flex without limited steering angles or bump steer. 

I love crossover and I recommend buying a complete kit, I prefer Off Road Design.  If you plan to piece a system together watch your steering arm length to pitman arm length ratio.  It's real easy to get this wrong and limit your turning angle or overdrive the steering against the steering stops.  Typically the pitman arm should be about 90% the length of the steering arm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the advise. I am moving forward with the crossover Steering kit. I chose to go with a kit from Sky's Offroad Design. Their system is just like offroad design but it has a few more benefits I think.
The steering arm is a 1/2 inch taller to clear the leaf springs better. Not only that they machined the holes to still use the short studs for strength. It also has an option to get a keyed arm that fits down into the knuckle so the studs are not the only thing taking on torque.
The steering arm also only has 3 holes for us with oem knuckles. Not a big deal but would look cleaner installed I think. Also reduces one more weak spot in the arm.
The knuckle is 55 to have machined and drilled by them with the keyed section on the knuckle, 45 for just flat if you choose.
They also have a draglink that is bent to clear the cross member.
They also use the heavy gm 1 ton tre's. I think theirs have longer thread shafts for more adjustment.
The draglink is also tapped on the ends so no welds.
They have 2 choices of pitman arm drop.
They also use 1.5 by. 25 wall Dom tubing if I am correct.

Overall it's the same, I think it just seems like a better kit to me. Along with having the same cost it's definately the way I am going to go.
I will be writing a specific crossover section on it with some pics on what I find along the way.
Their Pic shows a straight draglink as a reference but it is bent like it should be for clearance.

https://www.skysoffroaddesign.com/collections/dodge-steering/products/dana-44csk?variant=19048853636

Be sure to browse their dodge line for the keyed steering arm and knuckle service.
 

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FWIW I’ve used a 2” drop Pittman arm on both my 85 and 91 with 4” lifts, stock drag link, in both cases steering ended up better than stock.  Crossover steering puts a lot of stress on the frame for not a lot of gain imo.
 

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Mopar572 said:
Crossover steering puts a lot of stress on the frame for not a lot of gain imo.
How would it be any different then a 2wd steering setup?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Kinda where I was going but wanted to see if he had a bad experience. I did order the frame Brace from dodge connection. Pretty solid peice, should tighten that frame up pretty good.
Also when I do the cut and turn on the axle I will have to have a mobile welder come over and do it up. So was thinking of adding some extra gussets around the frame there. Probably over kill though.

I know, I don't have a welder and taking the axle completely out and to an axle shop is only like a 100 cheaper. While he's here I am going to have him weld some other stuff up that could use some added strength.
 

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SuperBurban said:
How would it be any different then a 2wd steering setup?
The load is shared with the idler arm on a 2wd. Usually smaller tires too.

2ndgens utilized the mirror-image of our steering box with factory crossover steering....
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That is a valid point, hopefully the frame brace and other reinforcement will be adequate. Only running 33s so shouldnt be that big of an issue. Along with the redhead steering gear thats been retro fitted with needle bearings should be all good.
 

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u2slow said:
The load is shared with the idler arm on a 2wd. Usually smaller tires too.
Still is only the steering box doing all the pushing & pulling. The idler arm only keeps the other side of the center link in position. Only argument is a 2wd the steering box is pushing pulling about 90 degs to the frame. A crossover is 20 degs or more downward. Not enough difference to have any noticeable difference.
 

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Long ago I had a lot of slop in my steering,and wandering, with no lift. I rebuilt my steering gear, put in a Borgenson steering shaft, nothing helped. When I put a Dana Trac lok  in the front axle, it went away. It wants to drive in a straight line. I know it's just masking the symptoms, but it's made the truck much nicer to drive.
Still works with a 4 inch lift.
 
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