Front two tires not plumb..leaning

dodjh

Member
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4
18
Location
Central, MS.
MY 53 M38A! front tires are leaning (when sitting) from 12 o clock to about 5 o clock. Had someone try to fix it
]
but couldn't determine why. Any ideas?
 

CMPPhil

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Temple, NH
Hi

Not sure I understand the problem, are you saying the tires are leaning (toward the vehicle) in at the top? Or that the tires lean out at the top?

A little positive camber (tilt out at the top) is normal in most vehicles. But I'd start by making sure what you are seeing is not caused by something being loose. Don't believe the camber on an M38 is considered adjustable.

Keep us posted on what you find.

Cheers Phil
 

cucvmule

collector of stuff
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Several overall components have an effect on toe in or out, negative or positive caster and negative or positive camber. Read a little on all to understand what each one does and the effects that it has on drivability.

Tie rods, ball joints, king pins, bushings, wheel bearings, all have an effect on the geometry of setup on the wheels, steering.

Bent, broken, loose, distorted, worn components, and many other symptoms have an effect on the visual appearance of your tires.

So a little more information is needed to try and understand what you may be seeing. Pictures also help, some times illusions are seen in daylight, night, shadows, the way the truck is parked, backing up then parking and the front tires seem to be pointing in towards themselves from looking from the front.

We need a little more information and possibly read a little in the TM's for applicable information.
 

dmetalmiki

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MY 53 M38A! front tires are leaning (when sitting) from 12 o clock to about 5 o clock. Had someone try to fix it
]
but couldn't determine why. Any ideas?
This so difficult to perceive..12 to 5 o'clock lean??.. That is some 30*...
As mentioned before, post a picture, or describe the 'Lean' as you would to someone without a clue as to what YOU Perceive.
Viz. Us.
 

dodjh

Member
200
4
18
Location
Central, MS.
Today noticed, while Jeep on flat level ground, top of front driver side tire was tilted toward the pass. side tire. My wife even noticed it the other day.

Jacked it up and when grabbed tires at 3 & 9 o' clock not much play. 12 to 6 o' clock, the tire immediately collapsed inward at the 6 o' clock position.

Could it be the steering knuckle bearings? It felt like the 6 o' clock bearing was not making contact.

My manual doesn't show any schematic of the steering knuckle, just replacing the seal.
 

dodjh

Member
200
4
18
Location
Central, MS.
In process of removing parts to replace the bearings.

Axle nuts were removable by using only my fingers, outer and inner...are they suppose to be, do have manual locking hubs but always torqued inner and outer with axle nut socket on all 4 X 4's I've worked on.

Brake hub won't pull off by hand...I know rears usually need slid hammer puller but didn't think fronts did...if that's the problem.

I tried to remove top bearing cap but realized getting to bearing that way wasn't gonna work. Haven't removed the bottom yet. Would that free up the brake drum to release and come free of axle?
 

m1010plowboy

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I started looking at frames closer after finding a leaning wheel on an M135. We lay underneath and pull a tape measure corner to corner, across the frame, down the length, we look down the rails, make sure the suspension mounts haven't been hit. One never really knows where things have been. Does the Tm have a trouble-shooting section on steering?

 

dodjh

Member
200
4
18
Location
Central, MS.
Today noticed, while Jeep on flat level ground, top of front driver side tire was tilted toward the pass. side tire. My wife even noticed it the other day.

Jacked it up and when grabbed tires at 3 & 9 o' clock not much play. 12 to 6 o' clock, the tire immediately collapsed inward at the 6 o' clock position.

Could it be the steering knuckle bearings? It felt like the 6 o' clock bearing was not making contact.

My manual doesn't show any schematic of the steering knuckle, just replacing the seal.

M1010plowboy...thank you for your reply, my issue is in the above text...that's not to say I don't need to check the frame alignment also.

There is a section on steering but from what I gathered it dealt with camber, toe & tie rods. My problem as NDT suggested is the King Pin bearings/knuckle bearings (steering knuckle). Thanks
 

dodjh

Member
200
4
18
Location
Central, MS.
Worked on my front wheel situation yesterday and today. Got it down to just the axle housing end.

The bottom axle housing, where the K. P. bearing & race sit , has separated with a 1/2" gap in it. There were pieces of metal where it sits (the gaped area)
The metal around the gap looks like it could be heated and possibly closed. I don't think a new race would fit properly but don't know what else to do. If it could be closed, would have to be welded to remain closed.

Only alternative I see, is pull the whole front axle housing and replace it with another one that isn't damaged.

When I pulled the axle out, several of the steel balls fell out from the recesses they go in. Checked Walck's and Kaiser and the axles they show don't have the steel balls in them. My '49' has the same axle (Rapella ?)

Steering knuckle will probably have to be replaced due to the damage where the race came apart.

Suggestions and ideas welcome. Thanks
 

NDT

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Yikes I have never seen that before. I would remove the axle and take it and the new race to a weld shop and have him blacksmith it back together and then weld the race in.
 

dodjh

Member
200
4
18
Location
Central, MS.
Thank you for the quick reply....hadn't thought about that....welding the race in.

So I could leave the Pass. side axle assembly, Brake, S. knuckle, R. G. & Pinion all intact and take it to them?
 

NDT

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Wow I have been messing with Jeeps for a long time and have never seen that. I still think it's repairable by a good welder. Finding a good used front axle and then paying for shipping will cost much more than the repair.
 

dodjh

Member
200
4
18
Location
Central, MS.
That's what I was thinking too...I do have 2 donor Jeeps, 1 a '48' Cj2-A and the other, only has the body and front and rear axles. Not sure what it was/is originally but a 2 or 3A or MB, GPW.

Also looked at both of their front ends, 1, the steering knuckle comes straight out and the other it bends a little. Not sure if mine is the Dana 25 or 27 so they could have the 25 unless the mystery one has the D. 23.
It would be more convenient if the mystery one's axle would work. Man that's a lot of work, swapping out the R.G, axles , brakes etc.

Did a '62' Scout 800 or 80, many decades ago and still remember all the issues. It had the IHC locking rear end and the one I had didn't. I was young back then too.
 

NDT

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'53 should be a Dana 25 so your donor Jeep should work. The MB/GPW would be identified by having full floating rear end so I would avoid using that front axle as the steering linkage is different.
 
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