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Thread: The '39's not-so Golden Years

  1. #11
    Road Devil's Member Rob Caldwell's Avatar
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    I'm a bit late on this but have you traced down the cause? it sounds like you've been through the whole front end..... steering u-joints, steering box, mount and linkage, kjngpins, axle, bones, and tires. I know this sounds stupid but have you checked your front hub bearings?

    The stock ford tapered roller bearings are I bit small in my opinion when you think of them supporting a flat 4 and top speed of 55mph vs most of us who shoehorn a big block or hemi and run regularly at highway speeds or faster. I'm curious to see what you find and what the root cause of your speed wobble is.

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  2. #12
    Road Devil's National Officer LD39's Avatar
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    I replaced the bearings. The biggest improvement was made when I discovered the 3 bolts on the cap of my vega box were a little loose. I pulled them out, cleaned them and put Lock tight on them. This helped a lot. Many of the other parts that I replaced were in need given how hard I drive the truck, now with a full spool in the rear end its only gonna get worse. I think that at the end of th day, the Speedway vega box that i've been running for years (now I'm on #3) is a piece of shit. I'd like to find a manufacturer who builds high quality vega boxes that can take the abuse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Caldwell View Post
    I'm a bit late on this but have you traced down the cause? it sounds like you've been through the whole front end..... steering u-joints, steering box, mount and linkage, kjngpins, axle, bones, and tires. I know this sounds stupid but have you checked your front hub bearings?

    The stock ford tapered roller bearings are I bit small in my opinion when you think of them supporting a flat 4 and top speed of 55mph vs most of us who shoehorn a big block or hemi and run regularly at highway speeds or faster. I'm curious to see what you find and what the root cause of your speed wobble is.


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  3. #13
    Road Devil's Member Rob Caldwell's Avatar
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    Yeah slop in the steering gearbox will definitely cause instabilities. Have you considered trying one of them Flaming River Vega boxes? I know they are a little pricy but they are advertised as American Made vs the typical Chinese junk that Speedway can sometimes sell.

    Quote Originally Posted by LD39 View Post
    I replaced the bearings. The biggest improvement was made when I discovered the 3 bolts on the cap of my vega box were a little loose. I pulled them out, cleaned them and put Lock tight on them. This helped a lot. Many of the other parts that I replaced were in need given how hard I drive the truck, now with a full spool in the rear end its only gonna get worse. I think that at the end of th day, the Speedway vega box that i've been running for years (now I'm on #3) is a piece of shit. I'd like to find a manufacturer who builds high quality vega boxes that can take the abuse.

  4. #14
    Road Devil's National Officer LD39's Avatar
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    I have one on the shelf thats beat. The last time I got a price to get it rebuilt, it was almost as much as a new one. I'll try again and see how much it'll be. New they're around $450.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Caldwell View Post
    Yeah slop in the steering gearbox will definitely cause instabilities. Have you considered trying one of them Flaming River Vega boxes? I know they are a little pricy but they are advertised as American Made vs the typical Chinese junk that Speedway can sometimes sell.
    National Vice President ROAD DEVILS C.C. OHIO

  5. #15
    Road Devil's Member Rob Caldwell's Avatar
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    Flaming River has a brand new 16:1 quick ratio box that advertised as all American made for $650. Hahaha thats way too much money to throw at a steering gearbox though.

    Hell if i were in that situation I’d scour the salvage yards for a Vega box and rebuild it at the house and see if that made anything better...... Im a cheap ass though! Unless its a engine, I always overdo engines that i build.

    Quote Originally Posted by LD39 View Post
    I have one on the shelf thats beat. The last time I got a price to get it rebuilt, it was almost as much as a new one. I'll try again and see how much it'll be. New they're around $450.

  6. #16
    Road Devil's Member Rob Caldwell's Avatar
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    https://norfolk.craigslist.org/pts/d...336812551.html

    Hereís a new Vega box for 85$ if your interested. Itís a Flaming River unit too!

  7. #17
    Road Devil's National Officer LD39's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Caldwell View Post
    https://norfolk.craigslist.org/pts/d...336812551.html

    Here’s a new Vega box for 85$ if your interested. It’s a Flaming River unit too!

    Appreciate the find but I debate it being new. Look at the adjustment screw, it looks like its been run in and run back out. I'd like to find another manufacturer of these boxes that's not Chinese and not Flaming River, if possible....
    National Vice President ROAD DEVILS C.C. OHIO

  8. #18
    Road Devil's Member Rob Caldwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LD39 View Post
    Appreciate the find but I debate it being new. Look at the adjustment screw, it looks like its been run in and run back out. I'd like to find another manufacturer of these boxes that's not Chinese and not Flaming River, if possible....
    Hahaha no biggie, ill keep an eye out and if i see one ill post it up.

  9. #19
    Road Devil's Member Rodnz's Avatar
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    Hi LD39 , hey I'm a little late to the party here so I'll apologise if you've already got it sorted.
    I'm not familiar with your 39 but I'm gonna assume you're running a beam axle and a transverse Spring ?
    Couple things you might try , have a good look at Spring shackles and bushes ( I didn't see them mentioned in your list of new parts ) . Spring shackles need to be firm not loose but you don't want them binding either. Also take a look at the angle the shackles are sitting at when suspension is loaded approx 45 degrees is good .
    You mention caster angles, are you measuring 14-15 degrees of caster at the kingpins? You might try dialling it back to 7-8 .
    Caster is great for having the wheels " self centre " but if if you overdo it it can induce wheel " flop " - think of the
    Bicycles we all built as children with the big extended forks , much harder to ride " no hands " than your sisters new ten speed !
    One other thing to look at is shocks . The wobble you are experiencing can be induced at low speed by a bump under one wheel or even a bump under one and then the other a split second after ( crossing train tracks at a slight angle ) . If your shocks are tired you can get a situation where one wheel " hops up" then as it comes down it will induce the wobble because when contacts the road again that tiny bit of toe in we all run is creating a whip effect through the tie rod . Decent shocks can help to stop the initial hop of the wheel and that then avoids the whipping effect.

    Sincerely Hope some of this helps LD .
    Rod.
    Last edited by Rodnz; 01-16-2018 at 04:10 AM.

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