Four Wheel Steer Kit Installation

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Chuck W.
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Four Wheel Steer Kit Installation

Post by Chuck W. » Sun Feb 22, 2009 2:02 pm

PART 1

Richard T. had asked Rod to install a four wheel steer kit on his A5 mule. Rod asked me to help, and we thought it would be a good opportunity to document the process.

Phil B., Rod N., owner Richard T, and I all met at Rod's mule barn Saturday morning. Rod's dad, Bobby, supervised the group! We started about 9:00 a.m. and finished up about 2:30 p.m.

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We removed the rear wheels, axle nuts and hubs. See the tutorial on dust boot replacement which explains how to remove the axle nut lock pins.

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Next step was to remove the non-steerable drop housings from the rear axle.

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The covers can be a little tough to get off the dowels, go slow and take your time, don't break anything!

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Watch the axle drive gear when you remove the housing, don't let it fall on your toe!

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Here's the inside of the drop axle cover.

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And here's the inside of the drop axle.

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Time for lots of gasket scraping. These gaskets are tough, so be sure to remove all traces of the old gasket.

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Cleaning and inspecting the bearings.

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We found one inner race bad.

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But since the inner and outer races are the same, we were able to use one from the old housings.

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Inspect and grease the needle bearings.

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In our case, we needed to reuse several parts from the old 2-ws hubs. This shows removing the wheel bearing.

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Here are the parts we will be reusing; the wheel bearing and lock ring, the drive gear and idler gear, and the axle spacer.

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The old wheel bearings are installed into the steerable knuckles.

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And the spiral lock rings are installed.

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A new gasket is installed.

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And the new cover is installed. We had some trouble here, sharp eyes will notice that the dowel pins are in the axle housing and also in the cover! It took us a few minutes to figure this out! Install several nuts and bolts and then check the clearance on the axle drive gear. This procedure is described in TM 9-2320-246-34 on page 5-22 and should not be skipped.

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Once the correct clearances have been acheived, it's time to install the cover for the last time. A good coat of gasket sealer...

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And install all the lockwashers, nuts and bolts.

We'll continue the installation in the next post.
Last edited by Chuck W. on Sun Feb 22, 2009 2:48 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Chuck W.
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Post by Chuck W. » Sun Feb 22, 2009 2:39 pm

PART 2

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Once the new covers are installed, follow the tutorial on dust boot replacement to finish installing the knuckles, hubs and axles.

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We used the bellcrank to establish the correct location and then used a transfer punch to locate the bottom left hole location.

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We used a long 5/16" drill bit to drill the hole. Note the stop collar on the bitt to limit the depth of the hole, and the level to keep the bitt strait. Also note the anxious expression on the owner's face as we drill holes in his transmission case!

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First hole complete.

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Here, Bobby, Rod's dad, is using a 3/8"-16 tap to thread the holes. He used a starter tap first, and then came back with a bottom tap to finish the hole. It's important to note that the threads in the aluminum housing should be coarse, not fine. (Thanks to TGA for reminding me!)

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The bell crank was installed with the first bolt and then the remaining 3 holes were drilled, again using the stop collar to control the depth of the hole. The top two holes must be drilled at a slight angle, or else the frame tube must be removed. Once all the holes were drilled, the bell crank was removed and all holes were taped.

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A crow's foot wrench is great for getting these bolts tight. Notice, too, that we used thread lock compount on all the bolt threads.

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Next, we installed the rear tie rods. Prior to this, we had taken the tie rod ends out of the rods and cleaned and anti-seized the threads os that the wheel adjustment would be easier.

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The tube and clevis assembly that goes from the front axle bell crank to the tow bar bracket must be changed. This is where the steering control rod will connect.

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The front end of the steering control rod is installed. The pin used here should be a ball lock pin so it can be removed easily to shift back to 2-wheel steer.

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The rear of the steering control rod is attached to the rear bell crank with a pin and cotter pin.

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We used a string around all four wheels to to measure the wheel and steering alignment.

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Here Rod uses a pipe wrench to adjust the tie rods, and the critical eye of the owner makes sure all 4 wheels are in proper alignment.

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One happy camper!

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One remaining job is to fabricate and install a bracket on the right frame tube so the steering control rod can be pined to shift back to 2-wheel steer.

Thanks to Phil, who we now call Idler Gear, for taking the photos, and to Richard, for not killing us when we started drilling holes in his transmission case. Special thanks to Rod and Bobby, good friends who make this hobby so much fun!
Last edited by Chuck W. on Wed May 06, 2015 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rod
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Post by Rod » Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:53 pm

Chuck,

I enjoyed the fellowship of the Guys at my place Saturday. Since this was the 1st 4 wheel steer kit installation we had done we took our time.

What also helped was the orange mule lift that could be adjusted to the proper height depending on what needs to be done.


Next up - Prep and paint Tennessee Todd's mule

After that - Restore another of my mules which has been waiting patiently in the barn for the last 18 months. This needs to be done before the end of May is Chuck, Dad & I are going to take 4 mules to the MV ralley at Huntsville.


We will let Phil explain how he got the nickname "Idler Gear".
I want to live life, til the day I die.

One Big Ass Mistake America

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Post by PBragg » Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:06 pm

Okay Moe. I guess it's my time up to bat! Nyuk Nyuk!

Here is the deal. I got elected "camera man" on this project. As my hands never got that dirty but I think I get an "A" for these very nice detailed photos (thanks to Chuck's auto everything camera).

This project was a blast! A truly enjoyable Saturday with fellow Mule skinners.
Phil Bragg

2-1968 M274A5s
10-circa 1957 M274 Banthrico promo models
J. Sommer 1/6 scale RC Mule

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Post by xfootdoc » Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:15 pm

Could you please tell me what size and make of tires are on the mule you were working on? By the way you make all this work look effortless. ...Alan


Chuck W.
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Post by Chuck W. » Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:51 pm


atavuss
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Post by atavuss » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:11 pm

great post guys! sure looks like a good time was had by all!
a few years ago when I checked on the price of a 4 wheel steer kit I was quoted "about 500.00" from Mr. Watson and Mr. Kelone. is the price more now does anyone know?
Ed
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Gov't Mule
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4 Wheel Steer

Post by Gov't Mule » Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:05 am

Thanks for the tutorial. I've just aquired an A5 and was thinking that might be a fun project down the road. Is any body putting together a 4WS Kit or did you just piece it together? Also how deep are the holes in the tranny case?
Thanks again, Sully

Chuck W.
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Post by Chuck W. » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:46 am

I know Bill Watson and David Kelone offer 4WS kits, not sure about MMA. If I remember correctly, bottom holes are 1" and top holes are 3/4"....Rod or Richard can correct me on this.

I think an A5 with a 4-WS kit is the ultimate mule.

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4WS Turning radius

Post by Gov't Mule » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:52 am

Thanks Chuck,
It sure would turn a lot more responsive with 4WS. Does any one have the turning radius numbers for 2 & 4WS?
Thanks, Sully

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clinto
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Post by clinto » Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:45 pm

I would like to say how much I have enjoyed the in-depth tutorials you have done, with the seals and now this. Outstanding!

Thank you for taking the time to document it with all of the pictures.
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Post by muleman » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:55 pm

I just want the community at large to know what a great job Rod, Chuck, Bobby and Phil performed on the 4WS conversion on my mule. The steering capability is now supreme. The kit used was put together by Bill Watson. A good time was had by all and I love the outcome.

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Post by Chuck W. » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:15 am

Does any one have the turning radius numbers for 2 & 4WS?
2 wheel steer: Right - 38' 0" Left - 44' 5"

4 wheel steer: Right - 21' 4" Left - 23' 4"

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Post by Gov't Mule » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:37 am

Thanks for the turning radius #'s. Still waiting on some parts to get mine
running. Once that happens 4WS is on the top of the list for upgrades.
As a new owner I'm impressed with the mule community. It's been extremely helpful reading the " how to" posts. Keep up the good work, you guy's Rock!

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Have you tried a right angle drill

Post by jinx » Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:18 am

Thought about a right angle drill and a screw machine drill bit. The bits are supper short.You can get them from MSC,Grainger, or EMCO.
Called and ordered a 4 wheel steer kit yesterday and your post sealed the deal about getting one. 1/2 the turning Dia. would be great in the woods/swamp here in Ga. :)
The wife is gonna' KILL me when she sees the bill! :shock:

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