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Old 04-23-2014, 08:36 PM   #1
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Has Anybody Ever Seen the Elusive OFFSET BALL JOINT??

So my 2013, bone stock JKU has pulled significantly to the right since two weeks into ownership, currently at 12,000 miles. Early on the dealership confirmed they could not align it and that it needed offset ball joints. Well, MOPAR is back ordered, can't get aftermarket, Blaise Blaise blah...

Fast forward to now, two free alignments later, no parts in sight, alignment out again, and Chrysler Cair did nothing.

Is there such a thing as an offset ball joint?!

The dealership was saying something like they could put a spot weld on the lower control arm to prevent the drifting, not quite sure what that will do but it sounds mildly like voodoo and snake oil.

My next step is to reopen the Chrysler Cair case and demand it fixed anywhere, anyhow.

Thoughts anybody?

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Old 04-23-2014, 09:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Milspec1 View Post
So my 2013, bone stock JKU has pulled significantly to the right since two weeks into ownership, currently at 12,000 miles. Early on the dealership confirmed they could not align it and that it needed offset ball joints. Well, MOPAR is back ordered, can't get aftermarket, Blaise Blaise blah...

Fast forward to now, two free alignments later, no parts in sight, alignment out again, and Chrysler Cair did nothing.

Is there such a thing as an offset ball joint?!

The dealership was saying something like they could put a spot weld on the lower control arm to prevent the drifting, not quite sure what that will do but it sounds mildly like voodoo and snake oil.

My next step is to reopen the Chrysler Cair case and demand it fixed anywhere, anyhow.

Thoughts anybody?
Haven't come across that one, but recently had a 4 wheel alignment and I was talking to the tech about what happens when your rear is out and there is eccentric bolts available to nudge the axle into place. If the back is out far enough for sure they couldn't properly line up all 4. Maybe this is what they're talking about?

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Old 04-23-2014, 09:49 PM   #3
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Haven't come across that one, but recently had a 4 wheel alignment and I was talking to the tech about what happens when your rear is out and there is eccentric bolts available to nudge the axle into place. If the back is out far enough for sure they couldn't properly line up all 4. Maybe this is what they're talking about?
Now that's interesting, so you're saying that the possibility exists that the back could be out slighty from the axle which would prevent the front caster from perfectly aligning? What would cause the back axle to be out, a factory defect? Or simple wear and tear?
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:03 PM   #4
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Now that's interesting, so you're saying that the possibility exists that the back could be out slighty from the axle which would prevent the front caster from perfectly aligning? What would cause the back axle to be out, a factory defect? Or simple wear and tear?
I'm not sure, but it would be good to know if we're on the same page at least
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Milspec1 View Post
So my 2013, bone stock JKU has pulled significantly to the right since two weeks into ownership, currently at 12,000 miles. Early on the dealership confirmed they could not align it and that it needed offset ball joints. Well, MOPAR is back ordered, can't get aftermarket, Blaise Blaise blah...

Fast forward to now, two free alignments later, no parts in sight, alignment out again, and Chrysler Cair did nothing.

Is there such a thing as an offset ball joint?!

The dealership was saying something like they could put a spot weld on the lower control arm to prevent the drifting, not quite sure what that will do but it sounds mildly like voodoo and snake oil.

My next step is to reopen the Chrysler Cair case and demand it fixed anywhere, anyhow.

Thoughts anybody?
Spot weld? Maybe they should install a new control arm.....

Something isn't right - mine drives straight like its on rails. Have you rotated the tires every 5-6K miles?

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Old 04-23-2014, 10:07 PM   #6
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Spot weld? Maybe they should install a new control arm..... Something isn't right - mine drives straight like its on rails. Have you rotated the tires every 5-6K miles? .
I have indeed. I know, first it's a mythical offset ball joint then some wacky spot weld that's supposed to prevent some type of movement, seriously. Would the bad pulling constitute a safety concern. I'm trying to plan my next move when I call Chrysler back.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:12 PM   #7
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I have indeed. I know, first it's a mythical offset ball joint then some wacky spot weld that's supposed to prevent some type of movement, seriously. Would the bad pulling constitute a safety concern. I'm trying to plan my next move when I call Chrysler back.
Thinking back on when my rig was on the machine, it's possible the eccentric I mentioned was the ball joint and not just a bolt, that would make total sense. Why it would be so hard to buy is another thing
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:24 PM   #8
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I have indeed. I know, first it's a mythical offset ball joint then some wacky spot weld that's supposed to prevent some type of movement, seriously. Would the bad pulling constitute a safety concern. I'm trying to plan my next move when I call Chrysler back.
Early XJ's were bad about pulling to the right. There was rumor Jeep had difficulty with mounting and welding the front lower control arms square with the rear axle - they have a forward and back adjustment to square the front axle with the rear.

With all the JK Jeeps I've heard about sagging 1" in the front passenger side, it wouldn't surprise me they have frames and suspension mounts that are skewed and out of tolerance.

Have the frame checked at a frame shop..

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Old 04-23-2014, 10:40 PM   #9
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Early XJ's were bad about pulling to the right. There was rumor Jeep had difficulty with mounting and welding the front lower control arms square with the rear axle - they have a forward and back adjustment to square the front axle with the rear. With all the JK Jeeps I've heard about sagging 1" in the front passenger side, it wouldn't surprise me they have frames and suspension mounts that are skewed and out of tolerance. Have the frame checked at a frame shop.. .
Makes sense, so let's say I have it looked at by a third party and they definitively identify and quote a fix, is it safe to assume that could be a starting point for a dealership to fix?... being that it's well under warranty
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:00 PM   #10
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Is everything ok with your steering stabilizer?
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:01 PM   #11
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Is everything ok with your steering stabilizer?
Yes, I think SS issues cause a pull to the left. But it was checked as a possibility.
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:17 PM   #12
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Makes sense, so let's say I have it looked at by a third party and they definitively identify and quote a fix, is it safe to assume that could be a starting point for a dealership to fix?... being that it's well under warranty
Yes... if the frame as issues I would ask Chrysler for buy back. I did that with my 2005 Toyota Land Cruiser.

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Old 04-23-2014, 11:51 PM   #13
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There is off-set joints. Mostly used to correct camber and a bent C.


I know one member who runs uppers and lowers which tweaked his caster separation. So far he's happy with the caster bump and not affecting pinion angle. The only concern was how long the joints would last and their strength.
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:54 PM   #14
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Tweaked control arms/mounts could show in thrust angle and cross caster (caster side to side)
Do you have a alignment sheet ?
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:30 AM   #15
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Tweaked control arms/mounts could show in thrust angle and cross caster (caster side to side) Do you have a alignment sheet ?
Of course the dealership hasn't given me one sheet of anything for the numerous visits, but would it be safe to say they must have a record of the alignments and should be able to furnish them? Or at least a record of what labor they performed under warranty?
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:24 AM   #16
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Spot weld on a factory, non adjustable, control arm. Run, and find yourself another dealer if this is what they are suggesting. It is laughable at best. What are they going to do, weld it to the Control arm mount so you have no flex at all. Ridiculous.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:55 AM   #17
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I have indeed. I know, first it's a mythical offset ball joint then some wacky spot weld that's supposed to prevent some type of movement, seriously. Would the bad pulling constitute a safety concern. I'm trying to plan my next move when I call Chrysler back.
Yes, that's the card I played with Toyota... first you need to locate the exact reason its pulling. If you find the suspension mounts are welded on the frame out of tolerance then Chrysler should buy their junk back.

In my case, the welds on the stand offs in the boxed frame were coming apart and they won't allow a dealer to weld a frame in the field. Therefore Toyota wanted to swap out the frame on my Land Cruiser and fix it under warranty - that's when the war started.

I wouldn't back off ... with all those service visits your Jeep has on record its now considered a problem child. That's the first thing I look at on a used/new vehicle.. the number of service visits it has on record. Huge red flag and will diminish the value especially if the dispositions are non-repairable.

Have to live with it? I wouldn't accept that...

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Old 04-24-2014, 11:04 AM   #18
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Wow, well I've just opened another CAIR case and it's going straight to a case manager. Thus far, I could apply for lemon law in Texas but really don't want to, however I've made it clear it's a safety concern and will not go back to that first dealer. They're going to pull all the records, so hopefully I'll get somewhere now.

I have a feeling something may be out of tolerance, will be going to another dealer for diagnosis.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:32 AM   #19
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Ask for a sheet. Wouldn't you have a right to see it ?
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:28 PM   #20
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Following this as I have the same problem. They told me that the driver side caster was slightly out of spec but it is not adjustable and the pull "is no more than road crown". I disagree...

Obviously adjustable control arms would fix, but...
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:35 PM   #21
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Following this as I have the same problem. They told me that the driver side caster was slightly out of spec but it is not adjustable and the pull "is no more than road crown". I disagree... Obviously adjustable control arms would fix, but...
Caster is not always the same side to side.
Some manufactures have your CA's set a bit longer on the right to combat road crown.
Do you have your specs ?
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:36 PM   #22
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Following this as I have the same problem. They told me that the driver side caster was slightly out of spec but it is not adjustable and the pull "is no more than road crown". I disagree...

Obviously adjustable control arms would fix, but...
The plot thickens. Well they tried to pull the whole "road crown" bit at first until they drove it and saw how horribly out of aligned it really was. I'm actually planning this weekend to get my Dad's GoPro and find a nice flat parking lot and the left land of the freeway, and make a few videos to evidence how bad it's gotten. On the freeway is no joke, the steerwheel is cocked to the left just to make it go straight, and letting go for a moment will drift halfway into another lane.

Anyway, I'll be sure to keep everybody posted as this progresses.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:46 PM   #23
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Caster is not always the same side to side.
Some manufactures have your CA's set a bit longer on the right to combat road crown.
Do you have your specs ?
When I get the spec sheets from the Dealership, what specifically should I look for?....are there generic or stock specs that are uniform across other JKU's? In fact, the last alignmnent, I think they adjusted the driver side caster to try and counter pull it back to the left......or something like that. Still pulls right is all I know.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:47 PM   #24
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Your steering wheel is obviously not centered.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:54 PM   #25
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When I get the spec sheets from the Dealership, what specifically should I look for?....are there generic or stock specs that are uniform across other JKU's?

Here's a basic alignment printout with jk specs.
Doesn't matter 2 door or 4 door.

Caster = 3.7 to 4.7
Camber .06 to 0.1
Toe = ..09 to .0.12 (in)
Steer ahead should be 0

Toe needs to set (tie rod) with the wheels straight ahead and Steering wheel locked. Then steering wheel set straight using the drag link.
Caster is last but not adjustable.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:58 PM   #26
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Until you look at the frame measuring points against the factory specs/tolerances you'll probably just resort to haggling back and forth with dealers and Chrysler - they can blame anything they wish.

I went through this with Toyota but they couldn't or wouldn't show me the stated tolerances.

A frame shop should have access to those specs.

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Old 04-24-2014, 01:10 PM   #27
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Here's a basic alignment printout with jk specs.
Doesn't matter 2 door or 4 door.

Caster = 3.7 to 4.7
Camber .06 to 0.1
Toe = ..09 to .0.12 (in)
Steer ahead should be 0

Toe needs to set (tie rod) with the wheels straight ahead and Steering wheel locked. Then steering wheel set straight using the drag link.
Caster is last but not adjustable.
Thank you for the peripheral, that is helpful. So I'm reading your page here: Jeep Jk, Caster and lifting.
regarding measuring caster angle, would it behoove me to measure my caster angle and identify if it's within tolerance as you mention above? If so, what is the calculation after you measure the pinion flange, and back of the pumpkin? Simply add the two angle numbers to obtain 6°?
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:11 PM   #28
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Until you look at the frame measuring points against the factory specs/tolerances you'll probably just resort to haggling back and forth with dealers and Chrysler - they can blame anything they wish.

I went through this with Toyota but they couldn't or wouldn't show me the stated tolerances.

A frame shop should have access to those specs.

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Looking for a frame shop now....So one of these shops should knwo what the stock specs are and for all intents and purposes be able to verify if there's a frame issue?
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:20 PM   #29
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Looking for a frame shop now....So one of these shops should knwo what the stock specs are and for all intents and purposes be able to verify if there's a frame issue?
Yes they should.. I believe the last time I looked, I have those specs for my XJ in my service manuals.

The body shops that fix frames need to have access to the specs for frame repairs.

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Old 04-24-2014, 01:41 PM   #30
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Pinion angle is just that ... Pinion angle. From pinion will give you caster.
Total between the two is 6*

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