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Old 06-22-2007, 09:40 AM   #1
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Alignment / Balance Question

Hey guys,

I recently bought a 02 Jeep wrangler with 23k miles. First off... I love it.. I have had nothing but enjoyment driving it since i bought it.
It has a lift kit ( I'm not sure how high) it has cooper 33's on it and non factory rims. TThe tires look new, The lift kit says something about nascar racing? It appears to have the factory stabilyzer bar.

I have noticed a little play and a slight shake (death wobble?) in it however at random times. I can be going 40 mhp or 60mhp. I want to get a proper alignment and balance but I do not know what to ask for. Is there a certain alignment and balance as far as jeep spec's go? I know this sounds really dumb but I have been doing a lot of reading on this issue and everyone talks about getting a "proper jeep spec alignment" toe-in and all sorts of stuff...

If some of you more knowledgable folks would share some advice I'd appreciate it.

Thanks in advance for any help! I will provide pictures if it helps?

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Old 06-22-2007, 10:56 AM   #2
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:01 PM   #3
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Depends on what is already installed. Toe is adjustable from the factory. To Adjust Caster you will need an excentric added to the lower control arms. To adjust the Camber you will need adjustable Ball joints, about 130 dollars each last time I looked. I would ask for a tire balance and an alignment check, and have the tech check over your front end really good and make sure you have no bent wheels.
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:12 PM   #4
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Thanks for the response. I took it to the dealer where I purchased and they gave me this answer "well the shake is from having a lift kit, its normal" I know better and I'm going back to speak with them today.

Does it appear to be a bushing worn out on top of the pitman arm in the last couple pictures? I'm not sure what its supposed to look like.
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:17 PM   #5
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Not at a point where I can look at my 02 but If I remember clearly that is a dust seal for the steering box. I have a wobble also that is cause by a few things. A bent wheel and worn out front end. Your rig looks like it has been wheeled a bit so I would lay odds on either of those causes for you also. The lift could cause A vibration from the driveshaft angle but Rancho kits are pretty good about not vibrating when installed right.
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Old 06-22-2007, 02:31 PM   #6
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The shakes hit my jeep at about 35 mph... but at random. Each time its been at that speed however.

I'm hoping its in the alignment / balance of the tires.
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Old 06-22-2007, 02:41 PM   #7
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always at 35 mph? and if you go faster the shaking disappears?
i had the same problem. after balancing the tires it was gone.
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Old 06-22-2007, 02:48 PM   #8
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Well personally I don't think you need that drop pitman arm on there. See the relationship in your picture of the arm that connects to the pitman arm and then the arm behind it? That's the trac-bar and those two should be as parallel as possible to have the best steering response.

Does your wheel tend to jump one way or the other when you hit bumps at speed?

Oh, and your lift kit is by a company called Rancho (As seen from your lower control arm) I can't tell if those are the fixed lowers or not. Probably either a 3 inch or 4 inch kit though I would imagine. Looks like you have Rancho 5000 shocks also because I can't see the adjustment knobs that would be on a 9000.
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Old 06-22-2007, 03:28 PM   #9
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Thanks a bunch guys...

Yes always at 35 i've noticed and if i slow down or speed up it goes away. I'm taking it to a tire and alignment shop right now.

I'm also gonna have them inspect the:
bushings on traction arm
idler arm and pitman arm
tyrod ends
caster adjustments
LCA torque settings?
callipers on the brakes
gearbox
shimmy shock?
panhard rod?

all of these things have been said to cause this issue...

Yes, I've noticed that if i hit a bump "sometimes" it kinda darts to one side.

Any help is appreciated! Thanks a bunch for the replies
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:44 PM   #10
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UPDATE *****

I took the jeep to the tire / alignment shop. They balanced my tires and the shaking at 35mph went away. I still think I'm going to to get a steering stablizer.

I had the mechanic check the front end and he said that nothing else looked too bad. He did say that with the lift it is hard to get the steering wheel aligned so that it is straight and not turned a little one way or another. He pointed out that the front end should be straight across and with the lift it kida was like an upside down v shape. That was the alignment part with the steering wheel. He did not give any advice on how to correct other than taking the lift kit out and putting stock wheels on it.

Anyway, right now the shaking is gone. We will see how long it lasts. Thanks for all the posts and comments. If you guys have any suggestions for me as far as my jeep / front end feel free to post here. I'm not very mechanically oriented but I do take direction well

Thanks again!
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:50 PM   #11
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i´ll send you a PM how to correct the steering wheel. don´t want to post pics out of a manual...
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:59 PM   #12
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Thanks so much!
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1BLKJP View Post
Well personally I don't think you need that drop pitman arm on there.

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Old 06-22-2007, 10:15 PM   #14
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the CAs look like a 4" rancho rockcrawler suspension.
i would install a DPA with all lifts above 3-4"...
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:41 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by nicolas-eric View Post
i would install a DPA with all lifts above 3-4"...
That would just likely cause bump steer. While '95 and older Jeeps generally need dropped Pitman arms for nearly any lift height, the TJ has an improved steering geometry where a DPA isn't needed very darned often. It's like uber-tall like 6" or taller when a dropped trackbar has also been installed when a DPA is usually needed. I ran a 5.5" RockKrawler lift without a DPA for years but then had to finally install a DPA when I installed a 4.5" RE long-arm kit when I also installed a new front trackbar that had a dropped upper mount.

The trackbar and drag link must remain parallel so they both must be the same... either be dropped or undropped. Dropping one without dropping the other will just cause bump steer on a '97 or newer TJ.
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Old 06-22-2007, 11:08 PM   #16
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One last thing 007.....My TJ is a 97.... Look at the Power Steering Fluid Level First!!!!! Then Remove one side of the Steering Dampner and feel for play and if There is no Gas or Oil. Then occording to Haynes or Klymer manual Check tire pressure and balance by rotating front to back. Last but not least if you still have problem, Upper or lower ball joints or tie rod ends.

I have a very similiar problem.

GOOD LUCK

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