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Old 10-22-2010, 08:32 AM   #1
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Caster problem, what do you guys think?

hi guys,

I just swapped out my 2 inch BB for a set of OME springs and I had the TJ aligned last night and they couldn't get the caster set right. It is at 4.9 degrees right now and the TJ feels horrible on the road. It is very darty and the wheel does not return to center. My caster cam bolts are at their max so I can't get more caster adjustment than 4.9 degrees. What is my next solution? adjustable lower control arms? bigger cam bolts?.. just so you know, my suspension set up is OME springs and shocks and everything else is stock, no adjustable track bar etc. I don't have any vibrations, but I can't stand how the jeep handles. it feels unsafe since I can't make small steering inputs without it darting from side to side. thanks for the help.

dan

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Old 10-22-2010, 08:41 AM   #2
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one more thought... would adding t-case spacers change my caster angle since it is lowering the pinion angle and possibly rotating the axle a little bit??

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Old 10-22-2010, 09:32 AM   #3
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Adjustable arms - either upper or lower.

A t-case drop will not change the position of the axle.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:35 AM   #4
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Check your toe-in, that 4.9 degree caster angle isn't off enough to cause that problem. No dropped Pitman arm right?
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:54 AM   #5
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Hi Jerry, the toe is 0.22 degrees and 0.21 degrees, so I have a little toe out... on the report that is at the top end of the stock toe range... and no, I don't have a dropped pitman arm. Maybe the steering geometry is off due to the stock pitman arm?
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:26 PM   #6
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I just spoke to the guys at Quadratec (they are in my back yard here in West Chester) and they suggested that my camber is way too far out. So, I am going to adjust it myself this weekend and see if that helps the problem
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:31 PM   #7
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How are you going to adjust your camber?
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:57 PM   #8
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when you change camber you change toe due to the angle of the knuckles. you should be toe'd in 1/16 to 1/8". thats 0.25 degrees total cross toe. you adjust toe at the tie-rod. you'll need to recenter the steering wheel at the drag link turnbuckle.

to get more caster back, if the cam bolts are maxed out, you'll need adjustable lower control arms. i recommend Rokmen...Rokmen Gear Up....Rok On.

if CAMBER is the problem, you'll need to replace the ball joints. they make offset ball joints to correct camber problems. you should be within +/-1 deg of 0 on both sides. if its off A LOT (like more than 2 deg per side) the axle housing is probably bent.

i run 6.5 deg caster with 33s on a HP D30, drives very nicely.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:00 PM   #9
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sorry guys... I meant that I need to adjust my toe. I have camber adjustments on my brain since I just adjusted the camber on my Evo (negative 1.8 degrees up front!, auto-x set up)... Anyway, just like posted above, Quadratec recommended 1/8" in for toe, and right now I am at 0.5 degrees total out. I decided not to buy lower control arms since Jerry, and the guys at quadratec said that 4.9 degrees is not enough to cause the steering problem I am having. Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:02 PM   #10
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I could see a toe out condition making the front dart right then left for sure.An easy fix .....
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:33 PM   #11
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Correct the toe-in, .15 degrees is where it should be. Or measuring it between the tire's treads, 1/16" to 1/8" closer together in front than in the rear.
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:49 PM   #12
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Just got new wheels/tires and had an alignment done... The service guy told me I needed an offset ball joint to correct the Caster on the driver side. I have no experience with alignment and have a couple of questions:
1) Is an offset ball joint necessary in this situation?
2) Is this something I can easily replace myself and then align after?
3) Is replacement with an offset ball joint a trial-and-error procedure, or can I order the correct part the first time?

I yield the floor to the knowledgable....
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:57 PM   #13
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That guy is crazy and/or doesn't know what he is talking about. I just looked at your aligment numbers and there's not a thing wrong with either of your caster angles. It's right where it should be and the slight difference between the sides is normal and supposed to be there.

In fact, the bigger the tires, the less caster angle you want and the bigger the lift with the OE control arms, the less caster angle you'll have.
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Old 10-23-2010, 06:04 PM   #14
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Well that is definitely a relief... He told me to watch my tire wear "carefully..." I need to learn to do my own alignment.
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
That guy is crazy and/or doesn't know what he is talking about.
Did you read where the alignment was done?
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Old 10-24-2010, 11:06 AM   #16
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those alignment specs are fine dude.

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