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Old 06-22-2014, 11:57 PM   #1
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lots of questions

Ok- I'm new to the jeep world, but not new to wrenching- give me a motor and I can take it apart with my eyes closed and put it back together

That being said...suspension is not my forte, and I just bought a 1999 2 door Sahara with a 4.5" lift on 32's and I am having some issues which leads to 1000 questions after reading around a bit.

so here we go:

1) The pinion angle is way off...probably 7-8 degrees atleast...What are my options for correcting this? I've read about adjustable control arms...Do I need both upper and lowers? or one or the other? Is there a downside to doing fixed arms to correct the issue? (aside from not being able to lift it higher later without redoing the bar?)

I want to correct this issue for as cheap as possible as the car is unstable especially at highway speeds and pretty wobbly at lower speeds. However, I still want to correct it properly.

2) How do I know if I have a transfer case drop? (All the work was done by the owner before the previous owner, I'm piecing together what is modded on this thing) My skid plate looks like it has 1" spacers on it, but I can't tell with regards to the transfer case?

3) I don't have an SYE on this car, which to my understanding with a 4.5" lift, I should... If I simply correct the pinion angle on the car- do I need to look into an SYE kit?

4) How the heck do you tell the gears in your jeep? My chevy's all have RPO codes in the glove box or on the door... I know I have LSD in the back because I wire wheeled the tag on the diff cover...does this mean LSD is up front as well? There aren't any tags up front...

5) My castor is wayyyy off (related to question 1) You can turn the wheel and pin the throttle and let go of the wheel and you will do circles all day long. Is there something different from question 1 that is needed to fix this? I think I read that castor is mainly adjustable by the lower control arms, but also by some sort of cam bolt?

Let's start with those questions and see where we end up before I start complicating things...

Much appreciation goes out to anyone willing to lend a few minutes on here helping me sort these issues...

My biggest problem is I am new to the jeep scene and I don't entirely know what is done to this jeep either...

Mike

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Old 06-23-2014, 12:56 AM   #2
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Im not an "expert" but I will give it a shot.

1) Fixed arms are what you already have (im guessing) Replacing them with fixed arms will not correct your pinion angle, you will need adjustable rear uppers to correct this.

2) Spacers on the skid plate indicate a TC drop.

3) You will need an SYE and DC driveshaft to remove the TC drop.

4) If you are unable to read the numbers on the tag for gear ratio, you can jack up the rear of the Jeep, turn the wheels one revolution and count the number of turns the drive shaft makes.

5) You would probably be better off getting adjustable lower front control arms, this will help you set the caster angle.

Like I said, Im no "expert" and Im sure others with more knowledge will chime in.

Hope this provides a good start for you.

Edit: Welcome to the wonderful world of Jeeps and WranglerForum

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Old 06-23-2014, 07:43 AM   #3
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he nailed it.

I recommend all 8 adjustable control arms. (I have Currie and love them. MetalCloak has good ones as well)

I also would like to point out that you should put a mark on your drive shaft before you start counting drive shaft revolutions.
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:05 AM   #4
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Awesome- thanks for the start

So as of right now with the TC drop, I don't need to go with an SYE? I can't afford to do arms and an SYE/Driveshaft at this point in time. There isn't much driveline vibration except for if you hammer the throttle off of a stop- which I don't do in this jeep anyways and I thin the majority of that vibration is the pinion angle fighting itself.

Quote:
Fixed arms are what you already have (im guessing) Replacing them with fixed arms will not correct your pinion angle, you will need adjustable rear uppers to correct this.
I know I have fixed arms, but I have read a little bit about fixed longer arms for guys with 4" lifts (I know I have 4.5") but I was just wondering on what the consensus is on that style of arm (I think it was a zone arm?)...obviously I know adjustable is better because you can dial everything in 100% but just wondering

2ndly, is there any information on what exact adjustments come out of the lower arms vs the upper arms? (I have searched other jeep forums and havent found much info, havent had a chance to search here yet as I have had some issues getting on this site as my anti-virus doesn't like it very much)

Also- if I have 3.73's out back, would I have 3.73's upfront? do they match the gears up like that or would it/can it be mismatched?

It was suggested on another forum that I do a 1" body lift and a 1" motor lift- is that something to consider if I am going to go ahead and get the control arms at this point? < Like I said earlier, I want to as cheap as possible correct the issues of this jeep / find out exactly what has been done / strategically begin prioritizing mods based on needs and performance...I hate just randomly throwing money at cars
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:50 AM   #5
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A 1" BL is not needed if you already have a 4.5" lift, unless you plan on running 35" tires at some point in time. You have plenty on your plate to worry about right now.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:19 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jquinn83 View Post
A 1" BL is not needed if you already have a 4.5" lift, unless you plan on running 35" tires at some point in time. You have plenty on your plate to worry about right now.
I think the body lift was suggested to clear the fan for the motor mount lift which was suggested to replace the TC drop. As far as tire clearance and what not, my understanding is the axles (stock) are much too weak to handle a 35" tire...plus I am new to offroading so I don't need to dive into something that deep just yet
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:01 PM   #7
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To answer your remaining question, yeah, the front and rear gear ratios would have to be the same.
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SolarColumbia View Post
To answer your remaining question, yeah, the front and rear gear ratios would have to be the same.
Sweet...feels good to check off this list as I go along.

Next dumb question...SYE kits are not all inclusive to my understanding, So Im guessing I need a new driveshaft as well- anything else to watch out for? Ive seen prices from 130$ - $500...
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:48 PM   #9
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Umm the front and rear axles should be the same which doesn't mean they are the same. An easy way to check is to lock it in 4 wheel drive and drive across a parking lot. If your gears are mismatched you will get a different turn ratio in front than in the back which should cause either front or rear tires to chirp.
I actually had a mechanic try to talk me into allowing him to put a different gearset in the front of a ford 4x4 I had once. He said as long as I drove it in dirt in 4 wheel drive it wouldn't make a difference. LOL!! I guess in a way he was correct.
Only reason I spoke up about mismatched gears is that people do some very dumb things so don't take anything for granted. Chances are your gears are matched if you havnt noticed any odd behavior when in 4 wheel drive yet.
Good luck with your Jeep
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mikhail2400 View Post
Umm the front and rear axles should be the same which doesn't mean they are the same. An easy way to check is to lock it in 4 wheel drive and drive across a parking lot. If your gears are mismatched you will get a different turn ratio in front than in the back which should cause either front or rear tires to chirp.
I actually had a mechanic try to talk me into allowing him to put a different gearset in the front of a ford 4x4 I had once. He said as long as I drove it in dirt in 4 wheel drive it wouldn't make a difference. LOL!! I guess in a way he was correct.
Only reason I spoke up about mismatched gears is that people do some very dumb things so don't take anything for granted. Chances are your gears are matched if you havnt noticed any odd behavior when in 4 wheel drive yet.
Good luck with your Jeep
No odd behaviour in 4x4, right now the only issues are slamming into gear D and R (reverse chirps the tires) it bangs so hard. But I have a feeling this is more to do with pinion angles being off...but I could be wrong?

I hear you that people do dumb things...amazes me sometimes...
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:09 AM   #11
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Like you im now owning my 1st Jeep so im also learning as I go. Also like you I have a mechanical background with a good bit of experience working on my own vehicles. An easy guess to why yours slams into D and R is idle speeds but with your back ground im sure this isn't it. I hope you find out why soon. (Pinion angle seems like a place to find vibration problems not gear slamming but im guessing) Any chance you have had problems with bearings or universal joints in the drive line?
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:58 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mikhail2400 View Post
Like you im now owning my 1st Jeep so im also learning as I go. Also like you I have a mechanical background with a good bit of experience working on my own vehicles. An easy guess to why yours slams into D and R is idle speeds but with your back ground im sure this isn't it. I hope you find out why soon. (Pinion angle seems like a place to find vibration problems not gear slamming but im guessing) Any chance you have had problems with bearings or universal joints in the drive line?
You would be suprised what bad pinion angles can cause- in my camaro we swapped a Ford 8.8 into the rear and I have an adjustable torque arm. You set the pinion angle to between 0 and -2 degrees...before we set the pinion angle you got a nasty clunk when going into gear, we've been playing with the pinion angle and got it much better, not it is a slightly different clunk is the only remaining piece, and that is because the spider gears in the posi are all chewed up

The jeep doesnt have an idle issue and the trans shifts smoothly in gear, it is just the initial engagement that bangs hard (which is why I am thinking pinion angle...especially becasue there is a major positive pinon angle on this truck.

As for bearing issues, yes, had them in the Ford 8.8...couple of leaky ones, but that was Mosers fault for giving me bad information (told me I didnt need inner seals with their Ford 9" bearings on the ends of the housing and that my housing must be warped...put the 3$ seals in and havent had an issue since!)

Driveshaft not so much, there were a few bugs when I had to switch the U-joint to match the Ford pinion flange, but I cant remember what the heck it was...
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Letzride View Post
You would be suprised what bad pinion angles can cause- in my camaro we swapped a Ford 8.8 into the rear and I have an adjustable torque arm. You set the pinion angle to between 0 and -2 degrees...before we set the pinion angle you got a nasty clunk when going into gear, we've been playing with the pinion angle and got it much better, not it is a slightly different clunk is the only remaining piece, and that is because the spider gears in the posi are all chewed up

The jeep doesnt have an idle issue and the trans shifts smoothly in gear, it is just the initial engagement that bangs hard (which is why I am thinking pinion angle...especially becasue there is a major positive pinon angle on this truck.

As for bearing issues, yes, had them in the Ford 8.8...couple of leaky ones, but that was Mosers fault for giving me bad information (told me I didnt need inner seals with their Ford 9" bearings on the ends of the housing and that my housing must be warped...put the 3$ seals in and havent had an issue since!)

Driveshaft not so much, there were a few bugs when I had to switch the U-joint to match the Ford pinion flange, but I cant remember what the heck it was...
Ill remember what you have said about pinion angles and the problems it can cause. Im lifting my jeep in the next weeks or so and any info I can get is welcome. Im sure there will be some vibration, wobble or squeak ill find after the lifts installed. Got to get a new camera so I can take pics of my ride and the changes I make to it. The pics will come in handy when im asking how come its doing so and so later on LOL. Good Luck with your gear slamming and problem solving. Have a good day!!!!
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:15 AM   #14
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Crazy things people do

Found this on another forum

I've heard through sketchy research that this setup will be fine for a while. My current axle ratios are 3.55 Front and 3.73 rear. I just did a D30HP swap and I couldn't find one in 3.73 to match. I want to do an 8.8 swap in the rear but I just cant afford it right away so I just want to do the front regear for now. I know for a fact that my current deal wont work. I heard that the front tires need to be spinning faster than the rears and they cant spin slower or the rears will just push the front causing issues. Anyways will I have issues with the 4.10s in the front or will it be fine?

Just so no one reads this and thinks its a good idea, ITS NOT!!!!!
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:52 AM   #15
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If you plan on keeping 32's and not spend more money on SYE, DS, etc...I would keep it simple and rid of that high lift and go conservative which would probably fix your issues. Go with a 2-2.5" SL coupled with a 1.25" BL and a MML. That way you will fix the driveline angles/issues,keep the rest of the parts stock and still have plenty of room for up to 33's. I don't know if throwing more money trying to fix a lift that was not put together properly would be a good idea.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:17 AM   #16
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If you plan on keeping 32's and not spend more money on SYE, DS, etc...I would keep it simple and rid of that high lift and go conservative which would probably fix your issues. Go with a 2-2.5" SL coupled with a 1.25" BL and a MML. That way you will fix the driveline angles/issues,keep the rest of the parts stock and still have plenty of room for up to 33's. I don't know if throwing more money trying to fix a lift that was not put together properly would be a good idea.
Thought about that to, but I kind of like the lift that is on it...I might downgrade to 31's as I have found a local price on some with lots of tread for cheap and they are A/T as opposed to the muds I have on right now. That relieves some budget for me, but ultimately and eventually, I would like to roll 33's or 35's (wayyy down the road)

Also, my other thoughts were, to get rid of the lift that is on it, I need to buy new shocks, or springs, etc right? I could sell what I have on it I suppose, but in the end, likely the same amount of money is going to be spent in buying some lower control arms.

In the end, the Jeep drives "decent" at the moment, so I think I can slowly (but kind of quickly) piece the other parts together.

Either way I go, I need to reverse engineer what was done to the jeep right? if I uninstall pieces, I need to know everything that was done, if I install pieces to correct issues, I still need to know what was done to better understand how to correct certain issues.

I'm still leaning towards fixing things though...I know how I got with my chevy...I'll only do exhaust work, make it sound good...then I went to the track, then the mod bug bit, then before you knew it I had the fastest N/A 6 cylinder F-body in Canada (and currently looking to hold the bolt on record for my LS)..when that bug bites, she's a B*tch!
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:53 AM   #17
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If the lift that is on it came as a kit, chances are that the rear (and front) lower control arms were replaced with after market fixed (longer) ones that came with the kit...Take some pictures and post them up. If that is the case, chances are there is nothing wrong with your rear pinion angle, and the vibe is a result of not enough t-case drop for the height of the lift. My original 4" lift had an 1 1/2" t-case drop. With a stock slip yoke drive shaft your rear pinion angle should be the same as your t-case angle, with a sye, the pinion and drive shaft angle should be about the same.

The right way to fix this is with a sye, double cardan drive shaft, 8 adjustable CA's, and an angled track bar bracket, but it is also the most expensive.

Lower front adjustable CA's would allow you to adjust your caster at least.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:17 AM   #18
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It will still be cheaper to get a new 2-2.5" SL/BL lift combo with shocks than spending more to fix your current one.(control arms, DS, SYE, etc..)
You have to also realize a 4.5" lift with 31's may look way too odd since 31's can be run on stock height. Nevertheless, if the PO went the frugal route with the lift, no telling how cheap the current lift is. What brand or lift is it?

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