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Old 03-04-2009, 03:46 PM   #1
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Question for you mechanics out there......

I just got done speaking on the phone with a local mechanic here in my parents' town of residence. I was wanting him to align my front end before I undertake my move to southern California from central Kansas. It's not badly out of alignment, I just want to be proactive instead of reactive. I'm big on maintenance. Anyways, he said that with my lift and tires, he can't align the front end because the lift will need new alignment specs, that the stock alignment specs won't work. Is this the case? I have a Full Traction lift. I keep ALL paperwork and receipts regarding my vehicles and have read the (meager) instructions and paperwork that accompanied the lift and there is NOTHING stated about having new specs for a front end alignment. Who here has heard of this? Wouldn't the caster and camber be the same for bigger tires/lift as it would be for stock? You're not aligning the front end at full droop, it's at rest on a lift. I don't think the mechanic wants to do the alignment and that he's blowing me off. His parking lot is full and he's currently understaffed and I think this is his way of telling me he can't align my junk before I leave next Thursday.

Opinions?

I plan on taking it to an offroad shop as soon as I get settled into my house in Redondo and getting a full check-up for the WF Meet and Greet on the 27th.

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Old 03-04-2009, 03:49 PM   #2
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Well how bad is it? You can do it yourself with a few simple tools. Level, tools to loosen the bolts up top. Jack it up and slide the tires in and out until the are were you want them then tighten them back up. I have the instructions to do it and so does Jerry on here. I just have to find them, the run down I gave was a general not to specs lol

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Old 03-04-2009, 03:52 PM   #3
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Well, first read this post:
Basic Jeep Front End Alignment

Then, only a few questions;

1. Is the jeep pulling or fighting you driving down the road?
2. Are the tires wearing nice and even or are you scuffing the edges off rapidly?
3. Is there anything that's happened to the jeep to require an alignment?

If no is the answer above, I'd just follow the procedure in the link to check it yourself and call it good.
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:27 PM   #4
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Hey wait a minute when are you not fighting your jeep going down the road? lol
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:39 PM   #5
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uh, never.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:15 PM   #6
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The toe-in and camber angle spec does not change from having a suspension lift added. The only thing that should be changed a tad is your Caster angle which naturally gets reduced a tad by simply installing a suspension lift. However, with bigger tires, having a slightly reduced caster angle is actually what you want. For 33" tires, a Caster angle of about 5 to 5.5 degrees or so is about right. For 35" tires, a Caster angle of about 4.5 to 5 degrees is about right. The factory spec'd Caster angle is 6 to 8 degrees but that is only valid for stock size tires. The Caster angle is not super critical though, there is a range that you will be ok with so long as you have "enough" which means just don't be down in the 3-4 degree range.

Also, your camber angle is not adjustable the way the Jeep comes from the factory.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:41 PM   #7
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i'll go with all of jerry's statement, good info. and doing your alignment isn't a bad idea, good cheap insurance before a trip. when your tires start wearing funny, its too late, they don't wear back in.

sounds like that shop doesn't want to do it, which is stupid to me, in my shop, we're here to make money. someone calls me asking to do work, i say you got it. i have to try to sell people work their car needs, not them begging me to do work. find a real shop.
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:03 PM   #8
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Jerry I have to disagree on the point stating suspension lift doesn't alter toe in. I believe it does. Since the drag link/tie rod is connected to the frame and the frame has gotten further from the ground then it's naturally going to change toe unless one makes the proper adjustments of the drag link/tie rod.

Camber will not change and from my experience your numbers on Castor are pretty spot on also. Cave take a look at your pinion angle and you should be able to tell if your castor is correct. If you need more or less then you can run your uppers or lowers in or out depending on how much you need to go.
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:43 PM   #9
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Gotcha. Thanks, guys. I'm not fighting the Jeep any more than usual down the road, and the tires aren't wearing unevenly. The last time I had everything aligned was in May when I installed the lift. I've taken it offroad a bunch and just wanted to get everything ironed out before pulling a trailer loaded with $17k worth of motorcycle and all my stuff the 1500 miles to Redondo. I'm sure it'll be fine, and once I get it down there I'll take another look at it and see if I want someone to go through it.

I appreciate everyone's help here.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:24 PM   #10
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my memory is fuzzy on tj steering linkages, but yj and xj, the toe is changed by the tie rod link, from knuckle to knuckle. toe will not change. the steering wheel may. i did a 2" on my xj, and alignment did not change, i was suprised. i aligned it not very long before, and right after, no change.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1BLKJP View Post
Jerry I have to disagree on the point stating suspension lift doesn't alter toe in. I believe it does.
Yes you are absolutely correct that installing a suspension lift will most definitely alter/change the toe-in angle but it doesn't change the required toe-in angle specified by the factory. Restoring the toe-in to the factory specified toe-in angle after installing a suspension lift is all that needs to be done.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Yes you are absolutely correct that installing a suspension lift will most definitely alter/change the toe-in angle but it doesn't change the required toe-in angle specified by the factory. Restoring the toe-in to the factory specified toe-in angle after installing a suspension lift is all that needs to be done.
Right on Jerry, I think I was just mis-reading what you had typed.
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:31 PM   #13
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Hey guys I got an A.C question? The other day my air con. vent adjustment switch on my 2003 wrangler sport stopped working. I mean I was only getting air coming up through the windscreen demister and could not switch it to blow through the vents? The fan was working fine. I checked the relays and fuses which were all fine but when I tried the A.C again the fan went out as well? Now I have no fan and no vent adjustment switch? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated?

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