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Old 08-07-2014, 03:59 PM   #1
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Specs fron my alignment. Help needed.

Hi all,

I got my TJ aligned yesterday. It has 3.5" SL with 1.25" BL. It has adjustable uppers and lowers front and rear. It has adjustable front and rear track bars.

The shop set my pinion angles and told me they are good.
they told me everything is good except my camber but my caster seems off to me. Please help me understand what if anything needs to be done. The shop says I need adjustable ball joints to fix my camber. They are new G2 axles front and rear. Here are the actual readings after the alignment...

Front left

Camber= minus 0.53 degrees
Caster= plus 2.86 degrees
Toe= plus 0.10 degrees

Front right

Camber= minus 0.88 degrees
Caster= plus 3.94 degrees
Toe= plus 0.10 degrees

Front

Cross camber= plus 0.34 degrees
Cross caster= minus 1.08 degrees
Total toe= plus 0.20 degrees

Rear

Cross camber= plus 0.06 degrees
Total toe= plus 0.09 degrees
Thrust angle= plus 0.01 degrees
Axle offset= plus 0.01 degrees

I know next to nothing when it comes to alignment readings. I've read a lot of stuff on it but I don't seem to understand more then before I read about it.

I know there a lot of you that know about this stuff.

Please let me know if any of this needs to be fixed.

Thanks, Fran

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Old 08-07-2014, 04:00 PM   #2
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Please use small words and type slow so I can understand.

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Old 08-07-2014, 04:03 PM   #3
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camber is fine.

caster is totally f'd. whoever set up the adjustable arms did nothing to ensure you have proper axle position.

you don't need "adjustable" ball joints, you just need to set up your axle position with what you already have. there's a sticky on this forum and plenty of info in my signature.
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:12 PM   #4
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If I adjust for caster wont it effect my front pinion angle?
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:28 PM   #5
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This makes me sick to my stomach!!! I just spent over $200 to get everything done right by who I was told be other Jeepers local to me was the place to go with a lifted Jeep. Everything is not right and I'm at a loss because I don't understand what right is. I followed the links in the signature and that is the same stuff I've been reading. I still don't understand it all. I can't seem to find anything black and white on this. It all seems to be shades of gray to me. I guess I'll just have to find another place run by so called Jeep experts and shell out another $200 and see if they do a better job.

Sorry for the rant but I'm just at a loss.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Fran View Post
This makes me sick to my stomach!!! I just spent over $200 to get everything done right by who I was told be other Jeepers local to me was the place to go with a lifted Jeep. Everything is not right and I'm at a loss because I don't understand what right is. I followed the links in the signature and that is the same stuff I've been reading. I still don't understand it all. I can't seem to find anything black and white on this. It all seems to be shades of gray to me. I guess I'll just have to find another place run by so called Jeep experts and shell out another $200 and see if they do a better job.

Sorry for the rant but I'm just at a loss.
You should take it back and have them fix it. The camber range for a TJ is -.88 to +.38 so you are within spec. on the camber. As UnlimitedLJ04 so eloquently put it, they messed you over on the CA set up (caster and axle position). Tell them to let someone that knows what they're doing set it up or refund your $'s.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:25 PM   #7
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I tried talking with them about it today but they insist they did it right and everything other then the camber is OK. It's hard to argue a point with them when I don't fully understand their explanation as to why they did what they did.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:18 PM   #8
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I tried talking with them about it today but they insist they did it right and everything other then the camber is OK. It's hard to argue a point with them when I don't fully understand their explanation as to why they did what they did.
this is why you do your own homework, learn wtf is going on, then set it up how you want it setup. they screwed you over, and they are no "experts". you would have been better off joining a local jeep club, having a "lift install party", and buying the beer & pizza for those helping you.

you have to understand the majority of shops just slap on the parts that are in the box with no real comprehension of what's going on. they don't have time...they just want to plug and chug.

if they cant set axle position correctly, then they haven't cycled the axle to determine proper bumpstop extension, brake line lengths, steering stops, tire clearances, etc.

that's why you get crap like track bars that bash into the diff and drop pitman arms that cause bumpsteer...and why their ignorant owners get a Jeep that behaves terrible after leaving the shop.

Read this: Lift Install & Suspension Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by Big Fran View Post
If I adjust for caster wont it effect my front pinion angle?
yup. part of setting proper axle position involves striking a compromise between pinion angle and caster. but the only thing your 3° compromises is driveability.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:31 PM   #9
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I installed the springs, shocks, arms, track bars, G2 axles front and rear, armor, rebuild and installed a rubicon 241 transfer case, drive shafts, UCF skids, UCF gas tank skid, body lift and motor mount lift. I set the arms to the dimensions I found online as a starting point. I did my homework. The only thing I can't do is the alignment.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:53 PM   #10
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If I use an angle finder and put it on my front axle where ever it fits well and take a reading of what it says it is. Then turn my arms until I add plus 3 degrees to what ever my reading was on my angle finder if I'm understanding this I could then add the plus 3 degrees of caster to the reading from the alignment shop.

This would take me from plus 2.86 degrees on the left front to plus 5.86 degrees and from plus 3.94 on the right front to plus 6.94.

Is this right? Would those readings be OK for caster?
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Fran View Post
I installed the springs, shocks, arms, track bars, G2 axles front and rear, armor, rebuild and installed a rubicon 241 transfer case, drive shafts, UCF skids, UCF gas tank skid, body lift and motor mount lift. I set the arms to the dimensions I found online as a starting point. I did my homework. The only thing I can't do is the alignment.
great job, you should be fully capable of setting up your axle position & caster just fine. you indeed can do the alignment.

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If I use an angle finder and put it on my front axle where ever it fits well and take a reading of what it says it is. Then turn my arms until I add plus 3 degrees to what ever my reading was on my angle finder if I'm understanding this I could then add the plus 3 degrees of caster to the reading from the alignment shop.

This would take me from plus 2.86 degrees on the left front to plus 5.86 degrees and from plus 3.94 on the right front to plus 6.94.

Is this right? Would those readings be OK for caster?
yes, that will work. you can use pinion angle as your reference - or other machined surface, like the front of the housing. I wouldn't necessarily add 3 degrees, but you've got the right idea - making a "linear calibration"

I'd start at 5° caster and dial it up until you get a good driving feel. You will need to reset toe each time you change caster.
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:06 PM   #12
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OK, Thanks

I'll start by taking it up to 5 degrees and see how it is. Toe is easy for me to understand. LOL
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:18 PM   #13
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There are quite a few Youtube videos on it as well. This is an entertaining subject.
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:24 PM   #14
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Does it matter what arms I change? My lower arms longer or my upper arms shorter? I my mind it would do the same thing and the lowers are easier to change.
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:59 PM   #15
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I know even less than you but doesn't one move the axle forward and the other moves it back? There must be a way to weight the value of a decision.
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:51 AM   #16
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Does it matter what arms I change? My lower arms longer or my upper arms shorter? I my mind it would do the same thing and the lowers are easier to change.
for your ~4" lift set the uppers at 14.75"-15" - do NOT extend them. if you can't get your uppers this short you'll either need to modify/cut them or buy new arms that will go this short. stock length = 15"

set the lowers at 16"-16.25". stock length = 15.75"

once you get them set where you want them, don't forget you need to do a full bump check with the springs removed to determine bumpstop extension requirements and make sure there are no new suspension interferences with the lift and arm length changes.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:27 AM   #17
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Thanks, Now I know what I'm doing today. I'll check the uppers and lowers for size. I don't know how much or in what direction the alignment shop moved them.

For my bump stops I'm using hockey pucks with a 3" round .25" thick steel plate on top (Copy of what Metal Cloak is selling.). Before I installed the axles I drilled and tapped the spring perches to .5"-13 so I can just bolt a stack on.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:55 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Fran View Post
I installed the springs, shocks, arms, track bars, G2 axles front and rear, armor, rebuild and installed a rubicon 241 transfer case, drive shafts, UCF skids, UCF gas tank skid, body lift and motor mount lift. I set the arms to the dimensions I found online as a starting point. I did my homework. The only thing I can't do is the alignment.
If you can do this, you can do an alignment! Looks like Unlimited04 has you back on track. Just remember that you can't (very unlikely) have a perfect caster and pinion angle combination with a stock axle. If you adjust one, it affects the other, hence the compromise.
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:14 PM   #19
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I re-adjusted my arms using the angle finder then I took it to Firestone to get their lifetime alignment. They hooked it up and then the guy told me he could not change anything. He said he could not set my toe. I don't think they knew what they were doing. They gave me the print out and did not charge me anything.

Here are the readings they gave me after today's wrenching.

Front left

Camber= minus 0.8 degrees
Caster= plus 5.2 degrees
Toe= plus 0.17 degrees

Front right

Camber= minus 1.1 degrees
Caster= plus 6.3 degrees
Toe= plus 0.17 degrees

Front

Cross camber= plus 0.3 degrees
Cross caster= minus 1.2 degrees
Total toe= plus 0.34 degrees

How do these readings look?

It does seem to drive a little better but I did not drive it that far.
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:44 PM   #20
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Caster is better now. why couldn't they set toe? what reason did they give?
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:59 PM   #21
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The guy was trying to adjust the toe with the turnbuckle that centers the wheel. He kept looking at a photo on the computer screen of the alignment machine and telling me he was turning the right turnbuckle. The guy had no clue what he was doing.
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:23 PM   #22
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The guy was trying to adjust the toe with the turnbuckle that centers the wheel. He kept looking at a photo on the computer screen of the alignment machine and telling me he was turning the right turnbuckle. The guy had no clue what he was doing.
Wow...! Just set your own toe-in a 1/16"-1/8" by tape measure.
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:40 PM   #23
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Take it back and tell them you want your money back or somebody who knows what the F they're doing....I mean you paid for a service... You should get it.
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:47 PM   #24
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Take it to Joe's Automotive in Ardmore, PA they know what they are doing. Firestone sucks A$$. Only thing they are good at is taking money from females who don't have a clue about vehicles. Here's the number for Joe's 267-608-1655
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:54 PM   #25
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He said they did not charge him anything so he got numbers just for his time agreed they could have done better but if no charge then no money to get back and going back and bitching would be at best pointless
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:55 PM   #26
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Firestone never charged me anything. They just said they could not do it after they tried.
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:58 PM   #27
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He said they did not charge him anything so he got numbers just for his time agreed they could have done better but if no charge then no money to get back and going back and bitching would be at best pointless
I think they are talking about the first shop he took it to for an alignment.
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:07 AM   #28
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Firestone never charged me anything. They just said they could not do it after they tried.
take it to a different Firestone or set the toe yourself.
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:07 PM   #29
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I set my toe with a tape measure and centered my steering wheel. I took the Jeep on a 100 mile road trip today of mixed driving. I had it up to 70 mph and everything with the front end feels fine now. It will drive hands free without drifting.

Unrelated, I do have a slow repetitive howling over 50 mph coming from what I think is my rear end. It only happens under load. If I let off the gas it's gone until I'm back on the gas. It starts @ around 50 and stays there as I go faster. These are new G2 complete housings with 5.13 gears and ARB lockers. Would the gears wearing in do this?

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