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Old 10-22-2013, 12:22 AM   #1
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Caster is out after TF 2.5" Lift

Took my JKUR to the dealer for an alignment after replacing my tie rod since they were having a $49.00 alignment special.

Good News:
No problems noted with the tie rod install and my driveway toe adjustment was pretty darn close using my tape measure and the instructions from this forum!

Bad News:
My caster is out 2.7 on the driver side and 2.9 on the passenger side.
Also, my wheels are sticking out almost .75" more on the driver side than the passenger side.

Besides the TF 2.5" lift and 1.5" wheels spacers, my JKUR is totally stock to include stock wheels and tires.

Are these two issues going to cause problems with ride and wear??

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Old 10-22-2013, 03:40 AM   #2
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:38 AM   #3
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Sounds like adjustable track bar paired with adjustable arms, or drop brackets are needed? But I'll let somebody with more knowledge on this chime in.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fp8950 View Post
Sounds like adjustable track bar paired with adjustable arms, or drop brackets are needed? But I'll let somebody with more knowledge on this chime in.
Sounds about right if you want to correct the variances...
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:35 AM   #5
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Before here, I designed my own RC crawler suspension. Exactly the same as the real thing. You can't go up without a longer track bar, steering linkage, and atleast longer lower links to fix the axle angle. What you need to do to lift a solid axle is get your height, fix your castor with the wheels parralel, then set your panhard. All straight axle front end vehicles dog track a bit.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:12 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone.

I think it drives fine. What disappoints me is that I consulted several times with TeraFlex about doing this lift and was told nothing else would be needed ... until afterward when I found out the frame-side rear trackbar relocation bracket which came with my kit really should have been the beefier axle side bracket.

The subsequent bracket switch out was not a huge disappointment, however, if I had known that a "simple" TF 2.5" coil kit with shock extensions was going to lead to needing lower arms and front and rear adjustable track bars I would 100% not done this lift.

In addition to talking and IM'ing with TF, I must have read posts by dozens of people who did this same lift kit and very few did trackbars and I don't even recall anyone replacing arms to fix caster.

What's the deal? Is the caster and centering "ok" the way they are?
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:20 AM   #7
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This is exactly whats making me so unsure of what do for my lift as well. I'm interested in feedback on this too.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:26 AM   #8
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My guess there are 1000's of people running around with the same issue and they never have put their jeeps on an alignment rack so they do not know their jeeps are out of alignment. They drive fine so they figure they are good.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:27 AM   #9
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The reason I originally called TF was to get info on the leveling kit to fix my rake.

That was when TF advised that, because I have a Rubicon, I could put on a 2.5" lift and reuse my shocks with extensions and get myself into a lift for only a little bit more money and no other modifications.

Honestly, the only thing which concerned me was how my stock wheels/tires would look under a 2.5" lift.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:10 AM   #10
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You will be "fine" meaning you won't crash, your jeep is still controllable, and parts arent going to break. However, it's still obviously not ideal. With an adjustable track bar, you will bring your axle back to center. Adjustable arms or brackets will also get your caster back within spec.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:12 AM   #11
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With a 2.5" lift an adjustable trackbar and control arms do not have to be installed as the castor is still in a range where it will not induce death wobble. Also an adjustable track bar would be used to pull the axle back under the center of the Jeep in the front. However, the offset axle does not effect drive-ability or tire wear so most people choose not to address the offset. With that being said if during install the track bar bolts, front and rear, and all control arm bolts are not loosened and re-tightened once the Jeep is back on the ground it can exacerbate the issues.

Also the difference of .2 degrees from one side to the other is normal on the wrangler as this is a factory installed difference, in the brackets, to help compensate for road crown.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:26 AM   #12
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No 2 jeeps are the same. Weight changes height.
(A loaded jeep will net less lift)
Some people need adjustable track bars and some don't.

Same with caster. There's around a 1* tolerance stock. With a small lift you may need caster correction if your jeep was low from the factory.
Your axles should be fine at 2.5
I recommend front control arm drop brackets or arms to get some caster back.

TF maybe be able to swap the crappy rear upper drop bracket for the axle one. Raising the rear track bar will help with handling.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeraFlex View Post
With a 2.5" lift an adjustable trackbar and control arms do not have to be installed as the castor is still in a range where it will not induce death wobble. Also an adjustable track bar would be used to pull the axle back under the center of the Jeep in the front. However, the offset axle does not effect drive-ability or tire wear so most people choose not to address the offset. With that being said if during install the track bar bolts, front and rear, and all control arm bolts are not loosened and re-tightened once the Jeep is back on the ground it can exacerbate the issues. Also the difference of .2 degrees from one side to the other is normal on the wrangler as this is a factory installed difference, in the brackets, to help compensate for road crown.
That works... I was typing and walked away for like 10 minutes
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffC View Post
The reason I originally called TF was to get info on the leveling kit to fix my rake.

That was when TF advised that, because I have a Rubicon, I could put on a 2.5" lift and reuse my shocks with extensions and get myself into a lift for only a little bit more money and no other modifications.

Honestly, the only thing which concerned me was how my stock wheels/tires would look under a 2.5" lift.
It looks like this.

In fact, if you are running LT255/75R17Es they'll look a smidge larger than the LT265/70R17Es in my picture. I was more interested in generating as much travel/articulation as I could without drifting too far from stock height than filling the wheel well with tire.

This is the TF 2.5" Coil Lift with Rubi shocks.

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Old 10-22-2013, 10:49 AM   #15
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I have installed many of those TF upper rear trackbar relocation brackets and can tell you you have nothing to worry about there. If its installed correctly you will not have any trouble with it. At 2.5" lift your diff will be dead center in the rails with that rear bracket.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:30 PM   #16
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Weight affects height and height affects axle-frame alignment. You're feeling the usual issues of lifting.

Get control arms and track bars if you're OCD about this. I am..
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:39 PM   #17
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Folks forget about roll center. BB or coils 2.5 is 2.5. Coils actually might give more.
I recommend the axle bracket over the drop bracket. I know the BB kit drops the track bar. this would be one of my first upgrades. (Axle bracket)
Correcting the rear roll center will help in handling. Drop brackets only center the axle.

Next I would correct caster with either arms or drop brackets.
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:26 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
Same with caster. There's around a 1* tolerance stock. With a small lift you may need caster correction if your jeep was low from the factory.
Your axles should be fine at 2.5
I recommend front control arm drop brackets or arms to get some caster back.

TF maybe be able to swap the crappy rear upper drop bracket for the axle one. Raising the rear track bar will help with handling.
I've got the rear axle bracket and am just going to have to live with the uneven wheel protrusion given my original goal was a "budget lift" and adjustable track bars will sink me beyond that intent.

I guess the decision to correct 2.7 and 2.9 caster will have to be a matter of waiting for drivability symptoms to appear. I have no stability issues while driving around town or on the highway ... however I'm still riding on stock wheels/tires.

I hope this helps anyone else who thinks they're just going to get a "simple" 2.5" lift and be done consider the additional variable/expenses which may likely result.

So, unless there is something else I'm jeopardizing by not correcting the caster now ... I'll be saving up for arms or brackets.
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:46 PM   #19
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Your caster is out?
Did you check your tank and healer.. I find that a lot of times when the tank loses agro, your caster will be the next to go. Try to let the tank wear down the mob for a bit before letting your caster go to town.

... oh wait this is a jeep forum... nevermind.. been playing too much MMORPG lately.

(note if you thought this was funny you are a geek, if you didn't get this then you are normal).
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:57 PM   #20
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Your caster is out? Did you check your tank and healer.. I find that a lot of times when the tank loses agro, your caster will be the next to go. Try to let the tank wear down the mob for a bit before letting your caster go to town. ... oh wait this is a jeep forum... nevermind.. been playing too much MMORPG lately. (note if you thought this was funny you are a geek, if you didn't get this then you are normal).
Lol
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:08 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffC View Post
I've got the rear axle bracket and am just going to have to live with the uneven wheel protrusion given my original goal was a "budget lift" and adjustable track bars will sink me beyond that intent. I guess the decision to correct 2.7 and 2.9 caster will have to be a matter of waiting for drivability symptoms to appear. I have no stability issues while driving around town or on the highway ... however I'm still riding on stock wheels/tires. I hope this helps anyone else who thinks they're just going to get a "simple" 2.5" lift and be done consider the additional variable/expenses which may likely result. So, unless there is something else I'm jeopardizing by not correcting the caster now ... I'll be saving up for arms or brackets.

Listen ..... You don't "need" these things if Your jeep is driving good.

We all need to realize, adding a lift alters geometry. Two jeeps side by side, same lift. One can have issues and the other is fine.
Factory tolerances are different. 2 door/4 door. Weight, etc. So many factors. 2.5" is generally safe.., look at all those company's that offer 4" lifts with only coils and shocks. Besides being overkill for most peoples needs, the kits lack many components to make it work.

If one is seriously on a budget, I would only do a small leveling kit. Coils remove the rake and usually net more then advertised, especially with no weight

The brackets are nice if you decide to run them. Cost around $100. Caster is raised and the arms are set parallel to the ground. What this does is direct impact (bumps/potholes/etc) into the shock and coil, not the frame. Ride is dramatically improved.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:09 PM   #22
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Well I'm waiting for my 2.5 TF . Should be here this week. I guess I should order some brackets and do it right the first time.

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