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Old 12-01-2012, 09:24 AM   #1
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Alignment after a 2 inch coil lift needed?

Lifted our TJ last night with 2 inch pro comp coils. Do I absolutely need to get an alignment if it doesn't drive any different than before?

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Old 12-01-2012, 09:32 AM   #2
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Yes, the tires will be slightly out of alignment which will cause premature and funky wear patterns.

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Old 12-01-2012, 09:57 AM   #3
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Thank you.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:00 AM   #4
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You don't need to do a full alignment, the only thing that changes and needs to be adjusted is the toe-in. Once you adjust your toe-in, which you can easily do on your own with nothing but a tape measure, wrench, and pliers, and easily produce entirely/perfectly accurate results, you then only need to re-center your steering wheel which is even easier.

Here's how... Basic Jeep Front End Alignment

Basically, here's all you are doing... you're going to be turning the tie-rod so the front edges of the tires are 1/16" to 1/8" closer together in front than they are in the rear. That's all there is to setting the toe-in.

To center the steering wheel, you're simply rotating the 6" adjustment sleeve on the drag link which adjusts its length which will recenter the steering wheel. The above link gives photos and complete instructions.

This literally can be done in an hour from start to finish your first time. And, no kidding, your toe-in results with just a little care will be every bit as accurate as what a 20-year alignment guy can produce with the latest laser-guided alignment rack. Really.

Last thing... once you are done with your toe-in and recentering your steering wheel... you have just done all the alignment your TJ is capable of. The caster and camber angles are not even adjustable on a TJ the way the factory made it. Plus you just saved yourself $70-80!

Edit: The method of measuring between the tires shown in that website can produce accurate results. The below method shows an even easier way to measure but without needing to figure out where to measure between the tires.

This photo shows two 1" square aluminum tubes and two spring clamps. The aluminum tubes are marked so they equal the diameter & clamped onto the rotors using the spring clamps. They make measuring the toe-in even easier. Photos courtesy of Blaine Johnson aka Black Magic Brakes.

Click on the photo to make it bigger...
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:38 AM   #5
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I appreciate all the given tech info Jerry. I feel I am completely capable enough to handle this. I had a gut feeling that I didn't need to drop 75 bux at the shop for them to do this.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:19 PM   #6
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I want throw this out there and not to start nothing just to say what my mind thinks. How can toe change at all when adding just spacers or coils? As you have not touched any steering components that would affect toe. All that has been done is lifting frame and body away from suspension, steering components remained same untouched. All that has changed is center of hubs have move ever so slightly closer to rear ie less wheel base and I mean oh so little. Now I'm talking 2" BB lift springs or spacers only.
Just throwing common sense thinking here. Same healed true on my 2500 Ram after 2" lvl spring installed, alignment guy said all that was off was caster all else stayed same. Just throwing that out there do to passed experience both truck and my jeep.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by quadman14 View Post
I want throw this out there and not to start nothing just to say what my mind thinks. How can toe change at all when adding just spacers or coils?
Taller coil springs pull on the control arms which slightly rotates the axle which reduces the caster angle which pulls on the drag link which pulls on the inverted-Y tie-rod which pulls the fronts of the tires closer together which gives more toe-in.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Taller coil springs pull on the control arms which slightly rotates the axle which reduces the caster angle which pulls on the drag link which pulls on the inverted-Y tie-rod which pulls the fronts of the tires closer together which gives more toe-in.
... on the Jeep that Jack built.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:32 PM   #9
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I know toe is measured in degrees but i took some after measurements and the toe was in 3 qtrs of an inch. Idk what that wud be but i bet its alot. Now i didnt take before measurements and i wish i had but the jeep drove just fine before and we did end up having some issues at higher speeds before we got an alignment.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:33 PM   #10
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Mine was out 3/4" after just a 2" lift (new coils). Good lesson for all that alignments should be performed even after the smallest of lifts.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:42 AM   #11
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Ah ha I seen said the blind man as he grabbed the hammer to saw. What about changing pitman arm to help get steering geo back to oem is this true or BS.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quadman14 View Post
I want throw this out there and not to start nothing just to say what my mind thinks. How can toe change at all when adding just spacers or coils? As you have not touched any steering components that would affect toe. All that has been done is lifting frame and body away from suspension, steering components remained same untouched. All that has changed is center of hubs have move ever so slightly closer to rear ie less wheel base and I mean oh so little. Now I'm talking 2" BB lift springs or spacers only.
Just throwing common sense thinking here. Same healed true on my 2500 Ram after 2" lvl spring installed, alignment guy said all that was off was caster all else stayed same. Just throwing that out there do to passed experience both truck and my jeep.
The toe on TJ steering is ever-changing as the distance between the frame and axle changes. Even during normal driving the toe goes through very small changes and the only time it's not changing is when the Jeep is sitting still. Take a look at your steering linkage and it should click--just s simple triangle.
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Ah ha I seen said the blind man as he grabbed the hammer to saw. What about changing pitman arm to help get steering geo back to oem is this true or BS.
No. That's BS. That doesn't matter one bit and has nothing to do with the toe.

Since the OP went up, the toe is now too far in. It needs to be set to 1/8 - 3/16" in. Afterwards, the drag link needs to be adjusted to center the steering wheel. That needs to be done with the tires on the ground.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:10 PM   #13
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Will centering the steering wheel help with vibration?
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Will centering the steering wheel help with vibration?
If your experiencing vibes one thing is did you loosen up your stock control arms and Trackbar to release any tension then align and retorque properly.
Are these vibes with your tires? Did you put new tires and rims on at same time? Maybe a tire balance issue?!
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:25 PM   #15
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Will centering the steering wheel help with vibration?
Driveline vibrations or tire wobbles? Two very different things with different causes, neither of which have anything to do with the steering wheel's orientation.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:57 PM   #16
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As usual, some excellent info given by the more knowledgeable Jeep owners than I am. However, though this may be my first Jeep, I've been into hot rods, musclecars, trucks, etc, for a long time...just my opinion, but whenever you change the suspension in any way (even if just replacing shot rubber bushings), it's always best to at least have the alignment of the vehicle checked. Could be cheaper than risking burning up a nice set of new front tires!

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Old 12-07-2012, 06:58 AM   #17
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The tires are not new but they are cupped. They were rotated, it was aligned and now it's vibrating.

How does a driveline vibe feel as opposed to a tire wobble. I'm fairly positive it's driveline though. I think Snopro269 might be on the money.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:02 AM   #18
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What's your toe set to?
What's your caster set to?
What's your front and rear pinion angles set to?

Driveline vibe = rhythmic, cyclic vibration that you feel in your butt and/or through the steering wheel

Tire wobble = pretty self-explanatory.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:43 AM   #19
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Definitely in the butt. My legs go numb.

Toe= 0.14 / 0.13
Caster= 5 / 4.6

And that's after the alignment. I don't know about the pinion angles.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:47 AM   #20
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A rhythmic pulsating vibration felt up through the seat of your pants is nearly always from the rear driveshaft and usually from a bad rear pinion angle.

A good sharp well lit photo or two or three taken from the side at various angles posted here will normally allow us to tell if your rear pinion angle is out of whack.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:55 AM   #21
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A rhythmic pulsating vibration felt up through the seat of your pants is nearly always from the rear driveshaft and usually from a bad rear pinion angle.

A good sharp well lit photo or two or three taken from the side at various angles posted here will normally allow us to tell if your rear pinion angle is out of whack.
Jerry....your knowledge is legendary...but that sounds like my wife....lmao
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:02 AM   #22
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Definitely in the butt. My legs go numb.

Toe= 0.14 / 0.13
Caster= 5 / 4.6

And that's after the alignment. I don't know about the pinion angles.
way too low IMHO. need cam bolts or adjustable lower control arms to get close to 6-6.5°. will also need to reset toe after that too.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:29 PM   #23
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Loosened trackbar n let it settle in n retorqued to spec equals wobbles gone. Tcase dropped 3/4 of an inch n 90% of vibrations gone. Going to add some more washers to drop the tcase down to a full inch. Feel positive this will eliminate the rest. So far 7 bux n two nights on the garage floor n have fixed our problems. We were quoted 1200 dollars from a local 4wd shop to fix. Crooks! Wana thank everyone for their info n tips. Saved us a ton of money.

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