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Old 03-30-2012, 09:30 AM   #1
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How do I gain castor back?

I have a 04 Rubicon 62,000 mi.with 4.5" BDS lift.I have installed new rotors,tires,wheels,adjustable track bar,steering stabilizer and 2 new ball joints(there is No play in the frontend).I still have a steering wheel shimmy at 40-45 mph and sometimes when I get on the brake.Question,I dont have adjustable upper or lower control arms.Is it possible to slot the stock uppers ,the lowers are BDS non adjustable,and if a mod was to be made looks like the uppers could be done pretty easily.Has anyone tried this,what is the standard for castor,making the lowers longer,making the uppers shorter,or both? Eddie

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Old 03-30-2012, 09:32 AM   #2
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I think youll need adjustable uppers but see if someone else chimes in. I wouldnt modify the stock ones they are pretty flimsy

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Old 03-30-2012, 09:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by eddieb1965 View Post
I have a 04 Rubicon 62,000 mi.with 4.5" BDS lift.I have installed new rotors,tires,wheels,adjustable track bar,steering stabilizer and 2 new ball joints(there is No play in the frontend).I still have a steering wheel shimmy at 40-45 mph and sometimes when I get on the brake.Question,I dont have adjustable upper or lower control arms.Is it possible to slot the stock uppers ,the lowers are BDS non adjustable,and if a mod was to be made looks like the uppers could be done pretty easily.Has anyone tried this,what is the standard for castor,making the lowers longer,making the uppers shorter,or both? Eddie
A shimmy is not caused by lack of caster angle, plus your caster angle is very likely right where it should be based on how it reacts to the type of suspension lift you have installed. Not to mention the bigger the tire, the less caster angle you need.

Your first shimmy is more than likely nothing more than imperfect tire balance and the shimmy that braking causes is caused by an uneven brake rotor surface.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:34 AM   #4
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With the stock lower control arms you can get after markrt cam headed bolts that allow for caster adj.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:13 AM   #5
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I have brand new rotors,4 days old,I think putting on the brakes sometimes is a trigger on my Jeep,but not all the time.I just cant seem to find the cause.I was also fighting this same problem with my 35" tires I had.I balanced them a couple of times,and what I have now is brand new.I feel that if I continued to hold the speed where I get the shimmy,it would get severe.There is no play in new adjustable trackbar,rod ends,ball joints,new stabilizer or unit bearings.I also put 1 1/4 spring spacers in when I added my winch,could the added height contribute to my problem.Any other suggestions appreciated. I have also been thru the DW thread and am still searching for an answer. Jerry,my tires were balanced about a month ago and all weight was put on inside of rim.It took quite a bit on 3,but are were in balance.I didnt request for it all to be on the inside, they just did it themselves,do you think a rebalance is in order?
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:19 AM   #6
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Caster adjustment

Quote:
Originally Posted by eddieb1965 View Post
I have a 04 Rubicon 62,000 mi.with 4.5" BDS lift.I have installed new rotors,tires,wheels,adjustable track bar,steering stabilizer and 2 new ball joints(there is No play in the frontend).I still have a steering wheel shimmy at 40-45 mph and sometimes when I get on the brake.Question,I dont have adjustable upper or lower control arms.Is it possible to slot the stock uppers ,the lowers are BDS non adjustable,and if a mod was to be made looks like the uppers could be done pretty easily.Has anyone tried this,what is the standard for castor,making the lowers longer,making the uppers shorter,or both? Eddie
With the 4.5" lift, your caster should be set at -3 degrees (+ or - 1 degree). The stock specs call for -7 degrees.
If you don't trust me, go to Blog - TeraFlex Jeep TJ Alignment Training Part 1 | TeraFlex Suspensions . There are three videos in this series. If you can't trust one of the premium lift makers... who will you???
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:31 PM   #7
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With the 4.5" lift, your caster should be set at -3 degrees (+ or - 1 degree).
Lift height has nothing to do with the optimal caster angle, that is determined by tire size. For stock tires, 7 degrees is the factory recommended caster angle. For 33" tires, 6 is about right, and 4.5 to 5 degrees is ideal for 35" tires. Currie's tests show 4.5 degrees is optimal for 35".
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:39 PM   #8
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Tires have a slight imbalance issue, or slightly out of round.

Did you have the tired dynamically balanced or statically balanced?
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:45 AM   #9
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Typical spin balance,I dont know if I have anyone local that balances any other way.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:49 PM   #10
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you gain caster back with adjustable lower front control arms. you want to push the bottom part of the axle frontward by lengthening the LCA's. adjustable uppers won't get you very far, since most adjustable uppers don't actually adjustable shorter than stock.
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:04 PM   #11
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OK,here is what I got,I measured with my angle finder off of the top of the ball joint and got close to 9 deg. positive castor(Bottom ball joint ahead of top).As I take it with my 33" tires I should have anywhere from 3-6 deg.New question is, can I just get adjustable front uppers and push the top forward? I have BDS non adjustable lowers and stock uppers.Is this the time to upgrade the uppers,or go with adjustable lowers and pull the bottom back. Thanks Eddie
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:17 PM   #12
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OK,here is what I got,I measured with my angle finder off of the top of the ball joint and got close to 9 deg. positive castor(Bottom ball joint ahead of top).As I take it with my 33" tires I should have anywhere from 3-6 deg.New question is, can I just get adjustable front uppers and push the top forward? I have BDS non adjustable lowers and stock uppers.Is this the time to upgrade the uppers,or go with adjustable lowers and pull the bottom back. Thanks Eddie
you can get adjustable uppers and push the top forward, but you'll likely run into clearance issues with the steering linkages, diff cover and track bar.

I have never been able to get a reliable measurement off the ball joint (or anywhere else on the housing for that matter) for actual caster. I highly doubt 9° is even remotely close to the actual caster. The best I've been able to do is "calibrate" an angle finder to a laser alignment rack....basically do the laser alignment, then measure a machined flat surface on the housing. You then know any later correlation change is linear...

Get the Jeep on a laser alignment rack, with a roll back test, then post those results.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:19 PM   #13
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Had my first full blown case of DW coming home from work today.I was applying the brake and getting ready to get on the on ramp.I happened to have the window down and I stuck my head out to see what was actually happening.Tires were Violently wobbling back and forth,but the axle wasnt moving side to side.The harder I applyed the brake the worse it got and stopped only after I was down to under 25 mph.Checked for play again tonight(Absolutely no play anywhere),checked the castor under the lower c and got 9-10 pos. castor again.I am going to get an alignment the next couple of days .This was just annoying with the shimmy,now it is a serious problem.I will keep everyone informed as I get thru this problem. Eddie
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:32 PM   #14
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checked the castor under the lower c and got 9-10 pos. castor again.
what did you expect? It's a rough cast surface = crap place to measure caster.

I've never gotten the same measurement two days in a row measuring from the ball joint or the bottom of the lower C, and none of those measurements gave any value even remotely close to the actual caster that was measured on an alignment rack.

The best garage measurement I got of caster was from pinion angle...measured from the u-joint on the driveshaft. And even that measurement was not the same value as the actual caster...but at least it changed in a linear relationship with actual caster.

Stop speculating and get a real caster measurement from a real alignment.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:32 PM   #15
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I am going to try to get an alignment done in next couple of days,but are they going to be able to change anything with stock uppers and BDS non adjustable lowers(only to get a printout that says what I already suspect)?I have repeated the castor measurements top and bottom,and there is an obvious problem.I like to be able to work on problems myself and not just have the mindset to just take it to someone.I know that adjustable control arms are in order,and would think I can get a driveable degree setting. That said,if an alignment shop is my go to fix all the time,then I need to sell my Jeep.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:45 PM   #16
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I had a similar issue with my old TJ. I had 33" SSRs on 15X10 wheels and over 50 mph would rattle your teeth out. I sold the tires and wheels and went with 33" Trxxus on 15X8 wheels and TA-DA problem gone. Looking at those SSRs, I discovered they were Blems (should've noticed when I bought them but I was only looking at the price). My point, yes there is one, is your speed induced shimmy dance could also be due to an improper balance/tire and wheel combo. I had to run powder balance along with the wheel weights to even come close on those Super Sucky Radials.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:31 PM   #17
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I am going to try to get an alignment done in next couple of days,
After a lift you will need to adjust your toe in. I had that happen on my last jeep and it got the DW a bunch of times, then I fixed my toe in and it was WAY better.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:30 PM   #18
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Got my front 2 tires rebalanced today(500mi. and they were off).Reset tha trackbar(fronend was to drivers side 1/4". Reset the steering wheel to straight.Reset my toe(it was 5/8 toed in). Lastly I ordered new front upper control arms to get some castor out. If it still wobbles,I will then get it aligned.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:40 PM   #19
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make sure your Jeep is level when attempting to check caster . I have had very good luck getting consistant caster readings under the lower C . Sounds like not everyone is as fortunate. Its been confirmed by my Bro in-laws LJ after a shop checked his gave him a print out then I checked just to see how close and it was damn near the identical so thats good enough for me .
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:42 PM   #20
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Lastly I ordered new front upper control arms to get some castor out. If it still wobbles,I will then get it aligned.
Decided to not listen to sound advice eh? Good luck.

Keep in mind when you adjust caster you will need to readjust toe-in, because as you adjust caster, the angle of knuckle changes enough to effect toe.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:09 PM   #21
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Unlimited, please chime in on somebody elses thread,there are plenty of other members with advise other than TAKE IT TO SOMEONE.I will get it aligned WHEN I get the adjustable control arms on.Then the alignment shop will have something to work with.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:41 PM   #22
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Unlimited, please chime in on somebody elses thread,there are plenty of other members with advise other than TAKE IT TO SOMEONE.I will get it aligned WHEN I get the adjustable control arms on.Then the alignment shop will have something to work with.
I'm actually sorry I tried to help you understand your problem.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:48 PM   #23
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I'm actually sorry I tried to help you understand your problem.
You can't help some people.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:50 PM   #24
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You can't help some people.
Makes you wonder why they ask for help in a public forum then, doesn't it?
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:48 AM   #25
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Couldnt resist could you. Thread is closed as far as I'm concerned,there are other forums available.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:47 AM   #26
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Couldnt resist could you. Thread is closed as far as I'm concerned,there are other forums available.
Go ask for help on Pirate 4x4. We'll be more than happy to accommodate you over there.

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