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Topic Review (Newest First)
Today 10:45 AM
kjeeper10 5/8 longer then stock sets the arms about 23-231/8 which is perfect. Their response is spot on. You should look into the 9/16 bolt upgrade if you haven't done so. Northridge 4x4 sells a kit that supplies all nuts/bolts and washers for lower CA's and both TB's. 2nd option would be replacing just the two front TB bolts along with your track bar.

Tires have little do do with caster angle. You do want to make sure toe in is set properly. Too much or not enough can cause similar symptoms.

Thanks for the props
Today 10:23 AM
ciphershort So this thread has done me more good than probably any thread I've read since I installed my lift. So props to kjeeper10 for sure.

With all that being said, I installed a TF 2.5 coil lift on my JKU about 6 months ago. Since then, I've had flighty steering. I can compensate for it so it isn't terrible to the point of not being able to drive the thing but it makes me uneasy sometimes. So I did some reading and decided to look into front LCAs and a front Track bar. I emailed TF to ask them about measurements to correct my issue and this is what they said:

Quote:
Some Jeeps will get a little flighty do to the loss of steering caster. Front lower adjustable control arms #1653700 will correct the caster issue. You will adjust the arms about 5/8” – 3/ 4” longer that the stock arms, this will bring back the caster angle. I would definitely recommend our HD forged front track bar #1753418. This will allow you to center the front axle, and it’s strength will resist shimmy or death wobble. Both of those additions will make a positive difference in the handling of your Jeep.
I assume TF knows there stuff but is this about the LCA length people have found that is needed to correct caster? Now currently, I'm running the tires that came with my JK (265/70r17...roughly 31.6x10.4) but am looking to go to either 33s or 35s (if I can afford the re-gear) in the not so distant future. Will tire size affect the measurements or not? It doesn't seem like it would in my head but all this angle crap makes my head hurt so I just figured I'd ask.

Thanks!
Yesterday 11:52 AM
kjeeper10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOMINUS View Post
You've been a great help. Thanks much. I still can't believe how much better it drives now. I just wish I got the initial printout before he corrected everything. I'll have to check the ball joint maybe this weekend.
Good luck man
Yesterday 11:40 AM
DOMINUS
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
Toe out of range was prob your issue. Besides caster (adjustable CA's) to is the only adjustable spec.
I assume your ball joint(s) are worn. Not enough to cause issues but show bad camber in the left wheel. Remember, you have dual Fox stabs up front. Any little vibe/shimmy is prob being masked.

Checking your ball joints is very easy. Just jack each tire up 3-4" and pry up with a shovel/pry bar. You will hear a clanking noise. And If you look at where the boot meats the knuckle .. You will see movement too.
You've been a great help. Thanks much. I still can't believe how much better it drives now. I just wish I got the initial printout before he corrected everything. I'll have to check the ball joint maybe this weekend.
Yesterday 11:18 AM
kjeeper10 Toe out of range was prob your issue. Besides caster (adjustable CA's) to is the only adjustable spec.
I assume your ball joint(s) are worn. Not enough to cause issues but show bad camber in the left wheel. Remember, you have dual Fox stabs up front. Any little vibe/shimmy is prob being masked.

Checking your ball joints is very easy. Just jack each tire up 3-4" and pry up with a shovel/pry bar. You will hear a clanking noise. And If you look at where the boot meats the knuckle .. You will see movement too.
Yesterday 11:04 AM
DOMINUS
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
How come he did not do a caster sweep ? Just curious.

Camber can be a bad ball joint or bent C. How many miles on your ball joints ?
I have 45,200 on mine now. I don't get any weird sensations coming through the wheel or anywhere. No vibrations, no wobbles, no unusual noises. Does anything look out of whack to you with the exception of the left front wheel? I mean all green should mean all is well right?
Yesterday 10:45 AM
kjeeper10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOMINUS View Post
I finally was able to get my alignment done. What a difference that made in the handling. The Jeep doesn't wander anymore. It was a chore to keep her going straight. Now it is a relaxed affair. My left front tire is still a little off according to the printout and I wasn't able to get a printout of what it was before the corrections were made but man what a difference. The sloppy loose feel in the steering is all but gone because the tires are actually sitting properly on the road and giving some sense of feedback. I actually now know what the hell the front tires are doing.
How come he did not do a caster sweep ? Just curious.

Camber can be a bad ball joint or bent C. How many miles on your ball joints ?
Yesterday 10:10 AM
DOMINUS I finally was able to get my alignment done. What a difference that made in the handling. The Jeep doesn't wander anymore. It was a chore to keep her going straight. Now it is a relaxed affair. My left front tire is still a little off according to the printout and I wasn't able to get a printout of what it was before the corrections were made but man what a difference. The sloppy loose feel in the steering is all but gone because the tires are actually sitting properly on the road and giving some sense of feedback. I actually now know what the hell the front tires are doing.
07-02-2014 10:16 PM
flyfishnevada
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
More with less height. 2 maybe 3 degrees.
Thanks for the help!
07-02-2014 07:39 PM
Barmanvarn I've yet to read this thread but I have it bookmarked for a future date.

Since the drop brackets were mentioned, I will say they did help me after I threw on 35s. Never did any measuring as I'm lazy.

Just chiming in since Ken mentioned them.
07-02-2014 06:36 PM
kjeeper10 More with less height. 2 maybe 3 degrees.
07-02-2014 06:22 PM
flyfishnevada It does feel a little light going down the road. Seems to grab ruts and follow them more easily. I really noticed yesterday off road. Seemed to want to follow the wheels tracks more readily. From what I've read, that's a indication of to little caster. I think I'll schedule an alignment and see exactly where I'm at. I could live with the way it drives but why not dial it in and get it right.

By the way, what kind of bump in caster will I see with the Rancho brackets? 2 degrees or so?
07-02-2014 06:16 PM
kjeeper10 LOL.. I did the same. Don't feel bad Technically your still in stock range.

How does the jeep drive .. Any wandering ? Jittery ?
I still like the idea of having the jeeps alignment checked. DIY measurements are not always going to be perfect. Close -but not perfect.

If the jeep handles poorly, a small bump in caster will help. Few people in here running the Rancho brackets with TF's 2.5". Caster is higher 5's.
07-02-2014 06:00 PM
flyfishnevada OK, I pulled the Jeep into the garage. My driveway is sloped at 1*...on the slab nearest the garage but not on the slab furthest away. My garage is a consistent 1* on both slabs and across the joint so there is no faulting. I measure 88* on the front of the diff and DS flange. But when I compensate for the slope of the floor, it's 87*. So 3* caster, not 6* A big difference. Good thing I don't work for NASA, I would have missed the moon

So at about 2.5 to 3.5 (assuming some measuring error, hence the range) degrees caster, I'm looking at a drop bracket. That should get me into the what? 4 to 5 degree range?

And those measurements coincide with the "light" feeling I get now when driving.
07-02-2014 05:53 PM
kjeeper10 I screwed up my DS reading the angle backwards.
07-02-2014 05:28 PM
flyfishnevada I measured in my drive way but it's only one degree and I zero'd my iPhone first. Double checked with an angle gauge and was right there. I'd definitely notice a 3 or 4 degree discrepancy. Hmm. I'm confused now too. You're right. Caster angle should go down, not up.

I wish I would have measured before the lift to compare.
07-02-2014 05:20 PM
kjeeper10
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfishnevada View Post
I measured caster today on my newly lifted Jeep (TF 2.5 spring lift). I measured at the drive shaft flange and the two spots on the front of the the differential. I got 0, 0 and -1, respectively but let's throw out that -1, that one flat spot had some paint drips on it. Not as accurate but I'm at 6* caster measuring across the bottom of the C. Driveline measures about 2-3* and I measure 3.5 inches of lift at the front axle (ground to bottom of fender, same tires before and after). So I'm at zero pinion and 6* caster. So, if I'm getting all of this right and my measurement's are correct I would need to address this and a drop bracket , probably the Rancho, would be in order. After reading this thread and the Rancho drop bracket thread, I think it will put me right back at stock caster or darn near close enough.
Something's not right. Pinion angle increases with lift height.
6 degrees would be more then stock. A bit too much actually.

With My TF coils (3" front, 2" rear) my caster angle measured 3 degrees.
With Teraflex lower arms, I was able to bump up to 4-5 degrees.
07-02-2014 04:41 PM
flyfishnevada I measured caster today on my newly lifted Jeep (TF 2.5 spring lift). I measured at the drive shaft flange and the two spots on the front of the the differential. I got 0, 0 and -1, respectively but let's throw out that -1, that one flat spot had some paint drips on it. Not as accurate but I'm at 6* caster measuring across the bottom of the C. Driveline measures about 2-3* and I measure 3.5 inches of lift at the front axle (ground to bottom of fender, same tires before and after). So I'm at zero pinion and 6* caster.

So, if I'm getting all of this right and my measurement's are correct I would need to address this and a drop bracket , probably the Rancho, would be in order. After reading this thread and the Rancho drop bracket thread, I think it will put me right back at stock caster or darn near close enough.
07-02-2014 03:20 PM
monte417
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOMINUS View Post
Well I didn't get my alignment done today. Only one guy is capable of doing it at this particular dealership and he had to rush off to a doctor's appointment. I won't be able to do it until next week.
Keep us updated. I had the steering not returning to center issue shortly after putting on my 37s. Turned out to be a bound up balljoint
07-02-2014 03:02 PM
DOMINUS Well I didn't get my alignment done today. Only one guy is capable of doing it at this particular dealership and he had to rush off to a doctor's appointment. I won't be able to do it until next week.
06-27-2014 02:56 PM
DOMINUS
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
Edit: 32 psi is too much for a 37. I run 26 in my 35's. Try that lowering psi.


Can't say. You can try and get a close estimate using a angle finder on the differential. When you go get the alignment done/checked. If caster is low. The tech will prob have to shorten the upper arms if the lowers are set properly. Just be careful .. You do not want too much caster at 3.5" (4-4.5 is about it) any more you risk vibes. Out of spec toe can cause similar wandering. Will see what they find when you go in.
Ok I'll go down to 26psi and see how that feels. Also I am staying from cam bolts. Thanks for all the help.
06-27-2014 12:33 PM
kjeeper10 Edit: 32 psi is too much for a 37. I run 26 in my 35's. Try that lowering psi.


Can't say. You can try and get a close estimate using a angle finder on the differential. When you go get the alignment done/checked. If caster is low. The tech will prob have to shorten the upper arms if the lowers are set properly. Just be careful .. You do not want too much caster at 3.5" (4-4.5 is about it) any more you risk vibes. Out of spec toe can cause similar wandering. Will see what they find when you go in.
06-27-2014 12:08 PM
DOMINUS
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
Think of a bike. If you look at the front steering fork, it's angled away from you. That would be like ... Is caster. Now picture that fork straight up and down. You would be wobbling down the road, and would not be able to keep the handles bars stable.

More positive caster adds stability. Less and the steering is light at speed and tires follow every road imperfection.

Another example is a shopping cart wheel. How the wheel/cart self centers when the cart is pushed straight.
Ah yes that makes perfect sense. So since I don't get any vibrations or death wobble but just the wandering feeling it may not be that off. Oh I run 32psi in the Nitto Trail Grapplers. I forgot to mention that part.
06-27-2014 10:17 AM
kjeeper10 Think of a bike. If you look at the front steering fork, it's angled away from you. That would be like ... Is caster. Now picture that fork straight up and down. You would be wobbling down the road, and would not be able to keep the handles bars stable.

More positive caster adds stability. Less and the steering is light at speed and tires follow every road imperfection.

Another example is a shopping cart wheel. How the wheel/cart self centers when the cart is pushed straight.
06-27-2014 09:46 AM
DOMINUS
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
Make sure they get toe correct.! Factory spec can be as much as 1/4 in .12 per side.
I would ask them to set to .08 per side. .10 tops w/ a 37 tire.
Caster 4 to 4.5 (positive)

What shocks are you running in the dual kit? I ran the RC dual kit for a short period. The 2nd owner said both shocks started leaking soon after.
I also see people try and run a HD shock like Bilstein. The steering box is taking on a huge load, especially moving those 37's.

Good luck
Its a Fox dual setup in the front. I have a pic but I'm on a Windows Phone and there isn't an app for this forum so I have to wait until I get home and put the pics on the computer first, then upload. Such a pain. Sometimes I can feel the shocks working depending on the surface and slope of the road. Other than my steering woes and well the Jeep needing a regear it is perfect. It corners flat like its on rails for such a tall vehicle. I am curious to see what my caster is at now. Question: can you explain how does too much negative and positive caster affect handling? Which one gives that floaty/wandering feeling and what will be the opposite of that? I hope I'm making sense here. Ok so if too much positive caster gives you a floaty feel, what does too much negative caster give you or vice versa? I'm not sure which does what.
06-27-2014 07:57 AM
kjeeper10 Make sure they get toe correct.! Factory spec can be as much as 1/4 in .12 per side.
I would ask them to set to .08 per side. .10 tops w/ a 37 tire.
Caster 4 to 4.5 (positive)

What shocks are you running in the dual kit? I ran the RC dual kit for a short period. The 2nd owner said both shocks started leaking soon after.
I also see people try and run a HD shock like Bilstein. The steering box is taking on a huge load, especially moving those 37's.

Good luck
06-27-2014 05:56 AM
DOMINUS Very informative thread. I've been reading this and I can relate to the flighty feeling/wandering steering feel. The specs on my Jeep are as follows: Metalcloak 3.5" Arb Lite which has adjustable uppers and lowers front and rear, 37" tires, stock driveshafts. My wife and I noticed the wandering feeling right after the lift. I couldn't really figure out what the problem was because I didn't know what to look for and just attributed it to characteristics of a lifted Jeep. This thread has opened my eyes and I am going for an alignment as I haven't done one since the lift. I get no vibrations whatsoever but I notice that the steering slowed down when "returning to center" out of a turn or "self correcting" which I thought was just the wider, heavier 37's being the cause. My alignment appointment is next Wednesday 3rd. I'll get a printout and post it here and you can tell me if I need to do anything else. That will also depend on how it drives after. Oh I also have dual steering stabilizers out front.
06-18-2014 07:31 PM
Xspearo Ok cool, thanks a lot!!
06-18-2014 11:05 AM
kjeeper10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xspearo View Post
Hi I just lifted my jk 3"(did it myself dde01) and did not get longer control arms or install the caster adjusters it came with due to not wanting to bore out holes. Will it cause any major issue? I haven't noticed any difference in drive.
No none at all.
Good move on keeping the caster bolts out
06-18-2014 06:20 AM
Xspearo Hi I just lifted my jk 3"(did it myself &#128513 and did not get longer control arms or install the caster adjusters it came with due to not wanting to bore out holes. Will it cause any major issue? I haven't noticed any difference in drive.
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