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PTaylor 05-26-2010 07:25 AM

Steering Wheel alignment needed?
A neighbor stopped by yesterday to ask me if I could help him with an issue with his daughters Jeep. It's a 2000 model with what looks like a small body lift.
Shes been running Sport King A/T 33"s for a year, but originally had Super Swampers when he bought it used. the steering wheel doesn't seem to be aligned to center position when driving, kinda at 25 to 30 degrees angle. Originally he thought that it needed a front end alignment, but he said that he had that checked and the front end is aligned. The Jeep doesn't seem to pull left or right when driving or stopping, no damage to any of the front can be detected, no wreck or frame damage, no shuttering when stopping. He said that it didn't do that until he switched to the newer tires, it was aligned correctly when he had SuperSwampers. We checked air pressure and all are within half a pound, we rotated tires around to see if it makes a difference, it doesn't. I know nothing about front ends, neither does he, but he said he's had it checked and the front end is in alignment. Any ideas? I suggested he take it somewhere else but at the same time, one has to watch out for shops that want to charge lot's of money for doing nothing.

I ask him if she could have done some damage off roading but he said she doesn't go off road with it, just back and forth to school, so he bought a cheaper all terrain tire. I remember when he bought it and actually got a chance to drive it myself, the steering wasn't like that. Again, when the tires were changed is when he says it became noticeable. What should we be looking for here? can the steering wheel be adjusted back to center position? Is that advisable? what would cause the steering wheel to be in a different position? If it's straighten to what I call "zero" position, then the vehicle goes left. It's like the steering wheel and the front end are out of sync.

s3nt3nc3d 05-26-2010 07:37 AM

He needs to adjust the drag link...and find a new alignment shop. As far as I'm aware, they're supposed to know how and be willing to adjust that. It's very simple on the Wrangler.

Basic Jeep Front End Alignment

The second part will tell you how to re-center the steering wheel...and the first part will tell you how to save around $70 at the local alignment shop. lol

Mrmikeypoo 05-26-2010 07:38 AM

Basic Jeep Front End Alignment
It's pretty strait forward to recenter the wheel. just follow the instructions in the link. Hope that gets you in the right direction.

Mrmikeypoo 05-26-2010 07:38 AM

DANG!!! you beat me to it.

s3nt3nc3d 05-26-2010 07:44 AM

W00t w00t! hahahaha

PTaylor 05-26-2010 07:46 AM

Wow! You guys (and gals, if any) are fast and helpful!

thanks everyone, I'll take the suggestions and info and pass it on. anything else that can be thought of just keep adding.....

Again, thanks!:)

530ktm 05-26-2010 08:57 AM

I just did mine, very easy. A shop wanted $80 for the alignment.

mrcarcrazy 05-26-2010 09:08 AM

90 Attachment(s)
I'm amazed at how much shops around the country are charging for a front end alignment on a vehicle that only the toe can be set.

blows the mind. - I used to to 4 wheel alignments, adjusting camber/toe on rear, and camber/caster/toe on front for 50.00

PTaylor 05-26-2010 09:36 AM

In my area there are a lot of rip off shops. Most of the bigger, highly mentioned, highly recommended ones will charge an arm and a leg.

someone posted earlier today about ball joint replacement and how much they were quoted. You can check out that thread and get an idea of what my area is like. It got me thinking that my neighbor might have taken his daughters Jeep to that same place that quoted replacing my ball joints.

I've got a good mechanic with a well furbished shop but he doesn't know how to do front end alignments. Many small shops in my area that do good work aren't equipped to do it. I'm not sure what all's involved, doesn't seem like much, but for some reason they won't touch a front end and have no plans on going that route.

$80 bucks for an alignment is cheap compared to what my local tire place charges. try double that for a simple alignment. and they usually want to replace something which drives the cost up more.

I got ripped by one place back right before when the Fire Stone recall happened. I had one of those defective tires that came apart going down the road. I took it in to the place I bought the tires and they said all this was wrong with my front end and it cost me about $400 to get it "fixed".

about a month later it started coming out about the defective Firestone tires and roll overs. I just knew in my heart that I got ripped off because of a defective tire. nothing was ever wrong with my vehicle, I got taken for a ride.

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