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wtdailey 03-20-2011 09:14 PM

Upper or lower control arms to correct caster?
I have a 2007 JK w/ 3.5" skyjacker budget boost and 32" tires. We're about to drive it 2200 miles to our new home, so I put the 28" stock tires back on and BAM - Death Wobble... After unsuccessful DW diagnostic by myself, dealer, mechanic, and brother (who is 4x4 cassis fabricator) determined best fix was to edit the track bar geometry by installing front track bar relocation bracket and brace (axle side): DW fixed. Have bump-steer now because the track bar and drag link are not parallel, but I can live with that for the time being.

The trouble is that now the handling is "flighty" or "darty" in accelleration and at speeds above 40 mph. Most likely scenario is that alignment (caster in particular) is bad. The 3.5" lift used OEM control arms with cam bolts on the lower to help correct caster (I don't want to start drama on cam bolts, but i was strapped for cash and that was the answer at the time) Caster is currently only 3.7 deg - most of what I've read is that i need to aim for 5-6 deg.

THE QUESTION: I am time limited before the Jeep needs to be on the road; what's the quickest way and simplest install to buy be a degree or two of caster: upper or lower control arms? (or something bolts on the upper arms? Probably not; I know that's a bad idea but I'm in a bind.)

I realize this is likely to start a pholosophical debate on the use of cam bolts, the diagnosis and fixing of DW, and the effects of muon catlyzed fusion on adjustable trackbars, but I've never been around work done on front or rear control arms, so I just need some opinions quick so I can get these parts ordered and this Jeep on the road so it's an easy comfortable drive across the country.

Thanks for your opinions!

GroundHawg 03-20-2011 09:36 PM

Your caster is basically the same as me. We're just a hair too low. I'm not flighty but I do get bumpsteer if I hit a pothole or bump at the right speed with the wheels cut.

I drive it. I wouldn't mess with cams. I'll get CA's in the future but only bc of the driveshafts, not bumpsteer.

Cheap fix that MIGHT help...check the Toe-In. It'll need adjusted anytime you change tire size, along with caster.

But my OFFICIAL answer to this is to look up the closest 4wd shop in your area. Get some CA's. But I drive with the bumpsteer. It only shows up on potholes and bumps with the tires cut and it's mild.

wtdailey 03-21-2011 07:25 AM

I agree that the bump-steer is a minor issue. As long as you're aware of it as a handling characteristic of the vehicle, it's really just a minor inconvenience.

I had an alignment done last week after the bracket install, and the printout from the shop said they set toe in to 0.1" on each side. Although looking at the sheet now, I realize that the toe in measurments are hand written... kinda fishy. I'll take it back today and have it checked.

Could the fact that I have the little-bitty stock 28" tires on be a contributing factor here too? I know that tire size does not change the caster angle - but can it amplify the handling characteristics of a caster setting that is a hair too low? I wish I had a friend in the alignment business...

JIMBOX 03-21-2011 08:01 AM

:D Larger tires will INCREASE the toe-in, which is usually OK-

Larger tires will not change Caster, however lifts will and with the larger rotating mass, of tires, the caster can be VERY important-

Installing a lift and big tires, doesn't always require a caster chg and sometimes an alignment isn't required--

Your first driving experence will tell you of the condition-

I lucked out with my lift/tires-I didn't require either alignment or caster adj-but that is the exception, rather than the norm !

Good luck

:dance::rofl: JIMBO

Probo 11-17-2011 12:19 AM

Is caster the Basically pinion angle... Helps with drive shaft issues... Correcting caster rolls the axel so your pinion lines up nearly strait with your drive shaft ?

Probo 11-17-2011 01:22 AM

Mmm finally found the info. Man I love this site

rics1997 11-17-2011 07:00 AM

My shop suggest new cam bolts and Moog adjustable ball joints

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