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Old 05-24-2017, 07:55 PM
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Alignment Question. Is my axle shifted?

Feeling that somethings amiss with my front alignment I bought some string to run around the jeep and get measurements from.

On the passenger side my measurements are about 3 or 4/16 at the back of the tire and 1/2 inch in the front of the tire. I tried to measure at the same place and at the "thickest" part of the tire.

I went around to the deiver side and to my surprise the string was not even touching the front of the rear tire and it was already up against the front tire!

Using this method the string should rest against the back tire and then go straight to a jack-stand where the string is secured. (If i can find the video i watched where i got this idea ill post it)

My jku is basically stock..... now....
It started life with 17/58 springs. I put a TF leveling kit on it and then took it off and put 18/60 springs on.

How do i correct this? (I dont really want to buy an adjustable track bar since its basically stock, their should be a stock solution). My alignment is obviously way off....


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Old 05-24-2017, 08:58 PM   #2
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Regardless of what solution you think "should" exist, your track bar length is going to dictate how centered your axle is. As the axle moves up and down under the body, it swings at an arc which is dictated by the track bar. You changed the ride height without changing the track bar length, so now you are at a different spot on the arc and therefore the axle is not centered. Solution? Buy an adjustable track bar.

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Old 05-24-2017, 09:46 PM   #3
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So, you are worried about 1/2 inch (1/4 inch adjustment)?
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Old 05-25-2017, 01:23 AM   #4
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Either adjustable track bar, or ignore it if ride isn't effected
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Old 05-25-2017, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by lnc2bldr View Post
So, you are worried about 1/2 inch (1/4 inch adjustment)?


No. If it was a simple toe adjustment... thats what I was expecting to find.

The totality of the situation is not only the discrepancy in the toe-in but the fact the axle is apparently shifted around a half an inch to the driver side.

Just looking for advice on the topic.

Ive ordered toe plates and measuring tape kit. Ill set the toe and then maybe consider an adjustable track bar.

It would be helpful to know. (Because i am neither a mechanic or jeep engineer), should the axle be perfectly centered as i think it should, or is a certain degree of offset acceptable?

THANKS!


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Old 05-25-2017, 08:11 AM   #6
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As already stated, the track bars will cause the axles to shift as you raise the suspension. The rear will shift to the right and the front will shift to the left. Because of this, you can't "string" it to check alignment.

If you want to check toe, just check it independently on a level surface. I use a framing square with a pointer clamped to it at an elevation corresponding to the center of the wheel. With the square perpendicular to the floor, touch the pointer to the front & rear of each wheel, and mark the floor at each location. Measure between the marks on the floor to get toe (in inches). Use geometry to figure out the toe angle.

IMO, don't bother using measurements off of the tire sidewalls for checking or setting alignment - they just aren't 'true' enough. Use the wheels as your point of reference.
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Old 05-25-2017, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Repth View Post
Regardless of what solution you think "should" exist, your track bar length is going to dictate how centered your axle is. As the axle moves up and down under the body, it swings at an arc which is dictated by the track bar. You changed the ride height without changing the track bar length, so now you are at a different spot on the arc and therefore the axle is not centered. Solution? Buy an adjustable track bar.


Is there more than one OEM track bar? Because as far as I can tell jeeps sold with 15's (is that the lowest spring rate) up front and/or 10A springs have THE SAME track bar?

And if there is ONLY ONE oem track bar (which as far as i can tell there is) how do jeeps with 10a springs and 15 rate springs get centered..... from the factory?


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Old 05-25-2017, 08:26 AM
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IMO, don't bother using measurements off of the tire sidewalls for checking or setting alignment - they just aren't 'true' enough. Use the wheels as your point of reference.

Thats a good point, my measurements may be flawed. Ive thought of this already. I will remeasure but Im sure it will still be off to some extent.


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Old 05-25-2017, 08:26 AM   #9
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The axle moves side to side as it travels up and down. It will never be perfectly centered at all possible positions. But it is nice to center it at ride height. If you change your ride height (like a leveling kit does) you can re-center it with an adjustable track bar.
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Old 05-25-2017, 08:31 AM
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To clarify one point... it has oem 18 rate springs and no longer has a leveling kit. Its stock.


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Old 05-25-2017, 10:57 AM   #11
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The 17/58 springs would probably get you back within spec. Or add weight to get closer to stock ride height.
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Old 05-25-2017, 11:22 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by RenegadeUL13 View Post
Is there more than one OEM track bar? Because as far as I can tell jeeps sold with 15's (is that the lowest spring rate) up front and/or 10A springs have THE SAME track bar?

And if there is ONLY ONE oem track bar (which as far as i can tell there is) how do jeeps with 10a springs and 15 rate springs get centered..... from the factory?


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As you've already surmised, not all JK's have perfectly centered axles even when brand new.

I wouldn't sweat your situation.

To beat the drum again: If you want it perfectly centered, get an adjustable track bar.
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Old 05-25-2017, 01:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by RenegadeUL13 View Post
Is there more than one OEM track bar? Because as far as I can tell jeeps sold with 15's (is that the lowest spring rate) up front and/or 10A springs have THE SAME track bar?

And if there is ONLY ONE oem track bar (which as far as i can tell there is) how do jeeps with 10a springs and 15 rate springs get centered..... from the factory?


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It is common for there to be a small shift from the factory. I am aware that there are different springs--I know the 4 door uses stiffer springs than the 2 door. As far as trim levels go, I am not aware of any differences in springs (not to suggest there are not, I am just not privy to that). I would assume that all Jeeps are configured to the same ride height, both JK and JKU, and all trim levels. Differences in spring rate may be balanced out at the resting position by having slightly shorter or longer springs. There is only one track bar (well, one front and one rear) to my knowledge, but I am not sitting in front of a parts list.

Regardless, if you want to reposition the axle from where it is now, you need an adjustable track bar. If you crawl under your Jeep and examine what all is connected to the axle and imagine the axle moving up and down, it should be easy to see why the axle will swing left or right as it moves vertically.

Was your toe out when you had an alignment check done? It shouldn't be. If it is, you need to adjust your tie rod. You should get a professional alignment because it is more precise than you or I have the ability to by hand. It should also be free at any reputable shop.
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Old 05-25-2017, 02:59 PM   #14
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It is common for there to be a small shift from the factory. I am aware that there are different springs--I know the 4 door uses stiffer springs than the 2 door. As far as trim levels go, I am not aware of any differences in springs (not to suggest there are not, I am just not privy to that). I would assume that all Jeeps are configured to the same ride height, both JK and JKU, and all trim levels. Differences in spring rate may be balanced out at the resting position by having slightly shorter or longer springs. There is only one track bar (well, one front and one rear) to my knowledge, but I am not sitting in front of a parts list.

Regardless, if you want to reposition the axle from where it is now, you need an adjustable track bar. If you crawl under your Jeep and examine what all is connected to the axle and imagine the axle moving up and down, it should be easy to see why the axle will swing left or right as it moves vertically.

Was your toe out when you had an alignment check done? It shouldn't be. If it is, you need to adjust your tie rod. You should get a professional alignment because it is more precise than you or I have the ability to by hand. It should also be free at any reputable shop.
Unfortunately there are reports of two jeeps with identical trim levels having different spring numbers from the factory and thus, slightly different ride heights.

Some years/trim levels even came with different numbered springs right to left on the same axle fitted from the factory.

It was often a crap shoot. I imagine when they ran out of the number they were supposed to use for that build, they simply grabbed the next number up or down until their station was re-stocked.
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Old 05-25-2017, 03:11 PM   #15
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these variations are normal. even sitting in the driver seat will technically change the arc (although extremely minimal). the Recons have same track bar and sit higher even than the Hard Rocks and all these come from the factory. a leveling kit does not need an adjustable track bar.
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Old 05-25-2017, 03:36 PM
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I dont have a leveling kit


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Old 05-25-2017, 05:29 PM   #17
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these variations are normal. even sitting in the driver seat will technically change the arc (although extremely minimal). the Recons have same track bar and sit higher even than the Hard Rocks and all these come from the factory. a leveling kit does not need an adjustable track bar.
Well the question is not "do I need", the question is "how do I center it"? Which requires an adjustable track bar. I agree that small variances are not an issue. Mine are like 3/16" off and I have an adjustable track bar, lol.

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Unfortunately there are reports of two jeeps with identical trim levels having different spring numbers from the factory and thus, slightly different ride heights.

Some years/trim levels even came with different numbered springs right to left on the same axle fitted from the factory.

It was often a crap shoot. I imagine when they ran out of the number they were supposed to use for that build, they simply grabbed the next number up or down until their station was re-stocked.
Are you aware of whether or not the various springs were different lengths uncompressed? Because if you have a spring that is more stiff, and you shorten it by a coil or two, you can easily end up with the same length when compressed under the weight of the vehicle (i.e.: same ride height). I don't know enough about them to know for sure if this is the case or not. I do know that the JKUR springs are either slightly taller or slightly more stiff than the JK springs.
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Old 05-25-2017, 05:38 PM   #18
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I dont have a leveling kit


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ahh i see, you said you took it off. i just saw you had it. but still, having less "lift" than a leveling kit there really is nothing to do here and same rules apply since you do not want to buy adjustables. since you swapped to stock springs that is technically how it would have came from the factory.
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Old 05-25-2017, 10:33 PM   #19
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Well the question is not "do I need", the question is "how do I center it"? Which requires an adjustable track bar. I agree that small variances are not an issue. Mine are like 3/16" off and I have an adjustable track bar, lol.



Are you aware of whether or not the various springs were different lengths uncompressed? Because if you have a spring that is more stiff, and you shorten it by a coil or two, you can easily end up with the same length when compressed under the weight of the vehicle (i.e.: same ride height). I don't know enough about them to know for sure if this is the case or not. I do know that the JKUR springs are either slightly taller or slightly more stiff than the JK springs.
Each part number is progressively longer than the previous number uncompressed.
The spring rates seem to be the same and the coil wire seems to be the same diameter throughout the sequential part numbers.
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Old 05-26-2017, 07:25 AM   #20
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There's a great thread on spring rates and their differences (link below). Within the first page or two of the thread the OP provides a chart comparing the specs of different springs. It might be worth checking that thread out. It's geared toward swapping up to the 10A springs but there are a lot of valuable tips and insights about spring swaps overall. Good luck with getting your Jeep where you want it!
https://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/pr...p-1051385.html


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