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Old 03-15-2017, 02:27 PM
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Front axle off center

I completed a 2" spring lift and added a metalcloak adj front trackbar. I loosened all front control arms and disconnected sway bar links but am still unable to center the body over the axle without ratcheting it over with quite a bit of force. It seems like if i have to do that, something is wrong? What is the off-center force pushing against?

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Old 03-15-2017, 03:22 PM   #2
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Remove the track bar. Turn the steering wheel back and forth a few times to center the axle. Correct the track bar length and reinstall.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:16 PM
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No go.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:59 PM   #4
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How are you determining center?
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:05 PM   #5
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You can't expect the axle and body/frame to perfectly self center. Our Jeeps just aren't built to those tolerances, plus the whole fact that there's not much factory triangulation. You know, the whole reason you need a track bar in the first place to locate the axle laterally...

As said, unbolt the tackbar at the frame, turn the steering wheel to center the frame over the axle, then adjust the track bar so you can bolt it back up. That's it.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Fknfrnk13 View Post
No go.
Looks like you need a new keyboard. One with 26 letters.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:43 AM
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How are you determining center?
I'm just dropping a plumb from the edge of fender and measuring the difference to outside edge of tire. The driver side is sticking out about 1.5" further than the passenger which gives me about 0.75" off-center.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:48 AM
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You can't expect the axle and body/frame to perfectly self center. Our Jeeps just aren't built to those tolerances, plus the whole fact that there's not much factory triangulation. You know, the whole reason you need a track bar in the first place to locate the axle laterally...

As said, unbolt the tackbar at the frame, turn the steering wheel to center the frame over the axle, then adjust the track bar so you can bolt it back up. That's it.
I did not know that was the sole reason for the track bar. If that is the case, I would assume that forcing the body over 0.75" and then adjusting the track bar shouldn't hurt anything. Thank you.

I did disconnect the track bar, turned the steering wheel several times, back the Jeep up, move it back forward, turn the wheel several more times, and everything stayed the same. I know its only 0.75", but very noticeable to me.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:50 AM
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Looks like you need a new keyboard. One with 26 letters.
no-go
/nōˈɡō/

adjective informal
1.
not ready or not functioning properly.

noun
1.
a negative response; no.
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:46 AM   #10
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Are you doing this with the weight of the vehicle on the springs/axle? You must.

If the Jeep is on the ground, have a 2nd person manipulate the steering wheel (slightly) to influence the frame left/right compared to the front axle.

I like to do it with the axle on jack stands, the wheels off and plumb lines down from the flares that are centered over the unit bearings. Measure in the wheel mounting flange on the unit bearings.

With the person helping take pressure off of the adjuster by manipulating the steering wheel a bit, you should be able to easily turn the adjuster. Adjust a bit and re-measure. Keep measuring with the hubs pointing straight ahead, I am a redneck so I use levels or aluminum broom handles duct taped to the bearings to get the hubs pointed straight, and also to set my toe in at -1/8".

Since you have that 2nd person, you are compensating for the weight of the driver. If you don't have the second person, the axle will move about 1/16" to 1/8" to the passenger side when you shove your ass in the seat... so you can compensate for that.

This should be a fairly easy task that takes a 10-20 minutes to get dialed in.

Pictures of us doing an axle centering and then alignment last weekend, for you to get a better picture of how a home-brew alignment works. Center it first, then do your toe. The tape marks on the aluminum level and broom handle are the tread diameter of his 35" tires. We set around -1/8" toe comparing the front tape marks to the rear tape marks.
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Old 03-16-2017, 10:08 AM   #11
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You guys are way overthinking this. Axle being centered isn't a critical thing. A tape measure or eyeballing it is good enough.
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Old 03-16-2017, 10:22 AM   #12
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X2. Remember, the axle will only be "perfectly centered" as it sits in the driveway where you adjusted it.

On mine, I just used a tape measure and found a couple diagonal points between the knuckles and opposite side frame. I know I'm pretty well centered because my tires lightly rub the control arms the same amount at steering lock.

If I were to get picky about it, I would not be using the flexible flare as a reference point.

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