After my RK 3.5" lift... WHY CAN'T I PARK STRAIGHT ANYMORE? - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:33 PM
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After my RK 3.5" lift... WHY CAN'T I PARK STRAIGHT ANYMORE?

i'm 53
i've owned countless cars
i know how to drive
so......
here's the thing

'15 JKUR
owned only 1 month before having...
RK 3.5" mid-arm
x-factor lift
bilstein 5100 shocks
17 x 9 mayhem rampage wheels
MT Baja MTZ 37 x 12.5 tires
so......

every single time i park in a parking space
it looks straight on one side....
and ANGLED AS HELL on the other
what gives?
i've measure the TRACK of both front and rear wheels
they are even

the jeep pulls SLIGHTLY to the LEFT since the LIFT, but will be "fixed" soon
the steering wheel is 2-3 DEGREES COUNTER-CLOCKWISE since the lift while driving straight

the toe and camber and caster have been adjusted
yes.... there is some NEGATIVE CAMBER to the wheels... which is to be expected

i do NOT remember appreciating this PHENOMENON BEFORE the suspension lift

so....
what gives?

I have parked in 30 parking spaces
It is not possible to all of the lines are crooked
How can I possibly keep pulling into a space thinking I'm straight and getting out of the car to see that it is lined up on one side very crooked on the other?

Have I lost my damn mind?

Please, please help me

The jeep what's bought new
It has never been an accident
The frame is not crooked
Is this normal?
Do I need to surrender my license at the age of 53


As always, thank you in advance

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Old 10-30-2015, 07:40 PM   #2
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Yes, surrender your license and give me your Jeep.

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Old 10-30-2015, 07:47 PM
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Yes, surrender your license and give me your Jeep.

i think i'll have to
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:50 PM   #4
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Who installed your lift?

Who told you camber was adjusted?

Why did you have to measure track?

Are the axles centered?

Why were toe and caster adjusted, but your steering wheel is still off center? Did they not do a full alignment?

My guess is your installer left things a bit out of whack. Get it on an alignment rack and get it all centered and dialed back in.
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:51 PM   #5
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Throwing a guess out there. You are up a bit higher, thereby making the angle that you look through the mirror to the ground different.

I can back up straight everything I drive including my jeep, one ton truck and 25ton fire engine. But I CAN NOT for the life of me back up my wife's Honda Odyssey mini van straight into a space. I end up with the situation just as you described!
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Old 10-30-2015, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 14Trailcrawler View Post
Who installed your lift?

Who told you camber was adjusted?

Why did you have to measure track?

Are the axles centered?

Why were toe and caster adjusted, but your steering wheel is still off center? Did they not do a full alignment?

My guess is your installer left things a bit out of whack. Get it on an alignment rack and get it all centered and dialed back in.
yeah.....
i'm not breathing at a normal pace, at the moment
surely you must be right

they did a full alignment, i was told....
twice
not witnessed by me, of course

i appreciate your help
very much
thank you
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:02 PM
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Throwing a guess out there. You are up a bit higher, thereby making the angle that you look through the mirror to the ground different.

I can back up straight everything I drive including my jeep, one ton truck and 25ton fire engine. But I CAN NOT for the life of me back up my wife's Honda Odyssey mini van straight into a space. I end up with the situation just as you described!
I am sure that is part of the issue
However, when I get out I can see that my front and rear tire on my side of the car are exactly the same distance from the line in the parking space but when I go to the other side of the car it's off by several inches. At first of course I thought the parking spaces were just cricket but that cannot be the case with 30 parking spaces.
It is as if the frame is crooked or the axles are out of alignment. I never experienced anything like this in my life. I thought maybe it was like a dune buggy and the front track was shorter than the rear track which would be ridiculous... but, this is not the case because I've measured it and they are exactly the same.
However, Something is out of kilter because every single time I lined up on one side is completely out of line on the other side so I'm sure I'm driving down the road crooked. This is one of the reasons it pulls to the left. A very reputable Jeep installer did my lift percent without have a properly aligned and send it out again because he didn't like the way it was but I have to believe the person doing the alignment doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground... As my father would so eloquently put it

I never thought I would be dealing with this
But, I have had enough after driving to dinner tonight and pulling into a parking space And experiencing what I mentioned above...

It goes back on Monday to have some other work done
Maybe I should demand that somebody else does the alignment
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:13 PM
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let me ask you THIS:
1. if there is NEGATIVE CAMBER in the FRONT TIRES
2. POSITIVE CAMBER in the REAR tires

could THIS cause the "illusion" i'm seeing?
because, of course, when judging how far your tires are from the border of a parking space you are only seeing the BOTTOM of the tires

i'm just wondering
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:30 PM   #9
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Don't worry about it. I'm 30, and the exact same thing happens to me every time. It looks straight while I park, but is a no go when I get out. Always crooked.
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:30 PM   #10
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well, Get it on an alignment rack and get it all centered and dialed back in.
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:33 PM   #11
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I am not an alignment expert but let't think this through. Caster is related to the angle of a line from the center of the upper ball joint through the lower ball joint. Positive caster is required for the vehicle to steer correctly and the steering wheel to self center after turning. Thus caster should not be the issue. Camber is the tilt of the tires at the top, negative is inwards at the top. Unless you are making high speed runs, very high, you need negative camber. Eliminate camber as the issue. The steering wheel being off center is likely due to the tie rods being incorrectly adjusted, not centered or equal. The steering wheel off is not causing the Jeep to be out of sorts but it is possble the toe is off. Toe is the difference between the width of the front of the tires and the width of the rear of the tires. It is basically the track at the front and rear of the tires. You said you measured track but not how you measured it. If your left tire is in line with the left side of your Jeep (parallel), does the right front tire look parallel as well?
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:38 PM   #12
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Another thought. Did you use spacers? If so, are they all installed??
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:39 PM   #13
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That can't be it, you measured track front and rear. That's what happens when I multitask!
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Old 10-30-2015, 08:58 PM   #14
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"xperiencing what I mentioned above..."

....perhaps you've been exposed to some bad African dikdik and have beetles boring into your cerebellum which have produced the Jeep equivalent of 'turning left disease'....or 'parking one side crookeder than the other' syndrome....
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Old 10-30-2015, 09:15 PM   #15
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Have u checked to see if the front and rear track bars have your axle centered under the frame? I have the same year Jeep and exact same lift and I'm strait when parked in a parking space. I set my tb's to RK's recommendation at first and had to readjust both front and rear tb's to get my axles correctly centered. U need a 2x4 board or strait edge against your tire and a tape measure from the frame to the 2x4.
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Old 10-30-2015, 09:25 PM   #16
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You have the X Factor so that means u have upper and lower control arms. They need to be adjusted so that u have around 4 degrees caster. The steering wheel is re-centered by simply turning the adjusting sleeve on the drag link but it should be the last thing that is done.
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Old 10-30-2015, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by The Yakman View Post
I am not an alignment expert but let't think this through. Caster is related to the angle of a line from the center of the upper ball joint through the lower ball joint. Positive caster is required for the vehicle to steer correctly and the steering wheel to self center after turning. Thus caster should not be the issue. Camber is the tilt of the tires at the top, negative is inwards at the top. Unless you are making high speed runs, very high, you need negative camber. Eliminate camber as the issue. The steering wheel being off center is likely due to the tie rods being incorrectly adjusted, not centered or equal. The steering wheel off is not causing the Jeep to be out of sorts but it is possble the toe is off. Toe is the difference between the width of the front of the tires and the width of the rear of the tires. It is basically the track at the front and rear of the tires. You said you measured track but not how you measured it. If your left tire is in line with the left side of your Jeep (parallel), does the right front tire look parallel as well?
i appreciate your post
of course, there is no way to accurately measure "TRACK" with the profile of the mickey thompson baja mtz tires... so, i'm truly not sure
as for the parallel nature of the tires.... just lying on the ground 100 feet behind the jeep and staring for five minutes and believing you see symmetry is no scientific study, either, sadly.

Maybe the only true answer isto demand my installer take the Jeep to another place that is reputable for doing a proper alignment

At first I thought it was just an optical illusion that now I have parking 30 spaces and witnesses same thing each time despite the fact that Jeep dries fairly straight down the road but perhaps there are many things out of alignment overcompensating for another bigger problem which allows my vehicle to drive straight down the road but to be completely discombobulated geometrically

I wish I could just relax and enjoy a weekend
i guess this, apparently, is not the time that will happen

Again, I greatly appreciate your thoughts and advice
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:00 PM
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Another thought. Did you use spacers? If so, are they all installed??
That is another good question
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:00 PM
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That can't be it, you measured track front and rear. That's what happens when I multitask!
While the method I used was nonscientific I don't believe I could've been wrong enough to justify this significant difference and perceived symmetry of the vehicle
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:03 PM
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Have u checked to see if the front and rear track bars have your axle centered under the frame? I have the same year Jeep and exact same lift and I'm strait when parked in a parking space. I set my tb's to RK's recommendation at first and had to readjust both front and rear tb's to get my axles correctly centered. U need a 2x4 board or strait edge against your tire and a tape measure from the frame to the 2x4.
This must be exactly the problem
I'm a a pretty damn good pediatrician with 25 years experience in the field but I don't know anything about the subject we are discussing here and I'm free the person who's doing my installation might have really messed things up and I'm not smart enough about this to truly figure out the reason. In my business knowing what you don't know it's infinitely more important than knowing what you do. My point is saying this is that I'm not sure I'm capable of making the proper measurements necessary to help those of you here who are trying to help me
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:05 PM
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You have the X Factor so that means u have upper and lower control arms. They need to be adjusted so that u have around 4 degrees caster. The steering wheel is re-centered by simply turning the adjusting sleeve on the drag link but it should be the last thing that is done.
Thank you for this information, as well.
And Is currently Friday night at 11:04 PM
I will drop my wrangler back off On Monday approximately 5 o'clock in the afternoon he will keep it for couple of days.
I will ask him to double check what is going on over someplace other than where he is gone to the have the alignment done because he does not have that equipment in his shop

I'm aggravated and disappointed
I guess I'm shocked that the jeep even lights fairly straight down the road despite being so out of whack geometrically which tells me that somebody has jacked around underneath the vehicle adjusting everything else to get it to drive straight even though it is geometrically discombobulated so several things are going to need to be corrected to get it to be straight again and I can't believe they wouldn't have checked that before giving me the keys back
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:15 PM
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I have just written a rather lengthy email back to the gentleman whose doing the installation for him to mull over the details between now and 54 hours from now when I drop the Jeep off back at his shop period

I hope that by the time I pick the Jeep back up next Wednesday things would've been rectified, Perhaps my somebody entirely different to better understands what to do.

Again, thanks to all of you for your assistance and your thoughts and the time you've taken to educate me
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:19 PM   #23
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I never took mine to an alignment shop, yet at least. The installer should've been able to get your lift, steering, caster, pinion angle, and the axles centered within 1/8th with the amount of adjustability the RK X Factor offers and just using the alignment shops technology to make sure everything is within spec. Maybe your installer got overwhelmed idk but your Jeep is definitely not right as of right now. More people will see your topic and add their opinions and experience.
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:33 PM   #24
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I truly hope you're able to get it worked out without too much of a disappointing headache because I've been very happy with mine for the 1000 miles I've had it on and know u will be happy too. Keep us updated please.
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:34 PM
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I truly hope you're able to get it worked out without too much of a disappointing headache because I've been very happy with mine for the 1000 miles I've had it on and know u will be happy too. Keep us updated please.
thank you for your thoughts and kind words
i remember him telling me that everything was "within spec" after the install
not even sure what that meant since i see the issues with my own eyes every time i pull into a parking space

fascinating
i'll keep you informed
again, thank you
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:06 PM   #26
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Sounds like you got the bro syndrome.

First your parking crooked. That's jus the beginning.

Few things to check...
Jacked up truck/jeep
Parking cooked with one tie on curb
Rockstar rims
Crooked hat with visor flipped upward
Popped collar
Pink shirt

Sorry man it does not look good for you.


J/k man good luck sounds like your on the right track
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:07 PM
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Sounds like you got the bro syndrome.

First your parking crooked. That's jus the beginning.

Few things to check...
Jacked up truck/jeep
Parking cooked with one tie on curb
Rockstar rims
Crooked hat with visor flipped upward
Popped collar
Pink shirt

Sorry man it does not look good for you.
thanks for giving me a good chuckle before i go off to bed
i needed that... desperately
thank you
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:17 PM   #28
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A pediatrician with 25 years of experience now has bro syndrome!!!! Lol. The first few times I parked in my garage I thought I went in straight but it was in the garage crooked. I finally figured out I was guiding off the hood like I did in my Silverado but the Jeep hood is tapered so I was going in at an angle even tho it looked like I was going in straight!
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:22 AM   #29
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A pediatrician with 25 years of experience now has bro syndrome!!!! Lol. The first few times I parked in my garage I thought I went in straight but it was in the garage crooked. I finally figured out I was guiding off the hood like I did in my Silverado but the Jeep hood is tapered so I was going in at an angle even tho it looked like I was going in straight!
Yep!!! Same thing backing up. It's a Jeep thing!
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Old 10-31-2015, 07:05 AM   #30
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As stated get the drag link adjusted and your steering wheel will be straight.

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