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Discussion Starter #1
Ok this is just confusing me.

1. You lift a wrangler
2. The stock track bars aren't long enough so the rear of the wrangler swings towards the driver's side and the front of the wrangler swings towards the passenger side
3. You remove the stock track bar, intending to install a new track bar, but after removing the stock bar the wrangler doesn't swing back to 'normal' center like I would expect it to.
4. You put an aftermarket, longer, track bar into place but you have to manhandle the Jeep frame to swing it to the bolt hole position.

So I'm confused. If the stock track bar being too short was causing the Jeep to be off-center, how come removing the stock track bar doesn't cause the Jeep frame to swing/move to where it should 'naturally' rest in relation to the axle?
 

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I'm not following the question. But just to think it through, you pull the front stuff off, including stock track bar, install the front stuff, put the new track bar up, but don't torque it yet, on and on, then plumb the new track bar, adjust as needed, check, torque and move on.....

I'm not sure how there's force interacting with the suspension at the point you are talking about to make the new, longer track bar line up properly. (I think that's the question, it's at object at "rest" with the old bar off, so force is applied (turing wheel in front or pushing out back) to move it from "rest" to the new positoin.

Are you talking a little bit off or like alot?

Up front, you just get someone to turn the wheel to line it up a bit, engine off, of course. Out back, yeah. We did one (years ago, I was just helping as a go-for) and two of us pushed with our backs to the wall to horse it over.

(No expert here, for sure, just curious. )
 

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You're using control arms and coils on a JK. The track bar is what keeps the axle centered under the vehicle. Without it, the axle essentially walks out until countered by a binding force.

The simple version.

Your steering box is connected to the frame. Pitman arm connected to the drag link. Drag link connected to the steering knuckle. The steering box and pitman arm provide forces to the knuckle. These forces (if there is nothing to counter them) are just going to move the body of the Jeep in the opposite direction. The track bar counters this force. It is attached to the axle and the frame. If it isn't attached to where it is centered, this is what causes handling issues when going down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
edited - JeepAddOns-Chris that makes some sense. I'll have to read it over a few times to understand it completely.
 

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Put a jack under the drivers side frame and lift it up a bit. This will make the 2 track bar brackets farther apart and you can fit the new track bar In. Then lower it and drive foreword a bit to let the axle center itself
 

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With weight on suspension it will be closer. With weight off, and axles drooping, trackbar is still trying to pull axle one way or the other because the axle is not in its static position at ride height.
 

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a ratchet strap will be your friend in this situation. you are talking about 2000+ pounds of vehicle sitting on springs, its going to be off.
 

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Mine centered perfectly when I took the stock bar off and pushed the jeep side to side to have it center itself. Your control arm bolts should be loose too.

So to answer your question yes the jeep should center itself when you remove the stock trackbar and then do a shakedown of the jeep.
 

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Easy explanation: It doesn't return to center because there is nothing making it want to..that's the trackbar's job. Without a trackbar, the body just goes in whichever direction it feels like until something stops it (spring bend, bushing bind, etc..).
 
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