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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had the front end of my 2014 JKU aligned a few days ago. However, the steering wheel is not centered, slightly off to the right when going straight. My question: I know how to adjust the steering wheel for alignment using the drag link knuckle, but does this throw off the overall front-end alignment also? Wondering if I should take it back to the alignment shop or take the 15-20 minutes to center the steering wheel myself. Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

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Adjust the drag link. That won’t affect the alignment.

I would recommend driving on a number of various different road conditions to get an idea how far you need to adjust it. In Arizona the roads are often cupped or crowned so the steering wheel is off to the side.
 
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Just lossen the drag link adjuster clamp and twist until the wheel is centered. To make it easier get someone to sit in the front seat and let you know which way to turn it and when to stop. Then tighten up the bolts on the clamp and you are good!

Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Adjust the drag link. That won’t affect the alignment.

I would recommend driving on a number of various different road conditions to get an idea how far you need to adjust it. In Arizona the roads are often cupped or crowned so the steering wheel is off to the side.
Same here in Ohio. However, I've noticed on flat highway driving conditions, it's slightly off (when I notice it the most). That is when I expect it to be straight. The backroads around me are definitely cupped and/or crowned, I agree! Thanks for your input!
 

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Same here in Ohio. However, I've noticed on flat highway driving conditions, it's slightly off (when I notice it the most). That is when I expect it to be straight. The backroads around me are definitely cupped and/or crowned, I agree! Thanks for your input!
There are really only three aspects to the alignment of the front end.
You have caster, which is only adjustable if you have added adjustable parts. Nothing about caster will affect the steering wheel alignment. What was your caster reading?
You have toe, which is adjustable and adjusting it will affect the steering wheel alignment. What was the final value for toe after the alignment?
Then you have the drag link, which obviously affects the steering wheel alignment. But adjusting the drag link will not change caster or toe.

On a side note, if you have an adjustable front track bar adjusting it will change the steering wheel alignment as if you adjusted the drag link. The drag link and the track bar are linked, adjusting the track bar requires a similar adjustment to the drag link to maintain status quo. However, adjusting the drag link does not require a matching adjustment to the track bar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There are really only three aspects to the alignment of the front end.
You have caster, which is only adjustable if you have added adjustable parts. Nothing about caster will affect the steering wheel alignment. What was your caster reading?
You have toe, which is adjustable and adjusting it will affect the steering wheel alignment. What was the final value for toe after the alignment?
Then you have the drag link, which obviously affects the steering wheel alignment. But adjusting the drag link will not change caster or toe.

On a side note, if you have an adjustable front track bar adjusting it will change the steering wheel alignment as if you adjusted the drag link. The drag link and the track bar are linked, adjusting the track bar requires a similar adjustment to the drag link to maintain status quo. However, adjusting the drag link does not require a matching adjustment to the track bar.
Great info, thank you GuzziMoto!!!!
 

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jk-alignment front suspension.jpg

^^^A PIC of your Drag Link.
 
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There are really only three aspects to the alignment of the front end.
You have caster, which is only adjustable if you have added adjustable parts. Nothing about caster will affect the steering wheel alignment. What was your caster reading?
You have toe, which is adjustable and adjusting it will affect the steering wheel alignment. What was the final value for toe after the alignment?
Then you have the drag link, which obviously affects the steering wheel alignment. But adjusting the drag link will not change caster or toe.
On a side note, if you have an adjustable front track bar adjusting it will change the steering wheel alignment as if you adjusted the drag link. The drag link and the track bar are linked, adjusting the track bar requires a similar adjustment to the drag link to maintain status quo. However, adjusting the drag link does not require a matching adjustment to the track bar.
The caster will effect the wheel center.... I lifted my JKU with adjustable lower front control arms. I adjusted the control arms as recommended for my 2.5 lift. It developed enough off center steering wheel angle to cause the traction control system to be screwed up pretty severely (Jeep uses a sensor the detects g force in turns that should match the corresponding steering wheel center line angle). The car also became terrible handling and would take a lot of steering wheel input to make turns plus it was downright sloppy ( I had the off center steering wheel).

I realized the caster was way off... so I readjusted the lower control arms longer by another couple of turns... the result were astounding. The wheel centered up perfectly and the car now tracks perfectly down the road. No more traction control issues either. (I will mention that I added a heavy duty adjustable track bar but it ended up not being setup any different length than stock as the front axle is pretty much dead centered on the car). The track bar was not a factor in the steering wheel angle.

Check your caster....
 
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