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Alignment

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by cayenne, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Sep 30, 2019
    cayenne

    cayenne Member

    central Texas
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2006
    Messages:
    70
    I finished my rocky road yj swap and Saginaw conversion and took it in for alignment. I went to a chain place and not my usual due to distance and time.
    The caster read out really confuses me.

    Initial was 0.3* left. 0.5* right. Then after they adjusted toe in. It said final caster was 4.9* left. 4.5* right. I don’t get it and the guy behind the counter was useless and said the alignment guy already left for the day.

    Is there an explanation or just someone plugging in numbers so the idiot in the old Jeep would leave.
     
  2. Sep 30, 2019
    Jw60

    Jw60 Recovering Jeepaholic

    Sedalia MO.
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    Oct 5, 2018
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    I would go back when the manager is there. It looks like something wasn't entered right.
     
  3. Oct 1, 2019
    Tom_Hartz

    Tom_Hartz Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    North Carolina
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    I can see why it would change. Think of sitting on a bike and turning the handle bars. There is big caster change. I'm curious what other people think. Please keep us posted with the results and how you like your new suspension.
     
  4. Oct 1, 2019
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! Sponsor

    Washington DC.
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    Caster is not adjustable without tapered shims, spring perch reworking or cutting off the outer C's and rewelding them.

    You can check teh caster by taking a cheap 10 buck angle finder and sticking it to your bottom king pin cap. I assume you have a D27...If you really do have almost 5* of caster, you're good.

    Caster is all about drivability. Does your wheel return to center upon leaving a turn on its own? Does it stay straight on a flat road? Do you ever experience "death wobble"? A shop that works on new cars and may never have seen an old jeep won't be much help to you and the manager will most likely just be confused..

    I set my own alignment with a tape measure and a straightedge. Worked for me.
     
  5. Oct 1, 2019
    Cowboyjeeper

    Cowboyjeeper Member

    Show low az
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    Mar 5, 2019
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    I too would be interested in how you like the new suspension.
     
  6. Oct 1, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    I would mention, in case the OP does not know, adding tapered shims means removing the front axle U-bolts and adding the shims to the front spring pack with a new spring center bolt. Not a trivial operation. If you paid for alignment, on a live-axle Jeep your alignment shop can only change toe-in and center the steering without a considerable upcharge.

    There is a printout from the alignment machine. Always ask for a copy of the printout, showing before and after. Seems like you got something like that; agreeing that the before-and-after caster numbers are totally fishy.
     
  7. Oct 1, 2019
    cayenne

    cayenne Member

    central Texas
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2006
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    70
    I haven't had a chance to drive on them much yet, I'll write a review after I get a few off road miles on it. It does sit higher than my 2.5" BDS, but I got the heavy duty springs.

    The lack of caster adjustability is why the numbers don't make sense to me. I have the print out and showed the guy at the counter and he said maybe adjusting the tow in changed it, then admitted he didn't know.

    I guess I should have gone to my normal place, but flat towing it that far without alignment was too dangerous. I'll call the manager today, but I am pretty confident either the initial or final is wrong and now I don't trust either and he won't be able to convince me one is right. So I either tow it back there for the same suspect guy to "double check it" or spend new $$ on the guy I trust.
     
  8. Oct 1, 2019
    cayenne

    cayenne Member

    central Texas
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    Dec 24, 2006
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    70
    Also - i did check the top of my king pin bearings with a very cheap angle finder and it came back close to 0*. (That is why I think the initial is right). I wanted a more accurate before I tried to buy the custom shims.
     
  9. Oct 1, 2019
    jeep2003

    jeep2003 Active Member

    Vestal NY
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    Alignment guys have ways of fudging the results. very easy to do with caster on leaf springs
     
  10. Oct 1, 2019
    Richard in AZ

    Richard in AZ it's a dry heat Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    PHX AZ
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    I struggle in this area....would be very interested in learning the steps to set alignment with a tape and straight edge.....
     
  11. Oct 1, 2019
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    I know we all know this but just so we all know that we all know this-

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Oct 1, 2019
    jzeber

    jzeber Well-Known Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Morgan Hill, Ca
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    I jack up my rig. Spin the wheels and run a chalk line around the tire. Take a piece of string and measure at the front of the tire and rear of the tire. Should be toed in at about 1/8 inch. Make any necessary adjustments. Set it back on the ground, roll it around a bit and jack it up and check it again. This has worked very well for me over the years.
     
  13. Oct 1, 2019
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member Sponsor

    Apopka, Fl
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    Wouldn't you have to be on a known perfectly level area to get an accurate result?
     
  14. Oct 1, 2019
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member Sponsor

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    Also- from the FSM

    upload_2019-10-1_10-57-17.png
     
  15. Oct 1, 2019
    Tom_Hartz

    Tom_Hartz Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    North Carolina
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    That's what I do. The 35" BFG Mud Terrains on my TJ lasted about 53,000 miles daily driven and four wheeled.
     
  16. Oct 1, 2019
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    If you are running a 1-piece tie rod, it will have a different toe spec than the original 2-piece toe rod. The 1-piece tie rod is a fixed distance. The 2-piece tie rod changes with suspension load. It goes from toe in with unloaded suspension, to toe out when loaded. These suspension changes occur as you drive down the road. This occurs because the 2-piece setup pivots at the bellcrank which is in a plane above the outer tie rod ends, and suspension movement effectively changes the tie rod length.
    -Donny
     
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  17. Oct 1, 2019
    termin8ed

    termin8ed I didn't do it Staff Member Sponsor

    Mason, MI
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    If it was done on a hunter machine you do a caster sweep to start. You really should do another caster sweep after making adjustments just to make sure, but usually if your just doing toe angles it shouldnt change. Maybe something wasnt straight to start or measurements didnt get saved at the beginning?:shrug:

    Toe and steering wheel centering is the only thing you can adjust without adding shims for caster
     
  18. Oct 1, 2019
    Buildflycrash

    Buildflycrash Member Sponsor

    Gulf Breeze FL...
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    ...or measure the angle of the floor and do the math, that's what I did. I hate math but this one is pretty easy. Is anything on a 50yo jeep that accurate anyway?
     
  19. Oct 1, 2019
    jeep2003

    jeep2003 Active Member

    Vestal NY
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    May 30, 2006
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    1,458
    For toe i measure with a tape measure across hooked on a tire tread front and back as high as you can get without hitting suspension or whatever. Ofcourse pick a spot on the tire that is consistant which isnt always easy on mud tires. My brother is a mechanic so he checks after sometimes with the machine and results are always good.
     
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  20. Oct 1, 2019
    Tom_Hartz

    Tom_Hartz Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    North Carolina
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    I have a 1 piece tie rod set up on my CJ.
    When checking toe in I lift the front end and support it under the axle. Then spin the tire and put a wrap of masking tape around it. Now with the help of a friend I have them spin the tire while I hold a Sharpie to draw a nice thin straight line on the tape. This way i can use a tape measure to compare the measurement from the front of the tire to the back checking the toe in. I've been doing it this way for about 20 years with great results. I run a 1/8" toe in.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
    mike starck likes this.

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