Causes for the Willy's lean

Discussion in 'Flat Fender Tech' started by Sgt_jarhead, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. Nov 4, 2015
    Sgt_jarhead

    Sgt_jarhead Sponsor Sponsor

    Fallbrook, CA
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    183
    I've got a '42 MB I'm currently working on. Pulled the old engine Monday in prep for a Vortec 4.3 V6 swap. Going to re-do the PO Saginaw steering mount wile I have the front clip off. This one has always had a 2" lean to the drivers side and I want to fix it while everything is accessible.

    I installed new springs/shocks/shackles back in May. (Rancho 2.5" springs) but the lean remains. What are other possible causes? It appears my front shackle bracket on the driver side might be about 1" forward of where it should be. I am basing this only on the fact that at rest, my passenger shackle appears vertical, while the driver side has about a 15* cant towards the front. I will most likely be replacing the front frame horn to correct the Saginaw issue (it's pretty hacked up). Do you think a new location for the shackle hanger will be enough? What other causes can I look at?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Nov 4, 2015
    John Schiefer

    John Schiefer Fltfndr

    Clive, IA
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    174
    You may have a bent driver side spring or it has settled some. Hard to believe since May. I have the same problem on my 2a with lifted springs but everbody tells me to just lose weight. If you jack up the vehicle by the frame so the axle just hangs, what is the position of the driver side shackle?

    Fltfndr
     
  3. Nov 4, 2015
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1,768
    2" is a lot. Is it 2" from left side to right side of the body, or at the front bumper, or?

    I'm unclear on your shackle issue, mainly, which way it is leaning...
    (* is the spring eye, 0 is the axle tube, / or \ is the shackle.)
    Is it this? *_______0_______\
    Or this? *_______0_______/

    Did you lay the new springs on top of each other to make sure each pair had the same arch to begin with? Since the lean is on the drivers side, and the drivers side shackle has more of an angle (if I understand?), I'd be inclined to say it is a spring issue. You should be able to get down on your knees and sight the springs. They should look the same, but one might be flat where the other side has positive (or negative) arch.

    Start by parking the jeep on a perfectly level surface and taking measurements from the ground to every possible point on one side (frame and body), then comparing those to the other side. You will be able to see exactly where the problem lies. If 1" of it is in the body and the other 1" is at the frame, you might have two issues (springs and body mounts?). If one spring is weaker than the other, it might be as simple as swapping front springs.

    The engines in old jeeps were offset a hair to the driver's side to make room for the front pass. side drive, and add to that the weight of the driver, and most do have a bit of a driver's side lean. But 2" is a lot.
     
  4. Nov 5, 2015
    Sgt_jarhead

    Sgt_jarhead Sponsor Sponsor

    Fallbrook, CA
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    183
    Viewed from the drivers side, the shackle looks like the top example. Or more specifically /________0____________ The measurements were taken while parked on flat ground, from the concrete to the top of the fender at the forward most point. The engine that was in it was far from original - it was a 1967 Chevy 153 cu in 4 cyl. Didn't think about the body being the issue. I have a new bushing kit on order and will re-check after it is installed. Actual measurement was 1 13/16" difference at the fenders. If I still have issues after the body bushings, I'll try to upload some pictures
     
  5. Nov 5, 2015
    PeteL

    PeteL Member Sponsor

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Messages:
    5,232
    Check the frame. It may well be bent. A collision shop can check/fix it.
     
  6. Nov 5, 2015
    scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Sponsor Sponsor

    Asheboro, NC
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2014
    Messages:
    204
    The “Jeep lean” has been around since the doggone thing was invented. Look carefully in the engine bay. You will note that the engine, transmission and TC are not centered in the vehicle. They are offset to the drivers’ side. Hence your lean.
     
  7. Nov 5, 2015
    Beach66Bum

    Beach66Bum Member Sponsor

    Big Island on...
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Messages:
    756
    Yup! Jeep was correcting this way back already (customers were complaining to the dealers) with shims on the high side. It's the Jeeps way of 'winking' to other Jeeps ;)
     
  8. Nov 5, 2015
    duffer

    duffer Rodent Power Sponsor

    Bozeman, MT
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Messages:
    2,259
    Yes, plus it's usually just the driver in the vehicle. However, the transfercase is actually offset to the passenger side-it's just too far back from the front axle to have much effect.

    I had really good results with the Rancho springs in my flatty and doubt they are the problem. I too would be looking closely at the frame. The MB/GPW and CJ 2A frames aren't exactly their strong point and they both break and bend a lot easier than the 3A and later versions. In my experience, that strapping had next to no contribution on strength. Kaiser used it on the FC 150's also and it didn't work there either.
     
  9. Nov 9, 2015
    Sgt_jarhead

    Sgt_jarhead Sponsor Sponsor

    Fallbrook, CA
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    183
    Got a chance to put in some work today. Short version: Fixed the lean to within 1/4" side to side. Now, not having experience with flatfenders except this one, I assume the PO had doubled up on the rubber body mounts to provide clearance for the Chevy 153 4cyl and it's air cleaner. There were two rubber "pucks" at each of the 5 front mounting positions (It looks like the mount under the driver's seat was removed when the fuel tank was converted to a CJ-3 tank. I will try to put another one in the vicinity depending on what tank option I go with...) But the rear mounting points only had the thin, 1/4" square rubber pieces. I replaced everything with polyurethane spacers from Daystar, and added the Mountain Off-Road Enterprises 1" aluminum pucks as a body lift to provide the clearance I will need for my SCPI Vortec V6 swap. I am confident that a correct placement of the driver front shackle bracket when I replace the front frame horn will correct the last 1/4". Absolutely will have room for 33's under it now...
     
    ITLKSEZ likes this.
  10. Nov 13, 2015
    duffer

    duffer Rodent Power Sponsor

    Bozeman, MT
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Messages:
    2,259
    With the Rancho 2.5" springs, 1" body lift, and about a 1/2" on the shackles, my 33's still rubbed a bit at the back of the rear wheel wells. Had to lower the bumpstops a bit. Up front, with a D25 or 27, the tires will likely also be on the springs/frame before full lock and require adjusting the knuckle stops (and loosing some turning radius in the process).
     
  11. Nov 13, 2015
    Sgt_jarhead

    Sgt_jarhead Sponsor Sponsor

    Fallbrook, CA
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    183
    Thanks for the info. I had a bit of spring rub up front with my 31x10.50's already. I just don't crank the wheel all the way except at extreme low speeds. I plan on staying with a 10.50 width when I switch to the 33's so I shouldn't see a loss on turning radius compared to what I have now. I will make sure I check the rear before taking it out and make the necessary bump stop adjustments. I don't plan on doing a lot of "serious" off road in this, maybe the occasional mild to medium trail run. The primary purpose for this jeep is as my hunting rig.
     
  12. Dec 8, 2015
    fesser

    fesser Napa, CA Sponsor

    Napa, CA
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Messages:
    322
    Actually, if the offset of the tire in relation to the frame doesn't change, but the tire gets taller, it will hit the frame sooner when you turn. When I went to taller tires I ended up putting in a 3/4 spacer. Made a huge difference. Can actually turn around on a trail now without doing a 100 point turn. I think some people don't like spacers for various reasons but so far I haven't had any issues.
     

Share This Page

New Posts