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Unread 02-10-2011, 05:13 PM   #1
LandRover
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Will installing a dropped pitman arm throw off my alignment? How bad?

I'm assuming it will screw with my toe-in? Or will it? I'm putting a ZJ pitman arm on the XJ...1"-ish drop.

And while I have you on the phone... the ZJ arm looks like it achieves it's drop just by having a steeper angle at the top... the mid section looks to be the same length, it's just a steeper angle where it bends up at the steering box end. I'm going on everyone's word that it's about a 1" drop... who's done a ZJ arm, and does it achieve about 1" of drop?

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Unread 02-11-2011, 09:52 AM   #2
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Bump.... anyone?
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Unread 02-11-2011, 10:25 AM   #3
1990JEEPXJ
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yes it will mess with your toe and your steering wheel alignment. just think of it as lowering your suspension 1". it will have an effect, though not a major one. not sure about the ZJ arm in specific though
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Unread 02-11-2011, 10:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1990JEEPXJ View Post
yes it will mess with your toe and your steering wheel alignment. just think of it as lowering your suspension 1". it will have an effect, though not a major one. not sure about the ZJ arm in specific though
A drop pitman arm on a stock inverted Y steering XJ will barely affect toe.
It might turn your steering wheel some, but not much if any.

The pitman arm will lower the drag link, which you should keep parallel with your track bar.
Any small affect that has on your steering wheel being perfectly straight, can be changed by adjusting your drag link. Still, that should not affect toe.
Toe in/out is controlled by the tie rod.

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Unread 02-11-2011, 10:54 AM   #5
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that diagram and explanation is how everyone should respond. so simple. thanks man!
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Unread 02-11-2011, 11:09 AM   #6
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Yes, it will toe the wheels out. How much depends on how much you are lifted.
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Unread 02-11-2011, 11:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicoXJ View Post
Yes, it will toe the wheels out. How much depends on how much you are lifted.
Well technically you're right.
His lift height will already have changed the angle of the drag link at the tie rod.
Since that angle is steeper, it will have toe'd in a real small amount.
I'm at 4" of lift, and have no noticeable change in toe. But I've never had mine on an alignment rack, only checked it with a tape.

Putting the DP arm in, will bring the top of the drag link back down, and flatten that angle back out, toe-ing it out some.
But we're talking about an amount that you could barely tell using most home alignment methods.
A rack would notice it sure, but it's gonna be a really small amount.

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Unread 02-11-2011, 01:10 PM   #8
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Thanks guys. I'm asking because I had it aligned by a shop after I did the lift...because on the last jeep I did it myself and that led to uneven tire wear

So I had it aligned, and now I'm going to change the pitman arm and I don't want to mess up what is currently perfect alignment. Maybe the guy that did it will throw it on the rack for me and check the toe after I do the pitman arm....

I'm only at 3.5" lift, but the Jeep is RHD...and I did a Iron Rock adjustable track bar, which comes with a 3/4" drop bracket. the RHD track bar has a bend in it to get it around the differential, and this bend in combination with the drop bracket makes the track bar contact my drag link when the wheels are turned at full-lock. I'm hoping the ZJ pitman arm will bring the drag link down enough to avoid the contact. It will also get me back closer to parallel with my track bar, since I dropped the track bar 3/4" and the Pitman arm is (In theory) a 1" drop.
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Unread 02-12-2011, 06:10 PM   #9
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Just finished the install... those things are ON there. Yeesh. Anyway I think it fixed my issue, and it rotated my steering wheel a full 180 degrees. More than ithought it could possibly move it. No biggie, but I am going to try to get the allignment guy to measure it. Im curious if it could have affected toe that much.
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Unread 02-12-2011, 06:12 PM   #10
joshr1987
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Pitman arm cannot affect toe. The toe is done by tie rod.
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Unread 02-12-2011, 06:14 PM   #11
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It is easy to fix the steering wheel by adjusting the drag-link. The toe is easily adjusted by turning the tierod, but if the shop will do it for free I would go that route.
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Unread 02-12-2011, 06:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshr1987 View Post
Pitman arm cannot affect toe. The toe is done by tie rod.
If you look at the Y steering set-up the draglink is connected to the tierod and to the right side knuckle. Any difference in the drag link results in a difference in the toe setting.
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  2. Sold'99 WJ limited, 4.7L, 3" IRO lift. Bilstein shocks, JK rubicon wheels, 255/70/17's, carolina driveshaft, IRO adjustable control arms, IRO adjustable A-arm
  3. Sold '00 TJ, 4" lift, rusty's adjustable control arms, skyjacker shocks, rock krawler adj. trac-bar,rugged ridge SYE and RE driveshaft, soft 8's, 35" mud king xt's,XJ HP D30 w/aussie locker, 4:88 yukon gears, hella 500's, rock crusher diff covers
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Unread 02-12-2011, 06:47 PM   #13
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Yeah the steering wheel is no biggie, but I never thought it would move it that much...it's just a 1" drop. I posted this thread because the alignment guy said something about how it could throw off the toe-in and I didn't believe him... I'll take it in and see...

I could convince myself that if it moved the steering wheel alignment that much, all of the 'push' was on that end, and it didn't move the other end... I'm totally curious. The rack won't lie, I'll post up measurements when I get it to the shop. Might be Monday...
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Unread 02-12-2011, 07:40 PM   #14
xjfever
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The flatter the drag link gets the longer it will make the distance between the two front tires. I would assume the front would be toed out after the install.
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  2. Sold'99 WJ limited, 4.7L, 3" IRO lift. Bilstein shocks, JK rubicon wheels, 255/70/17's, carolina driveshaft, IRO adjustable control arms, IRO adjustable A-arm
  3. Sold '00 TJ, 4" lift, rusty's adjustable control arms, skyjacker shocks, rock krawler adj. trac-bar,rugged ridge SYE and RE driveshaft, soft 8's, 35" mud king xt's,XJ HP D30 w/aussie locker, 4:88 yukon gears, hella 500's, rock crusher diff covers
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Unread 02-12-2011, 09:49 PM   #15
joshr1987
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xjfever View Post
If you look at the Y steering set-up the draglink is connected to the tierod and to the right side knuckle. Any difference in the drag link results in a difference in the toe setting.
Oh yeah, didnt think about the change in angle there
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