After replacing just about all my front end parts, I still have some steering wander. My wheel doesn't return fully to center either. I have the symptoms of the caster out of spec.
I do my own toe-in, simple, but checking caster is more difficult. YJ's have a solid axle, and the caster is factory set. My jeep is totally stock. No lift and stock shackles.
Should I get an professional alignment to rule out caster problems for certain?
[QUOTE=jbolty;14933139]Other than toe in there is nothing to align or adjust.
I understand that, there really is no need for a professional wheel alignment since my setup is totally stock. The caster can't be out of spec. I have new front springs, and ball joints, so I guess an alignment would be a waste of $$.
Setting toe is simple, caster is more difficult, but really isn't ever needed with a stock jeep. Correct me if I'm wrong but setting caster should be taken out of the equation if dealing with a totally stock yj, with new springs.
My wandering and steering wheel return to center problems must be caused by something other than an alignment.
If the toe adjustment doesn't fix your problem, some alignment shops will just give you a readout of the settings, with no changes made, for $20 or so. With that, you can see if there are any camber/castor issues. Their shouldn't be, but it's an old truck, and crap happens. Mine had the camber off on one side and I fixed it with an adjustable ball joint (Moog 'Problem Solver' series).
What caused your camber to be off? How did it affect your handling?
I bought the Jeep stock, used, in 1996 with 95k miles on it. It pulled to the right since my day one with it (I know, 15 years of holding left steering wheel, pretty dumb). To answer your question, I have no idea how the camber got buggered.
I didn't rotate the current set of tires often enough and now they are pretty buggered with alignment problems. So, before getting new tires next month I decided to finally get the alignment right. Firestone dealer here in Abq did a 'check' for $21, and I needed/did an adjustment via one adjustable ball joint.
My steering wheel did not return to center and steered a little hard. I fooled with everything, nothing helped. Looked at the steering box adjustment and there was none, so loosened the nut and backed the adjustment bolt out all the way , then started to turn it in as needed. Happens that it only needed a little adjustment inward. It had been over adjusted! Worth a try.