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Unread 08-23-2011, 08:19 PM   #16
KillaJeep4569
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokey1r View Post
What your looking at is from the ground up at the pitman arm and the very bottom of the pitman shaft. If the pitman shaft bearing in the steering box is good the nut you see and the machining divot in the center of the shaft should stay perfectly on center with no play side to side as the pitman arm swings right and left, but if you look closely you will see the shaft rock side to side as the strain of pushing the drag link is let off and reapplied. Since that play in the shaft is there the steering has enough play to drift causing an undesirable handling condition, not to mention about a total of 1/8 of a turn play in the steering wheel that feels very mushy!.
Thank you, I feel this right now in my Steering Coloumn, I think when I had the alignment done he went into that Parallel w.e connection to do the alignment. It wasnt done by a computer and idk how they even did the alignment. since he has done this, my Front end has been knocking, clicking banging etc. I know I need knew Swaybar links, but yeah.......

Now when you say th 1/8 play,. Myne is to the left, turn right its tuight, turn left and it doesnt turn left till i get 1/8th -1/4th turning the wheel. So do you think my box is on its way? Or did the mechanic keep stuff loose.

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Unread 08-23-2011, 08:41 PM   #17
Smokey1r
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KillaJeep4569 View Post
Thank you, I feel this right now in my Steering Coloumn, I think when I had the alignment done he went into that Parallel w.e connection to do the alignment. It wasnt done by a computer and idk how they even did the alignment. since he has done this, my Front end has been knocking, clicking banging etc. I know I need knew Swaybar links, but yeah.......

Now when you say th 1/8 play,. Myne is to the left, turn right its tuight, turn left and it doesnt turn left till i get 1/8th -1/4th turning the wheel. So do you think my box is on its way? Or did the mechanic keep stuff loose.
Only items that can be loosened up in the steering linkage is the drag link clamp, and the tie rod clamp. The other 2 items are the cam bolts on the LCA's everything else should have no play in it.

The drag link clamp is for fine adjusting the steering wheel centering.
The tie rod clamp is for adjusting the toe angle of the front wheels.
The cam bolts on the LCA's are to fine adjust the caster angle.

Since your experiencing pull to one side your steering box will be stressed on one side only to compensate for the pull in keeping straight on the road, so it will feel like there's play on one side if there's something loose in the steering.
Was the play in the steering there before the alignment?.

If your drifting to one side was not there prior to the alignment suspect the caster adjustment as being off

If there WAS drifting to one side prior to the alignment then either suspect there to be...
low tire pressure,
brake drag,
worn ball joints,
or worn wheel bearing hub.

The anti sway bar links will make a lot of noise going over bumps if worn out, also with the anti sway bar bushings if worn out.

Last edited by Smokey1r; 08-23-2011 at 08:42 PM.. Reason: Typos!!!!!!
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Unread 08-23-2011, 08:52 PM   #18
KillaJeep4569
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no the play was not there like it is now. Maybe very little but not as much as now.

If I replace the Ball Joints on both sides, will it need an alignment??

I know the BJ's are worn out, those are next to replace.

what is this Parallel Series, that the mechanic was talking about for adjusting wheel alignment?
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Unread 08-23-2011, 09:04 PM   #19
Smokey1r
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KillaJeep4569 View Post
no the play was not there like it is now. Maybe very little but not as much as now.

If I replace the Ball Joints on both sides, will it need an alignment??

I know the BJ's are worn out, those are next to replace.

what is this Parallel Series, that the mechanic was talking about for adjusting wheel alignment?
Yes after there's any component replacement that involves alignment its always a good idea to have it realigned as the current alignment might be compensating for a worn component.

Parallel Series?, IIRC its an old school alignment tool to determine the toe angle of the front wheels, drive up on the device and the tires rest on a platform that has a degree scale on it determining if your toe is negative or positive?. last time i saw one was when i was in high school auto class 23 years ago!!!
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Unread 08-24-2011, 06:29 AM   #20
KillaJeep4569
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Originally Posted by Smokey1r View Post
Yes after there's any component replacement that involves alignment its always a good idea to have it realigned as the current alignment might be compensating for a worn component.

Parallel Series?, IIRC its an old school alignment tool to determine the toe angle of the front wheels, drive up on the device and the tires rest on a platform that has a degree scale on it determining if your toe is negative or positive?. last time i saw one was when i was in high school auto class 23 years ago!!!


well thats what he used to align my truck also a mechanic said he did the alignment thru the steering wheel and coloumn, cuz when I went under the truck to see which sleeve he adjusted. it was just the toe and not the steering wheel. He really messed up stuff here and idk where to begin.
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Unread 08-24-2011, 07:26 AM   #21
speedbucket
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you can easily align a zj if you can read a tape measurer and loosen 4 nuts
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V8 zj at 6" . Double tri rear and true 3 link front. Stretched to 108"
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Unread 08-24-2011, 07:37 AM   #22
KillaJeep4569
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Originally Posted by speedbucket View Post
you can easily align a zj if you can read a tape measurer and loosen 4 nuts
Even if its 4wd?
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Unread 08-24-2011, 07:40 AM   #23
speedbucket
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Originally Posted by KillaJeep4569 View Post
Even if its 4wd?
specifically b/c it is a solid axle 4wd

you can align it in the driveway in about 20 minutes easily

measure your toe in by measuring across the front outer edge of the tires and across the back of the tires
you want your back measurement to be 1/8" to 1/4" more than the front-this is your toe in

it is adjusted by the turnbuckle on your tierod on the driver side

loosen the 2 nuts on the turnbuckle( front axle jacked off the ground)

one threaded end has reverse threads, so spinning it one way will toe out, the other way will pull it in.

check your toe in again once youve put it back on the ground and gone backwards and forwards a bit.

the turn buckle on your draglink is used to straighten your steering wheel in the same manner.

adjust your caster using the lower control arm axle bolts.
if you change the setting then you should break your upper and lower CA bolts free, rock the vehicle around a little, and re torque so your not stressing the bushing at the new setting
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V8 zj at 6" . Double tri rear and true 3 link front. Stretched to 108"
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Unread 08-24-2011, 07:43 AM   #24
KillaJeep4569
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So they why do people recommend you get a Computer Diagnostic Alignment?

And why is a 4wd alignment more money than a 2wd alignment?

And why do the Mechanics try to charge Full Price for a 4wd alignment when You dont need it?
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Unread 08-24-2011, 07:52 AM   #25
speedbucket
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Originally Posted by KillaJeep4569 View Post
So they why do people recommend you get a Computer Diagnostic Alignment?

And why is a 4wd alignment more money than a 2wd alignment?

And why do the Mechanics try to charge Full Price for a 4wd alignment when You dont need it?
because they work to make money

i've had one alignment on my zj done by a shop and i got my money back, they set my toe in to nearly 1". i could hear the tires pealing tread pulling out of the parking lot
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V8 zj at 6" . Double tri rear and true 3 link front. Stretched to 108"
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Unread 08-24-2011, 07:53 AM   #26
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because they work to make money

All they do is Steal, This is why I learn to do everything on my own.
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Unread 08-24-2011, 12:22 PM   #27
Smokey1r
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Originally Posted by speedbucket View Post
you can easily align a zj if you can read a tape measurer and loosen 4 nuts
Did that a while back after i replaced the LCA's but what i did was used the rim edge to make the measurement, im my case the toe was positive 3/8th of an inch.
Between the time i replaced the bushings and to when i was able to do the toe alignment i had to take a trip out of town, and i have to say what a squirmy ride!!! there was no road feel to the wheel as it felt disconnected and free turning with little or no resistance for 1/4 of a turn either way, the jeep didn't know which way it wanted to go and i was hanging on for dear life!!!.
When i got home i corrected it to 1/4 of an inch gave it a test spin and it still didn't feel right, so i ultimately adjusted it to a little less then 1/16th of an inch each wheel (total of a hair shy of 1/8th of an inch) and then is felt stable aside from the drift i have now.

The procedure i used was to be on a level or close to level as possible surface with a good 5 to 10 feet of space in front and back of the Jeep, this will be self explanatory as you read along. The method i used to measure and adjust the toe was to use the lower inboard part of front rims in an imaginary line parallel with the level surface i was on but low enough to not have the tape measure interfere with any suspension or steering components above, use a pencil crayon, blood off of your smashed knuckles from slipping on the wrench the other day, anything to make a temporary mark on the rim lip for a height reference!!!.
Then take your tape and stretch it across the rear side reference mark on the front rim, butt one end of the tape on the rim edge and then take a measurement on the other side using your thumb nail to point to the rim edge and measurement on the tape. make a mental note of the measurement and repeat the process on the front side reference mark on the rim, note the difference in measurements and calculate either 3/16th or 1/8th of an inch difference, loosen and rotate your tie rod clamp to adjust your toe, re-tighten the clamp then drive the vehicle backwards about 5 feet then forwards 5 or more feet, shut the engine off set your parking brake and reconfirm your measurements. Readjust and repeat the procedures if necessary. then confirm your steering wheel is straight on with your wheels, if not loosen the drag link clamp and adjust accordingly.

Fairly straight forward procedure and saves a bit of $$$ if you don't want to have a "professional" alignment done.
The only time you would want a 4 wheel alignment on your ZJ done is if you have a dealer installed cam bolt service kit on the rear axle side of the UCA's to adjust the thrust angle, otherwise its a 2 wheel alignment!.
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Unread 08-24-2011, 12:32 PM   #28
speedbucket
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you should not measure from the rim edge!
think about it
a 29-30" tire toed in a ....1/8" measuring from the rim is prolly toed in 1/4" at the treads.
a 35" tire toed in a ....1/8" measuring from the rim (same as above) is prolly toed in close to 1/2"
thats why you should always reset your toe when getting different tires, even of the same size. BC the diameters are going to be different which means your toe in is going to be different
Follow?
and you can easily adjust caster with the cambolts (thats why they have the notches)
and you can also pull a tape from rear LCA bracket to Front LCA bracket to make sure your fron axle is sqaure to your rear
and you can even use the old "X" method to make sure your trackbars are adjusted properly if lifted
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V8 zj at 6" . Double tri rear and true 3 link front. Stretched to 108"
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Unread 08-24-2011, 01:23 PM   #29
Smokey1r
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedbucket View Post
you should not measure from the rim edge!
think about it
a 29-30" tire toed in a ....1/8" measuring from the rim is prolly toed in 1/4" at the treads.
a 35" tire toed in a ....1/8" measuring from the rim (same as above) is prolly toed in close to 1/2"
thats why you should always reset your toe when getting different tires, even of the same size. BC the diameters are going to be different which means your toe in is going to be different
Follow?
and you can easily adjust caster with the cambolts (thats why they have the notches)
and you can also pull a tape from rear LCA bracket to Front LCA bracket to make sure your fron axle is sqaure to your rear
and you can even use the old "X" method to make sure your trackbars are adjusted properly if lifted
I see your point on larger rims the toe angle get more extreme with the distance providing your points of measurement on the rims are uneven in relation to the center of the rim.
But if you keep your distance from the center point or axle point to the rear side and the front side its a straight line parallel with each other so the measurements to the rear and front will be in parity with each other in relation to the axle center, just as if you lifted a tire up rotated it and made a mark all the way around it and used that as a measurement point, its equal distance on both side of the axle center.
This is what i did when measuring off from the rim, its equal distances from the axle center and worked perfectly!. and after almost 10k since i did the alignment and replaced the tires there's no uneven wear on them from an inaccurate toe adjustment!
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