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Unread 07-25-2013, 07:39 AM   #1
robcoon
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5 degrees positive Caster and still no center

I just installed a 2.5" lift kit (springs) and 32" tires. After adding the 2.5 degree shim giving me a total of 5 degrees positive caster the steering wheel don't return to center after a turn. The 5 degrees of caster was confirmed on an alignment rack. Is this normal to have to add more than 5 degrees to get the steering wheel to retrun to center. The steering wheel is just barely trying to return after a turn. If I didn't manually turn it I would end up in the ditch.

thanks

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Unread 07-25-2013, 09:21 AM   #2
I6CJ7
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Haha, gotta love a CJ... Mine used to do that, i could turn the wheel in a parking lot, step out, and it would do circles by itself all day. I ended up with new shims, and then a new power steering box. It ended up being the steering box for me. But, ive heard it can also be old and seized up balljoints, they're so rusted and dried out they dont let the wheels return to center on there own. I don't recall how to check them though, i think you take the wheel off and see if you can turn the knuckles by hand, or leave the wheel on and lift the front end, and take a tire and try to turn the steering, you should be able to manually without the engine running.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 09:26 AM   #3
LumpyGrits
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What was your caster and toe-in?
Confirm that your 'positive caster' is the top of the axle ball joint, is angled 5* towards the back of the Jeep, 'rite'.
LG
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Unread 07-25-2013, 10:50 AM   #4
John Strenk
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Yeah, id check the toe in also. You need all the alignments checked.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 12:53 PM   #5
82JeepCJ7
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Toe in/out is my first thought as well. I'm running 7 caster on mine and it returns just fine.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 01:57 PM   #6
robcoon
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According to Goodyear the Toe-in is correct. That was before I added the last shim. Could installing a shim change my toe-in?
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Unread 07-25-2013, 02:19 PM   #7
LumpyGrits
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robcoon View Post
According to Goodyear the Toe-in is correct. That was before I added the last shim. Could installing a shim change my toe-in?
And just what does Goodyear call 'correct' toe in?
Learn to ck it yourownself. it's easy, use GOOGLE/You-Tube You want a total of 3/32-1/8 toe in with those
large tires.
All the specs that G/Y saw should be on your receipt/work order.
BTW, I'm run'n 6-7* pos. caster. 5* is not enough, with OS tires and lift.
LG
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Unread 07-25-2013, 02:20 PM   #8
ghostship
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You could check toe-in to see if there's ~ 1/4" difference. The shims were installed with the thick end facing the front bumper, right?
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Unread 07-25-2013, 02:24 PM   #9
LumpyGrits
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostship View Post
You could check toe-in to see if there's ~ 1/4" difference. The shims were installed with the thick end facing the front bumper, right?
Those shims have no effect on toe in.
Only caster.
Camber is set at the factory. But eccentric 'seleves' can be installed in the top ball joint to adjust it some.
LG
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Unread 07-25-2013, 02:32 PM   #10
CSP
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Actually they do have some effect since with shims you're rotating everything around its center, but it's minimal and probably not measurable.

Have you checked the ball joints to see if one or both are resistant to allowing the knuckle to turn?
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Unread 07-25-2013, 02:37 PM   #11
LumpyGrits
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Originally Posted by CSP View Post
Actually they do have some effect since with shims you're rotating everything around its center, but it's minimal and probably not measurable.

Have you checked the ball joints to see if one or both are resistant to allowing the knuckle to turn?
You ain't rotating the axle that much(pi)and if your 3/32-1/8" to start with you should be GTG.
LG
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Unread 07-25-2013, 02:49 PM   #12
ghostship
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LumpyGrits

Those shims have no effect on toe in.
Only caster.
Camber is set at the factory. But eccentric 'seleves' can be installed in the top ball joint to adjust it some.
LG
Never said the shims affect toe-in. The factory service manual clearly states that adding shims is the method for adjusting caster which will be changed when adding a lift. We are merely saying to ensure caster and toe are set to factory specs before making any other "corrective" changes which may not actually solve the problem.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 02:54 PM   #13
John Strenk
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I had the universal in the steering shaft get so stiff from rust that it would keep the tires from centering. You never really notice it much with power steering until it seized up on me. After replacing it, the self centering worked again!
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Unread 07-25-2013, 03:12 PM   #14
ghostship
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Strenk
I had the universal in the steering shaft get so stiff from rust that it would keep the tires from centering. You never really notice it much with power steering until it seized up on me. After replacing it, the self centering worked again!
Yep. I had a worn upper steering bearing and worn out 35 year old lower steering shaft that caused my problems. Returning to stock specs helped me narrow it down cheaper.
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Unread 07-25-2013, 03:42 PM   #15
robcoon
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Thanks for all of the ideas. It steered correctly until I lifted it. I will check the Toe-in tonight. At Goodyear it read .125" ( I was in the shop when they did it). Yes the large end of the shim is to the front. I just ordered another shim that should increase it to 7 degrees. I will report back when I get the shims in (should get them next Tuesday).
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