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Unread 05-11-2012, 08:13 PM   #1
gary4569
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Caster, Steering

1984 CJ7 Laredo, all stock suspension. No lift. Power steering.

The problem I am having is: Caster angle?
1. Steering does not return to center after turn.
2. Very easy to steer.
3. Can easily oversteer if not careful. Maybe a little surge when turning.

I have replaced leaf spring bushings.
Ball joints and tie rods ends appear to be in good shape. No play
Wheel bearings- No play
Caster angle 4deg


With all stock and no play in any of the steering components. How could caster angle be off?

I have read that the PS pump flow control valve can cause some of the problems I am having. What are the chances it could be the PS pump?

Thanks in advance

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Unread 05-11-2012, 08:27 PM   #2
GlennLever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary4569 View Post
1984 CJ7 Laredo, all stock suspension. No lift. Power steering.

The problem I am having is: Caster angle?
1. Steering does not return to center after turn.
2. Very easy to steer.
3. Can easily oversteer if not careful. Maybe a little surge when turning.

I have replaced leaf spring bushings.
Ball joints and tie rods ends appear to be in good shape. No play
Wheel bearings- No play
Caster angle 4deg


With all stock and no play in any of the steering components. How could caster angle be off?

I have read that the PS pump flow control valve can cause some of the problems I am having. What are the chances it could be the PS pump?

Thanks in advance
Caster should be 6 degrees.

Even at six degrees mine still does not completely return. I'm thinking of going to seven
front-end-spec.jpg  
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Unread 05-11-2012, 09:32 PM   #3
gojeepin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary4569 View Post
1984 CJ7 Laredo, all stock suspension. No lift. Power steering... With all stock and no play in any of the steering components. How could caster angle be off?
The springs can bend over time... especially the front. Read the article linked in my signature block. I show an illustration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gary4569 View Post
... I have read that the PS pump flow control valve can cause some of the problems I am having. What are the chances it could be the PS pump?
Only if it impedes the steering movement. Since you say it's very easy to steer, I don't think that's a high probability. However, if your caster angle is good, continue with that line of thought.
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Vibration? Bump steer? Wandering? Read: Steering, suspension, and driveline basics. An article on how it works and where to look for problems.

83 CJ7, 4.1L 6cyl (4.0L bored .030" over), 35" tires, T-5 transmission, Dana 300 TC, Trussed AMC 20.
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Unread 05-11-2012, 10:54 PM   #4
7179CJ5
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hey GlennLever, i see that you have 2.5 old man emu lift, what did you do to correct your caster in your before and after measurments?
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Unread 05-12-2012, 10:17 AM   #5
LT1CJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary4569 View Post
1984 CJ7 Laredo, all stock suspension. No lift. Power steering.

The problem I am having is: Caster angle?
1. Steering does not return to center after turn.
2. Very easy to steer.
3. Can easily oversteer if not careful. Maybe a little surge when turning.

I have replaced leaf spring bushings.
Ball joints and tie rods ends appear to be in good shape. No play
Wheel bearings- No play
Caster angle 4deg


With all stock and no play in any of the steering components. How could caster angle be off?
So, How did you come to the conclusion your caster is out of spec ?
What are the exact specs of caster for both sides ?
Your symptoms sound like the steering/gear box is too tight.
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Unread 05-12-2012, 12:42 PM   #6
TIPPEDITOVER
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Your symptoms sound like it's a CJ haha. Mine has always behaved somewhat like you describe. When I took delivery of my CJ 2 yrs ago it had nearly 0 deg caster and it required constant and immediate steering input at all times you were moving. The slightest imperfection in the road would send it in another direction. First thing I did was roll those knuckles back 5 deg and now most of that has disappeared. Still has just a little, but it's a lifted CJ so I cut it some slack.

Last edited by TIPPEDITOVER; 05-12-2012 at 12:51 PM.. Reason: add text
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Unread 05-12-2012, 12:48 PM   #7
hutch1200
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My KISS theory says, look at tire pressure. Ok, but I'm cheap when it come to T-shooting. Just 'cuz it says max pressure 44 psi, doesn't mean that 35 isn't ok. Most of our tires are for 1/2 ton trucks. Not little CJs.
My 2 cents.
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Unread 05-12-2012, 01:19 PM   #8
GlennLever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7179CJ5 View Post
hey GlennLever, i see that you have 2.5 old man emu lift, what did you do to correct your caster in your before and after measurments?
Four degree wedges
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Rochester, New York 14617-2012
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My restoration thread here on the Jeep forum
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New FED, Drag Racing Forum (I am an Administrator) at
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Unread 05-12-2012, 09:41 PM   #9
gary4569
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LT1CJ7 View Post
So, How did you come to the conclusion your caster is out of spec ?
What are the exact specs of caster for both sides ?
Your symptoms sound like the steering/gear box is too tight.
I have not came to a definite conclusion that is caster. That just seems like the most likely cause based on the symptoms. I have not been to the alignment shop for exact caster measurements. Took measurements w/ ipod level app. Not sure if that is very accurate.

How would I check for steering box too tight. Loosen the set screw on top?

gm
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Unread 05-12-2012, 09:47 PM   #10
gary4569
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hutch1200 View Post
My KISS theory says, look at tire pressure. Ok, but I'm cheap when it come to T-shooting. Just 'cuz it says max pressure 44 psi, doesn't mean that 35 isn't ok. Most of our tires are for 1/2 ton trucks. Not little CJs.
My 2 cents.
Have tried different pressures, with best results around 30psi.

gm
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Unread 05-12-2012, 09:48 PM   #11
GlennLever
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Try jacking the front tires off the ground, pull on the leading edge of one tire and push on the trailing edge of the same tire and you should be able to turn the wheel and tire assemble with some effort.
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Glenn R. Lever
Rochester, New York 14617-2012
My Cars http://www.leverfamilysite.com/vehicles.htm

My restoration thread here on the Jeep forum
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/cj...build-1269301/

New FED, Drag Racing Forum (I am an Administrator) at
http://www.frontenginedragsters.org/forum/index.php
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Unread 05-12-2012, 10:06 PM   #12
gary4569
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennLever View Post
Try jacking the front tires off the ground, pull on the leading edge of one tire and push on the trailing edge of the same tire and you should be able to turn the wheel and tire assemble with some effort.
I will try that...
If I can not turn, steering box too tight?
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Unread 10-23-2013, 06:08 PM   #13
gary4569
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Problem solved

UPDATE
Both bottom ball joints were very tight.. Service manual specifies that turning force should be less than 10ft/lbs per side with tie rods disconnected. i had close to 20-25 per side. With new ball joints, turning force is now ~7lbs per side.
She now returns to center and drives straight!!!

Gary M.
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Unread 10-23-2013, 06:18 PM   #14
keith460
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I had that same problem on the Jeep before, long time ago, bottom ball joints tight. Basically both were rusted and made the Jeep wonder until replaced with new ones.
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Unread 10-23-2013, 11:47 PM   #15
82JeepCJ7
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I've seen the same symptoms with the toe in/out being way off.
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