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dirtdonthurt 08-10-2010 06:16 PM

cj7 caster angle - what should it be?
I just finished building my cj7 and I feel like it's wandering and not returning to zero like it should. Everything is tight. I have rear factory yj springs up front with a soa lift. I welded the perches parallel to the ones on the bottom. The upper ball joint is a little behind the lower like its supposed to, but what should the angle be? I'm running 35" tires. I was thinking about making some taller spring mounts to get some more angle, plus get a little more height that i need in the front. Has anyone ever done it this way? What are your opinions?

I know I'm having a bump-steer issue too. Im running a factory pitman arm with an offset drag link. Everything runs under the springs. Could this be causing all of the problems? I know a ton of people have done this before so I'm hoping someone on here can help me out...

SlikRic 08-10-2010 06:28 PM

From the stickie section of this Forum.

gojeepin 08-10-2010 08:21 PM

Do you know what your caster angle is? You should aim for 5* to 8* positive caster.

Also, an offset draglink doesn't help with bump steer. It's really only for clearing components, which is what you need with your setup anyway. A drop pitman arm (or high steer knuckles) will help the bump steer issue.

dirtdonthurt 08-10-2010 08:31 PM

hey, thanks for the reply. i measured it a lil while ago. its about two degrees. i'm thinking seriously about welding on some taller spring mounts for the fixed end.

and yea i know that about the offset drag link. i need to do something different there too. i think im going to tackle the caster issue first.

MikeMCJ 08-10-2010 08:50 PM

1 Attachment(s)
here's the basics about what a drop pitman can do

this from a 76 owner's manual. you can't be too far off of this for caster. pretty sure your camber should be closer to zero (OEM power
steering and radials)

foggybottombob 08-10-2010 09:33 PM

The CJ7 from the 80's had +6 degrees of caster.

SlikRic 08-10-2010 09:44 PM

Try here:

80cj 08-11-2010 02:02 AM

I hate to dispute the FSM but my CJ-5 drives a lot better with 6 degrees of caster. From the factory it was only 2 degrees and it wandered all over the road. I installed 4 degree steel shims and it made a big improvement.

MikeMCJ 08-11-2010 07:28 AM


Originally Posted by foggybottombob (Post 9939305)
The CJ7 from the 80's had +6 degrees of caster.

is that from the shop manual?

foggybottombob 08-11-2010 07:35 AM

That was in my Chilton manual and I have read that 6 degrees many times over the years on this forum and other places online. The 6 degrees number is the only one I had ever seen before this thread.

MikeMCJ 08-11-2010 08:28 AM

OK thanks. I asked because my Haynes doesn't give specs, it only explains what caster/camber is and the alignment tools required are out of reach of what a "home mechanic" would have. Just seems to me that 6 is a preference and not a factory specification. Once you get away from the factory spec other things like pinion angle should also be factored in. 80cj's is nice and low (I like that setup), but once you start going twice the factory caster spec and then add a big lift you will be getting into pinion angle problems.

foggybottombob 08-11-2010 08:30 AM

When you get to a high lift you have to turn the inner knuckles. I have done that twice on mine over the years.

MikeMCJ 08-11-2010 08:50 AM

yes, I agree. I'm not putting that much into to my D30 and don't have plans for something like what you've done (44s), so I'm trying to work within the limits of not turning the inner knuckles. That's why I set my caster at 3

gojeepin 08-11-2010 10:32 AM

It's not surprising that a '76 model required less caster... for the same reason most Scout axles have 0* caster.

Unlike Europe and Japan, American tire makers stayed with bias ply tires well into the '70s. Because of how a bias ply tire behaves, the contact patch actually moved backward at speed and required less caster.

Chewtoy 08-11-2010 10:42 AM

I put 4 deg shims on my Dana 30 to move my caster from ~2 to ~6 and it made a world of difference on my '76 CJ5. Much less wander.

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