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Unread 10-24-2012, 03:13 PM   #1
Turtle71
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Do I need degree shims?

Trying to track down the steering slop, delay, or what some may call wander.
I have replaced some tie rod ends. New shackles and bushings. Adjusted toe. Ball joints seem to be ok. I checked the steering shaft and can turn it very slightly with my had before I see the pitman arm move. Steering box doesnt move since I tightened the bolts.

To measure caster, I used an angle meter type tool (which isnt the greatest but free).
Here are some pics. The green line represents level and the gray ruler looking thing represent actual. The top grey box measurement is the one to pay attention to.

Inside of front drivers wheel under lower ball joint:


Inside of passenger wheel under ball joint. Facing opposite way.


What do you guys think?

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Unread 10-24-2012, 03:44 PM   #2
CSP
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I can't quite grasp where your measurement is, but assuming it's from the correct spot your first picture has 4.29 degrees of positive caster (assuming the front of the Jeep is to the right of the picture). That's pretty light. It would be happier in the 6-7 range. Looks like the other side has even less.
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Unread 10-24-2012, 04:24 PM   #3
Turtle71
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You are correct on the orientation of things. So 6-7 degrees would be better?
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Unread 10-24-2012, 06:11 PM   #4
Turtle71
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This is a pic I found showing the area I was measuring from.
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Unread 10-24-2012, 06:13 PM   #5
82JeepCJ7
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How long are your front shackles?
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Unread 10-24-2012, 06:14 PM   #6
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Looks in the 3* range in that picture. Is the floor level where you are parked? If it slopes a degree or two that needs to be taken into consideration.
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Unread 10-24-2012, 06:33 PM   #7
Turtle71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 82JeepCJ7 View Post
How long are your front shackles?
They are 4" shackles
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Unread 10-24-2012, 06:35 PM   #8
Turtle71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skizriz View Post
Looks in the 3* range in that picture. Is the floor level where you are parked? If it slopes a degree or two that needs to be taken into consideration.
To clarify, that last picture is not mine. Its just shows the spot where I measured at as CSP was unsure.
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Unread 10-24-2012, 10:47 PM   #9
82JeepCJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtle71 View Post
They are 4" shackles
The longer shackles will tilt the top of the axle forward, decreasing the caster angle and making the steering wonder. You should have around 6 or 7 degrease of caster.
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Unread 10-25-2012, 01:32 AM   #10
Matt1981CJ7
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So, to answer your original question, some 2 degree shims should put you right in the sweet spot, assuming your method of measure is accurate.

I found the method you are using somewhat inaccurate. It's probably only good to about +/- 2 degrees. Personally, I'd take it to a shop and get good numbers before I did anything.

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Unread 10-25-2012, 08:18 AM   #11
CSP
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Yeah, the bottom of the knuckle isn't the most accurate. It's a cast piece that isn't machined in that area, so it's a crapshoot at best.
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Unread 10-25-2012, 10:19 AM   #12
Turtle71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSP
Yeah, the bottom of the knuckle isn't the most accurate. It's a cast piece that isn't machined in that area, so it's a crapshoot at best.
I agree on that. Im sure taking it to a alignment shop is the best idea to be accurate. Just having trouble finding time during the week. I tried to measure on top of the upper ball joint castle nut but there wasn't enough room. Any other areas to measure?
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Unread 10-25-2012, 02:52 PM   #13
Turtle71
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I called a reputable alignment shop in town to get an idea of what to expect. He said $45 since you can only adjust the tie rod and drag link. When I asked about degree shims for caster, he said he thought that was for earlier Jeeps but would check that out too. Hopefully I can get some accurate caster measurements at least. I imagine its a lot cheaper to do the shims myself. Anyone have a shop do this for them? Or know what it would cost?
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Unread 10-25-2012, 07:20 PM   #14
Matt1981CJ7
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Turtle,

For $45 it's worth it to get accurate numbers.

Once you have those, you can order the correct shims and throw them in yourself. It's pretty straight forward.

Good luck,

Matt
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Unread 10-25-2012, 07:49 PM   #15
Turtle71
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I think that's the route I am going to go. Just wondered if a shop might have shims and do it at a good price since their other quote was reasonable.
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