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Unread 02-08-2007, 11:04 AM   #1
caxmach
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Measuring the Caster

Hello Everyone-
I recently purchased a 1984 CJ-7 and have been reading all of the posts related to steering issues because the Jeep I have is all over the road. I tried to measure the caster last night with an angle meter I bought at Northern Tool, but I'm not sure if I did it correctly. I turned the wheels all the way to the left and placed the angle meter on the passenger side hub, right on top of the lock out dial, and measured 91 degrees. Then, I turned the wheels all the way to the right and again measured from the hub and got 86 degrees. To me, it would seem to have 6 degrees of caster. Did I measure this correctly or should I have taken the measurement from somewhere else. This is the only flat spot I could find in the center of hub.

Thanks in advance for any comments

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Unread 02-08-2007, 12:56 PM   #2
bdmonist
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Put your angle finder on the bottom of the knuckles to measure your castor anlge. You may have to pull the grease fitting out to get a flat surface.
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Unread 02-09-2007, 04:28 PM   #3
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Nto sure what the deal is with all the wheel turning...I pulled the zerk off the bottom of the balljoint, threw the angle finder on there and got this:



So I threw in some 4* shims and now I have this:



That is with the wheels pointing straight forward. It drives better now, but there are still some normal "wear and tear" type issues that need resolution before it drives to my liking. It is still a bit loose for my tastes. I'll also be shortening my shackles to get another degree or two of caster.
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Unread 02-09-2007, 06:00 PM   #4
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Make sure to take into account any driveway slope... this is from a guy who builds rigs on a 4 degree driveway slope.. have to figure that into caster, driveline angles..etc.
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Unread 02-09-2007, 08:14 PM   #5
bdmonist
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When you are measuring castor angle, shouldn't the bottom knuckle be more forward than the top? I always thought bottom, which would put Jodes castor angle at 5* in the wrong direction? Am i wrong here?
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Unread 02-09-2007, 08:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BESRK
Make sure to take into account any driveway slope... this is from a guy who builds rigs on a 4 degree driveway slope.. have to figure that into caster, driveline angles..etc.
Eddie, I did the same thing.
I read 5* on the dial gauge after installing the RE4.5 and was thinking of putting shims in. Then I laid an 8' level on the garage floor and found I had a 2* slope.
7* is target right?
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Unread 02-09-2007, 08:34 PM   #7
Fatman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdmonist
When you are measuring castor angle, shouldn't the bottom knuckle be more forward than the top? I always thought bottom, which would put Jodes castor angle at 5* in the wrong direction? Am i wrong here?
I'd assume Jode is measuring the left side in the pic. If it's the right side then yes he is the wrong way.
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Unread 02-10-2007, 10:29 AM   #8
jode
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It' the driver side, so the front is to the right.
Also, it is in my garage which has a slight slope (unmeasured). The slope is from the right, down to the left, so if I thinking correctly, any slope in the drive would cause me to read more caster than I actually have....which brings me to phase 2 of my plan...shortening my shackles.
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Unread 02-11-2007, 12:19 PM   #9
bdmonist
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Ah yes, the driver's side! Too many beers Fri night!
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AMC 20 Write Up
In Progress - 4.56 gears, Aussie Rear Locker, Moser 1 Piece Axles
Coming Soon - CV Shafts, Welded Tubes, trusses
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Unread 02-12-2007, 08:51 AM   #10
caxmach
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Thanks. I took the measurement from the bottom of the knuckle and it was 7deg. I guess I'll have to keep looking.
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Unread 02-12-2007, 04:25 PM   #11
jode
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A few more things to check:

Tie rod ends
Play in steering box sector shaft
loose spring bushings
Weak OEM steering box mount brackets with large offroad tires
Blown shocks
Bad draglink angle
Loose hubs
No steering stabilizer
Loose bolts
Too-long shackles
Large, aggressive, or cheap or bias ply tires
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