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sphippler 05-18-2013 10:06 PM

shims are too thick
my jeep has about a 1 inch shackle lift and about a 2 inch spring lift. It wanders pretty bad and I had an alignment and they said the castor was about -1. I bought a 6 degree axle shim and when I put it in it is thick enough that the peg that goes from the spring into the spring perch on the axle does not even go through the shim.
Is there anything I can do about this.
would it be a problem to just bolt it all together and just run it like this

row684 05-18-2013 10:28 PM

No you need the pin to keep the axle from moving front to back. I can only imagine you hitting the brakes and the axles sliding back the spring lol. I believe you should be able to get longer pins at most auto parts stores. They should be cut to fit.

sphippler 05-19-2013 12:58 AM

is replacing the pin what most people do?
How is the pin hooked to the spring?
More information about my shim: the skinny end is about 1/4" thick and the thick end is about 3/8" thick. The shim is a rancho aluminum one. It was advertised as a universal shim. It was 2.5" wide and I used it on the front of the CJ so I had to cut about 1/4" off each side to fit between the U bolts. I think if the skinny end of the shim came to a point instead of being 1/4" thick then the thick end could be a little thinner than it is and it could still have the same degree angle and the whole shim would be thinner.
Any thoughts?

skizriz 05-19-2013 04:47 AM


Originally Posted by sphippler
i The shim is a rancho aluminum one.
Any thoughts?

Yes. Throw it away. Alum shims easily crack and fall out. simply put, they are dangerous.

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rixcj 05-19-2013 06:54 AM

You can buy good steel shims for your application. Here is one example...

The, you can also buy new leaf spring pack bolts (Google this, to find ...), and cut them to length.


CSP 05-19-2013 08:05 AM

The thick end should be towards the front of the CJ to get positive caster.

Agreed that you should be using steel shims.

80cj 05-19-2013 09:57 PM

Bolt the (steel) shims down to the spring packs with new center bolts. As others have said, forget about aluminum shims.

Mlaughlin8 05-20-2013 08:22 AM

Agreed! Aluminum shims suck! They crack right in half. I had one break right in half on me when I was doing about 30 mph and it scared the s*** out of me!

BESRK 05-20-2013 03:53 PM

The spring pin is basically a bolt with a round head to fit in the perch.. to positively locate the axle to the spring.

Most factory pins that I've seen have relatively short "heads". I think ideally, you wouldn't want the length of the pin head to be much longer than its diameter. So.. if you had say, a 1/2" pin head diameter, you wouldn't want that head to be much longer than 1/2". If you go too long, there may be some risk of bending the pin head to the point of fatigue and eventual failure.

I think I would stick with factory pins and change shims, shackles, perches...etc. to make it work.

One thing I like with steel shims.. you can weld them to the perches to help keep them in place.

Colt44 05-21-2013 06:31 PM

I just did this yesterday. I used Warrior steel shims because (1) everybody says aluminum isn't up to the job and (2) the steel ones are a lot thinner. (Link to part at 4WD Hardware)

They look like this:

They are maybe 1/4 inch thick at the big end and go down to a very thin edge. They are counterbored so that you can incorporate them into the spring pack and the centering pin will sit straight and fit flush.

What you do is, after you loosen your U-bolts and drop the plate, is put a couple of clamps on the springs to keep them together (or a couple of big crescent wrenches will also work) then just unscrew the nut on the centering pin. Remove the pin, lay the shim on top of your springs, drop the pin through and replace the nut. Now you have the shims firmly attached to the springs and the pin will fit up into the perch.
If your original pin isn't long enough, you can get a longer one as someone mentioned.

sphippler 06-09-2013 09:25 PM

I ordered the steel shims and installed them. I've only put about ten miles on the jeep since but it certainly is not a huge difference. Before the jeep would periodically zig or zag for no apparent reason and the wheel would not straighten out coming out of a turn. After the install it doesn't zig and zag quite as bad but it doesn't track straight down the road very well. I can keep it in my lane now but I wouldn't try adjusting the radio while driving. Now when I come out of a corner the wheel does begin to straighten a little but not alot.
I installed the shims because I had an alignment and the guy said I had 0 degrees of castor. I installed a 6 degree shim. I thought it would make a huge difference. Does anyone have any other ideas. I realize the jeep is almost 40 years old but I used to have an 82 cj7 that i'm comparing it to. The 82 had some play in the wheel bearings but it wandered less than this one.

80cj 06-09-2013 09:29 PM

I notice that you have a 1 inch shackle lift which means the shacles are 2" longer than stock. The added length definitely does not help handling.

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