Can adj ball joints correct my caster? - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 21 Old 10-24-2013, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
04WJfreedom
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So I have the rock krawler 3.5" mid arm lift with 35's on my 2012 JKU just had my jeep aligned again and my caster is off by 2.2 degrees and my camber is off slightly on the left side. My mechanic said buy just the upper adjustable ball joints and we can correct the problem?? Thought I could just adjust my control arms for the caster but I guess its not re easy. Here is my alignment print out. Do you guys think adj ball joints would help or do I have other options?

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2012 JK Unlimited Sahara
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post #2 of 21 Old 10-24-2013, 11:01 AM
RockyClymer
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No, adj ball joints can be used to correct camber, not caster. Adj control arms are used to correct caster - or God forbid - cam bolts. A lift will make the caster off. At 3.5 inches you will need adj control arms to adjust caster in front and pinion angle in the rear. I would not worry about camber or toe in, they look OK to me, but you need to increase your caster to 4+ degrees or the front will wander the road.

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post #3 of 21 Old 10-24-2013, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyClymer
No, adj ball joints can be used to correct camber, not caster. Adj control arms are used to correct caster - or God forbid - cam bolts. A lift will make the caster off. At 3.5 inches you will need adj control arms to adjust caster in front and pinion angle in the rear. I would not worry about camber or toe in, they look OK to me, but you need to increase your caster to 4+ degrees or the front will wander the road.
. So adjusting the lower control arms will do the trick for caster or do I need to adjust all the front control arms and how do I know how much to adjust them with out getting another alignment? And besides the jeep wondering on the road is there anything else it could hurt by the caster being off?

2012 JK Unlimited Sahara
Rock Krawler 3.5" X-Factor MID arm lift
35x12.5x17 BFG KM2
4:88 Yukon gears
KOR Drive shafts
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post #4 of 21 Old 10-24-2013, 11:33 AM
RockyClymer
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There is discussion of using slightly longer lower control arms vs slightly shorter upper control arms or doing upper and lower...choose your option I guess. I used slightly longer lower CAs (about 3.8 inch longer as I recall) to set mine at about 4.2 degrees. Wandering is the only bad effect as I see it unless you go with negative caster, then it becomes unstable.

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post #5 of 21 Old 10-24-2013, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyClymer View Post
There is discussion of using slightly longer upper control arms vs slightly shorter lower control arms or doing upper and lower...choose your option I guess. I used slightly longer upper CAs (about 3.8 inch longer as I recall) to set mine at about 4.2 degrees. Wandering is the only bad effect as I see it unless you go with negative caster, then it becomes unstable.
Longer uppers would decrease castor wouldn't it?

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post #6 of 21 Old 10-24-2013, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
04WJfreedom
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Ok sounds good so I will adjust the control arms slightly. And if I do the ball joints I will just buy some heavy duty ones instead of adjustable.

2012 JK Unlimited Sahara
Rock Krawler 3.5" X-Factor MID arm lift
35x12.5x17 BFG KM2
4:88 Yukon gears
KOR Drive shafts
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post #7 of 21 Old 10-24-2013, 12:42 PM
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FWIW, I had the 3.5" RK Mid-Arm Flex System in the 2010, and now on the 2013. In both cases, even with the lowers dialed in all the way (shortest possible), it wasn't enough to correct the pinion angle or caster. In fact, I noticed that 2013 pinion was already pointing slightly upwards with the stock setup. But after the RK install, the pinion is now parallel to the ground. I have orderd the RK adjustable uppers for the front to correct this. They should arrive sometime this week.

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post #8 of 21 Old 10-24-2013, 12:50 PM
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Oh Oh, the front LCAs are supposed to be LONGER, after a "lift"to give back more positive castor-


Quote:
Originally Posted by aznjeep View Post
FWIW, I had the 3.5" RK Mid-Arm Flex System in the 2010, and now on the 2013. In both cases, even with the lowers dialed in all the way (shortest possible), it wasn't enough to correct the pinion angle or caster. In fact, I noticed that 2013 pinion was already pointing slightly upwards with the stock setup. But after the RK install, the pinion is now parallel to the ground. I have orderd the RK adjustable uppers for the front to correct this. They should arrive sometime this week.
Mine are 23-1/4" for about 5 positive castor--

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post #9 of 21 Old 10-24-2013, 01:17 PM
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JWMBishop, got it backwards...tnx for catch, will correct original post, but that will not change quote...brain fart on my end.

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post #10 of 21 Old 10-25-2013, 02:59 AM
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Before your correction, I was thinking that driving your JK was like pushing a shopping cart backwards.

Anything above 3" its really helps to have all 4 front CA's
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post #11 of 21 Old 10-25-2013, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinlock
Before your correction, I was thinking that driving your JK was like pushing a shopping cart backwards. Anything above 3" its really helps to have all 4 front CA's
my JK actually isn't that bad on the highway, it barely wonders. But I have the X factor kit so I have adjustable control arms upper and lower front and back so I few little adjustment s and I'll be fine!!

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post #12 of 21 Old 10-25-2013, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by 04WJfreedom View Post
Ok sounds good so I will adjust the control arms slightly. And if I do the ball joints I will just buy some heavy duty ones instead of adjustable.
Typically, front lower controls arms are used to position the axle (forward or back) in the wheel well so the tire is centered. Front uppers are used to adjust castor.

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post #13 of 21 Old 10-25-2013, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pokey02 View Post
Typically, front lower controls arms are used to position the axle (forward or back) in the wheel well so the tire is centered. Front uppers are used to adjust castor.

http://www.parker4wheelers.net
www.bullhead4wheelersinc.com
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post #14 of 21 Old 10-28-2013, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
04WJfreedom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pokey02
Typically, front lower controls arms are used to position the axle (forward or back) in the wheel well so the tire is centered. Front uppers are used to adjust castor.
so with my caster being at 2.2 when it should be above 4.2 do you guys recommend extending the upper control arms or shortening them? And by how much does anyone have the RK 3.5" lift and know what your upper control arm length are set at?

2012 JK Unlimited Sahara
Rock Krawler 3.5" X-Factor MID arm lift
35x12.5x17 BFG KM2
4:88 Yukon gears
KOR Drive shafts
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post #15 of 21 Old 10-28-2013, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 04WJfreedom View Post
so with my caster being at 2.2 when it should be above 4.2 do you guys recommend extending the upper control arms or shortening them? And by how much does anyone have the RK 3.5" lift and know what your upper control arm length are set at?
It sounds like you need to shorten the front upper control arms. Do you have an angle finder?

There is a good article from another forum regarding caster:

http://project-jk.com/jeep-jk-tech/j...affect-my-jeep

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