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Unread 06-17-2013, 08:31 AM   #1
razor1115
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JK Caster

If this thread has been beat to death, can someone point me to the link?

I have a 2013 JK 4dr lifted with 4" Procomp on 18"x9" Fuel Offroad wheels wrapped in 35" (34.5") Trail Grapplers. All went well on the install. I added a front, adjustable track bar and the kit had rear axle bracket for the track bar with a cam bolt. Both axles are centered and within 1/8" side-to-side. The steering is adjusted and straight.

I know the caster on the front will change with the lift. The Jeep still drives well, but get a VERY slight wander and sense of darting in steering. NOT TERRIBLE, but noticeable from stock. Before lift, day dreaming one handed steering wheel driving - now better pay more attention.

My question: What is stock caster angle, and anyone know how much a 4" lift will alter that in the negative direction?

What are the experiences and opinions of: 1) front, adjustable control arms to reestablish proper caster 2) AEV-type from drop brackets using the stock control arms 3) cam bolts?

My Jeep is mostly on road with trips to CO and UT a few weeks a yr.

Thanks much.


Last edited by razor1115; 06-17-2013 at 11:05 AM..
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Unread 06-17-2013, 09:45 AM   #2
RockyClymer
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My Opinion (we know what that is worth) - the stock caster angle is about 4.2 degrees. A lift will lower the angle, it has been debated ad-infinitum how much. Adj control arms will fix it, or I understand the AEV brackets will also.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 10:21 AM   #3
Noxian
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What ever you dont do cam bolts, especially if you offorad,

Go with adjustable control arms,

The AEV drop brackets are ok, but you do sacrifice clearance offroad, and you are still left with weak factory lower control arms
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Unread 06-17-2013, 01:29 PM   #4
aristobrat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razor1115 View Post
I know the caster on the front will change with the lift. The Jeep still drives well, but get a VERY slight wander and sense of darting in steering. NOT TERRIBLE, but noticeable from stock. Before lift, day dreaming one handed steering wheel driving - now better pay more attention.
I got enough caster change out of a 2.5" TF spring lift that at 45 mph, you'd better have two hands on the steering wheel. Anything over 65 mph required a death grip and some puckering! Ended up swapping to a 3.5" lift with the AEV drop brackets and now I can go as fast as I want with only one hand on the wheel.

My JK sees most of its miles on-road. I only get off-road about once a month, but it's usually a four-day weekend at one of the bigger Mid-Atlantic spots (like Rausch Creek, Gulches, Uwharrie, Big Dogs) where we get two long days on the rocks/trails.

I got 3.5 years out of wheeling with those brackets. I was climbing up a pretty steep line, when my front slipped off the line and went crashing down ~2 feet. The driver bracket was the first to land on something (a rock), laterally catching most of the weight of the front. Made the hugest noise, people came running from everywhere to see what was up. Everyone was sure that the bracket and the stock control arm had been destroyed. I ended up making it back up the line, and the only damage was the bracket was slightly slanted inwards.

The slanted bracket didn't mess with how the Jeep handled, so I drove it around for a few weeks until I got some time to work on it. Ended up buying another set of the brackets. Thought about getting adj. lower control arms, but they were $300+ vs $99, and from the reaction of the guys running them when my Jeep slammed down off of that line, I'm not confident they would have survived without any damage either.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 01:32 PM   #5
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RockyClymer and noxian hit the nail on the head.

+4.2* is stock caster. Lengthening adjustable lowers will increase your caster angle, which has been drug down by your 4" lift. I run mine (also 4" of lift) at a little north of 6*. A lot of guys will say that's crazy, just take it back to stock, blahblah...my vehicle rides spectacularly.

For what it's worth, a friend mine is a seasoned mopar mechanic at a local Jeep shop (they buy aftermarket suspension parts from us and we buy mopar parts from them). When I asked him what he thought about how heavy I run my caster, he said they do the same thing with every Jeep that they lift, as well as every person that comes in complaining of "flighty steering" after they lifted their vehicle. They sell them adjustable lower control arms (BDS specifically, which is what I happen to run), and they make the caster 5.5-6*, substantially higher than stock spec.

I bought my BDS arms for ~ $290 if I recall, and they have a lifetime warranty. I ABUSE my non DD JK and they held up for better than two and a half years before they were warranty replaced at no cost to me.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 01:34 PM   #6
aristobrat
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I run mine (also 4" of lift) at a little north of 6*.
Are you running with a stock front drive shaft?
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Unread 06-17-2013, 01:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mol View Post
When I asked him what he thought about how heavy I run my caster, he said they do the same thing with every Jeep that they lift, as well as every person that comes in complaining of "flighty steering" after they lifted their vehicle. They sell them adjustable lower control arms (BDS specifically, which is what I happen to run), and they make the caster 5.5-6*, substantially higher than stock spec.
yeah I am running 5.5 degrees on mine with Teraflex control arms and a pro rock 44 unlimited allows for more caster, it drives great on the road, i can drive 75mph and hold the steering wheel with 1 finger and it will drive nice and straight.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 01:37 PM   #8
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BDS arms have a rubber bushing at the axle and a ball joint at the frame, so they will "articulate" much better than stock arms in those stupid brackets. They also have an inward and upward bend to them (drive and passenger side specific) so they have more ground and tire clearance than stock arms in brackets.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 01:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by aristobrat View Post
Are you running with a stock front drive shaft?
negative - coast driveline

Regardless of control arms, at 4" suspension, the stock driveshaft is on borrowed time.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 01:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mol View Post
BDS arms have a rubber bushing at the axle and a ball joint at the frame, so they will "articulate" much better than stock arms in those stupid brackets. They also have an inward and upward bend to them (drive and passenger side specific) so they have more ground and tire clearance than stock arms in brackets.
No disagreement there. Just adding my $.02 that not having the extra articulation/ground clearance hasn't caused any issues that have held me back on the moderate/more difficult types of rocks we have here in the Mid-Atlantic. Most JK owners here won't even try the stuff I'm able to successfully get over with the brackets/stock arms (yay for bypasses), so I thought I'd add my experience in case someone didn't want to drop $300 for extra articulation that they may likely never make use of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mol View Post
negative - coast driveline

Regardless of control arms, at 4" suspension, the stock driveshaft is on borrowed time.
Interesting. I keep seeing threads that mention that with aftermarket drive shafts, you should set the pinion angle like this (to avoid vibrations, esp. at high speeds), which I thought was pretty much impossible to do when you've got your caster angle dialed in as much as you do.

Not an issue with the coast driveline?

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Unread 06-17-2013, 02:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by aristobrat View Post
No disagreement there. Just adding my $.02 that not having the extra articulation/ground clearance hasn't caused any issues that have held me back on the moderate/more difficult types of rocks we have here in the Mid-Atlantic. Most JK owners here won't even try the stuff I'm able to successfully get over with the brackets/stock arms (yay for bypasses), so I thought I'd add my experience in case someone didn't want to drop $300 for extra articulation that they may likely never make use of.
I understood what you were saying, sorry if I came across as rude...I don't often filter myself, and my intention was not to say you're wrong, or butt heads...just giving my personal opinion

Quote:
Interesting. I keep seeing threads that mention that with aftermarket drive shafts, you should set the pinion angle like this (to avoid vibrations, esp. at high speeds), which I thought was pretty much impossible to do when you've got your caster angle dialed in as much as you do.

Not an issue with the coast driveline?

I don't print graphs off of the internet to align my Jeep, I just do it, and adjust accordingly. I set my caster at 4.5, originally, and didn't like how it drove. So I cranked a couple more degrees, and have had no driveline vibrations I'll get a pic and post it when I get a chance
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Unread 06-17-2013, 02:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mol View Post
I understood what you were saying, sorry if I came across as rude...I don't often filter myself, and my intention was not to say you're wrong, or butt heads...just giving my personal opinion
Def. no worries man.


Quote:
I don't print graphs off of the internet to align my Jeep, I just do it, and adjust accordingly. I set my caster at 4.5, originally, and didn't like how it drove. So I cranked a couple more degrees, and have had no driveline vibrations I'll get a pic and post it when I get a chance
It'd be cool to see what angle yours is on!

The graph I snagged was from Tom Wood's site, their recommendation for how to install their drive shafts to avoid vibrations. That's why I was confused. They say do it that way, which I think is pretty much impossible to do on a JK, unless you want to run crap for caster.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 02:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by aristobrat View Post
Def. no worries man.



It'd be cool to see what angle yours is on!

The graph I snagged was from Tom Wood's site, their recommendation for how to install their drive shafts to avoid vibrations. That's why I was confused. They say do it that way, which I think is pretty much impossible to do on a JK, unless you want to run crap for caster.
Tom Woods needs kicked in the dick. We have sent so many of their driveshafts to the machine shop, as early as a month after install. Junk.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 02:33 PM   #14
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Here's a pic

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Unread 06-17-2013, 02:45 PM   #15
David_M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mol

Tom Woods needs kicked in the dick. We have sent so many of their driveshafts to the machine shop, as early as a month after install. Junk.
Just curious but was the problem with Tom Woods driveshafts related to the shafts themselves or the crappy Chinese made ujoints they so stubbornly insist on using? I run Tom Woods shafts front and rear just installed good spicer joints. Never had a problem. Granted if someone was shopping for new driveshafts. I'd recommend a manufacturer who already uses a good joint such as nepco or spicer, etc.
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