Tried to get my newly lifted WK aligned and they told me this... - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-18-2020, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
rockawaywk
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Tried to get my newly lifted WK aligned and they told me this...

Last weekend I had a Rough Country body spacer kit, wheel spacers and 265/70-17 tires installed on my 06 WK. Brought it to a very reputable wheel/alignment shop that I've been going to for years and they said I need adjustable upper control arms, rack and pinion and a U-joint (never heard of this). I didn't want to accept that the rack was bad but I wasn't surprised. They told me that I can get the UCA's and U-joint and they'd be able to do the alignment. Right now, the alignment is way off and it rides pretty crappy.

I went with the body lift because I read in quite a few places that I wouldn't need adjustable control arms and wouldn't have to replace much, if anything. (I replaced upper and lower control arms along with struts about 2-3 months before deciding to lift it).

My question to you all is, do I need a-UCAs? How would you go about getting the rack done? What is involved in changing the u-joint and should anything else be changed with it?

My WK is the 4.7L and has 170k miles. Thanks in advance for your help and thank you for all the knowledge this forum has supplied me with while I was researching lifts and everything that goes along with it.

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post #2 of 19 Old 01-18-2020, 04:40 PM
3Recon
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You might want to put in how big of lift you did. I did a 2" with B 5100 set at 2" and original springs for now and I got system set to 1 degree camber and caster 2.5 and 2.9, and toe .11 and .10=21 degrees the toe was the biggest change after lift.
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post #3 of 19 Old 01-18-2020, 05:03 PM
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You shouldn't need new UCAs with a spacer lift. You can always get adjustable upper balljoints if they can't get it aligned but if they're doing it right (it seems a lot of shops don't know to use the LCA mounts to align it) and can't get it correct that would be the way to go.

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post #4 of 19 Old 01-18-2020, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
rockawaywk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Recon View Post
You might want to put in how big of lift you did. I did a 2" with B 5100 set at 2" and original springs for now and I got system set to 1 degree camber and caster 2.5 and 2.9, and toe .11 and .10=21 degrees the toe was the biggest change after lift.
The spacer kit gives a 2" lift. I have KYB struts/shocks and OEM springs. I went with KYB about 6 months ago way before I decided to lift it; would've went with Bilsetin's instead if I was expecting to do the lift.

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Originally Posted by underscore View Post
You shouldn't need new UCAs with a spacer lift. You can always get adjustable upper balljoints if they can't get it aligned but if they're doing it right (it seems a lot of shops don't know to use the LCA mounts to align it) and can't get it correct that would be the way to go.
The shop I brought it to wouldn't even bother aligning it without the a-UCAs. If you're saying it should be done using the LCA mounts then maybe I need to find a different place to do it.

My front wheels right now are \ / and its quite noticeable with the naked eye. I didn't think the alignment being off would be noticeable just by looking at it.
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post #5 of 19 Old 01-19-2020, 10:21 AM
yzjwk
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Not a very good shop IMO , if they’re going to let you drive away like that and potentially damage your rig or get into an accident.

Wherever you go next tell them they have to set the caster and camber before they touch the toe like it states in the factory service manual..

I think too many shops follow the “set the toe and let it go” motto because they’re used to solid axles.
Like Underscore said, Unless there is something else going on there, it should come really close without adjustable BJs.
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post #6 of 19 Old 01-19-2020, 07:09 PM
KristopherR
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I'm sure it's a spring spacer kit, not a body spacer (else you wouldn't need an alignment).

For what it's worth I have the same kit, wheel spacers, and rolling diameter tires and my alignment was brought back into spec with room to spare.

Make sure they aren't trying to tell you your UCA ball joints aren't toast....maybe the rubber or the joints are bad and they're trying to upsell you with the repair.

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post #7 of 19 Old 01-19-2020, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by yzjwk View Post
Not a very good shop IMO , if theyíre going to let you drive away like that and potentially damage your rig or get into an accident.

Wherever you go next tell them they have to set the caster and camber before they touch the toe like it states in the factory service manual..

I think too many shops follow the ďset the toe and let it goĒ motto because theyíre used to solid axles.
Like Underscore said, Unless there is something else going on there, it should come really close without adjustable BJs.
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Originally Posted by KristopherR View Post
I'm sure it's a spring spacer kit, not a body spacer (else you wouldn't need an alignment).

For what it's worth I have the same kit, wheel spacers, and rolling diameter tires and my alignment was brought back into spec with room to spare.

Make sure they aren't trying to tell you your UCA ball joints aren't toast....maybe the rubber or the joints are bad and they're trying to upsell you with the repair.
Thanks for the tips guys. Between the responses here and with some searching on the forums, it seems that lots of shops try to align the WK using the UCAs as opposed to loosening up the bolts on the LCAs. I have an appointment at the nearby Jeep dealer for an alignment on Thursday. Hopefully that solves the problem.

What does everyone recommend regarding the steering rack and U-joint? I read a few threads that said the u-joint isn't serviceable, yet RockAuto sells replacement ones?
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post #8 of 19 Old 01-20-2020, 12:52 PM
yzjwk
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Steering rack failures are pretty uncommon from what Iíve seen, but itís always possible. More often itís a misdiagnosed , worn inner tie rod. As for the unjoint... there are no u joints on a WK that would affect alignment and iirc there are no serviceable u joints at all (I think some people with the right tools have done it). driveshaft usually needs to be replaced.

Do you feel any vibration or hear any grinding noise getting up to or at hi way speeds? Thatís usually the first sign of possible u joint issues.

Whatever you do, donít tell the jeep techs that someone else said there were other issues. If they actually exist, the tech will find them where the alignment is involved.
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post #9 of 19 Old 01-20-2020, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yzjwk View Post
Steering rack failures are pretty uncommon from what Iíve seen, but itís always possible. More often itís a misdiagnosed , worn inner tie rod. As for the unjoint... there are no u joints on a WK that would affect alignment and iirc there are no serviceable u joints at all (I think some people with the right tools have done it). driveshaft usually needs to be replaced.

Do you feel any vibration or hear any grinding noise getting up to or at hi way speeds? Thatís usually the first sign of possible u joint issues.

Whatever you do, donít tell the jeep techs that someone else said there were other issues. If they actually exist, the tech will find them where the alignment is involved.
After the responses here and some reading on other threads, I'm beginning to think the shop I brought it too isn't as great as I thought they were. I was taken by surprise when they told me I needed all these different things replaced when all I came in for was what I thought would be simple alignment. Appreciate all the help.

No vibrations or noise at high speeds and after reading, I doubt the driveshaft needs replacing, 95% sure they misdiagnosed.
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-21-2020, 04:12 AM
browningv308
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I went with a OME hd lift, JBA uca's, factory new lca's and at alignment time the tech loosened the lca bolts to do the alignment no problems getting it back in align 07 crd
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post #11 of 19 Old 01-22-2020, 07:09 PM
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I just went through this came crap. First shop told me Toe was all that could be adjusted. I told them it wasn't, and how to do it. Even showed them the alignment service manual. I got yelled at buy their ******* mechanic. Went back another day to talk you the manager, got a refund, but Will not go back there.

Went to another shop and they seemed to do a great job. I talked to them before getting it aligned, and everything went well. The moral of the story is, this is ridiculously common, and it shouldn't be a big deal but it is. For a spacer lift you should be able to get it within spec, and if not very close.
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post #12 of 19 Old 01-24-2020, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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The dealer was able to get it into alignment. Took them 3 hours but got it done nonetheless.

The tech said I needed a left UCA which didn't make much sense being that I put on new MOOG ones less than a year ago. Would the spacer lift put that much stress on it where it would have to be replaced already?
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post #13 of 19 Old 01-24-2020, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rockawaywk View Post
The dealer was able to get it into alignment. Took them 3 hours but got it done nonetheless.

The tech said I needed a left UCA which didn't make much sense being that I put on new MOOG ones less than a year ago. Would the spacer lift put that much stress on it where it would have to be replaced already?
Glad you got it all fixed up .

It’s always possible for a suspension parts to fail after a year, I think that’s why it’s such a popular warranty.lol . There’s a bunch of diy, how to check your upper ball joint and control arm YouTube vids.
Did the tech say specifically why you needed a new UCA?
Seems funny , cause I don’t know of any shops that would align it without replacing it if that part causes alignment numbers to change like a bad ball joint would..

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post #14 of 19 Old 01-26-2020, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by yzjwk View Post
Glad you got it all fixed up .

Itís always possible for a suspension parts to fail after a year, I think thatís why itís such a popular warranty.lol . Thereís a bunch of diy, how to check your upper ball joint and control arm YouTube vids.
Did the tech say specifically why you needed a new UCA?
Seems funny , cause I donít know of any shops that would align it without replacing it if that part causes alignment numbers to change like a bad ball joint would..
I checked the UCA today and everything seems to be fine. I'm beginning to think the tech didn't know what he was talking about and/or looking at. After explaining to him that I had a spacer lift and all the factory suspension components are the same he still insisted that the alignment was going to be complicated and lengthy. I'll just enjoy the Jeep as it is and disregard what the tech told me.
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post #15 of 19 Old 01-27-2020, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rockawaywk View Post
I checked the UCA today and everything seems to be fine. I'm beginning to think the tech didn't know what he was talking about and/or looking at. After explaining to him that I had a spacer lift and all the factory suspension components are the same he still insisted that the alignment was going to be complicated and lengthy. I'll just enjoy the Jeep as it is and disregard what the tech told me.
I don't understand what's so lengthy or complicated about aligning these things. The techs are the first shop I went to said the same thing. " What type of vehicle is it?" "Oh those are a pain in the ***." It's very annoying.

They have state of the art alignment machines that take guess work out. I think shops just want to set the toe and let it go to make the most easy money possible.

Glad ya got it sorted though.
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