73' CJ5 Caster / Front end issue (unbalanced) - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-19-2019, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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1973 CJ5 
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73' CJ5 Caster / Front end issue (unbalanced)

Hi Group,

A little experienced insight would be fantastic. I have recently picked up a 1973 CJ5. It has a 4" spring lift, 500 series power assisted steering box and the knuckle on the steering shaft replaced. This all done by the PO. The bump steer is bad, but I knew the caster was off and could address that. I'm never one to guess about things and took it to an alignment shop for a reading. The caster needs correcting as suspected, but each side is unbalanced.(Caster) Right side: Initial = 4.94, Final = 5.55. Left side: Initial = 3.92, Final = 3.90. Camber is also unbalanced. (Camber) Right side: Initial = 0.09, Final = 0.09. Left side: Initial = -1.03, Final = -1.04. Toe Specs are all off. (Toe) Right Initial = -2.94, Final = -2.96. Left Initial = 3.34, Final = 3.35. Total Toe: Initial 0.04, Final 0.39.

The Toe and camber specs are typed in correctly...yes, the right side is negative.

I plan on getting the correct shims for correct caster, but these other issues need to be address. Please help point me in the right direction.

Thanks all,

Last edited by kmolles; 09-19-2019 at 02:25 PM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-19-2019, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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1973 CJ5 
Join Date: Sep 2019
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Interestingly, I crawled under and the perch isn't sitting flush on the spring. There is a gap. Also, one side of the axle sits a half in closer to the front of the vehicle! Some people need their tools taken away from them!


So, I think I have this figured out. When the PO lifted the jeep, they tried to account for the caster and drive line angles. They used shims in the rear for alignment. What they attempted was do the job on the front axle right....that means instead of shimming the front, it appears they cut the perches and rewelded them. The problem is they couldn't do geometry or take basic measurements, AND the weld work is sloppy to boot. Now to find someone in the California North Bay that can set it up and reweld it correctly. Funny thing is, the PO had all kinds of receipts from a shop trying to piece meal the fix...they rebuild the entire front end over a number of visits...I can't believe a mechanic couldn't catch the real problem! Cutting, moving and rewelding perches are above my pay grade.

Last edited by kmolles; 09-19-2019 at 07:55 PM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-20-2019, 06:34 AM
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1974 CJ6 
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I wouldn't jump into cutting ge perches off just yet, the pass side is cast into the center section. on the drivers side, the perch is welded on and the factory welds do not always look the best. as for one side being closer, that is a normal mistake. there is an open area on the factory driver side perch and it is very easy for the spring pin to drop into that hole instead of the correct hole in the center of the perch. as for the bump steer, sounds like you may need to do a draglink flil to get the draglink more parallel to the tierod. pics of the steering as it sits now would be a big help.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-27-2019, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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1973 CJ5 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Sebastopol
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Jeep is at a trusted front end shop. As suspected, the PO "tried" to adjust the spring perches (fail). Now to cut them off and re-weld in correct location.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-28-2019, 11:05 AM
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There are shims that bolt between the spindle and steering knuckle that you can adjust camber with. As fourtrail mentioned, the underside of the factory spring perch is skeltonized and it is easy to missposition the axle on the springs. I know I had that experience with mine but caught it. Adjustments for caster and camber can also be made with adjustable ball joints.
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