All over the road... Caster? - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-11-2019, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
micjmmy
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All over the road... Caster?

Just picked up an 84 CJ7 that is all over the road. PO installed an Old Man Emu lift (YJ springs) but doesnít know much more about it than that... I have measured the caster and it appears that itís 8 degrees positive (front axle is rolled to the rear of the Jeep)... installing shims with the fat end of the shim to the front will increase this 8 degrees. In theory, I should be installing the shim with the fat end to the rear of the Jeep to correct this, correct? It also appears that he installed a dropped pitman arm, if that may have an impact? Thanks!

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post #2 of 8 Old 09-11-2019, 10:54 PM
MetalMountainGoat
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You need the castor to be at 6 degrees. If the jeep has 3 inches of lift or less, I would ditch the drop pitman arm. Some may disagree, but mine has the stock pitman arm and 2.5inches. I can let go of the wheel at 70mph and tracks straight.
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-12-2019, 08:23 AM
DougE
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The stock spec for caster is 5 to 7 degrees. Caster in excess of this will primarily increase steering effort at low speeds but is unlikely to cause the wandering you are experiencing. Look for another cause like loose or worn steering components. An incorrect pitman arm would result in bump steer not straight line wander. After new springs my caster was about 3.5* and steering was "twitchy" at low speeds. These alignment results are after the addition of 2* shims.
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1983 CJ7, 258I6, T4, Dana 300, 31x10.5x15 DuraTrac

Last edited by DougE; 09-12-2019 at 08:40 AM. Reason: Added alignment results.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-12-2019, 01:50 PM
jjgrow
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There are lots of posts on this and the solution can range from caster adjustment, heavy-duty steering box, heavy-duty steering box mount, or replacing various steering parts. Check this: https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/w...-today-380476/

In my case, I went in all prepared to add shims only to find my caster was within spec. We decided to upgrade the factory tie rods and drag links with a heavy-duty set from Rugged Ridge and bingo, problem solved (they are much larger in diameter). I think eliminating play in the steering box would help too, though in my case, almost all the problem went away. I also purchased a steering box brace (Rugged Ridge 18021.05) because it was cheaper and easier than installing the HD mount. However, I haven't installed it partly because I don't have much/any wander anymore and largely because I can't get the one damn spring perch bolt out otherwise it would be like a 15-minute project.

- Jeff

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post #5 of 8 Old 09-12-2019, 09:51 PM
Renegade82
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As was said, the factory spec range is 5-7 degrees positive. The further you get from that range the more noticable. Mine is at 6.0 and 6.01 with OME springs and it steers fine. Now for years it was the other way, not sure how far below 5, but with 5 3/8" b2b shackles and 1.5" add-a-leafs and it wasn't too bad till I changed the 1.5 add-a-leafs with factory springs to a set of 2.5" lift springs. Then it went bad. So my point is that your close to the range and some guys say theirs works better near the 7 deg end.
Are the spring bushings OME also? Because not all poly bushings are created equal and theirs are made as a system. Jack your frame up and let the suspension hang freely. Then start pushing and pulling stuff and see what moves in excess. A second set of eyes helps too. Tie rod ends, ball joints, steering mount, shackle mounts, wheel bearings, etc. Are the hubs unlocked fully? Frozen (rusted dry) U-joints at the wheels can effect steering but it's usually more like quick jerks to either side, not wandering.

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post #6 of 8 Old 09-13-2019, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
micjmmy
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Good info! I'll jack-up tonight to see if there's anything that's moving that shouldn't be. No quick jerks, just NO self-correcting, a bit of wandering, etc. This is my 3rd jeep (CJ5, YJ, TJ) and I've never had one handle like this...
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-13-2019, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
micjmmy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjgrow View Post
There are lots of posts on this and the solution can range from caster adjustment, heavy-duty steering box, heavy-duty steering box mount, or replacing various steering parts. Check this: https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/w...-today-380476/

In my case, I went in all prepared to add shims only to find my caster was within spec. We decided to upgrade the factory tie rods and drag links with a heavy-duty set from Rugged Ridge and bingo, problem solved (they are much larger in diameter). I think eliminating play in the steering box would help too, though in my case, almost all the problem went away. I also purchased a steering box brace (Rugged Ridge 18021.05) because it was cheaper and easier than installing the HD mount. However, I haven't installed it partly because I don't have much/any wander anymore and largely because I can't get the one damn spring perch bolt out otherwise it would be like a 15-minute project.

Tie rod upgrade wouldn't hurt, but I didn't think that would make a huge difference with the issues I'm experiencing... maybe I'm wrong by not considering that in the first place. When non-running there is little/no play in the box, so I didn't really consider the box being an issue.

I read through nearly every post that you provided (and others), but it still leads me back to caster issues I think? I just thought it was weird that I was over-caster, not under like most.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-15-2019, 06:42 AM
keith460
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You need another person to turn the wheel back and forth while you observe all the pivot and mounting points of the steering system to see if anything is loose or moving within their mounts. Could be many little things that add up to poor or wandering road manners. Don't overlook bad upper and lower ball joints that bind.

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