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  • Degree shims and steering

    hello all ! in my constant quest for perfect steering geometry on my cj , i think i'm almost there , i have the rancho 2.5 lift and i installed the degree shims supplied with the kit . she handles great , my only issue is the steering return , after my alignment , my caster is between 2.2 and 2.5 positive , i need more shim to get the the desired 4.0 positive , does anyone know what degree of shim comes with the lift kit ? i know our host (as well as tom woods ) sells bigger shims , so i want to take out the present shims and get the correct ones . rancho has not got back with me yet , and i want to move on this .

  • #2
    would you rather be tearing up driveshafts or straightening the steering wheel yourself?

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    • #3
      factory caster settings?

      Originally posted by the Captain View Post
      would you rather be tearing up driveshafts or straightening the steering wheel yourself?
      I am by no means an expert, but the pinion and the T-case need to be parallel for a conventional double-cardan driveshaft. So leveling the pinion (assuming the T-case is level) to set the caster back to the factory angle, should not result in tearing up driveshafts. I mean, if the T-case is still in the factory position, returning the front pinion to the factory position (degree) to correct your caster angle should result in the pinion and the T-case being parallel... right?

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      • #4
        to increase castor you would rotate the pinion downward not upward. you can cut and reset the knuckles if you'd like.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by herman8r2 View Post
          I am by no means an expert, but the pinion and the T-case need to be parallel for a conventional double-cardan driveshaft. So leveling the pinion (assuming the T-case is level) to set the caster back to the factory angle, should not result in tearing up driveshafts. I mean, if the T-case is still in the factory position, returning the front pinion to the factory position (degree) to correct your caster angle should result in the pinion and the T-case being parallel... right?
          I agree. Simply moving the pinion back down to the factory orientation will not tear up driveshafts. If your driveshaft slip shaft is over extended or if the u-joints bottom out at full droop, you'll destroy driveshafts.

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          • #6
            Jackson I am no expert either.

            Please be patient with me as I share what I discovered battling this issue (Caster / Camber) with Little Red.

            Eventually I took Little Red to a front end alignment shop. The mechanic explained, the front knuckles contain a bushing that is not centered, but is sort of elongated. Caster is set by turning this bushing one way or the other which shifts wheel either forward or backward from center of axle. Though I have not observed this done myself I have seen those bushing and can see how they work ,

            Anyway that

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            • #7
              if you rotate the pinion up to align it properly you will end up with negative castor. the adjusters do not have near enough movement in them to fix the castor unless its already very close. the only way to fix your castor and front driveshaft angle is to cut the knuckles off and re-weld them in the proper location.

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              • #8
                as far as i know , the caster on mine (1979 ) is not adjustable . i found out my caster , after installing the lift is almost zero , i am going to install 4 degree of shim to give me 4 degrees postive caster . since this job should take me all of 30 minutes , i will have lost nothing , after i measure driveline angles , i plan to call tom woods ( where i bought my driveshaft ) and see if i'm ok . i should add that i installed the part-time kit on my transfer case ( quadratrac) so the front driveshaft only turns in 4wd . if anyone is interested i'm going to post what i find out , i'm curious to find out if i hit a home run !

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                • #9
                  ok one more time and thats it. your castor does not change from a lift. the castor angle is unchanged from a lift unless you installed longer shackles as well. the longer shackles will decrease your castor and hurt your steering. if you just put springs on then your castor angle is the same as it was before.
                  that being said your front driveshaft (after the lift) is already off from where it's supposed to line up. to change your castor to fix the steering problem will cause your driveshaft to bind and break. the only way you can fix it correctly is to cut and turn the knuckles and re-weld them.
                  you also should not be re-using your u-bolts, they are made to stretch when properly installed and can snap when re-used. i'm not saying they are gonna snap but you really don't want to find out what happens when they do.

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                  • #10
                    thanks captain . but for the record i do have longer shackles ( i should have stated that that ) i did install the shims and it helps , but not the result i was hoping for . i did replace the u-bolts , but i think i'm going to have to live with the results , not quite ready to go the full weld route yet . still seems to have better steering and handling than some of the cjs i've seen , but i think i'll stop here

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                    • #11
                      more to the pot

                      My entire suspension system is new, with 1/2" shakle lift too for around 3" total. It rides great, (CJ) anyways yesterday I got an alignment and was told I have 4* negetive caster (I think he said caster) Tech also told me not to worry if I don't have any vibrations, which I don't. He went on to say that I would need to weld new perches to correct this, and also cut the axle tubes to keep the pinion in line with the transfer case.

                      I not going to do anything yet, but, if I have no vibrations or sterring woes, leave as is ???????? and do you agree with his opnion?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by scobar View Post
                        My entire suspension system is new, with 1/2" shakle lift too for around 3" total. It rides great, (CJ) anyways yesterday I got an alignment and was told I have 4* negetive caster (I think he said caster) Tech also told me not to worry if I don't have any vibrations, which I don't. He went on to say that I would need to weld new perches to correct this, and also cut the axle tubes to keep the pinion in line with the transfer case.

                        I not going to do anything yet, but, if I have no vibrations or sterring woes, leave as is ???????? and do you agree with his opnion?

                        Your steering is a concern... with 4* negative caster your Jeep will wander (not automatically return to center).

                        For the driveline... If it doesn't vibrate then you're good.

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                        • #13
                          I don't have many miles on it, but yes it does seem to wander. So how do I fix this negitve caster thing?

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                          • #14
                            see previous posts

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