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Thread: THE TJ Wrangler Alignment Specs Thread

  1. #1
    It puts the lotion on... Don-A-Vee's Avatar
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    Default THE TJ Wrangler Alignment Specs Thread

    I am starting this thread for the sole purpose of posting your alignment specifications for a reference for those lifting their Jeeps. Please post the following:

    (I am posting stock wrangler specs as an example)

    Year: All 1999-2006
    Lift Type: Stock
    Lift Size: 0"
    Steering Modifications: stock
    Tire Size: 29" - 31"

    Toe: -0.2 to -0.3 degrees
    Castor: 7 degrees
    Chamber: .30 degrees

    Results: No death wobble or other steering problems.

  2. #2
    www.stu-offroad.com Stu Olson's Avatar
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    Aside from toe-in, I believe an alignment on a lifted TJ is highly over rated. In the past six years, I've had two different suspension lifts (short and long arms) running on 3 different spring heights. Aside from setting the toe in to 5/32", I don't have a clue as to what the caster is....and the camber is what ever the ball joints give you at 75K hard miles. Currently, it is:

    Vehicle = '98 TJ
    Lift = 6" Long Arm
    Steering = alumiflex cross-over
    Toe in = 5/32"
    Caster = unknown (but not so much that it causes front pinion vibes)
    Camber = unknown

    Results=No death wobble or other steering issues


    As I said, it's been 6 years since I was in an alignment shop....and when I drove it away, the front end had bad vibrations.....and that was the last time I paid someone money to do that to my Jeep.
    Stu's '98TJ Sahara
    ARB Locked & Loaded
    www.stu-offroad.com

  3. #3
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    I had mine aligned at a shop that installs the R/E long arm kit.

    He also squared up the rear for me (eg set the thrust angle)

    IIRC, it was about 5 degrees of caster, and 1/8 inch of toe. Nada you can do for camber.

    I had a wobble but it was a loose trackbar. Tightened that and it was fine. Steering was fine.

    then I wheeled it, bent some stuff, tore a control arm mount off the axle, roasted almost all the sucky R/E bushings, replaced them, yada yada yada. each time I just reset things using a tape measure and an angle finder and ya know what? I don't have any wobble except for a tire that is seriously out of balance.

    Results: No death wobble or other steering problems.

  4. #4
    newb -sean-'s Avatar
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    Smile good idea...

    Year: 04' Unlimited
    Lift Type: Currie JJ short-arm
    Lift Size: 4"
    Steering Modifications: stock for now (TNT 1 ton HS later)
    Tire Size: 37"

    Toe: 1/8" (tape measure)
    Castor: 4.5 degrees
    Chamber: is what it is and I have no idea.

    Results: No death wobble or other steering problems. And I should ad that it track's down the Hwy. better than stock. :pablo:

  5. #5

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    I used to think these settings had be dialed in to perfection....

    Ride: 98 TJ
    Lift: 4.5 RE Superflex (short arm) 3/4" Spacers in front
    Steering: Currie
    Axles: XJ HP 30 / XJ 44
    Tires: 35" MTRs

    Toe: 1/8"
    Caster: 3.5 degrees

    No problems at all. Drives and flat tows fine at 70.
    98 TJ | 4.0L | GenRight Stretched | Built XJ D44 and HP30 | ARB's | 35" Krawlers | Allied RT Beadlocks | 9500i | OBA etc. | M416

    Kentucky Krawlers Website

  6. #6
    Registered GeoJeepin's Avatar
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    I didn't think the caster/camber could be set. But I am new to doing self alignments.
    After I installed the Uturn it drives 100% better down the road than with the stock setup.

    2002 TJ
    Lift: RE 5.5 LA
    Steering: ORO Uturn
    Axles: Front HP 30/Rear 44
    Tires: 35" Xterrains

    Toe: 1/8

    Did my own alignment with angle iron clamped to the roter and a tape measure.

  7. #7
    Registered neZZr's Avatar
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    I'd agree with Stu that camber is nearly unimportant for driving concerns, and caster is really only marginally important. But camber can cause tire wear issues, though it's not easily adjustable (requires offset balljoints) so it's not really something to worry about. For reference, factory spec is -0.9-+0.4°.

    However, when I aligned mine after the lift I wanted it to drive as close to stock as possible. My Jeep is my daily driver (>15k/year) so I really need it to wear tires evenly too.

    Factory spec is actually 6.0-8.0° of caster. Though according to Nth the larger the tires, the less caster you should run. He calls for 4-5° maximum for 33's. I set mine to 6° exactly, but I will adjust it once I get some 35's under her. For the reasons mentioned above I've paid particular attention to my caster angle because it will affect your return-to-center, how your vehicle drifts, and according to Nth caster can play a part in death-wobble as well.

    Factory spec for toe is 0.09-0.21°... I don't know how that translates in terms of inches, but I imagine it would be different for different tire sizes. I adjusted mine to the inside of the toe-in spec, and it drives great.

    Another thing to keep in mind for driveability issues is your rear thrust angle, which can be off quite a bit once lifted. I double checked that my rear control arms were of equal length when installing the kit, but when aligned I had a thrust angle pushing the rear end right 0.4° (spec is -0.25-+0.25°). This can have a noticeable effect on how the vehicle tracks the road under power, or even when just cruising.

    Now in my case I have access to a Hunter KDS-II alignment system, so it doesn't cost me anything but my time to make these adjustments whenever I want. But IMO it would be worth paying someone to set things like your caster & thrust angle after a major suspension change if you drive your Jeep a lot. They are simple adjustments, and should never need attention again, so it's worth getting it right.
    Black TJ Rubicon
    RE4.5SF with adjustable stuff | RE monotubes | MORE BL & MML
    33" MTZs | Vanco big brakes | Currie HD steering
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  8. #8
    TJHardcore.com
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    2001 TJ
    Lift: 4.5" Clayton long arm
    Steering: Rock Krawler X-Factor
    Axles: Front HP 30/Rear 8.8
    Tires: 36" Iroks

    Toe: 0
    Caster: 3 degrees



    I believe some of you are underestimating the importance of caster as it relates to DW. You should reduce the caster setting as tire size goes up. But, if your setting works for you why change it right? Mine wobbled at a setting of 6 degrees. Drives perfect at 3 degrees. No other changes.

  9. #9

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    I thought your alignment specs were the same no matter if you had a lift of any size or no lift at all? Is this true?
    Bye to the 02 TJ
    Hello to the 05 LJ

  10. #10
    Registered jeepster93's Avatar
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    I just change out my steering to heavy duty stuff.
    I made sure all was tight and no bushing wear. New tie rod ends, new drag link, new tie rod, new knuckle connections, all VERY overbuilt.
    Did a tape measure, I think it is a "toe in", made sure the front and back of the rims were the same distance apart while pointing straight.
    Good enough?
    It drives better than new...

  11. #11
    Registered neZZr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepster93
    I just change out my steering to heavy duty stuff.
    I made sure all was tight and no bushing wear. New tie rod ends, new drag link, new tie rod, new knuckle connections, all VERY overbuilt.
    Did a tape measure, I think it is a "toe in", made sure the front and back of the rims were the same distance apart while pointing straight.
    Good enough?
    It drives better than new...
    Typically you want a bit of toe-in (rather than pointing straight forward) so the vehicle tracks straight down the road & doesn't follow the gooves of the road so much.

    Quote Originally Posted by domano 68
    I thought your alignment specs were the same no matter if you had a lift of any size or no lift at all? Is this true?
    From what I've read you should reduce your caster for larger sized tires, but for toe & camber you should stay close to factory spec.
    Black TJ Rubicon
    RE4.5SF with adjustable stuff | RE monotubes | MORE BL & MML
    33" MTZs | Vanco big brakes | Currie HD steering
    TxT front bumper | Jeeperman rear swing-out
    Kilby steering skid | Rockcrusher diff covers
    Warn XD9000i & 12voltguy.com in-cab control | York OBA
    Tuffy glove box, side boxes, & rear drawer | Raingler cargo net
    Cibié H4s | Omnifi MP3 player | Cobra, Firestik | Tough Stuff & Huskyliners


    Hummer Hole video

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan-H
    I had mine aligned at a shop that installs the R/E long arm kit.

    He also squared up the rear for me (eg set the thrust angle)

    IIRC, it was about 5 degrees of caster, and 1/8 inch of toe. Nada you can do for camber.

    I had a wobble but it was a loose trackbar. Tightened that and it was fine. Steering was fine.

    then I wheeled it, bent some stuff, tore a control arm mount off the axle, roasted almost all the sucky R/E bushings, replaced them, yada yada yada. each time I just reset things using a tape measure and an angle finder and ya know what? I don't have any wobble except for a tire that is seriously out of balance.

    Results: No death wobble or other steering problems.
    While not obvious at first glance, Dan points out a few things that will make your Jeep drive far better than getting a professional shop alignment to try and cure a steering/handling/tracking problem - well designed parts and proper maintenance.

    A properly built Jeep should need no alignment work for many thousands of miles once it is initially set-up. Maintenance of worn or shiatty parts will also affect whether you get deathwobble and/or bumpsteer. If you bend something or bust it up on the trail, it will need to be replaced whether you think you ruined it or not.

    Case in point is stock steering. Muggs are on here all the time are asking about repeat alignments and more often than not and while it doesn't appear so, their stock draglink is bent (ie straightening out). Shiatty steel wheels and 10.50 width tires are also major culprits.

    I'm with Stu.....my rig hasn't seen an alignment rack for pretty close to 5 years through 2 different lifts. I have perfectly even tire wear with good tracking and return to center. I have no clue what my caster is and have only set my toe twice during that time.

  13. #13

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    My caster is only about 4* and I set my toe in the driveway like Stu does. I can't remember what my camber is like other than it was within spec the only time I had this axle (HP D30) on the alignment rack. FWIW, I've had my toe pretty out of whack due to bent steering linkage (both stock and and the Currie, hey watch out for those rocks ), and have never had death wobble. The only time I've seen death wobble was from loose parts (control arm and trackbar).
    Jeff

  14. #14
    Registered LoneStarNation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01TJay
    2001 TJ
    Lift: 4.5" Clayton long arm
    Steering: Rock Krawler X-Factor
    Axles: Front HP 30/Rear 8.8
    Tires: 36" Iroks

    Toe: 0
    Caster: 3 degrees



    I believe some of you are underestimating the importance of caster as it relates to DW. You should reduce the caster setting as tire size goes up. But, if your setting works for you why change it right? Mine wobbled at a setting of 6 degrees. Drives perfect at 3 degrees. No other changes.
    So your tires are not toed-in?
    03 TJ / Lifted / Armored

    05 WK / Hemi

  15. #15
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    2003 Rubi
    OME 2.5 + 3/4" bb
    Alumiflex tie rod
    33 inch tires

    Shadetree alignment only!

    1/8 inch toe (like everyone else)
    caster/camber ??

    I have run with zero toe-in. Driveable, but tracks a lot and darty on bumps. 1/16 or 1/8th is better. No wobble, no problems.

    Looks like the answer is 1/8 inch.

    HTH, Chris
    '03 Rubicon - 5sp
    My Jeep

  16. #16
    Registered jeepster93's Avatar
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    So..lets say I am the idiot I am.
    Toe in...
    On a tape measure alignment, which is what a fair amount do, 1/8th inch difference between front and rear of a 8 inch rim? With the front an 1/8th inch narrower than the rear? :bopeyed:


    Edit:

    Numbers...
    now:
    Front of rims is at 53 1/4
    Rear of rims is at 53 1/4
    change to:
    front 53 3/16
    rear 53 5/16
    Correct?

    Certainly not much..

  17. #17
    -DETOUR- Tim's Avatar
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    1/8 toe in
    i keep it riding nasty so i can have it to myself...
    no wobble
    There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

  18. #18
    Registered Knuckelhead's Avatar
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    With WJ knuckle conversion and 4” lift, 35” tires…
    Camber, -.5
    Castor, 4.5
    Toe-in, 1/16”
    "Here's my strategy on the Cold War:
    We win, they lose."
    - Ronald Reagan-

  19. #19

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    While there isn’t much you can do to adjust the Camber angle on a TJ it is still something that you can periodically measure, and should.

    If Camber Angle is out it is an early indication that either the Ball Joints and/or (more likely) the Hub Unit Bearings are worn.

    Harbor Freight sells a cheap gauge to measure Camber. It sticks to the front brake rotor. You’d be surprised how good this tool is for under $15.

    In the past I have done trouble shooting on several Jeeps that “wonder” all over the pace when driving down the road, when all other aspects such as toe and caster are set correctly and all control arm / track bar bushing are in good working order.

    Put the camber gauge on and found camber to be way off, yet no outward indication of significant wear to ball joints or unit bearings.

    Replaced Unit Bearings and/or Ball Joints and the “Wondering Steering” was gone for good.

    Just a few thoughts I wanted to share. Perhaps they may be helpful sometime.

    Frank

  20. #20
    Registered ThisSideUp's Avatar
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    Hey guys - glad I found this thread! I'm about to replace the LCA mounts and am considering adjustable arms, adjustable brackets or both. I understand toe-in and camber and how to check and adjust or correct them now, but I'm still missing a bit on caster. I know it afects the contact point of the tires front to back, but can't picture how caster and pinion anlge are different and which one adjustable LC Arms allow adjustment of? :loopyeye:
    DON"T make me break my probation...

    _________________________________________

    '97 TJ - 4.0L/3-spd. TF 3.5", 1"BL/MML, 33"s...

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