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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2002, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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Steering Promblems

I am having some major steering promblems with my CJ and need some advice on where to go from here.

The symptoms are wondering all over the road and bump steer, most of this goes away at high speeds.

I have recently lifted the jeep with 2.5" springs and 1 3/8" shackle lift. The jeep has not been alighned since, but I thought I would try to atleast minimize the steering promblems before the alighnment, since I would need to change or adjust some steering components which would require another alighnment when finished.

I think a drop pitman arm will solve the bumpsteer promblems, but what about the wondering? I was thinking new tie rod ends or maybe ball joints, how can I tell if these are shot?

Any other suggestions are appreciated.

thanks,
tony

79 CJ 5, 258, dana 30, model 20, T18, dana 20, 2.5" rancho lift, 1" shackles
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2002, 06:54 PM
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Re: Steering Promblems

you can check the rod ends and such, but most of the problem will go away if you take the shackle lift off. longer shackles screw up your caster angle and make the jeep wander. try a search on caster abgle and read all about it. a good steering stabilizer will sometimes hide the problem, but it wont cure it. the best idea might be to e-bay the 2.5" springs and buy a 4" lift. the dropped pitman arm will also help, but mostly with the bump steer you are experiencing. many of the best steering systems i've done and seen have straight pitman arms, but good overall steering geometry.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2002, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Steering Promblems

At some time in the future I want to add a daystar 1" body lift, so when I do this I may either put on smaller shackles or stock shackles. At this time it is not possible because of the 33s, they will not clear with out the shackles. Selling the lift is not an option either, I am not going to give up on it after all this work, not to mention I cant afford a new lift.

Taking all that in to acount, what should I do,should I replace the tie rod ends, what about the ball joints or steering box? Anything else I am forgeting, how can I tell if the tie rod ends or ball joints are shot?

If I have a smaller shackle lift will that make the steering better then now? seems like it should, can you explain why the shackles do this to steering, is it because they flex? Maybe new spring bushings?

Give me more ideas please.

thanks for the info on shackles.

Tony

79 CJ 5, 258, dana 30, model 20, T18, dana 20, 2.5" rancho lift, 1" shackles
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2002, 09:33 PM
 
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Re: Steering Promblems

First you have to understand what the caster angle is and how it works.
What it is...the angle in degrees that the knuckles on the axles are tilted. A tilt in this direction '/' is called positive caster, while a tilt in this direction '\' is called negative caster, with zero caster being a verticle orientation '|' (By the way, it is usually between 4 and 8 degrees so the tilt won't be nearly as dramatic is my, ah, "models" above)
I'm not sure how or why but this makes the Jeep track straight and return to center after a turn better. When you put taller shackles on you are lowering just that one end of the spring, which tilts the axle and decreases the caster angle, decreasing its affect on the steering.

Also, the tall shackles tend to 'sway' more and create more slack in the steering system.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2002, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Steering Promblems

Is the caster set from the factory or can it be adjusted?

thanks for the replys, much appreciated
tony

79 CJ 5, 258, dana 30, model 20, T18, dana 20, 2.5" rancho lift, 1" shackles
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2002, 09:52 PM
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Re: Steering Promblems

When you think of caster an easier way for the brain to "SEE" it is to think abot motorcycles.
Think abot a racey jap bike like a ninja or whatever. Foeks are very straight up and down. This makes the bike turn very fast. But the bad side it it wants to go whever any little mark or contour in the road goes. {i know[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]} (ala not much caster....) Now think about the chopper with the super long forks. Tons of caster in that (a greyhound bus can out turn it) but it tracks great doen the road.
That is what it does to jeeps too, just not not as extreme angles as the bikes.

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