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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2004, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Caster issue....different on one side from other

Okay, I took my wifes Grand Cherokee to get it aligned because it was wandering to the right. They put it up and found that the caster on one side was off by .4 (5.7 and 6.1). So now they tell me that it will always pull to the right because of this.

Is this common on solid axles? I figured that this shouldn't happen. Any advice on wear, what to do, etc.?

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Fritz
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2004, 11:28 PM
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Re: Caster issue....different on one side from oth

I can't answer for solid axles ..but the typical old style heavy passenger car front end was set up with a caster difference to "drift" to the right. I even recall the instructor saying this (1974).

It should not effect wear at all.


Keep in mind that memory in humans is an electrical/chemical cellular suspension that is "repaired" for gaps to make sense.. [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 06:52 AM
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Re: Caster issue....different on one side from oth

hummm, that sounds very strange to me. The fact that the shop talked to you about it leads me to believe that it is probably not normal. Seems like a strange problem. A bad upper or lower ball joint on that side of the axle could possibliy cause this. If the ball joints are good, then the axle may have been a defect. Or at some point over its life, it may have gotten bent a little. Or the tube twisted a little. I think if I were you I would first off bring it to a second shop, and get a second opinion. If they tell you the same thing, you are going to have to do some more investigation.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 07:14 AM
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Re: Caster issue....different on one side from other

A bad ball joint could cause that, but the shop SHOULD have found that.

There are eccentric cones that can be put in the upper ball joint to make small adjustments. That might be what you will have to do.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 08:13 AM
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Re: Caster issue....different on one side from oth

I target 1/4 to 1/2 degree higher caster on the right side for road crown. It is adjustable. see TSB below.

SUBJECT: Front End Alignment - Adjustable/Offset Ball Joints
DATE: Aug. 20, 1999
OVERVIEW:
This bulletin involves installing offset ball joints to allow adjustments to camber, which were not previously possible on XJ, TJ and ZJ models and to camber and caster which were not possible on WJ models.

SYMPTOM/CONDITION:
This Technical Service Bulletin releases new offset ball joints which provide the capability to make front-end alignment adjustments to camber and caster. Camber adjustments and caster adjustments on some models are fixed and built into the front axle. Caster adjustments could be made in the past on TJ, XJ and ZJ models. These parts are only to be used in situations where a slight lead or drift to one side of the road or another is occurring with no driver input or where a customer indicates that constant driver input is required to maintain straight ahead steering. These parts will not effect situations where a lead or drift condition is present only under braking.

DIAGNOSIS:
Verify matching original equipment tires and wheels
Inspect for any worn or damaged steering and front suspension components including wheel bearings
Verify Tire pressures
Inspect for tire condition and abnormal wear. Refer to section 22 of the appropriate service manual
Road test the vehicle.
Cross switch front tires. If the drift follows the tires refer the customer to the tire manufacturer.
Verify that there is no brake drag present and that the condition is present with the transmission in neutral
If no problems are found and the condition is present, perform the Repair Procedure.

PARTS REQUIRED:
Qty Part No. Description
AR 05014876AA Ball Joint - 0.5 degree
AR 05014877AA Ball Joint - 1.0 degree
AR 05016972AA Ball Joint - 1.5 degree


EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:
Four wheel alignment rack
Ball joint remover and installer tool - # 4212F
REPAIR PROCEDURE:
Set the vehicle up on the alignment rack and check the alignment against the specifications listed in the applicable service manual. The specifications shown below are specific targets, which will provide the optimum performance for the vehicles listed above. The only adjustments, which can be made with the original factory equipment, were caster, toe in and steering wheel center. 1999 and 2000 Grand Cherokee (WJ), caster adjustment was not provided. The new ball joints will offer adjustments of up to 1.5 degrees for camber and caster where required.

Alignment Specifications (Degrees)

WJ - WG

Angle Target Range Max. Rt. To Lt. Difference
Caster +6.35 +6.0 / +7.5 0.5
Note: With Up Country Suspension -Target caster at +6.5
Camber -0.3 -0.75 / 0 0.5
Toe +0.20 +0.14 / +0.26 0.06

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 09:22 AM
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Re: Caster issue....different on one side from oth

Those offset ball joints are available from Jeep or aftermarket?

Good to know!
Thanks
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Caster issue....different on one side from oth

Wow! That sounds great --- AND REALLY EXPENSIVE! [img]images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

My wife's Grand was bought used from CarMax and we only have a few thousand miles left on their wimpy warrentee.

....so can these adjusters be had by civilians? ....and would it be easier to swap the whole axle out?

Fritz
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 05:46 PM
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Re: Caster issue....different on one side from oth

Wow! That sounds great --- AND REALLY EXPENSIVE!

Somewhere around $250.00! I think cost is about $180. Which comes with the adapters for the ball joint press. It should be covered under the basic 3/36k warrenty.
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