Jump to content

Odd Alignment Issues


Recommended Posts

Hey guys, I'm hoping someone can chime in here with some kind of tidbit that I'm missing. I'm going to describe where I'm at the best that I can; this is kind of difficult and I'm in a rush so bare with me.

 

Alright, 6.5" lift, RC Drop brackets. My problem is, the passenger side wheel is approx 5/16" further back than the driver side.

Recently I had to swap my Dana 30 with another Dana 30. I got it from a buddy for scrap price because the axle had been in an accident. I looked over the axle EXTREMELY well; I took a straight edge to it, I checked measurements..there is ZERO indication that it is bent; not even an inkling of a maybe..there's just no evidence(However it's entirely possible that it is in fact bent.)

 

The only problem, was that the lower control arm mounts were sheered off; I ordered these:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Jeep-Rubicon-LJ ... 4ab958dc2d

 

They came in two days, they're very very nice; and the price sure is right! However; the bolt hole is 1/2" and they're approximately 3/8"s shorter than stock brackets. I wallowed out the holes to 9/16" and welded them to the axle in the stock location after taking measurements. These guys are straight; there's no way that they aren't..I completely removed the old mounts.

 

Measuring FROM my drop brackets to my new mounts; the measurement is almost exact, the most it might be off is about 1/8" due to tape measure placement.. But, the tires are still sitting uneven. So as far as I can tell, the axle itself is straight, but the tires are crooked...

 

I literally stripped my old axle of everything except the steering knuckles and balljoints and swapped it over...but I find it really hard to imagine that a ball joint is five sixteenths out of whack..that's a lot.

 

But I don't know what else to look for. I'm going to swap control arms around to see if that'll take up the 1/8", and then maybe there's 3/16" between the balljoints? The problem is, that the axle was hit directly in the tire; so I'm not sure how an X axis impact would affect a Y axis location.

 

Any ideas?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two most likely possibilities:

 

1 - The drop brackets aren't placed evenly on the frame. Being RC, this would not surprise me. Only way to tell is to measure from the same place on each frame rail to the bracket. Or the holes in them are not evenly drilled.

 

2 - The axle brackets weren't welded on in the same location of their holes are not in the correct location.

 

Also, the bolts are 14mm, the holes should be 14 mm. 9/16 is .29mm too large allowing the bolt to move, possibly causing death wobble in the future.

 

Even though I can't see it being off by 5/16, are the drop brackets keyed off the stock brackets, or off the alignment shoes inside the stock brackets? If they are keyed off the bracket itself, do they have a provision for alignment shims?

 

edit: Just noticed the axle has been in an accident. Quite possible the inner C is bent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not the drop brackets or the mounts, I've never had an issue with the mounts before as much as I dislike RC I got them for free so I can't complain. Their stuff does suck though... walmart brand lift kits.

 

I wallowed out the holes with a 1/2" until they fit, and I know for a fact that they are in the correct position..

 

Do the inner Cs bend easy? Again there isn't any indication, I can see them bending causing camber issues, but 5/16" out? I'd think that'd be visible..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not the drop brackets or the mounts,

Since you say you checked the axle and it's not bent, obviously the problem has to be either the mounts on the axle, or the drop brackets ... unless your control arms aren't the same length.

 

How are the drop brackets installed? Is the caster adjustment made at the lower end, where the lower control arms mount, or at the upper end where the drop brackets mount into the original LCA mounting pockets? Are you certain both drop brackets were installed in exactly the same fore-to-aft position?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not the drop brackets or the mounts,

Since you say you checked the axle and it's not bent, obviously the problem has to be either the mounts on the axle, or the drop brackets ... unless your control arms aren't the same length.

 

How are the drop brackets installed? Is the caster adjustment made at the lower end, where the lower control arms mount, or at the upper end where the drop brackets mount into the original LCA mounting pockets? Are you certain both drop brackets were installed in exactly the same fore-to-aft position?

 

I had typed this out previously on my phone, and then my phone had decided to go kaput so I lost it on the other post; here's how the brackets were installed previously.

 

The drop brackets get bolted onto the stock mounts via the upper control arm bolt and a spacer, the lower control arm bolt, and they're secured to the rear of the mount via the bolt holes for the alignment shoe. From the bottom mount; the shoe gets bolted in. Being as I was running stock control arms; I doubled up the shoe shims from 1/8" to 1/4" to account for proper pinion angle as per the specs I found online...with my previous axle; I had ZERO alignment issues. I'm a cabinet maker; my number one tool is a tape measure; I know I had it right. ;)

 

Once again; the mounts on the axle itself; from the leading edge of the drop bracket to the leading edge on the mount; is 13 1/4", or 13 1/8" depending on how the tape is held. This is true for both sides.

 

 

Are the wheels centered left and right between the wheel wells with the proper length track bar or an adjustable?

 

I have an RE-adjustable track bar and drop bracket which is correctly set for the 6.5" lift coils that I have. I did NOT have this issue prior to the new axle. The issue is the new axle.

 

Upon the comment about the steering C being bent; I went out and stepped about 20' from the jeep and stared at it...the passenger side tire(the one with the issue) has..well, incorrect camber. So I'm assuming either that the C is bent, the balljoints are broken, or that the steering knuckle is broken. I'm going to look into it some more, if that turns out to be the case...old axle is going back in; and if the internet says I can safely swap used bearings + shims and races between the axles..I'll do that. Got nothing to lose except time, realistically.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have usually had good luck swapping gears from one axle to another, but only if you swap the carrier as well and use all the same shims. To get the shims out from behind the inner pinion bearing race, the race has to be tapped out. This WILL ruin the baffle. A baffle for a D30 only costs 75 cents (at least that's what my local drive train shop charges), but you may have a hard time finding a place that stocks them, carries them, or even knows what they are. If you can find a shop the specializes in drive trains they will be your best bet.

 

Get some gear marking paint. Check the gear pattern before you take anything apart. Check again after everything is back together again. They should match. If not, you're in for hours of (educated) trial and error to get the shims correct.

 

Since it will all be apart it would be a good time to replace the bearings, so a master install kit will be helpful as well. It is cheaper to buy the kit than to buy all bearings and races separately.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have usually had good luck swapping gears from one axle to another, but only if you swap the carrier as well and use all the same shims. To get the shims out from behind the inner pinion bearing race, the race has to be tapped out. This WILL ruin the baffle. A baffle for a D30 only costs 75 cents (at least that's what my local drive train shop charges), but you may have a hard time finding a place that stocks them, carries them, or even knows what they are. If you can find a shop the specializes in drive trains they will be your best bet.

 

Get some gear marking paint. Check the gear pattern before you take anything apart. Check again after everything is back together again. They should match. If not, you're in for hours of (educated) trial and error to get the shims correct.

 

Since it will all be apart it would be a good time to replace the bearings, so a master install kit will be helpful as well. It is cheaper to buy the kit than to buy all bearings and races separately.

 

Hey man thanks; that's some good info.

 

By baffle, do you mean the oil slinger?? I was thinking that since the bearings only have 70k miles on them; I'd do something along the lines of pop the carrier out, pop the pinion out, pop the pinion race out; and just put it all back together in my good axle.. is that a bad idea? I'm most concerned about the crush sleeve being the issue; and my gut says it will be. I don't really have money to buy new bearings right now, building a business eats up everything..unfortunately. Having 4wd isn't really a priority so if I can't use what I have, for now I'll go without.

 

I ended up swapping the old axle back in; I can't find what's bent..but taking new measurements; something is bent, I think across the entire axle, a 1/16th here, 1/16th there...it all adds up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

was reading an article last night that an aussie guy wrote, about how all our trucks (chero and manch) have one wheel further back than the other. wheelbase isnt the same from side to side, due to road crown. Designed that way from factory.

So odd that i read that, then read this this morning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

was reading an article last night that an aussie guy wrote, about how all our trucks (chero and manch) have one wheel further back than the other. wheelbase isnt the same from side to side, due to road crown. Designed that way from factory.

So odd that i read that, then read this this morning.

 

Good point MountainMan. Here's a link: http://gojeep.willyshotrod.com/HowtoAlignment.htm

 

I'd take Marcus' word on any Jeep topic any day. Its in the very last paragraph on the page. He says there's a 10 mm difference in spacing due to the road crown to allow the Jeep to steer straight. If you take a left hand drive Jeep to a right hand drive country, you'd be constantly correcting to the opposite side to keep it straight down the road. 10 mm is quite a bit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

was reading an article last night that an aussie guy wrote, about how all our trucks (chero and manch) have one wheel further back than the other. wheelbase isnt the same from side to side, due to road crown. Designed that way from factory.

So odd that i read that, then read this this morning.

 

Good point MountainMan. Here's a link: http://gojeep.willyshotrod.com/HowtoAlignment.htm

 

I'd take Marcus' word on any Jeep topic any day. Its in the very last paragraph on the page. He says there's a 10 mm difference in spacing due to the road crown to allow the Jeep to steer straight. If you take a left hand drive Jeep to a right hand drive country, you'd be constantly correcting to the opposite side to keep it straight down the road. 10 mm is quite a bit.

The problem is that Marcus provides no documentation to support his claim that the wheelbase is different side-to-side. I haven't looked it up for the MJ yet, but I have a FSM for the 2000 XJ sitting next to my desk and I just checked the frame and alignment specs and sections for that vehicle. EVERYTHING is symmetrical on both sides. If the wheelbase is intended to be shorter on one side, it could be done only by making the axle mount points on the axles themselves asymmetrical, or simply by using different thicknesses of shims in the LCA frame pockets -- and I've never heard anyone suggest that this is the case.

 

In fact, one of the checks body shops perform when making structural repairs is to verify that the wheelbase is the same, on both sides AND on both diagonals. If it's not symmetrical, not only will the steering pull to one side, the chassis will be slightly skewed to the direction of travel as it goes down the road.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm in agreement with Eagle here. It doesn't make sense to account for crown in the road; because more often than not the crown gets worn away, or simply isn't there.

 

That being said; I put my old axle back in my truck and removed my axle shafts. I'm now a believer in the 4wd Disconnect system...mileage shot up to 18mpg; that's driving through New York City during a rain storm at rush hour on 35s and 3.55 gearing. Also; my alignment is spot on what it used to be, and I have no issues driving straight or pulling like it did with the other axle. Additionally, the measurements are now even on both sides. :thumbsup:

 

 

Can anyone chime in further on literally removing the pinion, carrier and races from the bent axle and placing them in my old axle??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...