Basic Do-it-Yourself Jeep JK Wrangler
Front End Alignment


If you’ve just installed a brand new lift on your Jeep JK Wrangler and are wanting to get it aligned, there are a few things you should know before you take it to a shop and pay to have it done. First off, you should know that thanks to the new steering design on the Jeep JK Wrangler, very little is needed to have the front end aligned after the installation of a small to moderate suspension lift (2″-2.5″ of lift). In fact, unless you’ve installed an adjustable front track bar and adjustable control arms, there really isn’t a whole lot a shop can to other than recenter your steering wheel and take your money. Of course, if you did install a taller lift and added more adjustable components, you can still do your own front end alignment, in your driveway and with the use of just some basic tools. This write-up will show you how.

Basic Do-it-Yourself Jeep JK Wrangler Front End Alignment

124 Comments so far

  1. stackem10high December 12th, 2007 3:53 am

    In the re-centering section of the article the first picture DSC03314 shows a front track bar relocation bracket (frame mounted) that looks like it is part of a Full Traction kit but I do not see it on their site. Is it manufactured by another comany?

  2. Eddie December 12th, 2007 10:54 am

    It’s a Full Traction drop bracket. I just have a pre-production prototype on my JK. It will be released very soon.

    Eddie

  3. stackem10high December 15th, 2007 4:33 am

    Thanks for the quick response, Eddie. I appreciate it.

    Doug

  4. Dale January 14th, 2008 11:55 pm

    I have a 3″ Full Traction lift but without the upper and lower control arms. I know I cannot change the angle without them but is it possible to replace the stock arms with new adjustable arms without disconnecting everything on the axle? I would think it would be easier to set the angle while it’s on the ground and possibly less time?

    Dale

  5. wayoflife January 15th, 2008 12:36 am

    Yes, but it is a bit difficult to do with all the stress being placed on the components but, with a floor jack, some heavy duty ratchet straps, a pry bar and some help from a friend, it can be done with all 4 on the floor (I have done it :))

    Eddie

  6. David January 20th, 2008 8:51 am

    Thanks for the tips… worked like a charm……

  7. Mark January 20th, 2008 8:18 pm

    So is it safe to assume that:
    1) If the stock upper control arms are still in place the camber remains at the factory 4.2 degrees +/- with a 4″ lift and 35″ tires?

    2)The slight “floaty” feel and ESP triggering will diminish (or be eliminated) with the installation of adjustable control arms and proper camber adjustment of 7-8 degrees?

    Thanks.
    Mark

  8. wayoflife January 22nd, 2008 12:28 pm

    Hi Mark,
    1. Yes, but it’s the “caster” that will remain the same and not “camber”. Camber is only found on IFS vehicles and if your axle has camber on it, it is bent (which is very possible).

    2. Yes, it will be greately diminished with +6~8° of caster.

    Eddie

  9. najeeb February 9th, 2008 11:57 am

    I installed the Black Diamond 3 inch lift which came with cam bolts. The instructions are not very clear as it just says Install the Cam Bolts from outside. But is that all or we need to rotate the washers in a certain way or install it in a given way. thanks

  10. wayoflife February 10th, 2008 11:36 am

    najeeb,
    In order to use the cam bolts, you will need to knock out the tabs on your lower control arm axle mounts. This will effectively make the holes into slots and this will allow you to change your caster angle. However, I would strongly advise AGAINST installing these cam bolts as it has been my experience that cam bolts tend to come loose and shift under the strains of wheeling with larger tires. And, once you make your lower control arm mounting holes into slots, it will not be easy to return them to stock, at least, not without some welding.

    Eddie

  11. najeeb February 10th, 2008 12:53 pm

    So then what do I do?. My Jk is pulling slightly to the left. I took it to an alignemnt shop and they corrected the toe in but that has’nt made any improvement. ALso my BAS, ESp and the skidding light has been on ever since

  12. wayoflife February 10th, 2008 1:14 pm

    Adding cam bolts to adjust your caster will not correct a pull to the left. While there is a slight difference in caster angle is present on one side to the next to help compensate for road crown, a noticable pull to one side or another is typically caused by: 1) tire pressure differences 2) a brake caliper sticking 3) alignment off due to worn out or damaged steering/suspension components. Now, adding more caster to the passenger side might help to correct this problem on an IFS vehilce but on a soild axle, not enough caster can be added to make a real difference. For what it’s worth, I have a pull to the right and can tell you that it is being caused by the ‘C’ on my axle being slightly bent. This is creating camber on the passenger side wheel and is most likely causing my pull. Unfortunately, nothing can really be done to fix this.

    Eddie

  13. tburk49760 March 3rd, 2008 12:31 pm

    So can i just replace the front lower control arms on the front with adjustable ones and solve my flighty feel after a teraflex 3″ lift?

  14. wayoflife March 4th, 2008 4:09 am

    Hi tburk49760, adding adjustable lower control arms should help out a lot but they alone may not be enough to fix your ‘flighty feel’ as you can only add so much caster with them. Adjustable uppers may be needed to dial things in completely.

    Eddie

  15. mbar741028 March 7th, 2008 8:27 pm

    So the caster should be around 10*? Should the 10* make the front drive shaft angle correct? I am running JE Reel 1350 shafts. Thanks

  16. wayoflife March 7th, 2008 9:18 pm

    No, 10° would be way too mcuh especially if you are running U-Joint style shafts like JE Reel’s. I would think that at most, you could go to 6°.

  17. mbar741028 March 7th, 2008 10:32 pm

    Right now I am at 1 and it seems fine. It just looks like the drive shaft is not lined up with the differential.

  18. Billy March 9th, 2008 10:26 pm

    I have a 4″ super lift that i installed with 35 mky baja claws and my tires seemed to shimmy when i hit a bump in the road i put a new sky jacker stearing stabalizer in and it seems to whant to stil do it a little but not as bad didnt know if i should get a dual one if that would help or if you thought it would be somthing els. thank Billy

  19. wayoflife March 9th, 2008 11:19 pm

    Billy, a steering stabilizer will only mask whatever problem you really have and if I could guess, you have a loose track bar. Did you make sure to tighten the mounting bolts to 125 ft. lbs. of torque with the weight of your Jeep on the ground?

  20. njjkrubi March 26th, 2008 10:02 pm

    I just put a SuperLift 4′ kit on and 35 BFG MT K2s. I am experiening a slight pull to the left, more of a drift really. also some of what you guys are calling flightiness. Just doesn’t seem tight. I have verified my toe in and set my axle center. Does not seem to completely good. I don’t have adjustable uppers but I will get them if it will fix this. Can you elaborate on step 9. In the first step you have the angle finder on the wheel. In step 9 where would yo postion it on the axle? And how do you determine how much to adjust the control arm based on that angle. What math needs to be done between the measure when taken on the wheel and when taken directly from the axle? Any pics with the angle finder on the axle when dropped? Is there something else I need to check?

  21. wayoflife March 27th, 2008 11:54 am

    You might be able to help correct your drift by adding a bit more toe-in. Factory should be about 1/16″ and an additional 1/16″ might help out a lot. If not, adding more positive caster will do the trick for sure. FWIW, you can do this with your Jeep on the ground but you will need a heavy duty ratchet strap in order to pull the axle back once the upper control arm have been loosened. The best way to do this is to loop the strap on to the cross member under your transmission and then to the upper control arm mount on your axle. Working on one arm at a time, detach the arm from the axle and rotate the axle back using the ratchet strap until you get the angle you are looking for. Adjust your control arm to fit and then bolt it in place. Take a measurement of the control arm and repeat the process on the opposite side making sure the control arm there is set to the same lenght.

    Eddie

  22. njjkrubi March 27th, 2008 7:50 pm

    So I would need to have adjustable uppers, right? If yes can I just install adjustable upper control arms in the front and leave the rest stock? Another question, I took my JK to have the toe in set and wheels balanced. The guy at the shop told me he was going to balance the wheels on the truck, I had never heard of this before. When I picked it up I asked if they added much weight to the wheels. He said no, in fact no weight to any of the wheels. I could not believe this,he sais it happens this way sometime. Can that be possible? Could this be adding to my issue?

  23. wayoflife March 28th, 2008 3:04 am

    Well, that depends on what uppers you get as you will need to shorten them less than stock. You might actually be able to do this by getting adjustable lower fronts and just lenghten them a bit for a similar effect. This would essentially be the same thing as installing cam bolts but is a better solution to them. Otherwise, yes, you can leave everything else pretty much stock.

    Regarding your wheel balancing, it is possible that they just rotated your tire placement on the wheels a bit. Whatever the case might be, if you still have balancing issues, I would take your Jeep back to have them do it again.

    Eddie

  24. njjkrubi March 28th, 2008 2:22 pm

    Yea, my kit came with cam bolts but from what I have read no one likes to use them. Just to be clear I would buy adjustable uppers. Which one, adjustable uppers or lowers would be the best solution for getting the caster corrected? If I could only afford one which is the best choice?

    Hey thanks for your help by the way.

  25. wayoflife March 28th, 2008 5:33 pm

    Hi have only installed and run Full Traction uppers and can tell you that you can shorten them up a little less than stock. But, after talking to some of my friends that have tried this, you might want to try getting some adjustable lowers as they would essentially give you the same results that cam bolts would.

    Eddie

  26. njjkrubi March 30th, 2008 9:36 am

    Thanks again for the info. After taking in all we discussed I called Superlift and asked them the same questions. They also suggested the lowers. I ordered them Friday and will install them this week. I will let you know how I make out.

    On the wheel balancing, I took my JK to a reputible tire dealer and had the wheels balanced. They needed to add weights on all wheels. I guess I should have known. The JK is handling better as a result. Hopefully once I install the lower control arms and set the caster I will have it beat. Thanks again!

  27. Fletch May 31st, 2008 10:07 am

    Several points. Trying to be helpful not nasty.
    Setting Toe - Hold a piece of chalk against the tire and rotate the tire, this gives a reference that can be used for measuring.
    Centering axle - A 2×4? How about a straight edge. And, against the side wall of the tire? Not an accurate reference point.
    Caster - No explanation as to the relativity of the angle measured at the knuckle. This, by it self, is not caster angle. And this is a biggie. Positive caster settings should decrease with tire diameter, not increase. The increase in leverage because of the diameter change is what drives death wobble. Stock caster settings are for stock tire diameter. Notice the relationship between tire/caster amoung other vehicles with solid axles. As tire diameter increases the called for caster setting decreases. Use the TJ and JK as an example. I can provide you with the technical data on the subject if you’re interested.

  28. Fletch May 31st, 2008 10:23 am

    The TJ drag link attaches to the knuckle. And the tie rod connects to the drag link. Your description is not quite right.

  29. wayoflife June 1st, 2008 11:27 am

    fletch, thank you for the correction on the draglink. my previous description was not accurate.

    regarding your other points, the chalk for the toe-in works as well. as far as centering the axle goes, it may not be 100% accurate but then, i never claimed that it would be - my tips are just intended to help. and, as far as caster goes, have you tried driving a jk with big tires and less positive caster? have you with more positive caster? if you had, i don’t think you would be saying what you are saying now.

  30. Fletch June 1st, 2008 2:39 pm

    Yes - increase in positive caster increases the return to center forces (feels better driving). It is these forces, that not only increase with tire diameter changes, but also increase with increased caster. These forces act against the steering system components (increased wear). As these components wear, it is these high caster settings that will drive death wobble. There are a lot of things to consider, I know, but increase in caster with larger diameter tires as a general rule is incorrect.

  31. wayoflife June 1st, 2008 2:53 pm

    ummm, i don’t recall ever saying it was a “general rule”, just that it will “help your jeep to drive straight, reduce or eliminate any ‘flightiness’ or ‘dartiness’ you might experience and it will even help prevent your ESP from activating”. this is accurate information and after putting over 30,000 miles on my jk with more positive caster, i can tell you that i still don’t have issues with death wobble nor do other members that i know personally who have put on over 40,000 miles on their jk. but hey, this is just what i have experienced and have seen. you and anyone else reading this article should take care to do whatever you see fit for yours.

  32. Fletch June 1st, 2008 6:04 pm

    Thanks for your responses.

    My discussion became more general in nature. There has been a lot of rush to market and pressure for price points for JK suspension lift systems. It is dynamic suspension design weeknesses that leads to poor handling and flightiness. High caster is a bandaid to these design weaknesses and can lead to other issues. We all have to make compromisses.

    Put 35s on a JK with a bodylift and some fender trimming, and no dartiness or flightiness with 4 degrees of positive caster.

    Just trying to be helpful to a good site with lots of good info.

  33. Fletch June 8th, 2008 1:11 pm

    Check out the new JK LongArm kit from Mopar Jeep Performance. It is a RE longarm kit dubbed their own with some minor changes.

    The changes to the kit are said to improve handling and work better with the ESP. Hmm.

  34. sivan September 24th, 2008 1:16 pm

    Thanks for the write up and for having this great site.

  35. Ballpeen January 12th, 2009 12:47 am

    Couldn’t drop 3 to 4 hundred on adjustable top control arms. I just removed them, chopped 1″ out of them, right at the weld, where they meet the “U” bracket, and re-welded them. Re-installed, and added plenty of caster to get this baby tracking straight again! It now drives like its on rails, 4.5 inch lift, 35 tires. Took me about two hours. Pinion angle is acceptable as well.

  36. [...] Basic Front End Alignment Write-Up [...]

  37. John March 4th, 2009 5:57 pm

    I appreciate all of the time and effort you have put into this site. You are awesome. Thanks!

  38. Chris April 20th, 2009 11:34 am

    I have a very stupid question: Do I need to raise the front tires off the ground to center the steering wheel? Mine needs about 1/16th of an inch adjustment max. I had a Teraflex 2″ kit installed and they centered it, but I want it perfect…its just slightly off.

  39. wayoflife April 21st, 2009 12:57 am

    not a stupid question at all and depending on who you ask, you need to do this with your tires on the ground.

  40. Chris April 22nd, 2009 10:27 am

    Thanks, worked like a charm, and couldn’t be easier. My steering wheel is straighter than stock.

  41. Chris April 29th, 2009 10:28 pm

    Eddie, Thanks for this clear and helpful writeup!

    I’ve had the problem before (after a bumpy ride) that the steering wheel was off center and the ESP/BAS kept alarming. I have figure out how to recenter that after some head scratching.

    After the ride this weekend, I had the steering wheel off center, the ESP/BAS alarming, and a wild wobble at any speed above 30 that made for a nice clatter. (it was a good ride last weekend, heh heh)

    This helped me recenter the steering wheel and reset the toe-in to 1/8″ (I was surprised to find that it was 1 and 1/16″ in)

    These made for a smooth ride and I’ll give it a highway ride tomorrow.

    One quick question: do you have a recommended torque for the bolts that hold the turnbuckle solid on the drag link? Sorry if it is listed here, but I couldn’t find it. (Just the 45 ft-lb for the sleeve on the tie rod)

    Also looks like it might be worth the invesment in an adjustable track bar since my 4″ lift seems to have my axle 1″ to the drive side.

    Thanks!

    Chris

  42. wayoflife April 30th, 2009 10:05 am

    45 ft. lbs. or pretty hand tight is all you need to get them on to.

  43. Jeff April 30th, 2009 5:10 pm

    Eddie
    Toe in.
    I’ve have a 3in lift, and went from 32in tires to 43in tires. what is stock setting on a rubicon? should I change my Toe in to 1/8th in?

  44. Jeff April 30th, 2009 10:48 pm

    Can the rear lower control arm have an affect on pulling the vehicle front end one way or the other?

  45. wayoflife May 1st, 2009 1:34 am

    jeff, even with 43in tires, your toe should only be in about 1/8″.

    regarding rear lower arms, sure they can effect your jeep in this manner if one is set longer than the other but, that’s usually not very likely.

  46. Jeff May 1st, 2009 1:12 pm

    Thanks Eddie
    I reset my toe in to 1/8,also check the track bars, Front/rear axel alignment, check the control arms they are the same length. It seems as if the front bearings do not have free spin. I’m down to the front brakes or the bearings.
    Thanks for your help.
    Jeff

  47. Anthony May 19th, 2009 11:59 pm

    If I install the Terafelx 2.5″ lift w/ shocks do I need to worry about my caster? Will I notice that flightiness or my ESP activating?

  48. wayoflife May 20th, 2009 9:51 am

    every jeep is different and everyone is different. having said that, most people are okay with the way their jeep handles after installing this lift but there are a few that have complained about flighty steering at highway speeds and the best way to address that is to install adjustable lower control arms and add more positive caster. as far as esp goes, no, this should not be a problem.

  49. Bungee May 29th, 2009 4:51 pm

    Ok, I have a stupid question. I seen someone with a Rubicon park with their front drivers wheel up on a 2′ concrete light post. I decided to try it with my JK X. I used 4 low with front sway bar disconnected and it walked right up. After doing this, my steering wheel was way off to the right. I did know how to adjust it but curious if I did damage that I can not see. Being new to the jeep arena, this was fun and neat, got lots of attention, but I do not want to tear up my jeep or make it worse by ignoring something that I can not feel/see/sense at this time.

  50. Bungee May 29th, 2009 4:52 pm

    Forgot to add that it seems to drive ok. A slight pull to the left and I mean slight. Takes 1/4 mile before it starts to go that way and a slight vibration at 60mph and above.

  51. popo343 May 30th, 2009 2:26 am

    I have a 3in Blk Diamond lift. Just got Rock Krawler front upper and lower control arms. I see that with 35 - 37 in tires that caster should be around 6-8 degrees. But I have trxus 33s right now. What would be your suggestion on caster angle. The tires are patterned and now measure 32.25 inches.

  52. rcibera May 31st, 2009 1:15 pm

    Toe in… I went to adjust mine after adding 35″ tires… expecting it to currently be something less that 1/8″, at least based on how I’m reading the the write-up. I was surprised to find it’s currently set to between 3/8″ and 1/2″. I’m going to set it to 1/8″, but is it reasonable for it to have been set so high stock, or am I measuring it wrong? Thanks… Ralph

  53. wayoflife June 1st, 2009 2:32 am

    hey Bungee, sounds like you might have bent something - maybe your tie-rod. the factory tie-rod is weak and can bend just from the forces of wheelin.

    popo343, optimaly, +6° would be nice to have but this can give you drive line vibes if you have an aftermarket shaft. +4° is bare minimum as it is what comes from the factory.

    rcibera, more than likely, you have a bent tie-rod. a slight bend can cause your toe-in to increase by quite a bit.

  54. rcibera June 2nd, 2009 12:17 am

    Thanks for the reply Eddie. Is it safe for now to just adjust toe-in to 1/8″ (seems to drive well after the adjustment) or do I need to worry about checking out the bent tie-rod?

  55. wayoflife June 2nd, 2009 10:08 am

    naw, i would just make the adjustment, make final corrections with your draglink and call it a day.

  56. [...] SETTING YOUR TOE-IN WRITE-UP [...]

  57. pete jordan June 12th, 2009 8:43 pm

    installed 2 ome lift on 08 x jks ajustible track bars and now it feels like tires or axels wobble back and forth when hitting bump on highway

  58. wayoflife June 15th, 2009 11:36 am

    couple of things. first, check to make sure that your track bar mounting bolts are tightend to 125-130 ft. lbs. of torque. also, if you don’t already have adjustable upper or lower control arms installed, you might want to get a set so that you can add a little more caster. that should help out.

  59. [...] Basic do it Yourself Front End Alignment [...]

  60. humormeplease August 6th, 2009 1:51 pm

    Wondering what clunking is…2008 wrangler X 8,000 miles. Over dirt/stone road I feel like a tick or play in the steering box. When parked with engine running while twisting the wheel back and forth you can feel it clunk?????? Any ideas? Dealer says it’s “common” only it was NOT “common” during the last 8,000 miles. Thanks for anyone who can help. John

  61. Bungee August 10th, 2009 1:38 pm

    I just found that the sway bar link that I have on the passenger side, front was bent and broke off. The tab where the sway bar connects to the front axle is bent about 45 degrees towards the center of the jeep. I will have to cut the bolt off to get it out, but worried about the tab. How can I go about straightening it without hurting it or the axle?

  62. wayoflife August 13th, 2009 2:02 pm

    you can probably just take a pry bar to the mount and bend it back.

  63. Traction Control??? - Page 2 September 16th, 2009 9:14 am

    [...] Here is the link I’m gonna try this myself today.Project-JK.com - Jeep JK Wrangler Resource Basic Do-it-Yourself Jeep JK Wrangler Front End Alignme… [...]

  64. DEATH WOBBLE!!! Holy CRAP - Page 6 September 16th, 2009 10:01 pm

    [...] Try this link Project-JK.com - Jeep JK Wrangler Resource Basic Do-it-Yourself Jeep JK Wrangler Front End Alignme… [...]

  65. Etidie November 4th, 2009 9:47 pm

    I just installed Rancho’s 4″ Sport Lift. Included is a relocation bracket for the front track bar, as well as the back. I don’t have an adjustable track bar though…So, do I still need to recenter the front axle with the relocation bracket?

  66. dan November 5th, 2009 2:19 am

    is it recommended to set the caster for a 09 jeep wrangler with a 2″ spacer lift to correct death wobble on it?

  67. wayoflife November 8th, 2009 1:13 pm

    Etidie, no, the relocation brackets will recenter your axle.

    dan, no, it is not necessary for just 2″ of lift.

  68. Ian Tune December 8th, 2009 1:41 pm

    Is the cam bolt fix really that ineffective? I realize i will have the same immediate results but in the long run will i really have that much of a problem with the bolts moving out of place? Adjustable control arms are alot more expensive than the simple cam bolt fix, is it worth holding out and saving up the money for the new control arms or will the cam bolts work ok and il just need to keep an eye on them to make sure they dont shift? I would love to do the adjustable control arms since it seems to be the best option but its just a big cost difference. Thanks for any advice you can offer. (2.5 inch teraflex lift with shocks and 35 inch mickey thompson mtz)

  69. wayoflife December 8th, 2009 9:03 pm

    never said they were “ineffective”, just that if you wheel your jeep, the stresses that are placed on them WILL cause them to loosen up and move around. once that happens, your alignment will be off. now, if you just plan on driving your jeep on the street, they are very effective and will do the job just fine.

  70. Jim December 15th, 2009 4:25 pm

    I have a TF 2.5″ coil lift on my Unlimited with adjustable front/rear trackbars and 35″ tires (4.5″ BS). The Jeep slightly drifts to the left and the the steering is a bit flighty (not terrible). I’m going to install TF FLCA’s. What caster should I shoot for? I’ve heard that 6-7 deg caster is too much and can cause problems with the drive shaft. I’m setting about 2.5 deg right now. Does this number change if I have an alignment shop set the angle using an alignment machine? It also sounds like I should adjust the toe in to 1/8″ as well. Do you agree?

  71. wayoflife December 15th, 2009 9:03 pm

    i don’t know who you’ve been talking to but, if you’re still running a factory drive shaft, +6° of caster WILL NOT be a problem. factory is +4.2°.

  72. Richard December 17th, 2009 3:50 pm

    hi i’ve put a 4″ lift in my 07 jk. sence then i havn’t been enjoying it as much as i thought cause i’m replacing parts like crazy. i went to my dealer an said i had a bad shake at 75km to 80km they looked and said it may be my control arm bushings? before i go ahead an buy these. could this be the problem? they cost 200 an they say it take 4.6 hours this is just nuts. thanks

  73. Richard December 17th, 2009 3:50 pm

    an im running 33’s km2

  74. wayoflife December 17th, 2009 4:24 pm

    hi richard, it sounds to me like your dealer doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. is the shaking continuous at that speed or, does it come and is so bad that the only way you can stop it is to come to a complete stop? if it is continuous, speed related shakes or shimmys are almost always a tire balancing problem and i would start there - NOT buy something you don’t need.

  75. James February 11th, 2010 5:10 pm

    Hello Everyone,
    I have an 08 Jeep JK 4 door unlimited with a 2.5″ skyjacker lift and 33″ Mickey Thompsons. The ride is really rough. I don’t do much offroading. It’s mostly on city streets. Does anyone know who I can get a smoother ride and better handling?
    Thanks
    james

  76. wayoflife February 17th, 2010 1:33 am

    how much air are you running in your tires. for 33’s, you really shouldn’t have more than 30 psi. if you are running that or less, most likely the spring rate of your new coils and/or old school hydro shocks are giving you a harsh ride.

  77. Mike March 20th, 2010 9:41 pm

    Hello,

    My ‘07 JKU is bone stock, except for 33″Cepek Crushers on Cragar Soft 8s. I have developed a rattle and flighty steering. Steering stabilizer is toast and there’s significant play in my tie rod. Are my TREs causing this? I’m still (barely) under warranty at 34.5 K. Should I expect any trouble from the dealership in getting new TREs? (I’ll be upgrading to a beefier aftermarket SS, since the stocker seems to be a weak point anyway
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
    Mike

  78. wayoflife March 21st, 2010 10:36 am

    if nothing else was added or changed before your jeep started to get flighty, i might check your ball joints. more than likely they have gone out as it’s a common problem. as far as your tie-rod goes, what would you consider significant play? so long as the movement it rotation and not up and down or forward to back, it should be fine.

  79. pooswa April 24th, 2010 11:46 am

    what steps do i need to do with a general tire alignment,not caused by a putting on a new lift or tires?

  80. wayoflife April 26th, 2010 11:46 am

    if you have not installed lift, you shouldn’t need an alignment unless you did damage to your suspension/steering.

  81. pooswa April 26th, 2010 8:01 pm

    i have rc 2.5 coil lift and tires put on about a year ago and i had a alignment done when i got my tires…its just pullin a little to the left

  82. Ronyo July 13th, 2010 2:43 am

    Eddy, my question, would a track bar relocation bracket in the front do a good job centering the axle? why most kit sold with the rear bracket only?

  83. wayoflife July 14th, 2010 11:03 am

    you cannot install a front track bar relocation bracket unless you install a dropped pitman arm or drag link flip kit at the same time. if you do not, your track bar and drag link will no longer be parallel to each other and this will create handling issues. the rear end of your jeep does not have anything like steering components to deal with so nothing more is needed other than a relocation bracket.

  84. John August 1st, 2010 12:10 am

    Hi Eddy,

    First, thanks for all you do with this cite, it provides us newbies with hope we can actually work on our Jeeps without the tires falling off in the process. My question concerns whether to purchase upper/lower or both control arms. I recently installed a 2.5 BB and 35’s, and have experienced the steering shimmy and flightiness discussed here and elsewhere. I’ve read that adjusting caster is not (likely) necessary with just 2.5 in of lift, but at 3-4 inches, it seems that caster adjustments are necessary. Given that I just added 3in larger tires and 2.5in of lift, am I crazy to think that I’ve, in effect, created approx 4in of lift? And the need to adjust the caster angle? Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this?

  85. wayoflife August 3rd, 2010 1:04 am

    with a 2.5″ BB, you should not need additional caster but, adding more may help your handling. all you need are adjustable uppers or lowers to do this. uppers are cheaper by a bit but lowers are much easier to install.

  86. John August 29th, 2010 9:12 pm

    Thanks Eddie. Since I’ll be doing the work myself, I’ll be going with the lower control arms for simplicity sake. One more question. Do I need to install the LCA’s in both front and back to adjust the caster angle? Or are FLCA’s sufficient? Thanks again.

  87. wayoflife August 30th, 2010 11:33 am

    you just need the fronts.

  88. Mike September 25th, 2010 7:27 pm

    Eddie, I have a 2dr Jk and I have some angle issues. I have this weird flightiness to the right ONLY when acceleration (2800-3000+) in the steering wheel. But when I release the gas, it retracts to it’s original position or the vehicle jerks to the position that the wheel is held at. The best example I can think of is, a torque steer on a fwd car and floor it. Now, the 3.8 doesn’t have enough power to lift the front wheels off the ground so I figure it’s a caster issue. I started my caster at factory spec 4*or then worked my way up to 7*-8*. Still have the issue and it really mostly to the right. I checked the track bar it seems tight (doesn’t really say much). I also noticed my bump stops are rubbing the coils (the right on is toward the back of the coil, and the left is toward the front of the coil).. I’m about ready to bring it to the professional and make up a story that some idiot put the lift in… please help.

    MIke

  89. wayoflife September 27th, 2010 2:06 am

    do you have c gussets installed and if not, have you checked to see if you have any camber on your wheels? also, depending on what kind of tires you have, a pull to the right is kind of common. a lot of people refer to it as radial pull.

  90. Mike September 28th, 2010 10:12 pm

    ya I don’t have any gussets installed… actually I’m kind of waiting for the axles to break so I actually have a reason to buy the dana 60’s. I have 315/75r16 Destination M/T’s on it…and I have heard of radial pull but never really experienced it… I’ll bring the jeep down to my alignment guy and put it up on the rack… it could be the C starting bend… If you have any other suggestions let me know … thanks

  91. surfyaker November 18th, 2010 2:16 pm

    I have been contimplating installing 1.5″ hub spacers (by sidertrax)to the stock hubs to allow for clearance of 33 x 12.50x 18 tires without adding a lift. 2 questionns…. Will these add undue stresses on the lugs and 2. Will it throw off the factory alignment

  92. wayoflife November 19th, 2010 12:29 pm

    no and no :)

  93. ryan dayon April 27th, 2011 2:09 pm

    Hi there thanks for this! I have one question though. Do you have a round about measurement the toe in should be factory? Like when you measure the “backside” of the tires inside to inside what should that measurement be with 35/12.50/17 tires? any idea. I hope you understand what i mean.

  94. wayoflife April 27th, 2011 5:20 pm

    your toe should still be about 1/16″-1/8″ of an inch in.

  95. Erich August 4th, 2011 10:48 am

    I just installed a 3″ BDS Suspension lift on my 2011 JK 4-door Rubicon. It rides like a dream and steers as straight as an arrow. However, The front axle is off center an inch on the drivers side over the passenger side. Do I need to get a adjustable track bar to realign? The back alignment is fine as the kit came with a track bar relocation bracket.

    Thanks

    Erich

  96. wayoflife August 4th, 2011 12:30 pm

    yes, you will need an adjustable track bar to correct this

  97. Erich August 5th, 2011 8:42 am

    Okay cool. Appreciate the Info. One last question. I know I’ll need to to realign the steering wheel after the adjustable front track bar is installed, but will I need to get a wheel alignment?

    Again, thanks!

    Erich

  98. jake September 10th, 2011 12:12 am

    I have a question, just installed a 4 inch teraflex lift using the write up on here. I set my castor to 6 and it drove horrible. I contacted teraflex and Joe said it should be in the 3.2 to 3.5 range and that 6 was way too much. I did this and it drove a lot better. Overall no real dartiness or flightiness and only a slight vibration above 75mph (which I’m chaulking up to it being my driveshafts which are aftermarket). My question is using the length on the write up for the control arms it puts the castor at 3.2 so should I push it back out to 6 or leave it. The two seem to contradict one another and I just want to be sure that I have of set to where it should be. Thanks in advance for your reply.

  99. chip80 September 12th, 2011 8:03 pm

    Eddie,

    Would my toe-in be set to 1/8in with 37s? I had 35s with 1/8in toe-in and have gone to 37s. Since I haven’t made any toe-in adjustment for the 37s wouldn’t I now have too much toe-in, since the diff from front/back would not be > 1/8in?

    Thanks,
    Chip80

  100. chip80 September 12th, 2011 8:04 pm

    Meant to say diff front/back would NOW be > 1/8in?

  101. damon December 14th, 2011 7:01 pm

    another question for you eddie. i installed rock krawler’s 2.5 max travel kit. kit came with front lower adjustable arms but not uppers. the kit says to adjust the arms to X for a 2.5 kit, X for a 3.5 kit, yadda yadda. deviating from rk’s specs for the control arms for my lift to get a higher caster angle wont have any ill effect? im assuming the adjustability is probably to fine-tune suspension and their specs are just getting it as close to the ballpark as possible.

    after my install i have a slight wobble around 50-55 mph, and slight wobble when hitting a bump in the road so ill def be using your instructions to try and cure these minor inconveniences. thanks for sharing the knowledge!! :)

  102. j9ok February 4th, 2012 4:47 pm

    how can i adjust the steering wheel with stock wrangler (2 doors) for driving in highway with high speed with bout feeling to make it more stabilize ?

    am not sure if my question is clear i feel the steering wheel very light and hard to control when driving in high speed

  103. wayoflife February 13th, 2012 5:11 pm

    if your jeep is still stock, make sure you’re not running too much air in your tires. with a set of 30″ or 32″ tires, you should be running at about 30-32 psi.

  104. Dale Solomon February 14th, 2012 8:03 pm

    I’m in a confusing situation. I recently put a OME HD lift on my 2010 Jeep and I ran stock 17 inch wheels with 35 inch tires and a 1.5 inch wheel spacer, until my new wheels came in.

    The handling was the same as stock until I put on my new wheels. The new wheels are 17×9 with -12 offset. And as soon as I drove it, it pulled hard to the right and jerked around turns going left, to a point to where I felt like I would lose control.

    I got it aligned and it drives fine in a straight line but has sensitive steering, and still flighty going around left hand turns and pulls right. The air pressure in the tires are the same when I had stock wheels. We also measured and found that the tires stuck out the same on both set ups (stock wheels and wheel spacers vs. -12 offset).

    My question is, why did my handling go down the drain when I changed wheels only, but still had the same air pressure and backspacing? Also, could it be the wheel and tire combonation that is causing it?

    Thanks, Dale

  105. BMOC April 27th, 2012 1:05 pm

    i lifted my jeep 3.5″ (rubicon express) and got toyo mt’s 34.1″ tires. took it to tire barn for tires and alignment, but my jeep now pulls to the right. Tire Barn showed me the alignment stats and everything was good. I do have to fight the wheel a bit to keep it straight. and it seems to do it on any road, regardless of crowning or not. i had gone wheeling a few weeks ago and it seemed to make it a bit worse but not much. one guy said i prolly have mud or misc stuff in my brakes making it pull. im out of ideas…

  106. Chris Mckiven August 17th, 2012 3:12 am

    I just bought a 2012 sahara unlimited and had the dealer instal a 3″ teraflex lift with 35 x 12.5 MT Baja MTZ tires. I went wheeling a few days ago and the jeep did great but now the ESC light stays on and my steering wheel is sitting at about 11 o’clock when I’m driving straight. Everything is covered under waranty through my dealer. What should I do?

  107. wayoflife August 18th, 2012 10:55 am

    more than likely, you bent your tie rod. if it’s not too bad and not effecting your steering stablizer, i would just leave well enough alone, re-set your toe-in and that should just about recenter your steering wheel. if it doesn’t, adjust your drag link until it is and that will take care of your esp issue.

  108. Toso August 18th, 2012 10:57 am

    Chris, you need to adjust your track bar. Not sure about the light. How much did they charge for the 3″, was thinking about doing the same, and keeping my warranty.

  109. Wheel alignment after lift and new tires October 4th, 2012 12:30 pm

    [...] without having to lift your jeep off the ground. all you have to do is follow my write-up here: Project-JK.com - Jeep JK Wrangler Resource Basic Do-it-Yourself Jeep JK Wrangler Front End Alignme… Project-JK.com | Write-Ups | Photo Gallery | YouTube | Facebook MOBY DICK / 2007 Stone [...]

  110. John October 14th, 2012 12:54 am

    Rookie question but here goes anyway…I just purchased the 2″ leveling kit from Tera Flex for my 2013 JK.Of course it brings the spacers for the front and the rear. Somewhere in the instructions it seems to give the impression that you don’t have to add the rear spacers, (as I read it). What would happen if I didn’t install the rears? Also, if I install just the front or both will I need a realignment?

  111. wayoflife October 18th, 2012 11:35 am

    you don’t have to install the rears. what you have will help remove the “factory rake” out of your jeep and “level” it out. nothing will happen if you don’t install the rears. you don’t need an alignment.

  112. Jeremy January 27th, 2013 6:05 am

    Hi I have a 4″ lift on my 07 JK and just installed a JKS front track adjustable bar should I install one on the rear as well? Thanks

  113. wayoflife January 27th, 2013 11:23 am

    If you don’t have one or a relocation bracket already, yeah, you probably should.

  114. louisianaJK January 31st, 2013 10:05 pm

    I have a 2010 jeep wrangler sport. I am just stating to make changes I added a 2″ spacer lift to the springs and 33X12 tires. Now when driving it darts on the road like it is following the cracks.What should I try first. It came stock with 28X8 tires

  115. wayoflife February 3rd, 2013 12:06 pm

    If you haven’t already loosened up your control arm bolts, bounce your Jeep around and then tighten them back up to torque spec, I would start there. If you still have a darty sensation, make sure that you don’t have too much air in your tires. with 33’s, you should only have about 32 psi. If you still have issued after that, you may want to consider getting adjustable front lower control arms to add a bit more positive caster.

  116. louisianaJK February 3rd, 2013 8:07 pm

    i assume you mean to loosen both upper and lower arms

  117. wayoflife February 4th, 2013 3:38 pm

    Yes

  118. steve March 20th, 2013 12:12 pm

    2010 jk rubicon 2 door 21000 miles. 3.5 with leveling in frnt.and trac bar brackets. new 35 12.50 17 wrangler mtx– alignment?caster and camber is out a little. do i NEED upper arms or do i NEED lower? or BOTH? anything other recommended? thanks! oh what brand or part num.is best? thanks again

  119. wayoflife March 26th, 2013 8:00 am

    There is nothing you can do about camber. You can adjust your caster with either upper or lower arms but both would be ideal as you would be able to set the position of your axle AND set your caster at the same time. However, this far from necessary to do. If it were me, I would just do the lowers as it is easier to do.

  120. steve March 27th, 2013 5:21 pm

    adjustable ball joints = camber ??

  121. wayoflife March 28th, 2013 8:25 am

    no, bent end forgings = camber. offset ball joints will allow you to correct some of this but just by a little.

  122. Justin November 26th, 2013 1:47 am

    I have a 07 jku with a 4 inch skyjacker lift 34.4 tires the track bar brackets jks quick connects up front superchip flashpaq I’m having prob with esp abs going around turns over 23 mph any help please

  123. wayoflife November 30th, 2013 12:42 pm

    You need to make sure that your steering wheel is completely centered.

  124. Ted September 22nd, 2014 7:17 pm

    I have a 2008 2door Rubicon with a 3.5″ Full Traction lift and 315 BF Goodrich tires and it is loose or squirrely. I have had the alignment check a couple of times. I have replaced the rear stabilizer bar and have Rancho 9000 shocks. All these have helped but it is loose. Nobody wants to drive it because they say they are afraid it will change lanes on them? Could it be the tires?? Any ideas? Thanks. No death wobble though.

Leave a reply