Alignment Specifications for a Lifted KJ

LibertyTC

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Looks like my Jeep is in need again. OME lifted, Jba 4.5 UCA, boiler 3/8 steel top plate spacers, clevis 3 ring drivers side two passenger side to level.
Currently at around 22.5 inch both sides front.

Other than stock specs, One statement made by TJKJ was :
Caster should be between 2.5 to 3 degrees for a lifted KJ.

What are the complete specs that this lifted jeep should achieve or be set at?
 

4x4kayak2112

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Mine is all within spec with factory specs.....except for the Caster. But im not too worried about that
 

M38 Bob

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"Caster should be between 2.5 to 3 degrees for a lifted KJ." Preferably with right .5 higher than left. Camber is best between 0 and a max of 3/4 degree with left preferably higher than right. Camber can cause both pull and tire wear. I'd rather have a slight wear issue than pull. Toe is the one that really eats tires.

Bob
 

dude1116

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Tried to get mine aligned at two shops. This was the first result:

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And two days later the second:

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They said "the bolts are maxed out". Sitting at 23" both sides up front.

Questions I have:

There aren't any longer cam bolts that we can get, are there?

Am I screwed since my cam bolts are "maxed out?"

This things is absolutely miserable to drive now. I hate it. Beyond frustrated that I ordered about $1,200 in quality parts and now this things ***** to drive more than it did stock.
 
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4x4kayak2112

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They obviously dont know what they are doing.........tell them to set the camber and toe and let the caster fall where it lands.

The first one actually had the right side looking good. He was on it, just needed some help. I made a deal with a shop. Told him I would be happy to pay a 20 tip if they could get it. The tech told me if he couldn't, 100 bucks in my pocket. Well since I have been there 5+ times with my KJs and many times with others

TLDR: set the camber and toe and let the caster fall where it lands.
 

tommudd

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Tried to get mine aligned at two shops. This was the first result:

You must be registered for see images attach


And two days later the second:

You must be registered for see images attach


They said "the bolts are maxed out". Sitting at 23" both sides up front.

Questions I have:

There aren't any longer cam bolts that we can get, are there?

Am I screwed since my cam bolts are "maxed out?"

This things is absolutely miserable to drive now. I hate it. Beyond frustrated that I ordered about $1,200 in quality parts and now this things ***** to drive more than it did stock.

There isn't any different cam bolts
I'm sitting at over 23 ( about 23.5 actually) and alignment is right on and no tire wear ( over 85,000 on the Duratracs) doesn't pull one way or the other eyc.
So they can be aligned too bad so many don't want to take the time to do it right
 

M38 Bob

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"They" can take all the time in the world, but all these vehicles aren't the same. Tom, you've spoken of shifting the cradle, excellent move that'll correct many, but not all (I'm speaking of vehicles in general, NOT just Jeeps).

Had a tiny giggle over the "longer" cam bolts. the CAM washers on the bolt do the adjusting, not the bolt itself. And the cam can only be so big, which it already is to move the control arm in it's slot. One could possibly elongate the slot to allow for more travel? I've done that on many other vehicles (usually from the same bodyshop customer who can't operate his frame machine worth a damn) but never a Liberty.

"Set the camber and toe, then let the caster fall where it may". BBBAaaaddd idea if you have any interest in anything but tire life! Caster plays a major role in driveability. If a choice must be made, I'd rather have a bit of premature tire wear, that can be spread out over tread life through rotations and "flipping" the tires on the wheels so both inner and outer edges wear, and not have to constantly fight wander, over or under steer.

If you have a problem child, definitely try different shops, but the only miracle worker seems to have died over 2,000 years ago.

Bob
 

tommudd

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"They" can take all the time in the world, but all these vehicles aren't the same. Tom, you've spoken of shifting the cradle, excellent move that'll correct many, but not all (I'm speaking of vehicles in general, NOT just Jeeps).

Had a tiny giggle over the "longer" cam bolts. the CAM washers on the bolt do the adjusting, not the bolt itself. And the cam can only be so big, which it already is to move the control arm in it's slot. One could possibly elongate the slot to allow for more travel? I've done that on many other vehicles (usually from the same bodyshop customer who can't operate his frame machine worth a damn) but never a Liberty.

"Set the camber and toe, then let the caster fall where it may". BBBAaaaddd idea if you have any interest in anything but tire life! Caster plays a major role in driveability. If a choice must be made, I'd rather have a bit of premature tire wear, that can be spread out over tread life through rotations and "flipping" the tires on the wheels so both inner and outer edges wear, and not have to constantly fight wander, over or under steer.

If you have a problem child, definitely try different shops, but the only miracle worker seems to have died over 2,000 years ago.

Bob

While I agree partially to your comment about being different somewhat agree. BUT the shop I used to use before I moved never had an issue, over 29 lifted KJs just to that one shop and they were all aligned correctly. Yes one in 100,000 may have an issue like my buddys, but his was due to hitting a curb on icy roads . Any alignment shop thats good could find that blindfolded
 

4x4kayak2112

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"They" can take all the time in the world, but all these vehicles aren't the same. Tom, you've spoken of shifting the cradle, excellent move that'll correct many, but not all (I'm speaking of vehicles in general, NOT just Jeeps).

Had a tiny giggle over the "longer" cam bolts. the CAM washers on the bolt do the adjusting, not the bolt itself. And the cam can only be so big, which it already is to move the control arm in it's slot. One could possibly elongate the slot to allow for more travel? I've done that on many other vehicles (usually from the same bodyshop customer who can't operate his frame machine worth a damn) but never a Liberty.

"Set the camber and toe, then let the caster fall where it may". BBBAaaaddd idea if you have any interest in anything but tire life! Caster plays a major role in driveability. If a choice must be made, I'd rather have a bit of premature tire wear, that can be spread out over tread life through rotations and "flipping" the tires on the wheels so both inner and outer edges wear, and not have to constantly fight wander, over or under steer.

If you have a problem child, definitely try different shops, but the only miracle worker seems to have died over 2,000 years ago.

Bob
Looks like we have an alignment expert here........
 

4x4kayak2112

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Added alignment to my shop in 1998. Still not an expert. There are several here though, they'll tell ya so themselves. :icon_lol:

Bob
Well Mr. Bob

Well trust me, I have seen these monkeys work on the KJ, trying to get them aligned probably over 50 times. What I said "set camber and toe then let the caster fall" guess what......then they are able to get the caster into spec. Seen it many times. Once I tell them that and they listen, real easy. Both of my KJs are at 4.25+ and have in spec alignments. So it can be done, and thats the secret.

And guess who told me that secret......well out fourm alignment expert.....TROY. yep.
 

tjkj2002

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"They" can take all the time in the world, but all these vehicles aren't the same. Tom, you've spoken of shifting the cradle, excellent move that'll correct many, but not all (I'm speaking of vehicles in general, NOT just Jeeps).

Had a tiny giggle over the "longer" cam bolts. the CAM washers on the bolt do the adjusting, not the bolt itself. And the cam can only be so big, which it already is to move the control arm in it's slot. One could possibly elongate the slot to allow for more travel? I've done that on many other vehicles (usually from the same bodyshop customer who can't operate his frame machine worth a damn) but never a Liberty.

"Set the camber and toe, then let the caster fall where it may". BBBAaaaddd idea if you have any interest in anything but tire life! Caster plays a major role in driveability. If a choice must be made, I'd rather have a bit of premature tire wear, that can be spread out over tread life through rotations and "flipping" the tires on the wheels so both inner and outer edges wear, and not have to constantly fight wander, over or under steer.

If you have a problem child, definitely try different shops, but the only miracle worker seems to have died over 2,000 years ago.

Bob
So you'd rather tear up a set of tires then have a slight drift?


Also the KJ does specs do not specify different caster specs between left and right,you never want cross caster more then 0.5 degrees and that will drift one direction or another in a KJ(0.2-0.3 degrees is best).It's not a GM fullsize with constant frame issues,they could never make them straight.


Your still stuck on OE specs and OE tire sizes.Larger tires sizes require less caster.If you actually know what caster is you will see that also.Caster is a non-tire wearing angle,you are correct that to little or to much cross caster can cause a pull and handling issues but needles to say as long as you have more then 1 degree and within 0.8 degrees cross caster you will be just fine.Heck some vehicles actually spec 1 degree or less for caster.


I don't know how many lifted IFS vehicles you see a day but I see many from KJ's to FJ Losers.
 

ouroboros

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Here in MI, I would rather have my caster more negative to the left than the right with our wonderful road crowns. I'm lifted with factory arms and over sized tires and my alignment has been done twice now and both times were no issues to get it where I wanted it. Luckily I have the ability to have more control how mine comes out, but none the less it was done with no issues. To the OP, knock outs may be a possibility to help with some of the align issues you're having. RRO I know makes a knock out kit. Worth a shot, right?
 

tommudd

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Here in MI, I would rather have my caster more negative to the left than the right with our wonderful road crowns. I'm lifted with factory arms and over sized tires and my alignment has been done twice now and both times were no issues to get it where I wanted it. Luckily I have the ability to have more control how mine comes out, but none the less it was done with no issues. To the OP, knock outs may be a possibility to help with some of the align issues you're having. RRO I know makes a knock out kit. Worth a shot, right?

You do know RRO knows nothing about aligning a KJ, they sell parts that you can't even use on a KJ :happy175:
Mines been lifted for over 198,000 miles so far
And never had any issues aligning it even at the heights I run mine, good shop, well wait a shop with someone that actually knows what they are doing and takes the time to listen
 

dude1116

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OK so people I'm trying to understand EXACTLY how alignments works. So far I have this:

1) The front bolt mostly affects camber, and the back bolt mostly affects caster.

2) Caster isn't super important, but should be taken account for ride quality.

That being said...it looks like my bolts are in an F-ed up position that's giving me NO good measurements for neither caster nor camber. Can I tell an alignment shop this:

1) Adjust for MAXIMUM CASTER. As much Caster as they can.

2) THEN adjust the camber as close to -.4 deg as possible.

3) Adjust toe

4) Let the caster stay where it's at. Make small adjustments in caster if cross-caster isn't within .5 degrees.

I'm just trying to figure out if I can get stupid people to do this job. I wish I could get under a rack and try for myself. This is beyond frustrating.
 

ouroboros

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That is for GM fullsizes(pickups/SUV's) with IFS from the very late '80's and early '90's only.KJ's don't have "knockouts" since the LCA mounting holes are already slotted.

They claim they have some rubber bit you can knock out to help with adjustment, no experience with it in particular and wasn't sure if it might be worth it or not.

You do know RRO knows nothing about aligning a KJ, they sell parts that you can't even use on a KJ :happy175:
Mines been lifted for over 198,000 miles so far
And never had any issues aligning it even at the heights I run mine, good shop, well wait a shop with someone that actually knows what they are doing and takes the time to listen

I can second that, but I had just glanced by the knock out kit they claim works for the KJ. Wasn't sure until now, besides mines lifted without JBA arms and the alignment is just fine.. Had to go back and re-adjust the steering wheel and level it out a couple weeks ago but nothing serious. I agree though, any shop worth it's salt should be able to align a lifted KJ no problem UNLESS there is a problem beyond the adjustments being "maxed out". Frame damage, bent parts, etc. It all comes down to if you want to start throwing parts at it or not.
 

ouroboros

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OK so people I'm trying to understand EXACTLY how alignments works. So far I have this:

1) The front bolt mostly affects camber, and the back bolt mostly affects caster.

2) Caster isn't super important, but should be taken account for ride quality.

That being said...it looks like my bolts are in an F-ed up position that's giving me NO good measurements for neither caster nor camber. Can I tell an alignment shop this:

1) Adjust for MAXIMUM CASTER. As much Caster as they can.

2) THEN adjust the camber as close to -.4 deg as possible.

3) Adjust toe

4) Let the caster stay where it's at. Make small adjustments in caster if cross-caster isn't within .5 degrees.

I'm just trying to figure out if I can get stupid people to do this job. I wish I could get under a rack and try for myself. This is beyond frustrating.

Caster is going to make your vehicle pull one way or the other and will also affect return of the steering wheel if it's set to far forward. More negative caster is better than more positive caster, and if they have road crown where you live try to have it slightly more negative to the left than the right. Forgive me if I mixed up the + and - parts of caster but either way you want it leaning back towards the vehicle and not forward.

Have camber adjusted to as close to factory spec as possible. If that shop has a Hunter align set up it should automatically pull up by the VIN where camber needs to be. If it's .1 or .2 off you should be OK as long as you stay on top of your tire maintenance.

Make sure toe is set as close to factory spec as possible, which they shouldn't have an issue with anyway. You're going to want to watch total toe so the steering wheel stays decently level for you.
 

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