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View Full Version : Just had my vehicle aligned - thoughts on printout?



theprez
01-09-2016, 04:50 PM
After installing lower control arms I had my jeep aligned this morning but not quite sure what I'm looking at - are these good numbers?

Thanks

181502

wayoflife
01-09-2016, 05:04 PM
Seems to me like you have +2 too much caster. This will help your Jeep to feel a tighter in and drive straight but if you run an aftermarket u-joint style drive shaft and with gears that have a 5.13 ratio or higher, you will have driveline vibrations. If that is the case for you, I would recommend you bring that back down a couple of degrees which would be what you'd have from the factory, +4.

theprez
01-09-2016, 05:39 PM
Thanks

Stock shafts and gears - haven't felt any vibes yet but am curious if I should take it back or if it's ok to have that much caster with stock gears and driveline.

wayoflife
01-09-2016, 06:01 PM
Thanks

Stock shafts and gears - haven't felt any vibes yet but am curious if I should take it back or if it's ok to have that much caster with stock gears and driveline.

With what you've said, I'd leave well enough alone. +6 of caster feels great and it's what I think most people would prefer to run.

theprez
01-09-2016, 06:08 PM
Thanks appreciate the replies. I'll leave that alone then...I am a bit disappointed they didn't center the steering wheel but that's easy enough for me to do.

Me thinks the alignment guy was in a hurry...the locknuts in the adjustable arms were not tightened either. It was a 30 min alignment - seemed a bit quick to me.

mds22
01-09-2016, 06:18 PM
With what you've said, I'd leave well enough alone. +6 of caster feels great and it's what I think most people would prefer to run.

Quick question, notice he has .2 more caster passenger side (my last jeep had +.3) totally normal from what I've read.
However my current jeep has .1 (or .2 depending the shop) more on the driver's side. Is this of any concern?
I have EVO adj, but both LCAs are the same length according to my measurements.
Anything I should worry about or adjust?
Thank you in advance

303DAILY
01-09-2016, 10:47 PM
Caster will pull to the side the has the more negative amount. It helps to have .2 or .3 more negative on the driver side to compensate for road crown. If you have more than .5 difference then you will start to feel a pull. Other than that your good to roll!

wayoflife
01-09-2016, 11:21 PM
Quick question, notice he has .2 more caster passenger side (my last jeep had +.3) totally normal from what I've read.
However my current jeep has .1 (or .2 depending the shop) more on the driver's side. Is this of any concern?
I have EVO adj, but both LCAs are the same length according to my measurements.
Anything I should worry about or adjust?
Thank you in advance

As you have found, the difference is totally normal and you have nothing to be concerned about. Even if you wanted to make an adjustment, you couldn't being that your Jeep has a solid front axle. Yeah, there are guys out there who will try and tell you otherwise but I can assure you that solid axle will not want to twist when a bushing can just be squashed down. In the end, the only thing you end up doing is putting stress on everything and if you're lucky, you'll just blow out your control arm bushing prematurely. If you're not so lucky, you can break mounts or even the axle housing - trust me, over the last 9 years, I have seen it all.


Caster will pull to the side the has the more negative amount. It helps to have .2 or .3 more negative on the driver side to compensate for road crown. If you have more than .5 difference then you will start to feel a pull. Other than that your good to roll!

I've heard the whole crown in the road thing before but have yet to see proof of it - just guys talking about it on the internet. But, even if it were true, you would never see a difference of more than 0.2 (basically nothing) on a "solid" axle unless something was bent, twisted or broken.

mds22
01-10-2016, 05:03 AM
As you have found, the difference is totally normal and you have nothing to be concerned about...

Thank you sir [emoji106]🏻

Bandit1
01-10-2016, 05:20 AM
Doesn't look like they did anything
They could have gotten the toe a little closer on the driver side
Been doing alignments for 20 years
Why didn't they center the steering wheel that's part of a front end alignment

Bandit1
01-10-2016, 05:23 AM
I've never compensated for road crown
When I do my alignments
Too many factors involved
Like what road am I supposed to set the vehicle up for all roads are different at all roads have different road crowns
I just set them up to spec that's it

Bandit1
01-10-2016, 05:31 AM
As far as the print out your just out of spec on the driver camber
Not much might see some slight wear on the outer edge of the tire
But keep them rotated and you should be ok
And since the steering wheel isn't centered the toe will be off from what they are showing
The steering wheel must be centered then you set toe
What they did was put your jeep on the alignment machine they did a rolling compensation then a caster sweep
These are all procedures to get the measurements but after that what they did was grab the steering wheel and move it's so that the toe would show up green and inspect when in reality the steering will is off-center if that makes sense
Some hack alignment person did this
Trust me

mr72
01-10-2016, 12:43 PM
These are all procedures to get the measurements but after that what they did was grab the steering wheel and move it's so that the toe would show up green and inspect when in reality the steering will is off-center if that makes sense
Some hack alignment person did this
Trust me

^^^This.

Sounds like they just verified that the only thing they can adjust (front toe) was already in spec, and then gave you the bill.

I've had this happen to me several times. What's worse is even if you had a lot of things that could be adjusted like on a sports car, the tolerances they have are like camber -1.7deg +/- 1 deg so basically the tolerances are so loose that they often will not adjust anything even if the alignment is way off.

wayoflife
01-10-2016, 03:32 PM
As I state in my "Basic Do-it-Yourself Jeep JK Wrangler Front End Alignment, "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 re-center your steering wheel and take your money." The OP has already seen my write-up so I think he knows this now but for other people out there, you may want to click on this:

http://wayalife.com/showthread.php?3861-Basic-Do-it-Yourself-Jeep-JK-Wrangler-Front-End-Alignment

:yup:

mr72
01-11-2016, 01:12 PM
"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 re-center your steering wheel and take your money." ...
:yup:

I scanned your write-up and it's really good, thanks for that. Also the thing about using the axle to check caster really took me by surprise, since I'm used to independent suspension where calculating caster is not easy at all. But it looks like it's a snap on a Jeep.

I just wanted to add one little thing that you might have covered it in your doc, so pardon me for repeating. Since front toe is the only thing they can adjust anyway, as log as it is within the shop's likely very loose tolerances, they will not adjust anything at all including centering the steering wheel before taking your money.

Also since toe and steering wheel center are easily adjusted at home, and both are subject to the driver's preferences to a certain degree, then it doesn't make sense to pay anyone to do it, even if they did do it.

From what I can find, the factory spec for toe is 0.17deg to 0.23deg total toe IN, which I guess makes sense considering the variety of tire sizes on Jeeps. If my math is correct then on 32" tires that is only a range of about 3/32" to 1/8", or really only a little over 1/32" of tolerance. That's very small. But on the picture of the printout from the shop at the start of this thread, they are allowing 0.03deg to 0.18deg PER SIDE, which is about 5-6x the factory tolerance. So even if it were out of spec according to the factory tolerances, many shops would not necessarily adjust it until it were out by more than 5x the specified tolerance.

Looking at the printout, it looks like they may have adjusted the toe even though it was inside their tolerances before they started, or their machine has 0.03deg or more of margin Fortunately it's also within the factory spec.