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Russell84

Rusty's '03 WJ Overland Build

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Ok, got the front axle squared up and took it for an alignment. Here are the results they gave me.

2013-01-29_14-53-19_286_zps5749e729.jpg

Looks like something it bent on the front axle, causing that -1.5* camber on the passenger side. The caster on the front axle is waaaaay off, but I'll fix that with the UCA's. Just need to get an angle finder so I can adjust both front and rear pinion angles accurately. There's no front DS in it right now, so the front pinion angle doesn't really matter at the moment.

 

Biggest issue I have now is a horrible clunking sound coming from the rear. The shocks and all control arms are nice and tight, no wiggle in them that I can see, but the rear extended sway bar links aren't vertical and when I move them side to side, they pop, so I think that's what's making the noise. Did/does anyone else have this problem with theirs?

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That is a great print out of your alignment. Where did you take it?

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I don't run the rear sway bar, I wanted it to droop. Try removing it and see if the noise goes away. I have read of people wrapping the factory tapered bolts in electrical tape to tighten them up inside the bushings. Also, the stock rear upper shock bushings are wider than "normal". They will clunk side to side at the top. I had to install spacers in the upper rear shock mounts to get them tight. The right side camber problem could be a worn out ball joint or unit bearing. There are also adjustable ball joints available to correct camber issues. You definitely don't have enough caster. The front pinion is pointed too high, bring it back down a few degrees. I bought a magnetic angle finder at Harbor Freight for about $6.

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That is a great print out of your alignment. Where did you take it?

 

Local place called Pueblo Tire. They do great work. The guy came out afterwards and gave me the printout and talked me through all the different numbers so I knew exactly what was going on with it. Also told me that after I adjust my pinion angles I can bring it back to him and he'll check everything out for me again for free.

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I don't run the rear sway bar, I wanted it to droop. Try removing it and see if the noise goes away. I have read of people wrapping the factory tapered bolts in electrical tape to tighten them up inside the bushings. Also, the stock rear upper shock bushings are wider than "normal". They will clunk side to side at the top. I had to install spacers in the upper rear shock mounts to get them tight. The right side camber problem could be a worn out ball joint or unit bearing. There are also adjustable ball joints available to correct camber issues. You definitely don't have enough caster. The front pinion is pointed too high, bring it back down a few degrees. I bought a magnetic angle finder at Harbor Freight for about $6.

 

I took the sway bar links out and zip tied the sway bar up out of the way so it can't hit anything and the clunk didn't change at all.

 

I noticed that the driver's side rear UCA clicked/clunked a little if I pushed up on the middle of it. The sound is coming from inside the box tube like maybe the threads on one of the adjustable ends has a little play in it?. I have no idea what that is. I loosened the jam nuts and twisted the center section both directions but the sound doesn't go away completely. Tightened both jam nuts back down really well and took it for a test drive, but nothing changed.

 

I tightened up all the shock bolts in the rear and again, no change. The upper mounts are a little wide, but the bolts have squeezed them together and I can't move the shock at all, but I'll try throwing some washers in there and see if that helps.

 

What did you do with your e-brake cables in the back? They used to be bolted onto the A-arm, but now they just kind of dangle and rest on the UCAs. I don't think those bouncing on the control arms would cause the noise I'm hearing, but I'm willing to try anything at this point.

 

Don't the negative degree numbers for the caster mean that it's pointed down? The normal range it lists is 6.0* - 7.5*. I assumed that meant mine was too low. I think the Clayton instructions say 4* for the front.

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Russell - I don't run a rear sway bar either. Seems to articulate really well w/out it. I had a bad clunk in the back of mine and it turned out to be loose upper shock bolts. I had to make new links for my rear ebrake cables but I also switched to a JK rubi axle in the back. You might strap the cables down to your upper control arms, but loosely so the UCA's can move w/out yanking on the cables. Likely, that's not causing your clunking. I believe I'm running either 7 or 8 * of caster in the front. You'll find it's going to be a happy balance between drive line angle in the front, the orientation of the front coils (either bowed fwd or linear), and driveability. They are easy enough to adjust though. I agree, get an angle finder from Harbor freight, worth the investment. Brady is right about the front end, you can check the ball joints with a large pair of channel locks, if they move up/down a 1/16 or less they are probably fine.

Chad.

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Local place called Pueblo Tire. They do great work. The guy came out afterwards and gave me the printout and talked me through all the different numbers so I knew exactly what was going on with it. Also told me that after I adjust my pinion angles I can bring it back to him and he'll check everything out for me again for free.

 

I took my JK to Just Brakes near my house and it looks like Pueblo Tire uses the same alignment software/machine. http://www.4x4ham.com/showthread.php?1745-Daystar-1-3-4-quot-Lift-Kit-Install-on-2011-JK

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CLUNKING: as bradywgn said, standard upper rear shocks bushings are too narrow... adding some washers in there will make it so they can't move side-to-side. i've heard TONS of people complain of a "thunk" in the rear on the WJ and it is very often that problem. you can just remove your shocks temporarily and go for a (very bouncy) quick testdrive to see if that is your clunking sound.

 

however, this sounds like a bigger issue: "the driver's side rear UCA clicked/clunked a little if I pushed up on the middle of it." that really sounds like a loose jam nut, but you said you tightened them well. do double check both jam nuts on that arm, use a pipe on the wrench handle to get more leverage if you have to.

 

E-BRAKE CABLE: dangling is no problem, you don't want to tie them down because they need to move around when the axle articulates. they are pretty tough, but if you are concerned about the rubbing, then cut a piece of rubber hose to wrap around them where they rub on the control arms.

 

CASTER/PINION: as everyone said, angle finder is your friend on the front. however it really just depends on a balance. after you put your driveshaft back in, then 5* is probably a good number. then if it vibes you can try with less but you might start getting some wandering or steering return-to-center issues. if you get to 4* and still have vibes, something else is wrong.

 

CAMBER: a quick test for worn ball joints is to jack up a side of the front axle just off the ground. then grab the bottom and top of the tire and try to rock it in-and-out from the jeep... if it has much play then you might have a bad ball joint. compare both sides, they could even both be bad and giving you conflicting camber numbers. and as bradywgn said, could also be unit bearings.

 

 

it always seems daunting when there's a big change and lots of issues creep up, don't worry, you'll get it all ironed out. then you'll wheel it for a few months and something new will eat your wallet ;)

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I took the sway bar links out and zip tied the sway bar up out of the way so it can't hit anything and the clunk didn't change at all.

 

I noticed that the driver's side rear UCA clicked/clunked a little if I pushed up on the middle of it. The sound is coming from inside the box tube like maybe the threads on one of the adjustable ends has a little play in it?. I have no idea what that is. I loosened the jam nuts and twisted the center section both directions but the sound doesn't go away completely. Tightened both jam nuts back down really well and took it for a test drive, but nothing changed.

 

I tightened up all the shock bolts in the rear and again, no change. The upper mounts are a little wide, but the bolts have squeezed them together and I can't move the shock at all, but I'll try throwing some washers in there and see if that helps.

 

What did you do with your e-brake cables in the back? They used to be bolted onto the A-arm, but now they just kind of dangle and rest on the UCAs. I don't think those bouncing on the control arms would cause the noise I'm hearing, but I'm willing to try anything at this point.

Don't the negative degree numbers for the caster mean that it's pointed down? The normal range it lists is 6.0* - 7.5*. I assumed that meant mine was too low. I think the Clayton instructions say 4* for the front.

 

Yea, pardon me, I'm currently on cold meds. My front pinion is pointed slightly lower than my t-case front output, which means it points pretty far up. I used an angle finder on mine and it measured out at about 4 degrees at the spindle. Remember to measure the angle at the spindle and adjust accordingly. Caster angle is the important figure for handling. Since it's a solid front axle, the pinion angle has to fall wherever it does in relation to caster. If you have a front driveshaft vibe, tweak the angle as necessary to find that happy medium. I haven't had mine on an alignment rack yet. It drives pretty good and I don't see any adverse tire wear. I used a tape measure and the angle finder for my garage alignment. I'm currently replacing all of my u-joints, still chasing vibes. It takes time to work out the bugs, don't get disappointed.

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I'll address all the stuff y'all have mentioned and hopefully find whatever the clunking is, because it's really annoying me. But now I have one more question. The amount of road noise in the cabin has doubled or tripled since I put the lift on. Is that just because of the stiffer springs or what? I couldn't believe how loud it was afterwards on the drive home, and I can feel absolutely every single tiny bump in the road (and hear it).

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