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cheapjeep 03-20-2012 08:25 AM

Alignment question
I want to get an alignment now that all my suspension work is done but I'm not sure if my front axle is centered yet. I've found that it's difficult to tell if the wheels are straight on a wj because the fenders slope in towards the front. I have adjusted my track bar out about a half an inch for my 3.25" lift and am in the ball park but I want to be dead on before I take it in because they have to re center the steering wheel now that I've moved the axle over.Are there any good points I can use say from axle to frame or can the shop actually see and adjust this on the alignment machine? Have any of you lifted guys dealt with this yet? Any info is appreciated.

TJXJWJ 03-20-2012 09:32 AM

Re: Alignment question
I'm pretty sure the alignment machine does that...they put sensors on all 4 wheels, so they'd know if the front axle was off compared to the rear. When I lifted my TJ and my XJ, I took them both in with crooked steering wheels and they came out with straight ones. I just made sure the tech knew I wanted it centered. I've never paid more than $80 for the service. The last time I went was when I put the SRT reps on my WJ...I took it to the local Jeep dealer because they actually had the best price, and I know the guys in the parts dept, so I was able to hang out and BS with them while i WATCHED LIKE A HAWK.

cheapjeep 03-20-2012 07:09 PM

Re: Alignment question
Thanks buddy I'll give them a call tomorrow before I head out. Hey while I'm thinking about it I don't have to put the stock wheels back on do I?

TJXJWJ 03-20-2012 08:48 PM

Re: Alignment question
No, you want it aligned with the wheels and tires you're going to run...

cheapjeep 03-20-2012 08:55 PM

Re: Alignment question
Thanks buddy!

TJXJWJ 03-20-2012 09:07 PM

Re: Alignment question

cheapjeep 03-23-2012 11:29 AM

Re: Alignment question
I talked to Al's tire where I usually get my alignments done the other day and they told me their machine really can't determine if the axle is centered under the vehicle but only how each wheel is supposed to be positioned on its axle. So I went out to the garage and got serious about measuring.After checking,checking and double checking it turns out that my initial adjustment of about a 1/2" longer on the track bar is about spot on for my 3.25 " lift. How about that for luck? They also told me that since I didn't mess with the tie rod at all that nothing changed on the toe so unless I was having wear issues since my last alignment all is good.The toe specs are the same for lifted as stock. This seems to hold true because after the initial 2.5" lift I took it in and they didn't have to adjust anything but the steering wheel.They even told me which direction to turn the drag link sleeve to get the wheel centered again! I went out and adjusted the drag link and after a couple of tries I'm going down the road with a nice straight steering wheel:thumbsup:I love small town shops that know you and your vehicle. They don't mind helping a guy out.Customer service still means something to them and they know you'll be back when you need something.

TJXJWJ 03-23-2012 12:50 PM

Re: Alignment question
Yeah, that chit ain't happening in most chain shops. Places like the one you described are disappearing. Glad to hear you got it all taken care of. The local Jeep shop by me did have some super-futuristic alignment machine. It almost looked like a Transformer....

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