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Leaf Spring Movement And Caster Question

Discussion in 'Early CJ-5 and CJ-6 Tech' started by 53A1, May 15, 2019.

  1. May 15, 2019
    53A1

    53A1 Member

    Kern Co. Ca.
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    274
    I'm getting closer to a safer driving vehicle and in the process of looking for play in the steering I noticed the outer spring eyelet shifts back and forth on top of the inner eyelet when turning the steering wheel. In the picture you can see it's all the way to the right but it will shifts all the way to the left when I crank the wheel the other way. I'm wondering if If this matters or do I need to crank down the u-bolts more.

    It also has has 11 deg of caster and 6 deg camber shims. The pinion angle is pointed up about 1 deg. I'm thinking I should remove the shims to get 5 deg of caster and a more stable platform to ride on and point the pinion up a little more. I have no idea why it was setup like this. Maybe the PO had longer shackles at one point?

    And it's a '67 CJ5 with SOA with flat springs and Saginaw conversion. Everything else in the steering checks out and it drives pretty good but seems to drift a little and I feel like I'm constantly doing little corrections.

    Thanks.
     

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    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  2. May 16, 2019
    y2grey

    y2grey Member

    Fayetteville NY
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
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    71
    I'm SOA on the 43. You have military wrap springs. You will always have some degree of shifting in a loose spring pack. The u bolts won't really help that, it's more the function of the spring clamps. The fact that you are SOA will change the leverage on the springs and add to the situation. How many leaves do you have in each pack? On mine the shims are 7 degree with the fat end to the front. This points the pinion slightly down. I have no binding or vibration up front and 65 with one hand on the wheel is no problem.
     
  3. May 16, 2019
    53A1

    53A1 Member

    Kern Co. Ca.
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
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    Thanks for the reply. They are Rancho 44061 springs. Here is the data. The last number is the # of leaves - 6

    Part #, Rate lbs-per-in., Flat Length, Arch (Free), Eye Size, Front Eye Size, Rear Width, Thickness in Center, Center Bolt Offset, # of Leaves

    RS44061 335 40.00 3.59 0.88 0.88 1.75 1.66 centered 6

    The leafs sit pretty loose in the spring clamps.

    They are very nice off road but on the road a little too soft and I have to load the air shocks. I'm trying to make the Jeep a little more stable on the road so my son can drive it to school.

    I must have something else going on because I woudn't do 65 in mine. I feel like I have to do little corrections when I'm driving. Maybe this is normal. I wouldn't know because this is my first raised jeep.

     
  4. May 16, 2019
    y2grey

    y2grey Member

    Fayetteville NY
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
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    71
    What type of perches are on your axles. They may have been set up for a different spring. Does the thick part of your shim face to the front or rear? I ran one inch Ranchos until I built my own packs.
     
  5. May 16, 2019
    53A1

    53A1 Member

    Kern Co. Ca.
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
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    I'll snap a few more pictures tonight but from memory the perch width is exactly the same as the spring and shim. The thick part of the shim is on the rear (rotates bottom of kingpin forward). I don't know why so much caster id required so I'm tempted to pull them.
     
  6. May 16, 2019
    y2grey

    y2grey Member

    Fayetteville NY
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
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    71
    image.jpeg Your shims are backwards for an SOA. Get yourself a cheap angle finder and set them correctly. You may find you can completely remove them or you may need to reverse them. It all depends on your degree. Unless the axle or perches have been cut and turned your pinyon should not point up.
     
  7. May 16, 2019
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
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    3,109
    Every time I read through this I get more confused. :)

    First off, with a SOA, someone welded your perches onto your axle. They could have welded them on at any angle, so what degree shims are on there now are irrelevant. You'll want to park on level ground and measure your caster angle by placing an angle finder on your kingpin cap or ball joint/knuckle (depending of you're running a closed or open knuckle). With radial tires, you'll want to be in the 6 to 7° area. Bias tires can get away with a little less.

    Where your pinion ends up after that is where it ends up. If it's pointing where you don't want it to, the only solution is to cut off your knuckles, turn them and reweld them. Not fun nor easy, and more than likely, unnecessary.

    The issue with the springs having lateral movement is normal, and why nothing is built with such narrow springs anymore; there's just too much side-play in that narrow of a spring.

    As far as your sketchy handling, get your caster figured out, then check your toe-in, then measure to make sure your axles are perfectly parallel. If anything is tweaked, it'll never feel right.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!
     
    Thean, 45es, Bowbender and 2 others like this.
  8. May 16, 2019
    53A1

    53A1 Member

    Kern Co. Ca.
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    Hopefully this helps out. Thanks for all the help.

    Update, the rotation arrow show the direction the axle turns when you increase the shim thickness at the rear. You get an increase in caster. I propose removing the shim which would bring things back to the welded perch angle which calculates to 5 deg.

    All measurements were done on flat surface with frame rail level at 0 deg.
     

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  9. May 17, 2019
    53A1

    53A1 Member

    Kern Co. Ca.
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    A couple pictures.
     

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  10. May 17, 2019
    53A1

    53A1 Member

    Kern Co. Ca.
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    I also checked for parallel. Front to back is spot on and corner to corner differs by 1/8". That's probably not enough to worry about. The toe is set where the rear of the front wheels are 1/8" wider than at the front.
     
  11. May 17, 2019
    53A1

    53A1 Member

    Kern Co. Ca.
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    Does the additional information I provided address these comments? I'm thinking the shims are adding to the over-caster and I could possibly take them out. I guess it's easy enough just to pull them off and try it.

    Thanks.
     
  12. May 17, 2019
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
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    I'd definitely get those giant shims out of there. Those things are dangerous. They're just waiting for the perfect moment to squirt out.

    Try it with them out, and see how it feels. 5° might be enough. If not, a 2° shim would get you to 7° and be a lot more reasonable.
     
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  13. May 17, 2019
    jeep2003

    jeep2003 Active Member

    Vestal NY
    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
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    This might sound silly but check your steering u joints if they are stiff. They look pretty ratty. My blazer was nearly undrivable it would pull the truck side to side at random times. Doesnt sound like thats really your problem but it could be
     
    53A1 likes this.
  14. May 17, 2019
    53A1

    53A1 Member

    Kern Co. Ca.
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    Thanks everyone.

    I had my son crank the wheel today and it seems like the whole axle is shifting a little bit side to side. I'm going to change the shackle and hanger bushings out. My theory as of now is when I'm breaking it's putting additional stress because of the weight of the jeep going forward and the stress on the front springs is amplified. The spring width is stock and I can now see why a thicker spring may be beneficial. Also, the shim may be acting as a lever because the spring is sitting further off the axle so I'm going to pull them. Everything else is tight and I see no play at all in the linkage. I'm having a good feeling this will fix it.

    The suspension is very soft off road and actually a very nice ride. I think if I had slightly stiffer springs it would help with highway driving.
     
  15. May 17, 2019
    jeep2003

    jeep2003 Active Member

    Vestal NY
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    May 30, 2006
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    well youve only got 4 leaves in the pack they originally had alot more probably 7 or 8 thats why the spring clamps are way too tall
     
  16. May 17, 2019
    53A1

    53A1 Member

    Kern Co. Ca.
    Joined:
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    Yep. The thing sat in a dirt lot for ten years. One of the front tires was flat and the rim was buried in the dirt. It was allot of work getting it driving but worth it because I got a great deal and the tub and paint is in incredible shape. The underside need freshening up though.
     
  17. Jun 2, 2019
    53A1

    53A1 Member

    Kern Co. Ca.
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    I rebuilt the steering column this weekend and it helped. I bought a steering bushing rebuild kit from Autozone for 7 bucks and that helped the most. It was worn out more that I realized. It wasn't a perfect match but close enough. If I had to expand the holes in the rubber coupler a little and live with the fact one of the replacement studs is smaller that the original. The u-joints were good but I was getting some shifting from side to side. I pushed the u-joint bearing caps a little further in and that fixed that. Also, the coupling from the steering column to the shaft was a little loose so I used a larger bolt and that locked it down.
     

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