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My Jeep drives horrible! Help!


NAXJA Forum User
East Tennessee
Ive had my XJ around 10ish years now and it just a back up rough weather and fun haver at this point.

Years ago I installed a 3in RC lift with full leaf pack, once I installed the back was a lot higher than the front so they sent me some pucks to level it out. So its setting at 4.5-5in lift right now. I have a dropped track bar and and a control arm drop kit.

The thing is a mess to drive straight. The control arm drop moved the UCA about an inch forward and I suspect screwed my geometry up. Ive shimmed the LCAs .5in and that seemed to help but thats as far as I can go.

Im debating on adjustable control arms or a long arm upgrade kit?

Looking for suggestions on what to do to get this thing more fun to drive
First you need to decide what height you want but either way you need to get rid of the RC lift. Is the trackbar dropped at the axle or do you a dropped trackbar frame bracket?
You need to provide all the details on all the parts you currently have. A pic of the steering angles would also be a good start. What shocks are you running? Have you ever had a full alignment check so you what all the angles are?
Also take a pic of your rear shackle angles.
Ill have to get pics tonight.

as it sits now
RC lift 4.5 full leaf pack 3in spring with puck
RC shocks all around
RC control arm drop brackets
Dropped track bar
pitman arm for lift
sway bar discos
1in transfer case drop

Steering angles look good (to me)
After adding the control arm drop the steering would not return to center, thats when I started shimming the LCAs to correct the caster. I got it as good as I could but cant remember the caster angle currently. After shimming the steering is better but not correct. Thats what has led me down the path of long arm or adjustable control arms and ditch the control arm drop
Well your steering angles are definitely way off as a drop pitman is not needed/wanted. Is it a RC trackbar? The RC shocks will ride harsh.

You'll need a lot more "hard" info/numbers before any good recommendations can made.
What size tires and wheels (w/ backspace) are you running?
The trans drop is also a "no go" since have a LP D30.
w/o trans drop I had some pretty bad vibes, at the time it was easier to make some spacers than go for the SYE kit

Im running 31s and they are even with the stock flares. no clue on backspacing
Camber, caster, toe and thrust angles. And yes your going need do a SYE.
What rims are your using? If stock Jeep, there should be some numbers inside the rim.
Also, are you using a stock trackbar?
Did you replace the stock aluminum steering box spacer? Is the steering box loose?
Do you have any alignment print out data?
I sort of question this with the stock control arms. Another Jeep Board and a 4.5 lift. The guy still had stock control arms. Bad Death Wobble. He did get adjustable I think after that. I don't have any experience with the Control Arm drop boxes.
I do use JKS control arms on my 4.5 lift. I use CORE on my 2" lift. Many other choices out there. I did have RC's. I don't recommend them. Mainly the front upper bracket is 1/16 sheet metal. JKS id 3/16. Core 1/4.
Also, no experience with RC steering link. I do use Ruffstuff Check 1-Ton GM Cross over on both my XJ. That required the WJ Big Brake Upgrade. Also, OTK Trackbar to use the Crossover steering. Is there a donut in the 'Y' link? Does your steering shift right and left?
they are steelys from rustys offroad, just cant remember the offset

RC adjustable trackbar

I do have some play in the steering box, which sucks since its maybe 2 years old
Look at your front axle. Is it centered in the wheel well? Also, some trackbars are for certain range of height. I don't know if you have a trackbar for say 2-3" lift and now you have a 4.5 lift. Yes, they are adjustable. Some though in certain ranges. Are you using an offset bracket for the trackbar on the axle? I took at such from your original post.
If all joints are in healthy shape ( all tre, ball joints, panhard joints, and even unit bearings) then it's a geometry issue...

Tow is simple to check.
Check the thrust (squareness of the axle to the body)
Check caster
Also camber is something I like to look at... this is mainly to Check the unit bearings

Sent from my SM-A426U using Tapatalk
Yes all joints are healthy
Trackbar is for the correct lift

I did some measuring last night and it looks like my pinion angle is 2° off and my caster angle is at 4°. I believe a little more adjustment there will get me pretty good.

Am I correct that the front diff should be parallel to the front driveshaft?

So in my experience the control arm drop kit does not use stock control arms lengths, currently im on stock arms with lowers shimmed 1/2 inch. I will just grab some adjustable control arms and get that sorted first off.

My steering box does have some play in it, steering shaft rotates quiet a bit before I get any movement at the pitman arm. Looks like I might be better off ordering a Redhead steering box than gambling on another reman

XJ is at the shop right now getting some KM3s and a evap leak large code fixed that has been impossible to find
I found the specs for Control Arm Length as per lift. It even has lengths for RC brackets.
4.5" lift RC brackets:
LCA 15.75" UCA 15"
I don't remember who posted it originally.