Jeep Steering Alignment 101 – Dana 30 and Dana 44 Front Axle Camber Adjustment
Sometimes it is necessary to adjust the camber settings on a CJ Dana front axle. They are supposed to be set at 0 degrees camber but that is not always the case. Swapping a Dana 44 into a CJ (especially if it’s from a Cherokee/Wagoneer) will usually expose this problem immediately. A Cherokee/Wagoneer Dana 44 use different outer knuckles than a CJ does. Fortunately they are interchangeable but will most likely cause the camber to be off about 1.5 degrees. That does not sound like a lot but with tall tires the difference is exaggerated.
Several companies make different products to combat this problem. One being degree shims, these mount between the spindle and the outer knuckle, the other is an adjustable ball joint sleeve sometimes called a castor/camber corrector.
Determining the camber adjustment needed is not difficult and can be determined using a little math. An alignment shop can do this a lot more accurately but us Jeep people thrive on the “do it yourself” and even a perfectly a CJ will still wander a bit down the road. Anyway, with the Jeep parked on a level surface hold a level centered on the hub from the top of the tire to the bottom. Using an angle gauge measure the angle. Hopefully the measurement is small 1-1.5 degrees. Measure the angle on both sides. Excessive camber in one side can indicate a worse problem like a bent axle tube. Use the above image to determine if you have positive or negative camber.
If your camber is off by a few degrees you have two options. Use camber adjusting shims or camber adjusting upper ball joints.
Camber shims alter the spindle angle slightly to adjust camber.
Camber adjusting upper ball joint sleeves allow camber adjustment by using an oblong ball joint sleeve to alter angles.
Personally, we prefer the shim, it is held firmly in place and has no possibility of moving. We have used both and the correctors have rotated on my Jeep. My Jeep had positive camber, the shims actually increased track width while the correctors decreased it. The shims moved the bottom of the wheel out and the correctors moved the top of the wheel in.