Jeep Wrangler JK Alignment

After the installation of a lift on a Jeep an alignment will make sure the Jeep tracks correctly down the road and prevent premature tire wear. Unlike a typical car the Jeep Wrangler continues the long tradition of simplicity and relative un-adjustability in regard to suspension adjustment.

On a solid front axle Jeep Wrangler TJ and JK the only real adjustment that can be made is toe and caster. For more information on what these two terms mean see Toe, Caster, and Camber.

In order to get a truly accurate look at the the entire alignment of the JK after the installation of the BDS lift we paid a visit to OK Auto in Stewartsville, NJ. OK uses a sophisticated wheel alignment system that uses reflector panels attached all 4 wheels of the Jeep. The unit uses flashing led lights to get extremely accurate readings to allow the operator to align the vehicle within specifications.

The system measures the following…Camber, Caster, Toe, and Thrust Angle.

Thrust angle is the measurement of the front to rear axle looking from above. This angle will indicate how close to parallel the front and rear axle are. The further off and the jeep will have a pull since the axles will follow a slightly different path. Raising the Jeep will cause the track bar to pull the axle to one side at the same time causing the axle to turn slightly. An adjustable track bar or track bar relocation bracket will allow the axle to remain in the proper position therefore reducing the thrust angle.

John from OK was to do our alignment and after some brief discussion the JK was put up onto the lift to get started.

The system was turned on and the computer quickly reported it’s findings. Much to our surprise the Jeep fell completely within spec of all adjustable components. Below are the readings and the specification tolerances.

Spec Left Right
Caster 3.7-4.7 degrees 4.1 4.7
Camber -0.6-0.1 -0.4 -0.9
Toe 0.07-0.13 0.11 0.11
Thrust Angle Spec -0.25-0.25 Actual 0.00

It was nice to see that the Jeep’s lift after using the proper suspension correcting components (see right) does not affect the alignment. Ever since we installed the first lift on the JK we have experiences the slightest pull to the right. It was hoped that the alignment would reveal something but it didn’t so the pull remains a mystery and will go down as it’s a Jeep thing.

Review of the Jeep’s suspension.

The JK is equipped with a 3″ BDS lift, drop rear track bar bracket, front adjustable track bar, and caster adjusting lower control arm bolts.