Centering Axles, How Precise Does It Need To Be?

Aonarch

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I have adjustable front and rear track bars. I set them to the recommended out of the box lengths, and then measured center with the vehicle on the ground.

The front axle is 4mm offset to the passenger side.

The rear axle is 5mm offset to the driver side.

How much wiggle room would a 4x4 alignment pro recommend?
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Mac

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No idea what the recommendation is but can’t you easily exactly center them with the adjustable track bars?
 
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Aonarch

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No idea what the recommendation is but can’t you easily exactly center them with the adjustable track bars?
On my list to do this weekend.

I was just curious what the margin of error is in general.
 
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Aonarch

Aonarch

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Thats pretty close. Gonna shift the moment you sit in it, fill/empty gas tank, load lumber, etc....
My thoughts exactly. I'm measuring with a full tank of gas, but no other load.

I'll still try to get it spot on with a full tank, since that's where 95% of my driving occurs.
 

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Your a mm or less between both sides? leave it
 
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Aonarch

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Aonarch

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Ehh I did it anyways. Took me all of 20 minutes to center front and rear. My stubby impact can reach all of the bolts too, so makes it pretty painless. Then a couple of clicks on a ratchet strap, voila.

Except I had a dumb moment. I forgot that you have to divide the difference by 2, or else you just shift the axle the same amount to the opposite side. I did that with the front axle and quickly realized my mistake.

At a full tank of gas my axles are dead centered, by less than one millimeter.

I also checked my caster, and I'm sitting at 5.9* of positive caster. Close enough to the 6* that I wanted.
 

Joe Dillard

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We use to rough set them at ~1/16" of dead center and call it good. Our customers would sometimes take their rig to an alignment shop afterwards but not always, especially if it was a dedicated trail/race rig.
 

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Not saying what I do is right, but on both my Gladiators with adjustable front and rear track bars, I just lifted each end with the control arms bolts slightly loose , wiggle the axle until any hysteresis movement has settled and then just lowered it down, adjusted the track bar until alignment and then tighten the track bar and control arms back up and call it good.

Have had no crabbing when driving and no abnormal tire wear as a result of doing it this way.

Most solid axles are never perfectly centered by design and will favor the drivers side for the rear the passenger side for the front due to axle wrap torque offset. Your measurements seem to show that also.
 

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That's a small error, but it also depends on which side the error is on. I forget which way it will push when weight is added, if it's to the same direction as it shifts with weight, I would dial it back. If it's on the other side and will shift towards neutral leave it.
 
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Aonarch

Aonarch

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That's a small error, but it also depends on which side the error is on. I forget which way it will push when weight is added, if it's to the same direction as it shifts with weight, I would dial it back. If it's on the other side and will shift towards neutral leave it.
More weight the axles will shift to passenger. I set them dead center with a full fuel tank.
 
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