1. '78 cj5: Won't drive straight.

    4" lift, new 33's all around, new steering gear box, all new suspension and bushings, fresh from alignment saying all tight. At 25 to 30 mph I can barely hold it on the road! Has a mind of its own and wanders side to side. First cj and not sure where to go from here. Any thoughts? Thanks in Advance.

  2. #2

    Re: '78 cj5: Won't drive straight.

    Did the alignment shop give you the alignment specs? Curious what your caster is set at.

    So you have stock length shackles or longer?

    The alignment may be tight but you still want to check the condition of your tierod ends and your steering shaft joints.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Albany~town, Oregon

    Re: '78 cj5: Won't drive straight.

    When I got new tires (KM2's) a couple of years ago on 'Black Betty' I took 'er to a shop I've known since the '70's that had a well known good reputation. Well, of late it seemed that they were riding on their former reputation as 'BB' steered even worse without the alignment. Taking it back they remarked that if they adjusted the toe in to where it'd be easier to steer it'd cause premature wear on the tires. Doubting this was the case I searched my local go-to auto repair ship manager and he reccomended a front end shop in the next town~now 'BB' handles like a fine tuned sedan and tracks as straight as can be. What's more they installed an HD steering box brace and pitman arm, although most auto shops frown on people binging in their own parts. This shop is now my go-to shop on stuff I'm too busy to repair or lack the tools/knowledge of.
    Quick fixes are so named for how long they stay fixed.
    If you run out of gas, no matter which way you decide to push, the closest gas station will always be uphill and in the other direction. Corollary: The likelihood of running out increases when all of the nearby gas stations are closed.
    The parts shop that stocks part for Skylab II will not have parts for our year/model of Jeep.
    We cannot accurately judge the trajectory of a speeding critter (cat, dog, sasquatch).

  4. #4

    Re: '78 cj5: Won't drive straight.

    Hey Bounty Hunter, caster at -1.7 and 6" lift oversized shackles.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    N. of Spokane summers, Las Vegas winters

    Re: '78 cj5: Won't drive straight.

    Get rid of the long shackles.. for starters..
    I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather,
    not screaming in terror like the passengers in his

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Re: '78 cj5: Won't drive straight.

    The 6" long shackles are what is making it wander on the road. I recomend getting rid of them, or at least cut 4" out of them and drill new holes for the bolts. They are too long and change the caster by actually tilting your axle when adding the long shackles. The "MAX" recommended length of extended shackles is 2" longer than stock, which will yeild you about 1" of lift. At 2" and longer, you can start having handling issues as you are discribing. After you get the shackles handled I would highly recommend a steering box brace.

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