i would love to see pics or more tips/tricks to setting them up this way...and does this require totally level ground? where are you measuring from?
shop i have access to is nice but the floor is crooked as shit. and still lots to learn over here
In a perfect world all our floors would be dead level but we all know that just isn't reality. Hell, in a perfect world our jeeps would all be dead nuts square and our mounting brackets would be perfectly in alignment too. haha
Just try to do this on as level of a floor as you can. If it's like your trying to do it on a rock garden then things won't end up very good in the end. A little out won't kill you though.
Don't drive yourself too crazy with this. To do this in your garage or carport should be a pretty painless job. Your simply doing the alignment shops job here and as most of us know, the alignment shops suck and really don't care about getting things as they should be. We should all know how to do a basic alignment on these pigs in order to keep them running smooth.
There are a few reference points on the frame that should be as close to accurate as you can get. The end of the frame, assuming the bumper is off, or one of the crossmembers can be used as a plumb point. Check them for square with a framing square from both sides of the frame and you will find out if they are square or not. You can also just make your own reference marks by squaring across and double checking from both sides. Scribe the marks onto the frame so they are there forever should you need them again in the future.
Ideally you make the marks in front of or behind the axle so that when you level or plumb down you are able to measure off the inboard or outboard side of the axle tube to your plumb line or level.
Once you have reference points it pretty easy to plumb down and see how far out your axle is. Adjusting it of course is only possible with adjustable control arms unless you are using fixed factory CA's and are installing all new CA mounts which isn't a likely thing for someone to be doing. If you are installing new adjustable control arms then start with the recommended length and install both lower arms. The axle will want to roll on you with the upper arms out and your driveshaft disconnected so just leave the driveshaft connected if your able. Measure both sides from your reference points and adjust one side or the other until the measurement is the same on both sides. Again, make sure you haven't overexteded the threads on whatever flex joint you are using.
Making adjustment from this point on should be as simple as removing the CA and turning the flex joint in or out equal amounts of turns on both sides to move the axle equally in or out. Adjust your pinion angle with one of the upper CA's and once set, simply adjust the other upper CA to whatever length is needed to easily slide the bolt in place. Of course you may need to adjust the lowers in or out a little depending on your setup but you probably already figured that out.
Basically this process is no different than adjusting your axle to one side or the other with the panhard. If you think of it that way it will probably make it easier for you to visualize. This is the redneck method I use and it seems to work out pretty well and usually doesn't take that long once things are squared up. Cheap insurance that your axles are perpendicular to your frame and therefore running as true as you can get them.