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Old 03-01-2012, 01:49 PM   #1
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Steering and suspension issues.

This is the Jeep. I am unsure of the height of the lift and the brand / manufacturer of said lift. I purchased last month just viewing photos online. I flew from west TX to Houston and drove it back 600 or so miles.

When I took ownership of it steering walked a little I expected that from the lift and 35" x 12.0" x 15" inch tires.

My wife informed the steering had become MUCH worse since I last drove it. Got home from a job sat in front of jeep and watched as wife turned steering wheel side to side as jeep sat in driveway.

I have never owned a Suspension lifted vehicle, I dont think this is normal so...

As the steering wheel is turned about 1/2 to 3/4 turn is required to actually turn tires. The suspension is allowing the body to shift side to side until it "bottoms out" laterally then the wheels will begin turning. Is this a bushing / control arm issue, a steering stabilzer issue or what. I need a little guidance and a nudge in the right direction. It was night and I was under jeep with a drop light, I only had a few minutes to inspect before leaving back to work. I will try to post a short video of the side to side motion if wife can manage recording it.

............Jeep is not being driven until this is fixed. So, What gives? (litterally)

Mike
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:49 PM   #2
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I would start following the steering driveline(with her turning the wheel back and forth) from the firewall forward. Be sure to check your steering pitman arm to make sure it is tight and the shaft is not turning in the arm. It is splined, but may have stripped. Keep checking everything all the way to the tie rods. Something should stand out to you. Is there any leaks from your power steering pump? By the way good looking TJ!!

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Old 03-01-2012, 09:38 PM   #3
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Steering into box looked fine. Everything is good, its taking 1/2 turn of wheel before tires begin moving. That 1/2 wrap is being absorbed by Flex / absorbtion of suspension and body. Its very weird.

Thank you on the TJ compliment.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:09 PM   #4
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I am no expert, but I have a thought. Are your drag link and track bar parallel? I know that can cause issues. I am not sure if this will cause the issues you are having, but it might be something to check.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:32 AM   #5
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Is the fluid milky? Or might have air in your steering system, try purging the lines......gremlins tend to hide in the oddest places.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:41 AM   #6
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Fluid is fine. Its nothing in steering box. I can watch the 1/2 round of steering wheel play being absorbed by the suspension / frame / body movement before tires begin turning.

Before I would have to counter road walk with very little counter steer. Now I have to turn steering wheel 1/2 turn to 3/4 turn to keep in my lane.

I will try and get a video posted today showing movement.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:05 AM   #7
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Check all of your knuckles/joints/connections points in both the steering and front suspension. If there's any play at all, the steering could be working overtime to compensate. That would explain the play.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:40 AM   #8
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Your track bar provides the lateral leverage for your steering linkage to turn the tires. Do you see any movement in either end or any flex of the bar itself? Post up a head on picture of your front end so I can see what you're running. This isn't a fluid or steering box issue....it's a rigidity/worn part issue.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imped View Post
Your track bar provides the lateral leverage for your steering linkage to turn the tires. Do you see any movement in either end or any flex of the bar itself? Post up a head on picture of your front end so I can see what you're running. This isn't a fluid or steering box issue....it's a rigidity/worn part issue.

I'm at the Rig right now, these are the only pics I have with me (from phone). I cropped and increased size. Not sure they show enough detail though. I will try and get the wife to send me some close up better detailed pics. Thanks for helping.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:42 PM   #10
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Wife came through with some more pix.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:18 PM   #11
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Jesus Christ, don't drive that thing anymore. Take a look at the frame mount of the track bar....not sure how you laid under that thing and missed that.

It looks like you've got an RE track bar with a frame bracket, which is terrible for clearance. That frame bracket is loose as hell and before you drive that thing out of the driveway, it needs to be properly secured. If it comes loose, you no longer have any control over the steering whatsoever. That track bar is the single link that provides you the means to turn the tires. Without it, the body/frame will just shift side to side over the axles....you can provide all of the steering inputs you want but you won't get an output in return. Along with that main issue, you've still got the stock flimsy steering linkage with the small TRE's and they've likely never been replaced and RE control arms with crappy rubber bushings. Add up all of those issues and there's no wonder your steering is loose as can be. 35" tires aren't friendly to steering or suspension components so relying on sub-par parts like those to properly locate the axle and provide the necessary force is a bad idea.

At a bare minimum, get the track bar mount secure. I still wouldn't consider that rig safe but that's my opinion. You need a track bar that bolts up to the factory frame mount and a stock pitman arm to start. Steering linkage and control arms would be next on the list if you want perfectly tight steering.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:16 PM   #12
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I saw the broken mount when I uploaded pics yesterday, went home and corrected issue better than before. Grinder wheel and wire wheeled prepped, secured bolt and placed four tack welds to fix. (for now)

Input like yours is what Ive needed concerning the current set up with the Tie Rod ends and steering linkage, That will be corrected soon.

You say "RE" control arms. Is that the brand or ???? What brand / style control arms would you suggest as bullet proof replacements. When I had the bracket off sand blasting it I looked at the bushings the mounting bolt went through and was not impressed with its condition. I want to get this undercarriage correct before it sees any more off roading. I purchased this based on photos only, Im OK with the cash I need to pour into this project... I just need some guidance from experienced people like yourself.

The current track bar you said is terrible for clearance, what is the alternative? I am a newbie to this off roading stuff.

Thanks for any more suggestions and guidance.

Mike

Pictures of, or links to a properly set up suspension, brand names of parts or even part #'s would help.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:02 PM   #13
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Good idea on the welds....that mount sees A LOT of force so as long as you're confident in the welds, you're good to go in the mean time.

RE--Rubicon Express. Crappy bushings. I'd recommend taking a look at Savvy Offroad--they use Currie JJ's at both ends, the ideal way to do it. Give Gerald @ Savvy a call and mention the JF discount.

An alternative to your current track bar is one that bolts up to the stock frame mount, not the drop bracket. Currie is also the best way to go with that. You want the 9120TJJ model. Do that, replace the dropped pitman arm with a stock unit and you'll have better steering geometry and more potential up travel.

Not a great view but this is the best picture of my front end I have:


Currie JJ's at all ends, Currie 9120TJJ track bar, Currie steering with the tie rod flipped on top of the driver's side knuckle. Drives as tight and precise as anything else on the road.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:11 AM   #14
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JJ's? Forgive my ignorance and lack of vocabulary concerning jeeps....
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:23 AM   #15
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Johnnie joints. A type of rod end that has great articulation.articulation, damn near bombproof.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:34 AM   #16
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This is what is being suggested then?

Currie Enterprises CE-9701 - Currie CURRECTLYNC® Heavy-Duty Tie Rod System for 84-06 Jeep® Wrangler TJ, Unlimited & Cherokee XJ, MJ - Quadratec

and 2 sets of these

Currie Enterprises CE-9103 - Currie Enterprises Rear Upper Johnny Joint® Control Arms - Quadratec

I searched for savvy offroad in my search engine with no results. If these are what I need I would prefer to purchase from a vendor that supports and advertises on this site.

I saw the "jonnie joint" as I located these control arms.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:09 PM   #17
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Track bar Imped was talking about.
Currie Johnny Joints Suspension TJ LJ

Control arms with Johnny Joints.
Currie Control Arms CE-9100

I'm waiting on some parts from savvy and so far they have been a great company to deal with.

EDIT: Here's an better steering system. It is currently on backorder right now though.
http://shop.savvyoffroad.com/product...4&categoryId=7

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