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Old 05-26-2011, 05:54 PM   #1
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Advice, reassurance needed!

I just bought a great 2005 Jeep Wrangler with 19,000 miles. This is my only vehicle and I wanted it for beach driving but also to drive as my main transportation. I bought the Jeep in Denver and we went to Grand Lake this weekend.

All went well until heading back into Denver on highway 25 and 470. I felt really uncomfortable with these highway speeds and felt a kind of chattering and loss of traction whenever the road showed areas of uneven wear.

Any advice on road speeds that can be achieved with the Wrangler. Can a wrangler be a complete vehicle. Should I put on different tires. The owner had changed the wheels and tires. I will look up the details and post.

I grew up on a ranch, have driven trucks, had a VW bug for years so I amnot looking or expecting a luxury ride but I do want to feel in control at 65-70 mph to drive in traffic .

Please tell me I didn't make a huge mistake or should I consider going back to dealer and see what they can do -- maybe swap out for a liberty. I bought this last week so I am really looking for honest advice from Wrangler owners!

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Old 05-26-2011, 05:58 PM   #2
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What size tires and what psi?

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Old 05-26-2011, 05:59 PM   #3
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Don't swap it out JoniSPI. Put up some details so we may help pinpoint the issue. Maybe just a bad road?! Have you driven on, what you know is, a good road?
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:35 PM   #4
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There could be a hundred different minor issues. We need more details to help. Does it have a lift? What size tires? Are they balanced? Are the mugs properly torqued?

19k on a '05? Are you sure?
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:16 PM   #5
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You did not make a huge mistake.
It is not a typical Jeep thing to be scary at highway speeds.

Give some more details and the members here will help get your issues sorted out.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by daggo66 View Post
There could be a hundred different minor issues.
This.....OR your just not accustomed to the way a Jeep Wrangler handles at highway speeds. They don't handle like cars..they don't handle like trucks...they handle like a Wrangler. Short wheelbase, square shape, weight, solid axles..are all contributors to unique handling of a wrangler.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:05 PM   #7
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Where I live, pretty much anywhere I want to go, a freeway is the quickest route. My Wrangler handles great at freeway speeds, with 31" tires and (currently) no lift. I've take frequent trips up north, 250-300 miles one way, at speeds of 65-70 mph. That being said, unless time is of the essence, I prefer to take slower country roads because it's just so darn much fun to drive my Wrangler. I have found since getting my Wrangler that I really enjoy driving a lot more. I often joke with my wife and son that my Wrangler doesn't go over 50 mph...but that's because I'm just not in any hurry to get anywhere.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:59 PM   #8
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Thanks to all of you.

The owner did not drive this much and kept it in garage, seat covers and so it is a unique buy -- thus the low mileage.

Apparently he wanted the Sahara limited edition but was unable to find one so he outfitted this one to look like the Sahara model -- replaced the fenders with the khaki powder-coat fenders and replaced the stock wheels with Rubicon wheels from discount tire in a "corduroy" color powder coat.

Tires were rotated at 4490 miles, 9000 miles and 11950 miles.

New tires at 14,800 miles

In his records he refers to 100 ft lbs What does this mean?

All terrain tires by Goodyear.

I need to check out specs tomorrow.

Would the larger tires affect the highway performance?

Dfry, I agree completely about the trip being part of the fun and I really don't look for high speed highway driving, but it is a necessity at times. I am glad to hear this is not that big a deal if I get used to it and make sure my tires are appropriate.

Now, if I can figure out where to stow my groceries and the dogs I hope I will become a happy jeep driver.

I will grab all my tire specs when I go out in the morning. Again thanks for your help.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:03 PM   #9
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100 ft lbs torque on the wheel lugs probably.
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:58 PM   #10
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I know when I got mine back in Aug of last year I had a bit a shack at highway speeds and it took me a while to find out what was causing the issue and it was the fact the tires where aired up to 50psi which was the max psi for my tire and so I lowered it down to 30 or 35 I can't remember which and since then it hasn't had any problems with highway speeds.
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:24 AM   #11
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I'm on 33's BFG M/T and they do fine on the high way, I just don't go over 60 for my own saftey concerns.
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:03 AM   #12
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The type of tread your tires have and the pressure in them has a lot of effect on how a vehicle handles. I assume your jeep is a two door. The very short wheelbase amplifies any effect on handling and the jeep also has a fast steering ratio which does the same thing. The road surface has a big effect also.

My jeep handles 70 mph just fine and I've had it to 80 a few times and it was still good but I really don't like to drive it that fast. It's just doesn't feel right somehow. Now when I'm driving my wife's lexus 75-80 mph feels goood.
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:23 AM   #13
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may be looking totally wrong-but you had no problems till started home? Is it possible you may have picked up some mud/clay while in the Grand Lake area? Inside wheels or tire? Unless you took a different route on the way there-kinda surprised that the Jeep would drive "differently", unless something was different-speed - maybe driving faster coming home?

Highway speeds are not an issue in a properly prepared and maintained Jeep-even with a little lift and slightly bigger tires. My TJ with 31's and an OME lift will weekly see speeds of 70-75 for a few miles coming home from work. And about every 2-3 months Interstate speeds for a couple hours at a time. It is not made for 80 mph but think it could-but am perfectly fine with 65-75mph 'cept for the gas price!!
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:23 PM   #14
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Joni, sounds like your tires are due for rotation. My manual says to torque the wheel nuts to 95-ft/lbs. Both over-inflated and under-inflated tires can impact performance at highway speeds, so be sure to check inflation. When you let us know your tire size and type, we can give you an idea of how many psi of air you should be using. Some good quality pics would be nice too. Do you know if your Jeep has a lift?

Regarding dogs and groceries...I removed my rear seat, semi-permanently. My two golden retrievers fit in the back just fine now, or a bunch of groceries, couple 40lb bags of Iams, water softener salt, etc. I recently replaced my rear bumper with a much better-than-stock bumper that as a 2-in receiver built in. Future plans include buying a Hitch Hauler for it when I need extra space to haul stuff. There are several other options for adding extra storage/hauling space. All depends on how YOU want to outfit YOUR Jeep!! .

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Old 05-27-2011, 02:41 PM   #15
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I remember noticing the difference in handling when I first test drove my Jeep and could tell that I needed to get used to it.

My Jeep is my only vehical. My dog and grocery hauls are both small. However, I use my Jeep like a truck, when necessary. I've hauled 20 bags of 3 Cu Mulch and ~500lbs of stone in the back with the back seat taken out (not at the same time).

I recently built a custom fit pallet to sit in the back of my Jeep. That way the bricks and mulch hauls sit an inch or two above my amp, which was installed to sit beneath my back seat. It's not fancy or anything, but it's been very effective for me since. A bonus side effect I've found for it is additional storage! I've started keeping my tree straps, spare rags, jumper cables, even extra old clothes in the separation where the pallet forks would go. (This wasn't actually designed to be used with a pallet/fork lift, but the design is the same as one, just smaller to fit in my Jeep and cover my amp, ~31"x34")

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Old 05-29-2011, 10:31 AM   #16
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Thanks for all the positive comments. Now I am not only excited about my new Jeep that I have wanted forever, but am surprised to find such a great community of people willing to offer advice and encouragement.

Part of my problem was probably related to being tired after several days in the mtns., changing driving speeds after several days averaging 30-40 mph to hitting the long downhill approach into Denver from the mountains at dusk and dark (a hard time for me to drive under the best conditions) with a lot of traffic.

In reviewing the records of my new Jeep i think the reason for the low mileage is that the owner used it almost exclusively off-road since the towing info in the manual is highlighted and bookmarked. With that in mind, my guess is the tires were selected for off-road use. This may also explain the less than stellar gas mileage I achieved on our short road trip.

I plan to run up to my local Discount tire and check out the rotation, alignment, psi, and talk to them about tire selection before I start my trip back to South Padre Island.

I also appreciate all the comments about using your Jeeps for hauling stuff -- I own a bookstore and am always picking up boxes of books wherever I go and am glad to hear I can find ways to accommodate the need for packing my vehicle full of stuff.

It is going to be fun to make my Jeep a reflection of my personality and in our small island town I look forward to having everyone recognize that -- there goes the crazy bookstore lady with the bookends (my two Shih Tzus).

And best of all I can't wait to get to the undeveloped north beach.

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:23 AM   #17
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I'm in Denver as well...

And no...you definitely didnt make a huge mistake. The mistake would have been getting a liberty.

Do you have a family (kids/etc)???

If not, you could remove your rear seat...gives you TONS more room. I did that to my TJ a week after getting it and havent regretted it at all. I even sold it and the seat belts lol.

Makes it way easier to get stuff in and out of the back, plenty of room for groceries n stuff, as well as plenty of room for the dogs.

The jeep will never do "awesome" on the highway because its not exactly the most aerodynamic vehicle ever, but it will do just fine...in town it'll be great as well.

Good choice...especially with that few of miles...wish i had seen it lol
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:12 PM   #18
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maybe you could meet up with owen or another denver area member and let them ride with you. then they can tell you if it's a normal type of control or something else.
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:24 PM   #19
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Ya im up in Thornton and wouldnt mind taking a look at it. I also have a few jeeper buddies that are more experience than I am that wouldnt mind helping out.

it wasnt a mistake and to consider a liberty . Congrats on your wrangler though your going to love it
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:26 PM   #20
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I'm game if you wanna swing over...

you can also check out how much more room you have without a rear seat...

I'm at Hampden/I25

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