Diagnosing Death Wobble and Fixing Non-DW Shimmies and Wobbles - Page 13 - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:52 PM   #361
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The Synergy sector shaft and frameside trackbar bracket brace are a good upgrade.

I still prefer a weld on solution for ovaled holes.

One guy told me he jammed a piece of hardwood in his bracket to prevent splatter, then welded the holes closed, then used a flap wheel to clean it up, then drilled new holes. That works as an option. Although, welding on heavy duty washers is pretty easy.

For the axle side bracket, washers work. You can cut off and replace the bracket with a new weld on one. You could do the bolt on one linked above.

However, if you do a bracket that raises the axle side trackbar mount, you want to also do a flipped drag link. If you run a flipped drag link, you need at least 3" front extended bumpstops to keep the drag link from hitting the frame when the passenger side suspension stuffs. To run 3" extended bumpstops, you usually want a 3" lift.

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Old 04-10-2013, 09:08 PM   #362
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Hmmm very interesting...i see now.

Im out of town but im just concerned because i only have a welding/cutting torch. Dont want to torch anything else.

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Old 04-11-2013, 12:06 AM   #363
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An exhaust shop might charge you one hour in labor to weld on washers.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:18 AM   #364
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Installed a Northridge 4X4 Grade 8 up grade kit on my 2013 JKUR with 700 miles. Had to grind on one of the trackbar bushings to get 9/16 bolt in. The wear must start at day 1. Great thread, Thanks!
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:16 AM   #365
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Planman, thanks for your input. I definately respect every piece of information I have ever watched, or read of yours. You are an "elder" of the jeep community
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:18 PM   #366
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I've read the first posts and feel informed. I did the grade 8 bolt upgrade from Northridge several weeks back when i did my 2.5" lift. Thanks Planman.

I guess this is more of cautionary tale.

I just had a re-gear, c-gussets and sleeves done on my Jeep. All of that involves dropping the front axle and disconnecting the track bar and some other bars too. When I left and hit the highway the steering felt flighty and loose. I had been driving an old pick up with no power steering so at first I thought I was just not used to the power steering. It felt loose the whole way home and right before I got to my apt. the steering wheel shook violently and I had to slow down (not stop) to get it to stop shaking.

I got home and crawled under my Jeep to find that the 4x4 shop forgot to re-install the passenger side track bar NUT. The bolt was in place but no nut. Luckily I had some extra nuts and bolts in the back of the Jeep and got a nut installed. I then checked the hardware on the rest of the track bar front and rear, as well as all the control arms.

I took the Jeep out on the highway and have not had an issue in the short time I drove up and down the highway. So I think I had the beginning of DW or maybe 'DW Light' but quick action has hopefully solved this issue.

Now my steering wheel is not centered but that's not a hard issue to fix.

Lesson: DO NOT TRUST ANY SHOP! If you have shop work done ANYWHERE be sure to check all your hardware after it is completed. And if possible check it all on THEIR property so they can fix anything that is not right before you leave. Checking all the bolts should only take 15mins or less.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:17 PM   #367
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I totally agree. shops see vehicles as hours and dollar signs. I see my jeep as a vehicle that transports the most important parts of my life.
Check, double check and ask questions. people dont ask enough questions at shops.
i bought the year long alignment package at tire discounters. and i seriously stood there for twenty minutes talking to the desk guy, asked to speak with the mechanic doing the alignment and even changed the cam bolts right in their parking lot to save myself 90 bucks for the hour of labor. WHY NOT....

There are so many horror stories with shops, but luckily i have a tire discounters and in the employee parking sits two lifted, most of the time, muddy jeeps. makes me feel comfy about the alignment thing

OTHER THAN THAT, i DONT TAKE IT TO A SHOP. the jeep club i am in is full of long time jeep "elders" and we all help each other with upgrades fixes
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:24 PM   #368
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So guys it turns out my frame side trackbar bracket is not wallowed out whatsoever. And even if it was, its so low i could torch weld it if i needed to anyway....

Only the axle side is wallowed out....and only a little bit at that. With a 9/16 shoulder bolt it fits like the stock bolts fit in the trackbar bushings. Welding a washer will be perfect for it.

Shocks were completely trashed. Rancho 9000s too, felt like such a waste to throw them away. Steering stabilizer was even worse, and didnt have any obvious damage at all. Looked brand new. But had no dampening ability at all. I installed rancho 5000 shocks and a rancho steering stabilizer.

Everything else seems tight.

I also discovered a dealer who was knowledgable about jeeps and death wobble. Its a mazda dealer, but they were a chrysler dealer for 60 years until the bailout crap. Of course they were also trying to tell me steering stabilizers cause it and that body lifts are better than spring lifts. But they did acknowledge that it is caused by a general looseness in the front end. They even had a customer jeep there for death wobble. And most of the employees drive jeeps...lmfao... the service writer took me to the employee parking lot and showed me a few customized TJs. Its siemans in st joseph mich by the way....

Im still waiting on quadratec....
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:59 PM   #369
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CiDZillA View Post
I've read the first posts and feel informed. I did the grade 8 bolt upgrade from Northridge several weeks back when i did my 2.5" lift. Thanks Planman.

I guess this is more of cautionary tale.

I just had a re-gear, c-gussets and sleeves done on my Jeep. All of that involves dropping the front axle and disconnecting the track bar and some other bars too. When I left and hit the highway the steering felt flighty and loose. I had been driving an old pick up with no power steering so at first I thought I was just not used to the power steering. It felt loose the whole way home and right before I got to my apt. the steering wheel shook violently and I had to slow down (not stop) to get it to stop shaking.

I got home and crawled under my Jeep to find that the 4x4 shop forgot to re-install the passenger side track bar NUT. The bolt was in place but no nut. Luckily I had some extra nuts and bolts in the back of the Jeep and got a nut installed. I then checked the hardware on the rest of the track bar front and rear, as well as all the control arms.

I took the Jeep out on the highway and have not had an issue in the short time I drove up and down the highway. So I think I had the beginning of DW or maybe 'DW Light' but quick action has hopefully solved this issue.

Now my steering wheel is not centered but that's not a hard issue to fix.

Lesson: DO NOT TRUST ANY SHOP! If you have shop work done ANYWHERE be sure to check all your hardware after it is completed. And if possible check it all on THEIR property so they can fix anything that is not right before you leave. Checking all the bolts should only take 15mins or less.
You probably have a good steering stabilizer. No trackbar nut at all shouldve caused full on dw. Infact i bet they had put it on finger tight and it fell off when you were driving. My dw was originally caused by a drag link that almost fell off (!!!!!!!!). My steering stabilizer was ok before i had dw, dw killed it...

My dw did damage to trackbar bushings and bolt holes and a control arm mount, which made the dw continue after i tightened the drag link......... i had it happen on interstate 94 at 70 mph though. I nearly wrecked as it was.
.
did i mention they had replaced my entire axle assembly? Sounds just like what happened to you....

Imagine if my drag link had actually fallen off. I could have had a roll over in the middle of the freeway with very little warning at all........

thats what i get
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:43 PM   #370
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Hi guys just picked up a '13 2dr Sport. What would be the best preemptive plan of attack here?

Buy one of the bigger bolt kits you guys have been talking about, or should I get the track bar relocation bracket? Will using bigger bolts prevent the hole from opening up, or will it just slow down the process?
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:19 PM   #371
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beardacus View Post
Hi guys just picked up a '13 2dr Sport. What would be the best preemptive plan of attack here?

Buy one of the bigger bolt kits you guys have been talking about, or should I get the track bar relocation bracket? Will using bigger bolts prevent the hole from opening up, or will it just slow down the process?
Brand new jeep? Never had a death wobble? Just swap the trackbar bolts for grade 8 9/16x3" shoulder bolts with grade 8 nuts and washers. these are the proper size for the holes and will not damage the holes like the factory bolts. Torque them to over 125 foot pounds. Should cost $20 if you already have a torque wrench.

Those relocation brackets are only really for guys with big lifts. I have a 2.5 inch lift and dont need one.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:52 AM   #372
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So guys it turns out my frame side trackbar bracket is not wallowed out whatsoever. And even if it was, its so low i could torch weld it if i needed to anyway....

Only the axle side is wallowed out....and only a little bit at that. With a 9/16 shoulder bolt it fits like the stock bolts fit in the trackbar bushings. Welding a washer will be perfect for it.

Shocks were completely trashed. Rancho 9000s too, felt like such a waste to throw them away. Steering stabilizer was even worse, and didnt have any obvious damage at all. Looked brand new. But had no dampening ability at all. I installed rancho 5000 shocks and a rancho steering stabilizer.

Everything else seems tight.

I also discovered a dealer who was knowledgable about jeeps and death wobble. Its a mazda dealer, but they were a chrysler dealer for 60 years until the bailout crap. Of course they were also trying to tell me steering stabilizers cause it and that body lifts are better than spring lifts. But they did acknowledge that it is caused by a general looseness in the front end. They even had a customer jeep there for death wobble. And most of the employees drive jeeps...lmfao... the service writer took me to the employee parking lot and showed me a few customized TJs. Its siemans in st joseph mich by the way....

Im still waiting on quadratec....

it would have hurt to throw those rancho 9000s out.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:07 AM   #373
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Brand new jeep? Never had a death wobble? Just swap the trackbar bolts for grade 8 9/16x3" shoulder bolts with grade 8 nuts and washers. these are the proper size for the holes and will not damage the holes like the factory bolts. Torque them to over 125 foot pounds. Should cost $20 if you already have a torque wrench.

Those relocation brackets are only really for guys with big lifts. I have a 2.5 inch lift and dont need one.
Thanks for the info. Can you recommend place that sells a specific bolts kit that has everything necessary?

Not sure if it changes my options but I do plan on doing a TF leveling kit and 33's sometime this spring.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:15 PM   #374
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it would have hurt to throw those rancho 9000s out.
Yeah it sucked. But im aware that i have little use for that kind of performance shock. I still have 9000s on the back, they look ok still. and the fronts were about as useful as hood struts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Beardacus View Post
Thanks for the info. Can you recommend place that sells a specific bolts kit that has everything necessary?

Not sure if it changes my options but I do plan on doing a TF leveling kit and 33's sometime this spring.
Theres a bit of an upcharge to buy it in a kit, just go to a hardware store, i gave you the sizes. its only two bolts and nuts and 4 washers.

Make sure to unbolt the trackbar when you put that leveling kit in, and rebolt it and torque to 125 ft lb at ride height.....or youll get dw...
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:19 AM   #375
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I don't really have much to add that's constructive today. But I was following a brand new jku today with what looked like a 2 inch lift and 35s. I could be wrong. And it was violently swerving back and forth. It was scaring me just watching. The speed limit was only 50km/h. It swerved back and forth about two times. Then straightened out. About 2 seconds later it started again. Needless to say the lady driving it stopped at the McDonald's to clean her pants. I'm not sure this was death wobble or a distracted driver...

Being a fellow jeeper I was going to stop and talk to her but I thought other wise as I'm sure she was in no mood to talk to a stranger.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:55 PM   #376
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A print out of this thread should come in the owners manual
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:25 PM   #377
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A print out of this thread should come in the owners manual
I agree. chrysler knows that as a wrangler community we modify the ride height with lift kits. They should at least do a little bit of research and give a little advice on what parts need to be upgraded or changed in order to lift it safely
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:37 PM   #378
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Good point. Has anyone had problems with the bolt size at stock height though?
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:03 PM   #379
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Good point. Has anyone had problems with the bolt size at stock height though?
Likely, most people who have had problems are stock, because they have not periodically retorqued the stock bolt.

People who install lifts generally know to periodically retorque suspension bolts.

The size by itself isn't the problem.

The problems are:

1-When the stock bolt looses torque--due to the suspension cycling, metal fatigue, insufficient torque from the factory, etc.--the smaller bolt facilitates ovaling the bracket holes and damaging other front end parts.

2-The stock bolt is fully threaded instead of shouldered. This allows the threads to eat away at the bushing sleeve--creating even bigger size disparity.
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:19 AM   #380
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Should we use thread-locker when installing our new suspension bolts/nuts?
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:48 PM   #381
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Should we use thread-locker when installing our new suspension bolts/nuts?
No. 125 ft lbs torque with fine thread grade 8 bolts is more likely to lose torque spec from a stretched bolt or metal fatigue of the bracket and bushing bolt sleeve than the nut backing off.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:26 PM   #382
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So i got a good used trackbar installed. No death wobble. Jeep drives great. I also put 33s on the jeep while it had been down. Of course this is the first time ive ever driven a vehicle that i could see my own tires while driving. My front tires look like theyre wobbling a little but i dont feel anything at all. Wtf?
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:33 AM   #383
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I dont know if this has already been covered in this forum but here's my dilemma and 11 pages is too long to read through. I recently had the suspension upgraded on my 2011 JK Wrangler Unlimited 30000 kms on the clock. The upgrade lifted the Wrangler 2.5 to 3 inches and they put on a heavy duty steering damper at the same time. When driving home I hit about 80kms/hr and hit a few little bumps and just about crapped myself when the steering wheel nearly shook out of my hands and I thought the front end was going to fall off. I was horrified to say the least at what I was to find out was death wobble. To cut a long story short I took the JK back to the installer and we had castor checcked, wheel balance done (several times) to no avail. I had them put the old steering damper back on and hey presto the problem was aleviated but not completely fixed. It will still go into a death wobble when hitting a descent bump at speed and a lot of feedback in the steering wheel. We then installed another damper which was adjustable and stiffer than the stock one. Upon a test drive the problem had become worse again, put the stock damper back on and better again. The onlt thing I can put my finger on being different in the stock damper and the adjustable one is that you have to move the connecting bracket out further along the tierod as it about 1.5 inches longer. I have since installed adjustable lower control arms and an adjustable heavy duty track bar, replacing the bolts with those suggested by Planman (I have read through his posts). My theory at the moment is that maybe the coil springs that were installed are too stiff? I am still no closer to solving the problem so I am putting it out there for suggestions. I hope someone can help!!!
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:20 PM   #384
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I have a similar size lift on my jeep. I doubt its the springs.

Are you torquing down the control arms and trackbar at ride height? What is the caster set at?

Steering damper wont cause death wobble and if anything a stiffer one would make it better for a while.

Trackbar bolt hokes ovalled out? Torqued to 125 ft/lb? Control arm mounts still securely welded to frame?
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:23 PM   #385
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Originally Posted by Gilly70 View Post
I dont know if this has already been covered in this forum but here's my dilemma and 11 pages is too long to read through. I recently had the suspension upgraded on my 2011 JK Wrangler Unlimited 30000 kms on the clock. The upgrade lifted the Wrangler 2.5 to 3 inches and they put on a heavy duty steering damper at the same time. When driving home I hit about 80kms/hr and hit a few little bumps and just about crapped myself when the steering wheel nearly shook out of my hands and I thought the front end was going to fall off. I was horrified to say the least at what I was to find out was death wobble. To cut a long story short I took the JK back to the installer and we had castor checcked, wheel balance done (several times) to no avail. I had them put the old steering damper back on and hey presto the problem was aleviated but not completely fixed. It will still go into a death wobble when hitting a descent bump at speed and a lot of feedback in the steering wheel. We then installed another damper which was adjustable and stiffer than the stock one. Upon a test drive the problem had become worse again, put the stock damper back on and better again. The onlt thing I can put my finger on being different in the stock damper and the adjustable one is that you have to move the connecting bracket out further along the tierod as it about 1.5 inches longer. I have since installed adjustable lower control arms and an adjustable heavy duty track bar, replacing the bolts with those suggested by Planman (I have read through his posts). My theory at the moment is that maybe the coil springs that were installed are too stiff? I am still no closer to solving the problem so I am putting it out there for suggestions. I hope someone can help!!!
You only need to read posts 1-2 on the first page an watch the 2 videos.

You do not need to read this entire thread.

It isn't your springs.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:38 AM   #386
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I've been dealing with a shake. Well more like a handling issues for some time now. All speeds this happens. Bumps/uneven road it really feels like the tires are fighting themselves. I really think it is a alignment issue. I just had a alignment done to basically see where I was at.
Caster 3.9- 4.0
Toe in 3/16 (a little more than I wanted)
Caster 0.3 - 0.6 (negative)
Nothing looks bad at all. Rear thrust angle was good.
All I have for arms is TF Lowers with new joints, grade 8 hardware torqued at ride height.
TF front and Rk rear track bar, synergy ball joints highsteer kit and tie rod. Looked over the front end a few times and everything seems solid.

Undecided where I am going next. All I can say is dealing with this can get very frustrating. 2 jeeper friends took a look and we are at a loss
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:17 PM   #387
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I've been dealing with a shake. Well more like a handling issues for some time now. All speeds this happens. Bumps/uneven road it really feels like the tires are fighting themselves. I really think it is a alignment issue. I just had a alignment done to basically see where I was at.
Caster 3.9- 4.0
Toe in 3/16 (a little more than I wanted)
Caster 0.3 - 0.6 (negative)
Nothing looks bad at all. Rear thrust angle was good.
All I have for arms is TF Lowers with new joints, grade 8 hardware torqued at ride height.
TF front and Rk rear track bar, synergy ball joints highsteer kit and tie rod. Looked over the front end a few times and everything seems solid.

Undecided where I am going next. All I can say is dealing with this can get very frustrating. 2 jeeper friends took a look and we are at a loss
Front upper control arm bushings at the axle side?

3/16" toe in is way too much and would cause your tires to have a feathered wear pattern--causing problems as well.

You would benefit by running 4.5* caster.

Too much toe-in and too little caster, combined with worn front upper control arm bushings would result in your described symptoms.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:46 PM   #388
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I should have added. I wrote down 1/8 and he came back with .09 per side. This was last weekend and I brought the toe out to 1/16-1/8"

I can try turning out my lowers 1 turn. I am running a front DS so pinion is a concern too.

Bushings "look" and feel good. How can I tell if they're bad ?
Def not dry rotted or anything,
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:45 PM   #389
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I should have added. I wrote down 1/8 and he came back with .09 per side. This was last weekend and I brought the toe out to 1/16-1/8"

I can try turning out my lowers 1 turn. I am running a front DS so pinion is a concern too.

Bushings "look" and feel good. How can I tell if they're bad ?
Def not dry rotted or anything,
To check the bushings, you would disconnect an upper arm, then use a socket extension or big screw driver to push through the bushing bolt sleeve so that you can then leverage it forward-and-back and up-and-down to look for separation of the bolt sleeve from the bushing or of the bushing from the housing.

This is how you check all rubber bushings.

I don't remember how much lift you are running, but unless you have 6" springs, more than 4 degrees caster should be okay for the pinion angle.

You should be toe-in. I understand that this is what you meant.
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His: 07 JK Rub 2 dri, 6 spd, 5.38s in Currie RJ 60s, 4.5" Trailmaster long arm with 99" wheelbase, 40" Xterrains on ATX Slabs, River Raider cage, RIPPd
Hers: 08 JK Rubi 4 dr, auto, 5.38s, Teraflex LA w/ORE/King coilovers, 37" STTs on WE beadlocks, RIPPd
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:58 AM   #390
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planman View Post

To check the bushings, you would disconnect an upper arm, then use a socket extension or big screw driver to push through the bushing bolt sleeve so that you can then leverage it forward-and-back and up-and-down to look for separation of the bolt sleeve from the bushing or of the bushing from the housing.

This is how you check all rubber bushings.

I don't remember how much lift you are running, but unless you have 6" springs, more than 4 degrees caster should be okay for the pinion angle.

You should be toe-in. I understand that this is what you meant.


I am around 3.5" on lift. Maybe a bit more. Toe in yes. What I meant was I brought the toe out from 3/16 to 1/8 "in"

Ill def check these bushings out. Only way I've checked them was with a crow bar and visual for cracking.

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