97 TJ Road walk/Loose steering w/ lift (pics) - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 06-09-2014, 04:59 PM   #1
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97 TJ Road walk/Loose steering w/ lift (pics)

OK so bare with me here. I'm new to the wrangler platform and just picked up my first. 97 TJ 4.0 5 speed. It has a 4" lift with 3" body lift with 35s. It has really loose steering and I know you'll have a little bit of that when you lift. I have read on the forums.before I posted and a lot of people point to a drop pitman arm that is usually the culprit for the bad handling. Not having a stock one to compare it to, I'm not sure If the one on mine is stock or dropped. So I attached pics. Overlook the filthiness as I had it off road. The first is a straight on view, then a shot from driver to passenger side, then just one of the pitman arm. Any info would be appreciated
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Old 06-09-2014, 05:08 PM   #2
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Yes, that's a drop pitman arm.
The loose steering could be several other things as well though.
One method to check your tie rod ends and stuff would be to lay under the front and have someone steer back and forth and look for play in the ends.
Of course on mine the steering box bolts were about to fall off and the box itself was shot, which we also found by looking around under there while someone turned the wheel back and forth.

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Old 06-09-2014, 10:03 PM   #3
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Yeah I'm going to order a factory pitman arm and put it back on. Seems the pivot points will be closer to parallel once I do
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:07 PM   #4
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just add a bunch of grease to all the fittings and over torque it all. hehehehehe

but yeah what steelrfn said about wigglin it while you're under it.
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BadKrma View Post
just add a bunch of grease to all the fittings and over torque it all. hehehehehe

but yeah what steelrfn said about wigglin it while you're under it.
Why yeah. When in doubt, just torque it even tighter lol
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:45 PM   #6
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Ok so ive been doing more reading and read that anything over 4" needed the dropped pitman arm. Is this true? Can anyone with more expertise than me confirm or deny that? It looks like i dont need it when looking at the pictures but im not sure
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by pea_jay View Post
Ok so ive been doing more reading and read that anything over 4" needed the dropped pitman arm. Is this true? Can anyone with more expertise than me confirm or deny that? It looks like i dont need it when looking at the pictures but im not sure
4 3/4" lift and my pitman arm is stock spec

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Old 06-15-2014, 01:48 PM   #8
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You don't necessarily need the dropped arm at any certain lift, it seems to vary from jeep to jeep.
You can try swapping back to a normal arm and see how it affects your problem, but I would try the watching the steering linkages thing first. No need to make major changes before seeing if the problem is just wear on components.
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Old 06-15-2014, 03:32 PM   #9
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The ONLY time a dropped pitman arm should be used is if the frame side of the track bar has been dropped by the same amount. Since yours isn't, your dropped pitman arm is most likely producing severe bump steer.

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