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Old 05-09-2009, 08:41 PM   #1
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ball joint question relating to DW

Okay so I have been fighting with DW. I took the jeep into the shop, they tell me everything thing is fine. Everything is not fine, they just refused to test drive it far enough to induce DW. So I paid them for their 'services' (balance tires) and took it home. DW not solved by balancing tires.

So I jacked up the front end tonight after doing some research and noticed a couple of things. (a) the track bar (?) I think, was a little loose, so I tightened up the bolt that holds it onto the axle. I have not yet tested to see if this fixed DW, lets hope so. (b) I noticed what I believe to be the ball joint (see image and please correct me if Im wrong) appears to be in poor shape. Should I be concerned about this, and if so, how involved a project is it to replace? Thanks!


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Old 05-09-2009, 08:44 PM   #2
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:47 PM   #3
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But to try to answer your question, try it with the trackbar tightened.

Also, I can't tell for sure what that is in the photo, but it LOOKS like where the drag link connects to the pitman arm...

Is it?
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:48 PM   #4
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yes, thats what Im working off of. I am, however, far from a mechanic, so doing what I can, and banking on some assistance when I need it .
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:51 PM   #5
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It is on the drivers side end of what I believe to be the track bar - see additional photo - it is just left of the spring in the right of the pic.

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Old 05-09-2009, 08:52 PM   #6
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Here, take a look in here too:

Basic Jeep Front End Alignment
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:53 PM   #7
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Amazing diagram, TY much!!
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:57 PM   #8
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and it is on the driver's side end of the track bar....so ball joint? or no?
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:11 PM   #9
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No.

Two things, first can you move the track bar? Not rotate it, but move it side to side?

Also, (sometimes the pics mess up the view) but it LOOKS like your tie rod is bent.

Which if it is, leads me to a couple questions:

When did the DW start? Did you just do something? Go offroading, lift it, rotate tires, etc?

Have you noticed the bent tie rod before? Been that way forever?

Have you greased the front end recently? At all?
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:26 PM   #10
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ok, so not ball joints.

And the tie rod...IS BENT!!!!.....i dont know how I missed that. Thank you for pointing it out. DW has been an issues since, naturally, right after I bought it. Took it in and and they insist everything thing is fine, naturally, but refused to test drive it to a bump that consistently sets it off (you just proved how incompetent that shop is, they missed the tie rod bend, like I did). The 2nd pic I took not too long after I bought the jeep, so my guess is it has been like that since I bought it.

And no, I have not greased the front end - Im assuming I need to do that, otherwise you wouldnt have mentioned it?

Thanks again for bearing with me here!
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:31 PM   #11
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No problem.

So, I recommend (my recommendations should be taken as a way to start with the cheap/easy stuff first so not to replace just fine junk) that you grease everthing and make sure all is well and that the track bar rotates a bit but doesn't move.

Then, get a new tie rod (and probably ends for it too) and replace it. If you can, realign it using the instructions in the post above or have an alignment done.

Then, see if your DW goes away. By the way, I doubt that a shop that doesn't notice the bent tie rod prolly doesn't balance tires very well either...but if you still have it after this, check back with us.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:41 PM   #12
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ok, thanks again for help. Last question, then I will go away, promise

Is replacing the tie rod pretty straight forward, or worth paying someone who knows what they are doing to replace? I have no mechanical background, so if its anything but easy, I will probably take it to a shop (a different one).
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:45 PM   #13
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Got some sockets and a BFG (The B is big and the H is hammer) a grease gun and a couple hours to kill? You are in. You'll also need some needlenose to remove the pins but it's pretty straight forward. Easy is a general term I hesitate to use as some things are SUPPOSED to be easy, but...

You can find instructions with a web search or we can walk you thru as most of the detail is already here.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevens243 View Post
Got some sockets and a BFG (The B is big and the H is hammer) a grease gun and a couple hours to kill? You are in. You'll also need some needlenose to remove the pins but it's pretty straight forward. Easy is a general term I hesitate to use as some things are SUPPOSED to be easy, but...

You can find instructions with a web search or we can walk you thru as most of the detail is already here.
So where is the "H" in "BFG"
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:22 PM   #15
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There is no "H" in BFG, dork.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevens243 View Post
Got some sockets and a BFG (The B is big and the H is hammer) ...
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:24 PM   #17
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Too much quake II from back in the day I guess.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:38 PM   #18
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Mall crawlin' in 4 Lo.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:40 PM   #19
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Yeah, beers in the garage with my lapto isn't helpin my typin skills.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:42 PM   #20
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nice

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