Can't stop swerving from Median to sholder while driving over 40mph! HELP! - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:58 PM   #1
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Can't stop swerving from Median to sholder while driving over 40mph! HELP!

Ok guys im new to Jeeps and i just bought a 97 Tj with a 4" suspension lift and 33" tires. When i bought it is had a lil road walk to it but controlable. Last week i heard this "ticking" sound from under my jeep. I looked and found that the Knuckle on the front drive shaft was broke and caused the drive shaft to tick. Anyways, I took the front drive shaft off until i can get it fixed and the Jeep handled and drove alot better! I gained like 15mph on its top speed! lol and it handled alot better to! But yesterday it started acting up! I have to drive down the highway to go to work everyday and now when i hit about 40 mph or so i can just be drving and all of a sudden if i hit the slightest dip or bump my Jeep Swerves to the right or left. When i gentley correct the steer i vere to the other side and then back. and if i hit my brakes to slow down then it throws be from side to side! Its scaring the living **** out of me! I think the Wheel bearing might be going out on the front drivers side but i dnt know if that would cause such extreme problems! Anyways sorry this is so long! Any Help would be great! Thank u guys!

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Old 07-07-2010, 11:06 PM   #2
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You say it has a 4" lift on it... can you take a picture of the front where the steering is?
My best guess is that it has a drop pitman arm on it, when it's not necessary.

You also said that the knuckle was broken? The knuckle is a very important part of the steering and should be replaced ASAP without driving on it... unless you are mistaken in what the knuckle is.

But first I'd look at the pitman arm, and I'd also inspect the drag link to be sure that it's nice and tight.

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Old 07-08-2010, 12:19 AM   #3
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A couple things to check: loose pitman arm, loose/worn tie rod ends, improper camber setting. Let us know what you find.
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:28 AM   #4
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Try driving sober...it makes a helluva difference
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:29 PM   #5
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Haha All i gotta do is drive sober? damn thats a good idea! lmao! Well thanks for the ideas guys. Its been pouring down rain here for a week so im gonna wait for it 2 stop b4 i crawl under it and get to check these things out. But sumone 2day told me i might have a wore out Steering Stabilizer shock...sound like its possible? im gonna order one this weekend cause thats the cheapest fix i can think of. Im not sure if it has a drop pitman arm or not...but isnt any
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:30 PM   #6
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But isnt anything with a 2" or greater lift supposed to have one? not sure if thats true,..just what ive heard
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:43 PM   #7
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Knuckle? Bet he means the companion flange on the diff.

A drop Pitman Arm isn't going to cause that, especially when it didn't before.

Something's loose or broken - check it out thoroughly before driving it - before it kills you. If it's that bad you should easily see the problem.
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:20 PM   #8
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Wild ___ guess:
He mentioned REMOVING the front drive shaft.
Would that DE-stabilize the front axle and allow it to flex randomly, creating what I think is kinda sort similar to a "death wobble"
In airplanes if you do something and everything goes to (heck) you're supposed to undo the last thing you did.
I'd say, put the drive shaft back in place (repaired) and see if that fixes it.
But if the problem is as bad as described, DO NOT DRIVE IT.
Not worth getting yourself....or others...killed.
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:19 PM   #9
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From your description, the first thing that comes to my mind is a loose track bar... it's what keeps everything from moving side to side. Of course, there's a few hundred other things it could be also.
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:40 PM   #10
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And don't forget to inspect the rear suspension too - it could be "rear steering." Often a problem in the rear "feels" like the front.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:30 PM   #11
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I don't believe your steering stabilizer will fix the problem, but it may cover up or dampen it out somewhat. Despite what many people think, this is not a good thing. You have a problem in your steering or suspension that needs to be addressed and that is not something that you want to cover up. Before you order a new stabilizer just disconnect it at one end to check it out. If it's good then keep looking for the fix and you saved yourself $50. If it's bad order a new one, and keep looking for the real cause of your problem. At a minimum tighten the pitman arm, tie rod ends, drag link where it attaches to the pitman arm, and both ends of the track bar. That is the cheapest fix and the best place to start. Check out the death wobble sticky for some other great information. Pay particular attention to posts by Jerry Brandsford. I don't know him personally, but the guy definately knows what he's talking about.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:06 PM   #12
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Ok thanks guys! You have all been alot of help!
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenMachine99 View Post
But isnt anything with a 2" or greater lift supposed to have one? not sure if thats true,..just what ive heard
NO! I'm running a 3.5" lift without one.

The only reason to use a dropped pitman arm is on very tall lifts when used in conjunction with a trackbar relocation bracket. The trackbar and draglink are to remain as close to parallel with each other as possible to maintain good steering geometry and minimize bumpsteer.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrich View Post
A drop Pitman Arm isn't going to cause that, especially when it didn't before.
It can, but it could have been hidden by the steering stabilizer. A Jeep with proper steering geometry shouldn't need a stabilizer and should have almost zero bumpsteer.
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:12 AM   #15
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The purpose of the steering stabilizer isn't to help with steering or have any influence over where the wheels point.

The reason it was invented was to prevent the "shock" of hitting an object with one front wheel from transferring to the steering wheel. Without it the wheel jerks violently, it used to break driver's thumbs sometimes.
In the 60's it was only an aftermarket accessory, like lockout hubs.

It only slows down or dampens the shock, it does not turn the wheels. The Jeep should steer the same with or without it.

Bumpsteer is an entirely different problem.

Dropped Pitman arms don't suddenly lower or misalign themselves from one day to the next, causing no bumpsteer one day and lots of it the next. But a broken or disconnected part can.

A rear trackbar mount can break, causing the rear axle to move from side to side can cause wandering like that. The axle end of the rear TB bracket (left side) is shared with the control arm back there.

Unfortunately sometimes when it's parked the bracket sits in it's normal position and is not obvious. (Look for powdered rust particles - sluffed off from the steel parts rubbing together.) Put a jack under the left rear axle and lift a little - you'll see the bracket move. The factory welds on it are not very strong. Often lift kits extend the height of the bracket, putting more stress on the already weak welds.

All it takes is a little re-welding and maybe a gusset to strengthen it.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:29 PM   #16
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Hey thanks guys! Any chance anyone has a good pic of where these parts are located? lol Im still in the prosses of learning about my Jeep! thanks! Or maybe i need to go buy a Haynes manual

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