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Old 06-11-2009, 05:53 PM   #1
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Holy wobble Batman!!

I had some serious DW today...Went to alaignment shop to get aligned after the lift. Guy there found one of my steering stab. bolts was real loose...DOH!

Any way, he didnt do the alignment yet straightened out my wheel a little for me before I left. I have a dropped pitman arm on the way so I'll do the full alignment after I put that in. He also noticed my track bar was a little out of adjustment as well.

The DW was so bad it would do it at 20mph if I hit a little dip in the road.

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Old 06-11-2009, 06:19 PM   #2
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Why are you installing a dropped Pitman arm? Are you also installing a dropped mount for the upper track bar? Pardon me if we've had this discussion but there's been a rash of these lately.

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Old 06-11-2009, 06:25 PM   #3
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Why are you installing a dropped Pitman arm? Are you also installing a dropped mount for the upper track bar? Pardon me if we've had this discussion but there's been a rash of these lately.
x2 Don't install the dropped pitman arm.
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:32 PM   #4
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Yup, just make sure your trac bar is good and set your toe-in. Should be about an 1/8th inch. If you are still getting the DW then you are probably going to have to extend your lower adjustable arms out a big to give you some more negative castor.
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:52 PM   #5
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the guy at the alignment shop was showing me how much of an angle the drag link is on and it shouldnt be like that. It should be more horizontal angle.
IDK, He told me thats what was needed for a proper alignment.
I figured it as well. Why would they make one then??
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:54 PM   #6
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If you are still getting the DW then you are probably going to have to extend your lower adjustable arms out a big to give you some more negative castor.
I think the death wobble was cured when I tightened up the steering stabilizer. Didn;t do it once on the way home, side streets or parkway.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:04 PM   #7
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the guy at the alignment shop was showing me how much of an angle the drag link is on and it shouldnt be like that. It should be more horizontal angle.
IDK, He told me thats what was needed for a proper alignment.
I figured it as well. Why would they make one then??
Dropped Pitman arms are only occasionally needed for very specific geometric reasons and should never be installed without those reasons. First, many non-TJ people just assume because a Jeep is lifted that a dropped Pitman arm is needed. While that may be true for older CJs and YJs, that's not true for the TJ which has a much improved steering geometry.

Unless your suspension lift also has the extra heavy-duty RE 1610 adjustable trackbar which is mounted to the required RE1611 dropped trackbar mount, or similar aftermarket trackbar and dropped trackbar mount, do not install a dropped Pitman arm.... period. It'll just cause bump steer.

The drag link and track bar must be parallel to each other. If they are not, bump steer is the result. So if you drop the upper end of the drag link with a dropped Pitman arm, you must also drop the upper end of the track bar too. And visa-versa. If one is dropped, both must be dropped to keep death wobble from happening. So they both must either be undropped, or they both must be dropped.

And a loose/missing/defective steering stabilizer will never EVER cause death wobble. A good steering stabilizer may help mask the symptoms of death wobble but it's like putting a band-aid over a skin cancer. You may not notice it but the underlying problem still exists.

Death wobble can be cause by a lot of things. These include out of balance tires, loose track bar, loose ball joints, loose control arms, improper front-end alignment, loose shocks, etc. but NEVER from a bad/missing/loose/defective steering stabilizer.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:20 PM   #8
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ok so hows this look? they look parallel to me.

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Old 06-11-2009, 07:28 PM   #9
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The do to me too, leave well enough alone and either use that dropped Pitman arm for a paperweight or return it for a credit against a beefier tie rod.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:31 PM   #10
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ok so Im gonna cancel that order. Do some searching for some good tips on the wobble. Although the jeep still needs to be aligned.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:39 PM   #11
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Don't delay setting your toe-in after installing the lift which significantly screws up your toe-in. If you don't, you'll quickly have excessive uneven wear on your front tires.

If you go out and buy two pieces of 1" square tubing like is shown in the below photos, you can quickly and accurately set your own toe-in. Simply place marks on the tubing to equal the width of your tires and then rotate the tie-rod until the front tubing is 1/16" to 1/8" closer together in front than in the rear. In other words, if the rear is 58 7/16" apart, the front should be 58 3/8 to 58 5/16" apart.... 1/16" to 1/8" closer.

Once that is done, turn the link on the drag link to center your steering wheel after driving up & down the driveway a few times to make sure the wheels are pointed straight ahead.

Doing the above, with the amount of measuring care reserved for your own vehicle, will give you a front-end alignment every bit as good and as accurate as an alignment shop will give you.

Also, before I forget it, make sure the axle end of your trackbar is mounted securely. If that bolt is not uber-tight (45-50 ft-lbs) and if the mounting bolt hole is wallowed out any, it can allow death wobble to develop.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:41 PM   #12
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Just as a comparison I have the DPA and Dropped TB on roughly the same lift.

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Old 06-11-2009, 07:44 PM   #13
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Rob I'm going to take a sledge hammer to that skinny OE tie rod of yours after our next wheeling trip (and loan you my spare) just so you'll be forced to buy a decent tie rod.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:46 PM   #14
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Rob I'm going to take a sledge hammer to that skinny OE tie rod of yours after our next wheeling trip (and loan you my spare) just so you'll be forced to buy a decent tie rod.
Pleeeeeeeeezeee do! I need one badly.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:43 PM   #15
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KBR, I woulda given you my dropped pitman arm for free, but I woulda have also sicked Jerry on you to tell you you dont need it.

When I lifted my jeep, it was so far out of toe that the machine couldnt even get a proper reading. Are youy sure you don't need one?
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:46 PM   #16
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Are youy sure you don't need one?
dont need one what?
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:47 PM   #17
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Alignment.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:50 PM   #18
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Oh no I need one. The case was that the guy said it would be pointless to align it right now if I need the pitman arm, cause then he might need to do it again afterwards. I canceled the order and Im gonna get aligned tomorrow.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:52 PM   #19
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Cool, next time you need parts ask around first. I have one in my garage that would have been yours if you actually did need it.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:55 PM   #20
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I;ll keep that in mind next time.
So now hopefully me re adjusting my track bar and getting the alignment will cure the wobbles and I be closer to being in good shape for RC.
I'd love to get that tranny in before hand but who knows.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:00 PM   #21
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I must have missed the problem with the tranny. Whats goin on?
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:22 PM   #22
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Remember a little while back I was asking about gears grinding? Second gear had started to grind every now and then.
Well now 1st and 2nd grind all the time. And third is slowing started to do it as well.
I need to either rebuild it or get a whole fresh built unit.
Synchros are most likely shot.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:25 PM   #23
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Change the fluid in the mean time to try and get metal out of it.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:26 PM   #24
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Yeah I plan on doing it this weekend or early next week. Hopefully the fluid change will smooth it out a little.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:38 PM   #25
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Why pay someone to do an alignment that you can easily do at home just as accurately? If you don't want to have to buy the square tubing, just use a tape measure to measure between the tires to set the fronts 1/16" to 1/8" closer in front. You can align your own front end with nothing more than a wrench and a tape measure faster than you can drive to the alignment store. Really!

Like also explained at... Basic Jeep Front End Alignment
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:41 PM   #26
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Jerry,
Your right about the home alignment, but he just put the lift on. Shouldn't he take it somewhere to find out about his caster. That he can adjust with the lower control arms.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:51 PM   #27
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Shouldn't he take it somewhere to find out about his caster.
Only reason Im kinda iffy about doing the alignment is because Ive never done anything like it before. I know nothing about toe in , caster , or camber. I couldnt even tell you what is what. Just something I never learned. And I figure an aligmnent machine would be more accurate then me. Like i said I know nothing about this stuff though.

And the lift is brand new, just went in last 3 days. Figured I should jsut have it all checked out and make sure its all good.
I would like to learn how though.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:59 PM   #28
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well after reading throught that write up you linked jerry it seems actually ALOT easier than I thought.
But as like SB said after having just put the brand ne wlift in with all the adjustable components wouldn't it still be a good idea to have it checked for other possible alignment issues?
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:04 PM   #29
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First, few alignment shops will even attempt to adjust the caster angle if they have to adjust the length of aftermarket control arms to do so. Second, the camber angle isn't even adjustable.

So on the first point with regards to everything being new? Did you set your control arms lengths to the length specified by RE? If so, your caster angle should be very close as is. So at that point, I would do the toe-in and center your steering wheel per the above. Once the toe-in is set and your steering wheel is centered, drive it and see how it feels. If you get no driveshaft vibration, and if your steering wheel returns to center on its own after completing a turn, your front caster and pinion angles should be good enough. They are not critical, within reason.

If, beyond the toe-in and centering of the steering wheel, you need to have the caster angle set and perhaps the rear pinion angle set, then you should visit a 4x4 shop that does suspension lift installations and they can that for you. A standard alignment shop will not usually touch that kind of stuff.

And something I forgot to ask... which of your control arms are adjustable for length? All of them? Some of them?

But whatever, I would still go ahead and set your own toe-in and center the steering wheel before even driving it to a 4x4 shop if you end up needing to.
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:05 PM   #30
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Like what Jerry said you can't adjust camber on our jeeps due to the solid axles.

He does have a good idea of setting your toe and driving it to see how it feels. If you have poor returnabilty back to center after turning your steering wheel most likely your caster is off.

It is probably a good idea to set your own toe anyways so you can learn. Then just take it to Just Tires or something. Most tire shops offer free alignment checks.

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