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Old 12-16-2009, 07:11 PM   #1
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Jeep TJ "Shimmy"

Hello everyone. I have been having issues with my 97 Wrangler and was hoping someone was able to give me some insight. I have talked to a load of local people and mechanics and no one really has any real answers so I thought I would turn to everyone here for some true advice. First off I have a 97 with a 2.5 4 cyl. no lift 31 in Falken tires (Discounts popular brand). This thread might be kind of lengthy but I just want everyone to know everything I have done at this point.
About a year ago I got the dreaded DW for the first time, so I replaced the steering damper with a stock store brand damper and it cleared up. Around a month later it was back with a vengeance so I replaced all the tie rod ends, steering damper and trackbar. Didn't fix it: so I lived with it because it was there and wasn't really all that bad until I hit 50-55 MPH. Well about a month ago I was sick of it and replaced the tires with Faulken 31 in tires, Moog trackbar, and again replaced the tie rod ends. I also put a heavy duty Rancho steering stabilizer on it. Also new A-Arms upper and lower. Since replacing all the old parts I set the tow in and it's still there. I have spent a lot of money and I can't seem to get rid of it. It's not really a DW anymore but still has a shimmy and know if I let it go it will wear my new tires out and I'll be doing it all over again a year from now. A neigbor (retired mechanic) swears it's the tires but do not want to buy a new set of tires and it not fix the problem. Has anyone had problems with the Faulken tires on Jeeps?. What do I do. I love my Jeep and want to keep it but it's kind of hard when I can't drive it on the freeway. The tires appear to be moving side to side and not up and down. Also the wheel bearings and ball joints show no indication of being worn.. Any help would be greatly appreciated and sorry for the long thread...
Also my Jeep idles rough when cold and when warm will run low RPM's when the clutch is disengaged and when I come to a stop it kicks back up to normal idle..... Smells a little rich but not sure the exact problem

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Old 12-16-2009, 07:24 PM   #2
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I had the same problem with 31's but mine was after I got it lifted three inches. My mechanic also thought that it was the tires, but it wasnt. I had a pitman and steering stabilizers installed and it went away completely

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Old 12-16-2009, 07:31 PM   #3
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Check the alignment. I had mine aligned at the stealership and they had it way off. I replaced the tires and it went away, but I believe that it was also largely due to the fact that it was not aligned properly. There is a thread here that tells you how to do your own alignment, but I would take it to someone that you know and trust to get it right before buying more tires.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:33 PM   #4
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shimmy

My neighbor thinks I need to put the original 215/75/15's back on it. He also claims that since my tires stick out an inch or so outside the fenders that it is throwing it off. He could be right but I am kind of skeptical
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:53 PM   #5
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I've got the Falken 31x10.50 on my 97. They only have about 200 miles on them but so far no problems whatsoever. My rig is bone stock other than the tire size. I'm running them on stock steel rims as well. We'll see as time passes how they hold up.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:55 PM   #6
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Have you looked at the ball joints or hub units? If you replaced the tie-rods two times, and the trackbar ball joint, I doubt that's the issue. Tires sticking out past the flares have nothing to do with it unless they were improperly balanced, which is possible.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:00 PM   #7
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unless they were improperly balanced, which is possible.


Have you tried having them re-balanced? I've had this problem several times over the years. Sometimes you get a 'good' balance guy and sometimes not so much.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:20 PM   #8
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I have had them balanced twice at Discount tire here in Arizona,,,, do you know what speed they balance them at.. My problem doesn't really happen until 55 or so
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:28 PM   #9
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Good question. Not sure what speed. I have had wheels in the past that took a massive amount of weights to 'balance' and still had the shimmy. I've also had some balance guys tell me they got them as 'close as they could'. It's not like it's an art to use the balance machines, I just think it's like anything else - you have to care about what you're doing. Just my .02 cents. It just sounds like you've replaced everything that would be causing your issues.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:59 PM   #10
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Doesn't seem like most employees of the big name tire shops really know how to do things other than what the computer tells them... The steering still seems squirmy. I have been trying to find a mechanic who really knows Jeeps and haven't really found one. I took it to Jeep and they really didn't seem to know a whole lot either...
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:06 PM   #11
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mruff - Where at in Arizona are you? If in the Phoenix area, check out Absolute Off-Road PHX. Joe Darro is THE Jeep guy in the valley. Top notch work and excellent customer service. One of the members on this board sent his TJ from Texas to Joe to get work on it.


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3655 N 35th Ave
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(602) 248-8949
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:36 AM   #12
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I live in the Phoenix area,,, Do you know how he is on his prices?
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:36 PM   #13
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He's really competitive with prices. Just give him a call and chat him up. Him or his wife Lisa are both great people, and should be able to give you some pointers at least on what to look at before bringing it in if needed.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:43 PM   #14
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x2 on Joe. The other thing you can do is take it to a discount tire that has a load balancer. Helped with a tire I had on my dodge.

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