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Old 11-08-2012, 01:22 PM   #1
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Stumped and need help!

So... I have a 1998 Wrangler TJ with 93,000 miles on it, 4 inch Rough Country lift with 33" BFG A/T tires. I have had a problem when going straight down the road at any speed my Jeep will just drift from left to right without moving the wheel, and when corrected the other way it gets worse. I have taken it to many experts and no one can help me out. This is what I have new on it since I have been trying to fix the problem:

New Steering box, steering stabilizer, drop down pitman arm, Rubicon Express adjustable trac bar, Rubicon Express adjustable upper control arms.

I have got an alignment each separate time after each one of those things were put on and nothing has helped. I've done the steering wheel wiggle test and everything is tight and all bushings are good. Tie rod ends are also good. What else can this possibly be?? Please Help! Thanks.

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Old 11-08-2012, 01:28 PM   #2
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Have you tried to rotate your rear tires to the front and see what happens? Maybe your front tires have some issues you can't see causing the problem.

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Old 11-08-2012, 01:35 PM   #3
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Make sure your toe and caster is set correctly
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:43 PM   #4
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Just rotated the tires and here is my alignment reading
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:44 PM   #5
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Seems like most run a stock pitman arm to keep the steering geometry correct and a drop pitman can cause goofy things (bump steer) to occur...but I am regergitating only what I have read.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:46 PM   #6
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Seems like most run a stock pitman arm to keep the steering geometry correct and a drop pitman can cause goofy things (bump steer) to occur...but I am regergitating only what I have read.
Ive had that on there previously and was told a drop down would maybe help, but made no difference.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:49 PM   #7
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First, what RE track bar & mounting bracket do you have installed? If you don't have the RE-1610 track bar which uses the RE-1611 dropped track bar mount (or a similar aftermarket dropped upper track bar mount), your Pitman are DEFINITELY should not be dropped. The Pitman arm should never be dropped unless the upper end of the track bar has a matching drop from an aftermarket dropped mounting bracket. Installing a dropped Pitman arm installed without that corresponding dropped aftermarket upper track bar mount will invariably cause bump steer. Older leaf spring Jeeps invariably required dropped Pitman arms after a suspension lift was installed. Not true with a '97 or newer coil spring Wrangler TJ that has a much better design steering geometry.

Next, exactly what brand & model steering damper do you have installed? A gas-charged steering damper can cause the steering to drift to the side, a hydraulic steering damper won't. Most steering dampers like from Rancho, RE, ProComp, Rough Country, Tera, etc. are hydraulic.

Also, are your axles square to each other and the frame? A bad installer might not have set the control arm lengths properly which can cause all kinds of handling problems. Your caster angles are fine, so is your toe-in (a tad high but ok) but I'd use a tape measure to make sure the axles are square to each other and to the frame.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:59 PM   #8
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I'm pretty sure its not bump steer, it does it on flat road. I have the RE1600 trac bar, Rancho steering damper. Should the alignment fix the axles square to each other?

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Old 11-08-2012, 02:03 PM   #9
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Has anyone looked at your tie rods, ends and drag link. If those are worn then no amount of adjusting will help, also, lose the drop pitman.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:05 PM   #10
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Has anyone looked at your tie rods, ends and drag link. If those are worn then no amount of adjusting will help, also, lose the drop pitman.
I've had many people say tie rod ends and drag link are just fine.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:06 PM   #11
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Ball joints?
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:09 PM   #12
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Ball joints?
good
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:14 PM   #13
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Get rid of that pitman arm and go back to the stock one. The one thats on there is not even with your trackbar mount and is causing your problems.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:15 PM   #14
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The dropped Pitman arm won't necessarily cause it to drift but I guarantee it's causing your TJ to have bump steer... which is where the steering is forced left/right as the front-end moves up/down over bumps/dips on the road or trail... which could on some roads cause the steering to be forced left or right.

Regardless of what is causing it to drift, you really should replace that dropped Pitman arm with the OE factory Pitman arm. Whoever talked you into it didn't know the TJ well enough to know a dropped Pitman arm should not have been installed onto it... especially with your non-dropped RE-1600 track bar. The track bar and Pitman arm must match... both must be either dropped, or both must be undropped. One can't be dropped without the other being dropped without it causing bump steer.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:16 PM   #15
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What tire pressure are you running?
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:18 PM   #16
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What tire pressure are you running in all four tires?Is it equal on both sides?
Added a little.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:19 PM   #17
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Ok, I'll try going back to the stock pitman arm and see what happens. but what else could it be?


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What tire pressure are you running?
35 psi right now, I've played with different pressures too.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:21 PM   #18
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35 psi is way excessive for 33x12.50 tires carrying a vehicle with the weight of a Wrangler. 26-28 at the most is appropriate. Make sure it's even on both sides.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:24 PM   #19
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I saw an earlier post about the control arm length, might be worth measuring.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:26 PM   #20
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35 psi is way excessive for 33x12.50 tires carrying a vehicle with the weight of a Wrangler. 26-28 at the most is appropriate. Make sure it's even on both sides.
Check, I will also do that.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:19 PM   #21
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Added a little.




As Jerry stated... drop your TP to 26 - 28 psi, and make sure it's the same in all tires. Then give it a test ride and let us know if you recognize improvement.

(I know my LJ (33x10.50 MTs) acts completely different on the road at 32 psi and 26 psi. I currently run 25 psi )
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:36 AM   #22
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Tire pressure down to 26. Not much difference. Still gotta get my hands on the stock pitman arm.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:42 AM   #23
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Check with your local 4x4 shops, many will have stock OE Pitman arms laying in their junk boxes from when they screwed up and installed dropped Pitman arms onto TJs they installed suspension lifts onto. The more clueless the 4x4 shop, the more likely it is they have done that.

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