I have a 2 Sport. Recently I experienced 3 "white Knuckle" driving experiences that have made me think my Wrangler just isnt safe enough for me.
Twice I have hydroplaned at low speed, the rear end just loses it. Last night I was driving at highway speed, 65, I slowed to 60 because a bus was in the middle lane, I was in the right lane, and I didnt want to pass the bus at 65. The road had some kind of dip, or rough patch, the back end kicked out and I jumped into the middle lane where another car was, lucky for me he was able to react. I know my Jeep is not a precision driving machine, but I just dont feel safe.
Before I jump ship and trade it in, what can I upgrade? Shocks etc?
I know the short wheelbase does not help. Maybe a 4 door in my future?
+1 Tires. I had a car a few years back that came with Goodyear Eagle RSA tires on it. Starting around 5k miles, it was terrifying to drive in the rain. The change came on really suddenly, too. I put a new set of Bridgestone tires on it, and it was rock solid again. Never had a hairy moment in the rain again, as long as I owned the car (through two sets of Bridgestones, run all the way to the wear indicators).
The old tires still had plenty of tread on them, so you can't go by that, necessarily.
For rain, tires could be the problem, as well as PSI as stated above, not so much the axles, shocks or coils. Surely stability control can help, and a limited slip differential will help even more and probably is the option that will provide more change and control on wet roads.
However, the ass jumping seems to be a mix of parts, overly inflated tires, stiff shocks and coils and possibly, binds in the trackbar or control arm bushings. That also happens to me in deformed roads with tall bumps, as soon as I pass above it, the rear of the wrangler jumps and lands in a different place, obviously not on another lane, but if caught off guard, it could be enough to lose control.
If the rear jumps are happening on a stock JK I would look onto changing the shocks, something like the adjustables ranchos and dial them down to the softest level and see how it goes from there. Not gas charged ones as they are stiffer.
However, the ass jumping seems to be a mix of parts, overly inflated tires, stiff shocks and coils and possibly, binds in the trackbar or control arm bushings. That also happens to me in deformed roads with tall bumps, as soon as I pass above it, the rear of the wrangler jumps and lands in a different place, obviously not on another lane, but if caught off guard, it could be enough to lose control.[/QUOTE]
The experience last night was on dry pavement.
But yes, if caught off guard, its enough to lose control. I about Sh!t myself!
I put my vote on new tires and some weight in the back. Get 4 bags of water softener salt ($20 max cost) and put it in the back by the tailgate or you could get an after market rear (real) bumper instead of the plastic hollow sorry excuse for a bumper that is there. That will weigh it down a bit. I plan to get Duratracs due to my driving style in rain (only heard good things about their traction wet or dry). Good luck.
It's better to regret something you did do, than to regret something you didn't do.
You shouldn't have to go through all this bs just to be able to drive a relatively new stock Jeep. Either something is wrong with yours, or you just need to get used to driving a short wheelbase vehicle like the Jeep. They don't drive like cars and they certainly don't like hitting puddles on the side of the road! I think part of the issue is this is just how Jeeps drive. It takes getting used to.
The Goodyear SR-A's are better than the ST's, but the Silent Armor's are really what you would want for rain traction.
X2. I once watched an old narrow wheel base Jeep go out of control on packed snow, slam into a wall and eject its occupants, including a young boy, through the soft top and onto the highway. It kept me from getting a Jeep for years. Then I drove a new rental Jeep at Sedona and was amazed at how well it handled. They are no sports cars, but the new Jeeps, especially with tires like the Silent Armors (not a fan of the BFG MTs) will take you safely through rain, snow and even some ice.
I respectfully disagree with those who say that's the way older Jeeps handle, so get used to it. There have been big improvements in Jeeps over the past few years in terms of wheelbase, suspension and electronic stability features.
Your life is priceless. Don't piecemeal with safety. Trade up.
2013 Gecko JK Rubicon, LoD bumper, Warn VR8000-S, Ace Rock Sliders, Goodyear SilentArmors, Drake grill inserts, Prolink, Smart Doors, AntennaX, Welcome grabs, Mopar Slush mats front, QT mats rear and cargo, Midland CB, Mopar locking gas cap, RR fuel door, wallet on life support.
If you don't know where you're going, you'll get there.
Tires and tire pressure have so much influence on many vehicles, more so for a short wheelbase 2-door Wrangler that it almost goes without saying. If the stock SRAs are overinflated a 2-door JK Wrangler, mine anyway, will be all over the place in regular driving let alone an evasive maneuver.
Yes I had the 17" SRA-s on my Sport-S when I bought it during the winter (used) and realized very quickly that the SRAs had to go even after lowering inflation from a dealer-set 42psi (orig owner via the dealer) down to 35-33psi. Ugly times. Put 265/70-17 C-load Duratracs on it and after 8000 miles that tire change remains a huge leap in overall handling.
__________________ There are many whose education has exceeded their ability to comprehend.
On a 2 door you can even underinflate the stock tires down to 28~30 psi for comfort if you want, you will feel it grips the road more and jumps less. Stock tires load capabilities are even overkill for a 4 door (talking about the 32 inch). It seems like the factory requirement of 35 psi is for improved "mpg". Just like suggesting 5w-20 oil on them.
However, the less psi it has, the more the contact patch of the tire on the road, which would mean it would be easier to hydroplane on a nice puddle of water.