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Old 12-22-2012, 05:16 PM   #1
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How do I make my TJ more "Streetable"?

So I just got this 97 tj and the previous owner made it more of a wheeler rig. Its got a lot of money in the jeep... It has a fabtech lift on the jeep... The front looks to have 2 in coil spacers ontop of the fabtech but no spacers on the rear and it seems to sit a little higher in the front. It also looks to have a body lift. and no front sway bar. This thing is a hand full on the steets even at lower speeds. When I give it gas from a stop, the front like comes up like its going to wheely but only on one side and when driving the steering wheel is like sideways.... Would pulling the spacers in the front and putting a sway bar help? I've owned many jeeps but I want it more driveable any help?
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:32 PM   #2
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I just brought mine to a mechanic and he found that my rear axle wasn't connected and everything was lose. That would be a good start

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Old 12-22-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
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You purchased this with out a good road test. Sounds like you just took over somebody's headache.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:36 PM   #4
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I just brought mine to a mechanic and he found that my rear axle wasn't connected and everything was lose.
What wasn't connected?
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:44 PM   #5
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The front wheel lift is from a suspension geometry issue that is caused by a screwed up amount of anti-squat, which is a complex enough of a subject that you'd be better off Googling anti-squat to read up on it. There is a lot of anti-squat discussion you can learn from over on the Pirate forum at www.pirate4x4.com. I won't pretend to know enough about it to offer any serious advice on how to completely fix that problem, you'd really be better off just reading up on it since it can be a very complex subject.

Basically I'd drop the suspension lift height several inches which can help the AS and install a front antiswaybar, and make sure the rear antiswaybar is installed & connected too.

The steering wheel can easily be recentered by adjusting the short adjustment link on the drag link that connects the Pitman arm to the passenger side of the axle. I'd say it connects to the tie rod but no telling what the PO did to the steering, it might be jacked up with some crazy aftermarket steering kit. Be sure to check your toe-in too.

Tall suspension lifts can have crazy problems, I'm betting much of yours can be solved by getting it back down from that crazy height.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:12 PM   #6
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how is it reacting that's making it hard to drive ??
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:34 PM   #7
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how is it reacting that's making it hard to drive ??
I feel I could roll it going 5mph... It sways pretty bad. I know jeeps are not the greatest with road manners but this is by far the worse handling I've owned. I'm thinking about taking out the body lift and then putting a sway bar on the front. The steering is weird too... It seems tight but once you start driving it there is a lot of play in it. Could this be from a like bent tie rod or something like that?? Only paid 3k for the jeep but want to make it drive able
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:36 PM   #8
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Removing the body lift will not change, affect, or help with any of those problems. And regarding road manners, a properly set up Wrangler TJ... even with a tall suspension lift... can have excellent road manners. Mine certainly does.

Did you read my above response?
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:43 PM   #9
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Removing the body lift will not change, affect, or help with any of those problems. And regarding road manners, a properly set up Wrangler TJ... even with a tall suspension lift... can have excellent road manners. Mine certainly does.

Did you read my above response?
I sure did..... I know they can have good road manners but nothing compaired to other vehicles. This thing just sways. You thing the springs may be too soft?
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:45 PM   #10
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Sway is usually caused by the lack of antiswaybars and/or shocks that are too soft.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:48 PM   #11
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drop it replace the bent tie rod add sway bars, lose the t-case drop
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:48 PM   #12
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Sway is usually caused by the lack of antiswaybars and/or shocks that are too soft.
Well I plan on picking up a sway bar tomorrow.... and as far as shock, it has bilstein shocks. Then I gotta figure out the steering
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:49 PM   #13
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drop it replace the bent tie rod add sway bars, lose the t-case drop
What will loosing the T-case drop do?
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:21 PM   #14
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if the front is too high then take the coil spacers out..replace any bent tie rods and replace any joints with play.set your toe in.add a panhard bar if it doesn't have one..then try it..my tj is jacked pretty high but handles great
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:38 PM   #15
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Here is a pic of mine... It looks like my tie rod is bent....... Would you think this has a big affect?
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:47 PM   #16
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if it has not been reset since it was bent then it has thrown your toe in off
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:51 PM   #17
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A bent tie rod creates excessive toe-in which can cause handling problems. Not to mention that once bent, the tie rod is now easier to bend even more. The good news is it looks like you have a Currie drag link and tie rod which is a superb steering kit. The tie rod can be straightened with a 20 ton press, I'd get it straightened out & your toe-in set properly asap.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:57 PM   #18
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A bent tie rod creates excessive toe-in which can cause handling problems. Not to mention that once bent, the tie rod is now easier to bend even more. The good news is it looks like you have a Currie drag link and tie rod which is a superb steering kit. The tie rod can be straightened with a 20 ton press, I'd get it straightened out & your toe-in set properly asap.
So take it out and take it to someone who can straighten it?? And is it something I can set properly or does that need to be done at a shop?
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:02 PM   #19
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Yep, take the tie rod to a machine or welding shop that has a press... nothing smaller than a 20 ton will work. You can easily set your own toe-in per the instructions at Basic Jeep Front End Alignment after you get the tie rod straightened. That webpage also tells you how to straighten the steering wheel after you are done setting the toe-in.

That webpage tells you how to measure between the tires to get the toe-in measured & set but the below photos show a more elegant & more repeatable method to measure for the toe-in setting. It only takes two 1" pieces of square aluminum tubing and pair of spring clamps. Mark the tubing at points equal to your tire diameter and measure between them at the front & rear. Proper toe-in is when the fronts are 1/16" to 1/8" closer together than in the rear. The tie rod is rotated to make the toe-in adjustment.

This photo shows the aluminum tube method of measuring... click on it to make it bigger.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:17 PM   #20
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You have been a world of help!

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