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Old 05-21-2011, 10:48 PM   #1
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Please help! Can't make complete left turns!!

What's up guys! Well, today a local Jeep club hosted a trail run. During the run, we drove up a pretty nice rock climb obstacle. During this climb, I had my steering wheel "passenger" direction. I was trying to put a little throttle into it, but i didn't realize a huge boulder (against my passenger front tire) was preventing me from going up. So my friend yells "Driver! Driver!" And so I listen. Just as I'm about to turn the wheel "driver" direction (I still have the steering wheel positioned clockwise), the steering wheel literally turns itself counter clockwise like what seemed two full turns!! And super fast too! I even lost my grip on the steering wheel as this happened. Anyway, now, no matter how I position the adjuster on the drag link,the steering wheel is still crooked as heck, but worse of all I can't make a complete left turn. However, when I make a right turn, it turns more than it ever has before. Does this make sense? Please help guys....suggestions? Thanks!

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Old 05-21-2011, 10:53 PM   #2
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Sounds like you bent the tie-rod or trac bar.

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Old 05-21-2011, 11:15 PM   #3
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I just finished checking to see if anything is bent. In all honesty, I can't tell 100 percent if the trac bar is bent since it's already bent somewhat as is, right? The side that ends near the pitman arm? Anyway, tie rod looks okay. I'm not ruling out the possibility that one of those two is bent, but as of right now, with crappy visibility and only a small flashlight, nothing seems bent. Dammit! It's my daily driver as well...
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:48 PM   #4
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The trac bar has a bend in it near the frame mount to clear the front diff. I doubt that you bent that, it's pretty stout. Tie rod bends are obvious and you've already check that so...
Perhaps you bent the control arms? The stock CAs are super thin and flimsy. They could be bent which might explain the trouble turning if your front axle is out of whack. Bent arms, stock or aftermarket will offset the front axle and screw up the alignment big time causing the problems you described.
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chavser16 View Post
I just finished checking to see if anything is bent. In all honesty, I can't tell 100 percent if the trac bar is bent since it's already bent somewhat as is, right? The side that ends near the pitman arm? Anyway, tie rod looks okay. I'm not ruling out the possibility that one of those two is bent, but as of right now, with crappy visibility and only a small flashlight, nothing seems bent. Dammit! It's my daily driver as well...
The drag link connects to the Pitman arm. If the tie rod is straight and your steering is way off, you probably bent the track bar but it's possible you bent the drag link instead.
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Old 05-22-2011, 03:20 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies guys. I will take a picture and post it on here....Hopefully one of you will notice something. I think my eyes are playing tricks on me at this point, as if to tell me, don't worry, you didn't bend anything... be back in a jiffy!!
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:41 AM   #7
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Does anyone notice anything bent or off? I just can't get it right. The pitman arm is as straight as it gets in the pic below. The adjuster is closed all the way. If I reopen the adjuster (where you turn to adjust pitman arm) the pitman arm move further away and away. When I do this, then I REALLY cant make a left turn at all! Suggestions? Opinions? Thanks in advance!


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Old 05-23-2011, 02:53 PM   #8
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Is the trac bar bent? It looks very triangular. From what I've noticed on other trac bars, it's more like a semi circle than triangular. Anyone? Just need for someone to confirm that it is indeed the trac bar that's bent. Thanks guys!
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:17 PM   #9
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If it's bent as bad as it looks in the picture, you should have a wheel sitting way out from the flare and the other one will be tucked inside the flare. Looking at the jeep from the front.
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:17 PM   #10
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Check the axle center as stated above. Here are some pics to measure it against a stock trac bar. The pics aren't great, (hard to hold a tape and a camera) but you can see that it's 31 1/2" from the edge of the bolt to the grease fitting. Hope that helps some.
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:55 PM   #11
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Check the axle center as stated above. Here are some pics to measure it against a stock trac bar. The pics aren't great, (hard to hold a tape and a camera) but you can see that it's 31 1/2" from the edge of the bolt to the grease fitting. Hope that helps some.
The second pic, that's the end of the trac bar right? I measured from the bolt to the end of the trac bar and it measures 30 1/2 inches. If I measured correctly, does it mean it is indeed bent? Thanks!
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:25 PM   #12
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The second pic, that's the end of the trac bar right? I measured from the bolt to the end of the trac bar and it measures 30 1/2 inches. If I measured correctly, does it mean it is indeed bent? Thanks!
Yes, that is the end of the trac bar that mounts to the frame. Sorry for the crummy quality pics, I was eyeballing to the grease fitting on the frame mount and got 31 1/2, to the very end would be about 32" so I'd say yours is indeed bent.
I honestly thought other components would have bent before the trac bar but I guess the OE is not up to handling all situations. You may want to consider a beefier aftermarket trac bar, I know they can be pricey but it's an upgrade worth the money. I have always used JKS trac bars but their are other that are good as well.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:15 AM   #13
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Ok, one more question/thought....Is there anything else that might've happened to cause the discrepency. That is, is there anything else that could have caused the measurement to be roughly a 3/4 of an inch shorter (than from what it should be) from the edge of the bolt to the grease fitting? Or does this mean that the trac bar is MOSTdefinitely bent? Sorry about prolonging this thread, I just want to be sure! Again, thanks!
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:47 AM   #14
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If nothing else is bent and your steering is off that much, then the track bar is bent. Especially if your axle is protruding out of the driver's side more than it did before the steering wheel rotated out of position.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:06 AM   #15
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Thank you very much. I thought my eyes were messing with me, but I did notice my driver's side tire sticking out a bit more than the passenger side. I also noticed my quick disconnects leaning towards the side that would indeed imply that the axel is protruding out of the driver's side. Ugh! oh well....Wanna play, gotta pay!!

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