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Old 12-03-2010, 05:45 PM   #1
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San Diego trust-worthy offroad shops

im having some wobbling/shaking on the steering wheel in my '03 TJ. fairly new to the San Diego area and was wondering if there is anyone that has any recommendations for a well-known suspension/alignment shop in the area. thanks

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Old 12-14-2010, 12:14 AM   #2
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Wobbling/shaking of the steering wheel is, 99 times out of 100, a tire related issue. I would go to a good tire shop like Discount Tires and have them check out your tires and do a careful balance of them.

Unless that shaking is VIOLENT which almost makes the Jeep out of countrol which is known as Death Wobble, odds are it is nothing more than a bad tire or two... perhaps one of them just threw a balancing weight. Shaking/shimmying/wobble is pretty much never an alignment problem.

I'm in the area (where in SD are you?) so keep me posted on what you find after you take it to a tire shop.

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Old 12-14-2010, 03:20 PM   #3
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Jerry,

thanks for your knowledge in regards to what i am experiencing. I did actually bring my jeep to Discount Tire and got all 4 tires balanced. The front right was way off by a few ounces, however, it didnt seem to fix the problem. It was pulling to the right a lot and during acceleration between shifting gears, the steering wheel would shake violently. I did my homework about the "death wobble" and decided to bring it to a shop that specializes in offroad vehicles and aftermarket suspension. They checked the suspension and found that even with a 4" lift the stock track bar was still installed, and the control arms were loose and warn down. (i guess the previous owner never greased them up and maintained them) So my new toy is in the shop now getting a front track bar installed with lower control arms. I'm new to this stuff, but willing to learn. I'm open for all options and ideas. I was going to put it off a little bit and wait a while and do more research, but as my daily driver i was getting a little nervous driving on the highway everyday. I'm located in Pacific Beach, San Diego. Thanks again for your input, i appreciate it and will be looking forward to any further advice and recommendations.
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:37 PM   #4
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After reading more and more into what goes into a 4" lift, i now know that installing a SYE and CV drive shaft is in the near future. I recently purchased the Jeep and am slowly learning that i probably will need to drop a few extra dollars due to the fact that a SYE and CV drive shaft was never installed to begin with when the original aftermarket 4" suspension was added. So mentioning all of this, would this be good reasoning to cause the steering wheel shaking and vibrations? I should have mentioned the 4" lift to begin with, sorry about that.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:28 PM   #5
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Well, i got my Jeep back tonight and am very pleased with how it is handling. Had a Rubicon Express Front Trac Bar installed as well as 4 TeraFlex lower Flex arms (front and rear) The steering is smooth with much less vibration. I also could tell that it was riding much more stiffer and was more responsive. The ride was solid. Overall, very happy with the upgrades. So next on the list to upgrade the shocks and then eventually have a SYE installed. Do you have any recommendations for shocks?
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:27 AM   #6
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Where did you have the work done? What's your budget for the shocks? It's been a few years since I installed my last SYE but you're welcome to come up to Escondido after the first of the year and we could get that SYE installed. You'll need a new driveshaft with that SYE too. Tom Wood at www.4xshaft.com/ is a very good source for both, call and ask specifically for Tom. I owe him a few favors so if you call, please tell him I sent you. I wouldn't recommend Tom if he wasn't already widely recognized as a superb source for such parts, not to mention his unsurpassed pre and post-sales support. He's a good guy too.
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:43 PM   #7
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I brought it to ORW here in San Diego. It was pricey (labor) so I'm going to wait a few months to have the shocks done. For shocks, I'm looking for something in the middle. Bilstein were mentioned, but i wanted to get some other opinions. I think those will come before the SYE and driveshaft. What would you recommend? I would like to come up there at some point, maybe get some advice and ideas and you could take a look at the Jeep. When it's time for the SYE and CV i will definately give Tom a call. Thanks for all the help and resources, i really appreciate it.
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:40 PM   #8
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It is quite easy to install the shocks yourself and save on the costly labor some shops will charge to do this. You may want to look into the OME shocks as another source as well. Many members as well as me run these and are very happy with them.
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:21 PM   #9
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I just got done installing my Rancho RS9000XL adjustable shocks last Saturday and LOVE them!!! It is like having 9 different shocks in one! Right now they are running a promo that if you buy 4, you will get a FREE myRide wireless controller. I got them shipped to my door for 345 bucks from my4by.com
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:23 PM   #10
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Shocks are easy to install, you don't even have to jack up the Jeep to do so. They can be swapped with the tires sitting on the ground.
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:04 PM   #11
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thanks to all for the input in regards to the shocks! I'll read into a little bit more and decide what i want to install. I'm glad to hear that it doesn't require a lift or even a jack to install them. I've been looking forward to doing some work on my jeep on my own at my place. looks like ill set aside a weekend for that!!

I have another question, im interested in getting a soft top. Unfortunately i only have a hard top on now and do not have all the OEM hardware for the soft top. I have been reading a lot about the 97-06 years and some posts say that the hardware is the same and hasn't changed and some say the windshield header changed in 03. I have the door surrounds, but thats all. So basically my question is, if i found an 02 or earlier soft top OEM hardware for sale, would it fit my 2003 correctly?? Of course newer the better, but could i settle for the soft top frame of a lets say a 1998?? I will eventually get the 03+ sailcloth fabric whenever i find a OEM frame. I want the OEM frame, i'm not really a fan with the "super-top" (aftermarket frame with top) thanks.
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:58 PM   #12
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banipal19,
how does the wireless controller work with the shocks? is there some kind of sensor in each shock? is there any other wiring that needs to be done to install these?

530ktm,
thanks for mentioning the OME (Old Man Emu?) shocks. I'm quite interested in them. Do you have a good website that has any good deals for them?

Jerry Bransford,
To answer your question about my budget for shocks, i would say it would be between $60-$80 for each, but I'll be flexible. Now knowing i can do them myself, i would like to get some really nice ones that would ride great on highways, city, and offroad. Like i said earlier, its my daily driver so basically just looking for the "all around package."

If anyone knows of any great deals such as the Rancho RS9000XL im all ears!
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:35 AM   #13
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Yes, the wireless remote works with the shocks. It basically adjusts the air pressure (using a little compressor) to either soften or harden the shocks. The best document that I found explaining the wireless system is the installation instructions itself. Here it is ...

http://www.gorancho.com/assets/appli...ion_96399d.pdf

You do not have to have the wireless system installed. The shocks comes with a knob that you can turn in nine different settings to adjust the firmness.
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:03 PM   #14
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Dunno if your still having problems with your jeep but ORW on balboa is a pretty awesome shop and they have free suspension inspection. They have always been good to me and more then helpful.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:30 PM   #15
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So are the shocks in yet? Lets go wheeln!
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:10 AM   #16
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I live in pb and just got a hardtop, my rag top is tossed but the hardware is still good, have the doors seals , windshield runner, frame, all you will need is rag. it's a 98. Let me know what it's worth n what you'll pay.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:29 AM   #17
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thanks for the input to all, unfortunately my TJ was stolen from outside my place right before xmas...it was recovered, but sadly there is nothing left to it.

dareDEVILkamm,
I actually had some work done at ORW and was very pleased. had a front trac bar and lower control arms installed. To bad all those parts are gone now.

mtbikbob,
when i get another TJ we will definately have to go. I'm pretty new to the area (off roading wise) and definately want to hit up some trails. I'll let you know when i find one.

Mijztif,
thanks for the offer and info on the softtop hw. I probably would have definately taken you up on that if everything fit correclty.

been looking for another Jeep, so if any of you find a good deal anywhere, hit me up. I really want a Rubicon!
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:51 PM   #18
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Damn, that's too bad. So it was stolen and stripped? Did it have to be towed or can it be driven? How did the police find it? My TJ was stolen back in March and nothing was ever found of it. Everyone in law enforcement and my insurance company thinks it was taken across the border.
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:35 PM   #19
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ya, stripped pretty bad. highway patrol found it in TJ, just across the border. its not driveable. some of the suspension gone, steering stabilizer, the list just goes on and on...basically didnt look like my Jeep.

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