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-   -   Um, did I do that? (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/um-did-i-do-that-116174.html)

nycdude777 10-04-2011 11:36 PM

Um, did I do that?
 
Hey guys,

I'm new to this forum, this is my first thread. Been lurking for a while though...

I have a 2011 4 door Rubicon, dual tops, 6 speed manual, Black on Black (not sure if there are other combinations though)

I was waiting for a special order of Sport S, manual black on black but the dealer really screwed up the delivery and it was 2 weeks overdue and my birthday was coming up and I really wanted a toy. :D So luckily, some other guy ordered this Rubi, and changed his mind when it got there, instead went with a sahara I think. So I was in luck and got it!

Now, here is where the story begins.

When the jeep was new, I loved the way it drove. It was steady on the highway and the steering wheel did not require any force to keep it going straight.

Then one day in June I did a little off-roading. There is a trail near my house through the woods, nothing major, some mud, some fallen trees, some small rocks. I did get stuck in the mud a little bit but got out after about 10 minutes of rocking and spinning.

As I got back on the road, I immediately felt that something was off. The steering was a little rubbery and it wasn't going straight as it did before, hitting a bump or a pothole made it lose direction. It was slight, but I was concerned. Back on the highway the steering now required force to keep it straight when there was a crown on the road.

When I stopped hard I could see that the driver front side dove deeper and the body rocked diagonally, not front to back. I thought it was the suspension.

I took it to the dealer and they said I needed a wheel alignment. $150 and 2 hours later I'm back on the road, same problem. (Don't you hate that?)

I decided to change the shocks and the steering stabilizer. I went with Bilsteins HD. The guy who changed it did suggest that my tie rod end bushings hae too much play in them and might cause the disconnected feel. So I'm keeping that in my mind.

With the new shocks, I drove it again, same feel. Its just not the same anymore... frustrated as hell. Hoping at this point that when I get the lift with some new components something is bound to change.

So now, this past weekend, I go offroading again with my friends. Same trail, same mud. Except its deeper now, got seriously stuck (no winch, yeah I know). After about 40 minutes of rocking and spinning (smashed front bumper on the dirt bump) we pull out. 2 of my friends had to sit in the trunk and 3rd guy was hugging the spare in the back like a monkey to put the weight on the rear tires.

We drive out of the woods and I'm back on the road and I feel like the jeep is really wandering side to side. It feels like somebody is pulling the car to the left, I turn the wheel almost 30 degrees to the right to compensate for the pull and the car is going straight. I turn it a little more and now the car makes a sudden sharp right turn and I suddenly have to compensate to the left. At the same time the body rolls in the opposite direction of the turn. Lots of body roll. I am really scared now. I stop and visually inspect everything. Lots of mud but nothing seems to be broken and the wheels seem straight.

When I get on the highway, its constant left and right. When I gained some speed, at 40 - 50 mph I can get it to kinda go straight. But if there is a turn, the car catches that turn and keeps turnin, I have to really compensate out of t...

So now I know there is something really wrong with it.

I pulled into gas station and put it in 4wd hi, to see if it makes a difference. As I am pulling out of the gas station, I hear a snap and metallic part hitting the ground. I stop and find a piece of cast metal. It turns out its a part of the stub shat ear, the part which the U joint is spinning. :banghead:

So I parked it and called the road side assistance.

I'm going for service in the morning.

What do you guys think is going on? I might have snapped the shaft ear by turning hard left, because I wanted to see if the wheel wobbles too much, so it may be unrelated to the steering problem... or is it?

The whole underside of the car is muddy, will the dealer say that I broke the thing off roading?

I can't believe the shaft can break so easily. Will warranty cover it?

I feel like an idiot. :facepalm:

Did this happen to anyone else, both the steering and the snap?

joe002 10-05-2011 12:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycdude777 (Post 1628901)
...I pulled into gas station and put it in 4wd hi... I am pulling out of the gas station, I hear a snap and metallic part hitting the ground.... It turns out its a part of the stub shat ear, the part which the U joint is spinning... I... snapped the shaft ear by turning hard left... (on pavement)

Breaking it like that isn't a warranty item but it's a learning experience...

The steering could have been a lot of things. Instead of adding new parts it would have been better to look around and see what bent/got loose/was damaged/etc.

We all learn something from wheeling - at least you didn’t take the Jeep into a deep puddle and hydrolock it, or drive it off a cliff…

I haven’t had the dealer fix that on my Jeep yet, but there are a lot more expensive things you could have broken. If you’re lucky the dealer may cut you a deal.

BTW - welcome to the forum - wish it was better circumstances.

GoldenSahara00 10-05-2011 12:31 AM

your 4x4 system isn't meant for the road. so that was a bad idea. your not gona get covered in my mind. new U joints are cheap though. but who knows what else u did. anyways like he said, dont throw money around hoping to fix an issue, try to figure it out first. sounds like you needed a full alignment not a crappy dealer alignment the first time, second time you may have damaged the steering box when you smashed the bumper or bent a part of the steering system (tie rod, drag link, something?) up front.

repauli1 10-05-2011 06:23 AM

Possibly disconnects? Just guessing from rolling action???

nycdude777 10-05-2011 06:46 AM

So I'm in the jeep waiting for the road side assistance to pik me up. It's 7:45 am. He was supposed to be here at 6:30... I was... It's an hour ride from here to the dealership which opens at 7:30. I specifically requested a 6:30 pickup to get there just in time to be the first at the door.

Road side called twice with a recorded message saying that he should have been here by now... They called the truck company and they said he is getin diesel. That was 30 minutes ago, 45 minute past the original time...

Still waiting...

I'm about to experience road-side rage right now...

daggo66 10-05-2011 06:53 AM

Your first problem was probably caused by dried mud caked in the wheels. You next rpoblem was caused by using 4H on pavement. Before you do anything else, take out your DVD and completely read the off road section of your owners manual.

SeaComms 10-05-2011 06:56 AM

$150 and 2 hours to adjust the toe in - wow....

I would have suggested starting with the steering damper since it hangs low and is susceptible to damage when wheeling, but since you have already replaced it move on...

Sounds like the wandering steering like a low caster - perhaps the lower control arms were bent or bushes damaged?

nycdude777 10-05-2011 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daggo66 (Post 1629220)
Your first problem was probably caused by dried mud caked in the wheels. You next rpoblem was caused by using 4H on pavement. Before you do anything else, take out your DVD and completely read the off road section of your owners manual.

I doubt it was the mud cakes. The mudwas still fresh and wet when the steering problem became apparent... So that can't be it.

I am wondering though if the tie rod ends got loose, or some other bushings. Also I was reading that the newer models have a problem with track bar fittings ovaling out because of the smaller diameter screws being used lately, that might contribute to the play. If the track bar has play, the axle may shift left and right, that might explain the lazy steering tumbling side to side. The only objection that comes to mind is that if the track bar were loose, I should have gotten the death wobble...

Oh and when I looked at the new steering stabilizer when the jeep was on the flat bed, it looked like it is damaged, because the shaft looked like it was coming into the cylinder at an angle! Don't know if a damaged stabilizer would make the steering wonder though. It is designed to eliminate the shimmy, not pull the tie rod side to side... or could it???

daggo66 10-05-2011 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycdude777 (Post 1629671)
I doubt it was the mud cakes. The mudwas still fresh and wet when the steering problem became apparent


It doesn't need to be dry to affect your steering. :facepalm: It would probably affect it even more when it's still wet and heavier.

ESP 10-05-2011 11:40 AM

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this thread.

wrangler0 10-05-2011 11:51 AM

Where in NYC do you go wheeling!?

DrHolliday 10-05-2011 12:39 PM

I would address the loose tie rod ends as well. That would cause a lot of wondering on the highway. I would follow the other advice in this thread and thoroughly inspect all moving components on the front end for loose joints.

I also believe you damaged something in the axle when off road. I wouldn't thing a front u-joint would snap your first time on dry pavement in 4 high, though you should avoid sharp turns when in 4 hi on a hard surface.

When you where stuck in the mud spinning trying to get out was it starting to bounce at all? Bouncing can break axles and joints faster then anything.

nycdude777 10-05-2011 01:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wrangler0 (Post 1629821)
Where in NYC do you go wheeling!?

Catskills

nycdude777 10-05-2011 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrHolliday (Post 1629944)
I would address the loose tie rod ends as well. That would cause a lot of wondering on the highway. I would follow the other advice in this thread and thoroughly inspect all moving components on the front end for loose joints.

I also believe you damaged something in the axle when off road. I wouldn't thing a front u-joint would snap your first time on dry pavement in 4 high, though you should avoid sharp turns when in 4 hi on a hard surface.

When you where stuck in the mud spinning trying to get out was it starting to bounce at all? Bouncing can break axles and joints faster then anything.

Waiting for the dealer to call me now and let me know what's up.

I definitely damaged something when I was spinning and rocking, cuz I was turning wheels left and right, going back and forth. Not sure what you mean by bouncing.

I don't think it cracked in the woods. Otherwise I would be stuck there. I definitely got back safely, 136 mile drive. I was going 75.

The shaft ear broke off when I was doing a hard left turn in 4h and pressing gas, it was foolish, but I wanted to deliberately wobble the wheel, to see if it wobbles excessively, trying to figure out if if the tie rod end is really loose. The steering problem really got me crazy and caused me to do that! Thats when I heard the snap.

So anyway, that problem is being dealt with. It is apparent.

What I am still concerned about is the steering.

nycdude777 10-05-2011 01:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ESP123 (Post 1629783)
I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this thread.

Try both buddy

nycdude777 10-05-2011 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daggo66 (Post 1629769)
It doesn't need to be dry to affect your steering. :facepalm: It would probably affect it even more when it's still wet and heavier.

Please explain. Wet mud is soft and would be squashed by the moving parts, without creating any leverage. I can see how dry mud can become an obstacle for parts trying to come together.

GoldenSahara00 10-05-2011 02:14 PM

Its not because its in the way of moving parts, its because your wheels werent balanced. Thats why you get your wheels mounted, balanced and aligned to within decimal places. Mud on the tires and wheels can be heavier in some spots, and that can cause some weird things with your steering.

I believe you still damaged something however.

bdizz 10-05-2011 02:39 PM

I'm nowhere near as knowledgeable as most people on this forum, but I have had a good bit of experience with mud. I've had mud cause a lot of issues from inconsistent steering, to squeaking/squealing/creaking, to cruise control not working. The only way I know that it was the mud and not something else I did off-road is that whenever my Jeep is muddy, I take it home and run the sprinklers underneath it to clean off as much mud as possible. That alone has fixed every one of those issues, every time.

I certainly can't be of much help and really don't know what you broke. Just pointing out that mud alone can cause more problems than you might think.

tcass 10-05-2011 02:55 PM

i've had problems with wheel ballance after being in deep snow. especially if i pulled into the drive at night through deep snow and took out early the next morning. easy to notice.....sometimes a pita to clean off the wheels/rims.

cass

sstan 10-05-2011 03:00 PM

The steering you're describing is exactly what I had when my track bar nut backed off where it mounts to the frame. It was on my truck after having an adjustable track bar installed. The doof forgot to torque the nut and install a cotter pin. Eventually the nut backed off and fell off. Visually everything looked normal but getting it on a lift and checking everything uncovered the problem.

kik 10-05-2011 03:19 PM

nycdude listen to the dagster. :) Good luck with your Rubi. At this point I think you need some. Hopefully, it will be back to riding as it should.

nycdude777 10-05-2011 03:52 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by kik (Post 1630370)
nycdude listen to the dagster. :) Good luck with your Rubi. At this point I think you need some. Hopefully, it will be back to riding as it should.

I'm listening, I'm learning! :) I love this forum by the way...
I love the feeling of the whole jeep comradery :thumb:

So here is an update. Dealer just called me back, and said they the are replacing the whole axle assembly, under warranty! He said they are surprised that a 2011 jeep came apart like that. The bad news is, I now have to wait for the part, possibly till friday! Ah man, what am I gonna do, what am I gonna do... LOL I gotta walk everywhere now???

Here is a picture of me being an idiot stuck in the mud puddle last weekend, and the consequences documented...

Attachment 70994

Attachment 70995

Attachment 70996

InvertChaos 10-05-2011 05:01 PM

And that is why you don't wheel alone. If I start spinning and can't get out, I will happily hook up a tow strap to a buddy and have him pull me out. It may be a knock to your pride but it sure is cheaper than breaking something!

wrangler0 10-05-2011 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycdude777

Catskills

Legally?
Would be nice to have a place to wheel that's close to the city!

nycdude777 10-05-2011 06:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wrangler0 (Post 1630625)
Legally?
Would be nice to have a place to wheel that's close to the city!

Yeah, I have a place up there, me an my neighbors have about 60 acres of land in our backyard used for wheeling, hunting and just blasting guns.

nycdude777 10-05-2011 06:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by InvertChaos (Post 1630576)
And that is why you don't wheel alone. If I start spinning and can't get out, I will happily hook up a tow strap to a buddy and have him pull me out. It may be a knock to your pride but it sure is cheaper than breaking something!


Yeah, there were 4 of us in the jeep. Two girls and two guys. We were spinning for about 40 minutes. Trying different things. At one point I remembered that I have a 50 foot wire rope, about 1/4 inch in diameter. I hooked it up to the back hook with one end, swung around a tree in the back and brought the other end back and tied it to the same hook, so I had a loop. Then I took a wrench and started winding the rope. Put about 100 spins on it and my friend started getting really jumpy, told me stories how these ropes snap and cut people in half and $hit.... I lost the interest in doing that quickly, but I did try to back out with all that tight rope behind me... (I wish I had a freaggin winch about now, I kept thinking to myself)

Eventually, two girls in the trunk and my friend on the back tire did the trick. Oh yeah, I just needed that weight on the back tires. As you can see in the picture the heavy front end sunk deep in the mud, with about 18 inches of wall...

Once we backed out, I found a shortcut through the trees back to the dry trail. Had to put down a tree with my left tire and an old branch nearly smashed my window in the back, thank god it was open!

daggo66 10-05-2011 06:34 PM

He meant with another vehicle.

InvertChaos 10-05-2011 07:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daggo66
He meant with another vehicle.

Yessir

People can't pull you out of a ditch very easily or drive out for help if someone gets hurt.

wrangler0 10-05-2011 09:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycdude777 (Post 1630747)
Yeah, I have a place up there, me an my neighbors have about 60 acres of land in our backyard used for wheeling, hunting and just blasting guns.

Very nice!! Lucky you! :)

Jared1956 10-05-2011 10:02 PM

I would bet any amount of money your front axle housing was bent. According to JP magazine and others, the JK housings are very weak in front, especially in a 4 door loaded with people. (weight)

They sell thicker tubes that are supposed to alleviate the problem as long as your not running 37's or bigger.


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