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-   -   help diagnosing steering issues (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f218/help-diagnosing-steering-issues-173599.html)

mountainYJ 07-14-2012 02:01 PM

help diagnosing steering issues
 
2 Attachment(s)
92 YJ w/ OME lift and jks sway bar discos

Recently (after using my sway bar discos for the first time) my steering wheel came out of alignment, so that the steering wheel is about half a turn to the right when jeep is going straight. After searching and researching the forum, I suspected track bar and/or tie rod ends / drag link. I think the fact that I just used the discos for the first time is a coincidence?...

Sure enough, upon inspection under my jeep, I realized that the track back has come unbolted on the axle end (photo 1 below), and I believe the tie rod end / drag link is loose where it meets the wheel (picture 2).

My questions are as follows. For track bar, I am leaning toward just removing it, since my jeep is a YJ. But for the loose tie rod end / drag link, I am not sure what I should do. First of all, am I correct that the points labeled 1) and 2) below in photo 2 are the drag link and tie rod end? Is it safe to just tighten the bolt with the cotter pin going through it, where tie rod meets wheel (which is loose)?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I have read on here and think I have diagnosed the problem, but I just want to make sure I am addressing the problem in the correct manner. I just am trying to understand what I am dealing with. Jeep is used for daily driving and weekly four wheeling (nothing crazy).

Thanks!

mountainYJ 07-14-2012 03:23 PM

upon further inspection, I must have hit a rock 4 wheeling, b/c the bottom link on my driver's side sway bar disco is bent. This is around the same area as the drag link, which I am am able to turn back and forth with my hand, which also moves the tie rod.

The bolt with the cotter pin I referred to above won't budge. How do I tighten all of this up?

Redrider94 07-14-2012 04:07 PM

If there is play in the tie rod end it needs to be replaced and the front end aligned. The track bar you just take it off.

mountainYJ 07-14-2012 04:18 PM

thanks for the reply. the tie rod end does not move laterally, only turns back and forth a little along the threads. Is this considered play and cause for replacement? I read that a little bit of turning motion is okay, but not sure if this is true...

Redrider94 07-14-2012 06:31 PM

Are you saying that the tie rod end rolls a little forward and backward on its ball and it dosnt have play up and down or front to back? If so then prob ok. Get some one to help you check them, this can be done very easily. Have your helper turn the steering wheel back and forth with the engine off, just rock the steering wheel back and forth till it stops both directions. While they are rocking the steering wheel you look at all tie rod and center link ends looking for sloppy movement also by holding onto the tie rod and center link bar while steering wheel is being rocked you can feel any play that you may not see.

Redrider94 07-14-2012 06:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Redrider94
Are you saying that the tie rod end rolls a little forward and backward on its ball and it dosnt have play up and down or front to back? If so then prob ok. Get some one to help you check them, this can be done very easily. Have your helper turn the steering wheel back and forth with the engine off, just rock the steering wheel back and forth till it stops both directions. While they are rocking the steering wheel you look at all tie rod and center link ends looking for sloppy movement also by holding onto the tie rod and center link bar while steering wheel is being rocked you can feel any play that you may not see.

Forgot to say if you don't feel up to doing it yourself or can't find a helper, you can do what I do!! That is take it to your local tire shop and tell them that you think you need an the front end checked for any bad parts, so you know what needs replaced. Most good tire shops will do it free, and tell you what is bad then you can decide if you want to repair it yourself or have someone else do it for you.

0III0forlife 07-15-2012 12:07 PM

The only part of the steering that will "clock" your steering wheel out of true is the drag link.

Which is the rod that runs from the steering box down to the passenger side tie rod end. So therfore, although it might need tightened, the tie rod on the drivers side isnt going to make your steering wheel look off center when going straight.

i also notice in your pics that you have the front shocks disconnected? Whats up with that? Trying to get some extreme flex i would bet..

mountainYJ 07-16-2012 10:31 AM

Are my shocks disconnected? As I mentioned, I had (and still have) sway bar disconnected via my jks discos. Is that what you meant?

mountainYJ 07-16-2012 10:57 AM

It was the first time I used my sway bar discos and I used them incorrectly. Rather than release both pins and remove the disco I instead only removed one end and left the other end of disco attched. I did zip tie it so it would not rattle but the zip tie broke. Could not removing the discos correctly have caused my drag link to loosen and aso the welded tab on the drivers disco to bend?

mountainYJ 07-16-2012 07:20 PM

just double checked. my shocks are definitely connected. I think you may be referring to the yellow shock looking item parallel to the ground, which is the steering stabilizer?


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