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-   -   Jeep handling and driving straight (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/jeep-handling-and-driving-straight-175887.html)

MudderNuker 07-24-2012 03:00 PM

Hi all,

I Wanted to ask the experts here in a last attempt to salvage what I call a love hate relationship.

I love how my 2012 Jeep JKU Sahara looks, the features and capabilities.

I absolutely HATE how it drives.

This thing is hard to drive in a straight line without constant steering input/correction. This wandering can be exhausting on a long trip. I traded a BMW X3 for the Jeep and now I'm looking to trade the Jeep for an X1.

I know it's a Jeep and they are different but what I can't understand is how Jeep sells a vehicle that is really not meant for highway driving at normal Hwy speeds. Sometimes, in windy conditions it even feels scary to drive. God forbid you drive with one hand only while holding your coffee or changing the tunes. Before you know it you are on the other lane or hitting the rumble strips.

The Jeep has a Teraflex 2" budget boost, and 33" tires.

What can I do to improve the handling/steering of this beast? Steering dampers? Magic? Voodoo? Is it even possible?

Thanks for your input.

I'm sure I will get some people telling me it's a Jeep or is a Jeep thing or just live with it because it is a Jeep, please don't.

I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem, most if not all know what I'm talking about. Don't be shy, its ok, you too call vent about the poor handling.

My girlfriend refuses to drive this thing as she thinks it is unsafe.

Please be kind with your replies.

Vin 07-24-2012 03:06 PM

What tire pressure are you running at? Chances are the guys who installed the tires filled them too high. Try airing them down to about 30 psi. When the guys installed my Duratracs, they had the tires filled to 40 psi. That's fine for a light truck, but our Wranglers are alot lighter so basically you bounce like a basket ball.

MacCTD 07-24-2012 03:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MudderNuker (Post 2617702)
Hi all,

I Wanted to ask the experts here in a last attempt to salvage what I call a love hate relationship.

I love how my 2012 Jeep JKU Sahara looks, the features and capabilities.

I absolutely HATE how it drives.

This thing is hard to drive in a straight line without constant steering input/correction. This wandering can be exhausting on a long trip. I traded a BMW X3 for the Jeep and now I'm looking to trade the Jeep for an X1.

I know it's a Jeep and they are different but what I can't understand is how Jeep sells a vehicle that is really not meant for highway driving at normal Hwy speeds. Sometimes, in windy conditions it even feels scary to drive. God forbid you drive with one hand only while holding your coffee or changing the tunes. Before you know it you are on the other lane or hitting the rumble strips.

The Jeep has a Teraflex 2" budget boost, and 33" tires.

What can I do to improve the handling/steering of this beast? Steering dampers? Magic? Voodoo? Is it even possible?

Thanks for your input.

I'm sure I will get some people telling me it's a Jeep or is a Jeep thing or just live with it because it is a Jeep, please don't.

I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem, most if not all know what I'm talking about. Don't be shy, its ok, you too call vent about the poor handling.

My girlfriend refuses to drive this thing as she thinks it is unsafe.

Please be kind with your replies.

How did it drive before you modified the suspension?

MudderNuker 07-24-2012 03:10 PM

Last time I checked they were at about 32psi. My problem is not really bouncing but wandering side to side. Not in a hard way but enough to necessitate constant steering input.

lwszabo 07-24-2012 03:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vin
What tire pressure are you running at? Chances are the guys who installed the tires filled them too high. Try airing them down to about 30 psi. When the guys installed my Duratracs, they had the tires filled to 40 psi. That's fine for a light truck, but our Wranglers are alot lighter so basically you bounce like a basket ball.

I believe even 30 psi is way to high...i would go with 26 psi. I had 35 in mine when I got the tires and it rode awful. Went to 30 and it was a little better...went to 26 and it's smooth as glass and that with BFG mud tires

kjeeper10 07-24-2012 03:11 PM

You need to have the alignment checked.

#1 what is your caster? Low caster will
Def cause your problem.
Fix- adjustable control arms.

#2 toe in. Shouldn't of changed but worth checking.

#3 should be #1 air pressure?
Edit: 32 is ok for that size.

MudderNuker 07-24-2012 03:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MacCTD

How did it drive before you modified the suspension?

About the same. My brother and I purchased JKU's on the same day and he also complains about the poor handling. He traded a Ram SRT-10 for it.

kjeeper10 07-24-2012 03:14 PM

Jeeps handling is a crap shoot from the factory. Some complain some don't. A lift adds to already crappy steering.

Caster :whistling:

MudderNuker 07-24-2012 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kjeeper10
You need to have the alignment checked.

#1 what is your caster? Low caster will
Def cause your problem.
Fix- adjustable control arms.

#2 toe in. Shouldn't of changed but worth checking.

#3 should be #1 air pressure?
Edit: 32 is ok for that size.

I should get an alignment and start the process of elimination.

KittyPrawn 07-24-2012 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kjeeper10 (Post 2617751)
Jeeps handling is a crap shoot from the factory. Some complain some don't. A lift adds to already crappy steering.

Caster :whistling:

Sounds like I'll have to agree with this. My man has no issues with handling.. and I didn't the few times I've driven his Jeep. Maybe the difference is in JK vs JKU...

Sorry you're having such a poor experience though. Was this not apparent when test driving it?

MacCTD 07-24-2012 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MudderNuker (Post 2617749)
About the same. My brother and I purchased JKU's on the same day and he also complains about the poor handling. He traded a Ram SRT-10 for it.

Maybe adding the AEV geometry correction brackets, but only a guess I have no first hand experiece only what I have read on here and you may not have enough lift to use them.

kramer2k 07-24-2012 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kjeeper10 (Post 2617746)
You need to have the alignment checked.

#1 what is your caster? Low caster will
Def cause your problem.
Fix- adjustable control arms..

This was my immediate thought when I first read the thread title. After reading further that the OP has a 2" lift, I'm leaning more in this direction.

I'd be surprised if an alignment and CAs didn't line it right back up.

Dozer13JK 07-24-2012 03:30 PM

Man if you think these JK's handle bad I'd hate to know what you think about how a CJ, YJ, or even a TJ handle on the highway.

kjeeper10 07-24-2012 03:32 PM

Drove 3/4 the Jk drives the best :P

0p - you know how much lift you actually gained ?

MudderNuker 07-24-2012 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kjeeper10
Drove 3/4 the Jk drives the best :P

0p - you know how much lift you actually gained ?

Probably less than 2".

snochick 07-24-2012 03:42 PM

Chalk test the tires. At least then you know the pressure is right instead of guessing. 32 is too high I can tell u that for sure. Alignment as well which is standard after a lift.

A steering stabilizer may help but honestly if you still don't like it after the first two then it's likely you're just not a jeep owner. I don't say that in a mean way either. Some people just don't like em and from what you drove before I'd guess it's a safe bet you're going to be one of them. But for argument sake since you want to be sure those are 3 things u can check.

MudderNuker 07-24-2012 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dozer13JK (Post 2617797)
Man if you think these JK's handle bad I'd hate to know what you think about how a CJ, YJ, or even a TJ handle on the highway.

:)

Dozer13JK 07-24-2012 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MudderNuker (Post 2617828)
:)

:thumb: Jeeps in general don't handle well at highway speeds and distance trips, no matter what the model. It's not going to feel smooth and steady like a car, even if kept stock. Whatever your intentions are to do with your Jeep, sell or keep, that is your decision. Good luck!

MudderNuker 07-24-2012 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snochick (Post 2617823)
Chalk test the tires. At least then you know the pressure is right instead of guessing. 32 is too high I can tell u that for sure. Alignment as well which is standard after a lift.

A steering stabilizer may help but honestly if you still don't like it after the first two then it's likely you're just not a jeep owner. I don't say that in a mean way either. Some people just don't like em and from what you drove before I'd guess it's a safe bet you're going to be one of them. But for argument sake since you want to be sure those are 3 things u can check.

Thanks for the advice. You may be right, I may not be a Wrangler guy. I have owned three other Jeeps but they were Grand Cherokees and one Comanche.

jo3_h 07-24-2012 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MudderNuker (Post 2617702)
Hi all,

I Wanted to ask the experts here in a last attempt to salvage what I call a love hate relationship.

I love how my 2012 Jeep JKU Sahara looks, the features and capabilities.

I absolutely HATE how it drives.

This thing is hard to drive in a straight line without constant steering input/correction. This wandering can be exhausting on a long trip. I traded a BMW X3 for the Jeep and now I'm looking to trade the Jeep for an X1.

I know it's a Jeep and they are different but what I can't understand is how Jeep sells a vehicle that is really not meant for highway driving at normal Hwy speeds. Sometimes, in windy conditions it even feels scary to drive. God forbid you drive with one hand only while holding your coffee or changing the tunes. Before you know it you are on the other lane or hitting the rumble strips.

The Jeep has a Teraflex 2" budget boost, and 33" tires.

What can I do to improve the handling/steering of this beast? Steering dampers? Magic? Voodoo? Is it even possible?

Thanks for your input.

I'm sure I will get some people telling me it's a Jeep or is a Jeep thing or just live with it because it is a Jeep, please don't.

I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem, most if not all know what I'm talking about. Don't be shy, its ok, you too call vent about the poor handling.

My girlfriend refuses to drive this thing as she thinks it is unsafe.

Please be kind with your replies.

I struggle sometimes with the handling as well. I've been driving all wheel drive Audi's and BMW's for the last few years and sometimes I have a bit of buyers remorse; if the X5 came in a manual transmission I probably would have went that route instead. I only really drive my Jeep on the weekends (walk to work during the week). If you can't make your peace with it then ditch it... I am sure you can sell it in a jiffy... hell, it's only a "car".
:hide:

Saranrap 07-24-2012 03:52 PM

somthings off.

I can let go of my steering wheel and be straight as an arrow, i mean DEAD straight. my brother which is an avid BMW guy loves my jeep and sais over and over how easy it is to dive.

Granted if your comparing the two your Apples and Rocks, most purchase jeeps for its capabilities (like me) others purchase it for "looks" and expect it to drive like a BMW and thats where it ends. I dont believe cherokees should even have a jeep badge on it :) My brother is trying to get out of his lease and into a jeep beacuase he loves how "raw" it is, i think your finding that your not an unrefined guy. My brother on the other hand is finding hes not a "refined" guy...

Granted i do think something is wrong with yours but you made a complete 180 out of a x3 into a Jeep. get your alighnment checked, your supposed to have it done after any type of wheel/suspension work IE lift. and narrow it down.

Good luck! :)

kik 07-24-2012 04:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Saranrap (Post 2617851)
somthings off.

I can let go of my steering wheel and be straight as an arrow, i mean DEAD straight. my brother which is an avid BMW guy loves my jeep and sais over and over how easy it is to dive.

Granted if your comparing the two your Apples and Rocks, most purchase jeeps for its capabilities (like me) others purchase it for "looks" and expect it to drive like a BMW and thats where it ends. I dont believe cherokees should even have a jeep badge on it :) My brother is trying to get out of his lease and into a jeep beacuase he loves how "raw" it is, i think your finding that your not an unrefined guy. My brother on the other hand is finding hes not a "refined" guy...

Granted i do think something is wrong with yours but you made a complete 180 out of a x3 into a Jeep. get your alighnment checked, your supposed to have it done after any type of wheel/suspension work IE lift. and narrow it down.

Good luck! :)

I have the same experience. My 10 Rubi 2dr is dead on. Actually pretty easy to drive although you do need more input on the curves. That's normal for a JK. The M3 we had could run without hardly any input. BMW's are like that. It was almost like you had auto pilot. But, one curb and the M3 would be toast. The Rubi, not really. I do think your lift is at fault. From your post I'm a bit surprised that you would have wanted it lifted. I bet it's fixable. I wouldn't give up yet.

Daniel_M 07-24-2012 04:31 PM

My JK with 3.5” of lift and 35’s goes straight but requires more input than other vehicles. With aerodynamics like a barn, high COG and big MT tires, what are you expecting??

Any other vehicle is night and day when compared to a Wrangler. I don’t mean better or worse just that there really is no other vehicle in the same class as a Jeep Wrangler

-Dan

kjeeper10 07-24-2012 04:31 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dozer13JK

:thumb: Jeeps in general don't handle well at highway speeds and distance trips, no matter what the model. It's not going to feel smooth and steady like a car, even if kept stock. Whatever your intentions are to do with your Jeep, sell or keep, that is your decision. Good luck!

:eek:

Freakin thing handles better on the highway then slow speeds :rolleyes:

50 Something 07-24-2012 04:38 PM

With only under 800 miles on mine It's hard to say one way or the other, but the steering is as tight as a drum. Takes very little correction or you would be in the next lane. Drives straight as an arrow.

50 Something

Climber07 07-24-2012 04:47 PM

I put over 30k miles on my 2011 JK in it's first year, mostly highway...much of that is highway at speed (I commute from Boston to NJ for a couple days most weeks). My Jeep is a pleasure to drive on the highway...sure if you hit some nasty bumps, it'll jump a little, but nothing like you describe. Not sure if it's a matter of comparison...I've always driven trucks and truck like vehicles...not BMW's, etc...but it sure sounds like a problem, not a "Jeep" thing....

bloodfart 07-24-2012 04:53 PM

if all you care about is ride quality on the highway, then why not LOWER your jeep, put stiffer springs, big sway bars and strut bars, and voila, it'll handle a million times better (plus the benefit of being unique, since almost every jeep owner RAISES their ride). part of the reason why the X3 and X1 are better on the highway, is because they suck off road, so you have to pick what you want

CW Spook 07-24-2012 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dozer13JK (Post 2617837)
:thumb: Jeeps in general don't handle well at highway speeds and distance trips, no matter what the model. It's not going to feel smooth and steady like a car, even if kept stock. Whatever your intentions are to do with your Jeep, sell or keep, that is your decision. Good luck!

Say whaaat??? Even my old '95 YJ was fine at highway speeds....noisy as h#&& with no carpet and usually no side windows, but stable. My new '12 JK is steady as a rock on the interstate at 70 mph with the cruise control set. the radio blasting jazz, and the A/C keeping me comfy in this blankety-blank 100 degree heat.

wassup8687 07-24-2012 05:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 50 Something (Post 2618007)
the steering is as tight as a drum. Takes very little correction or you would be in the next lane. Drives straight as an arrow.

50 Something

I agree the steering is very tight. It takes some getting use to keeping the wheel straight and not wandering.

JOCJK 07-24-2012 05:57 PM

Agreed with most of the posts. I had a 96 BMW328i for a brief period of time and the thing would drive itself on the highway. At 90 you felt like you were sitting still. My 2007 JKUR is HUGE upgrade over the 2000 XJ and driving it on the highway is almost as much fun as driving it offroad (not really but you get my point). The alignment is a bit off after the tires, wheels and leveling kit but I'm getting that straightened tomorrow. Other than that I'm seriously impressed with the ride on the road as so many people talk about "its inabilty to handle on-road". Not sure what those people were driving before. If yours is drastically different than something must be off.


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