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-   -   Test Drove A Tj Today. Need Some Serious Help (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/test-drove-a-tj-today-need-some-serious-help-248115.html)

music_man185 06-08-2013 09:38 PM

Test Drove A Tj Today. Need Some Serious Help
 
A friend of mine has a 99 sahara for sale. He has had it a few years. It already had a lift on it when he bought it. 3 or 4 inch suspension, possibly 1 or 2 inch body with 33/12.50. I met him today to test drive. Almost immediately I noticed that the steering wheel has a lot of play in it. It seemed like I was constantly moving the steering wheel back and forth just to keep it straight. And the jeep itself felt like it was just bouncing back and forth from the yellow line to the white line. This was all happening in city limits. Around 35 mph. When I got out of city limits and got up to 55 mph, it felt horribly sketchy. It felt like the jeep was in a game of pong with the yellow line and white line. I met a car and was afraid I was getting ready to have a collision. Basically I would like to know what could fix this. The jeep has a steering stabilizer, but could the shock possibly be worn out? If you hit the brakes moderately hard, the jeep pulls hard left. Everything else on the jeep is in great shape. My friend really took care of it. He never got the steering looked at because he hardly ever drives it and eventually got used to it.

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Milkman 06-08-2013 09:48 PM

There are bunch of items to look at but part of it is how comfortable you are driving a lifted vehicle. Going from a nice handling sedan or sports car to a lifted TJ is quite a culture shock.

Here is a quick list that could be causing wandering issues:
1. Make sure front and rear sway bars are installed and connected.(some people remove for offroad flex but dangerous on road without them)
2. Since it was bought with a lift no idea if an alignment was done. Can make them very squirrelly on the road with that much lift and no alignment.

BLK00TJ 06-08-2013 09:48 PM

It could be misalignment, but if there was a problem with the steering, a dry steering test would pin point the issue. Have him turn the steering wheel back and forth and look for loose junk in the trackbar, draglink, and tie rod. If the alignment is correct and you don't see any loose junk, I'd think the steering box could be the problem. what tires are on it? Some tires don't like to track in a straight line too but the steering should still be tight.

Jeepfixer1 06-08-2013 09:49 PM

Could be a number of things! Most likely the ever problematic track bar. If you don't know how to properly check the front end then my advice is to take it to someone who does because this could be dangerous if bad enough. Even if you fix it yourself. Someone should do a thorough check for 20-40$ checking ball joints, tie rods, track bars and control arm bushings. Also check the hub bearings but they usually growl if going bad. One easy way to check the track bar is to sit in the seat or hang out the side and move the steering wheel back and forth through its play. Usually just 2-4 inches of steering wheel movement. Anyways while doing this, look at the front tire and the fender, if the fender looks to be moving back and forth over the tire and the tire isn't turning then that is track bar issues. Either way do yourself a favor and have the jeep checked out. If you know what you are getting into it can save a friendship! Hope this helps

music_man185 06-08-2013 09:51 PM

Thanks for the tips on what to look for. I have driven another friends newly lifted 06 tj. Same size lift and tires. It felt like I was driving any other vehicle. It went in a straight line and was very responsive.

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music_man185 06-08-2013 10:20 PM

The tires are bf Goodrich all terrain t/a

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ccecil3155 06-09-2013 12:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by music_man185 (Post 3840405)
A friend of mine has a 99 sahara for sale. He has had it a few years. It already had a lift on it when he bought it. 3 or 4 inch suspension, possibly 1 or 2 inch body with 33/12.50. I met him today to test drive. Almost immediately I noticed that the steering wheel has a lot of play in it. It seemed like I was constantly moving the steering wheel back and forth just to keep it straight. And the jeep itself felt like it was just bouncing back and forth from the yellow line to the white line. This was all happening in city limits. Around 35 mph. When I got out of city limits and got up to 55 mph, it felt horribly sketchy. It felt like the jeep was in a game of pong with the yellow line and white line. I met a car and was afraid I was getting ready to have a collision. Basically I would like to know what could fix this. The jeep has a steering stabilizer, but could the shock possibly be worn out? If you hit the brakes moderately hard, the jeep pulls hard left. Everything else on the jeep is in great shape. My friend really took care of it. He never got the steering looked at because he hardly ever drives it and eventually got used to it.

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If it feels sketchy it is sketchy. Just take your time buying a jeep, there's alot out there right now for sale. I looked at 20+ before finding mine.

MarkGLHS 06-09-2013 03:32 AM

run, don't walk, away from this sale.

wmdavis007 06-09-2013 04:41 AM

Get your friend to drive it to a good 4 wheel drive shop or good front end shop...and meet him there (don't drive it anymore if you don't feel safe doing so) and have them look it over. Get them to give you a quote on what needs repairing, cause it sounds like it's due for some. I would have him fix it then if you like the drive after you could buy it off him.

:thumb:

kjeeper10 06-09-2013 06:28 AM

Caster angle can also cause flighty steering if not corrected.

viperx6x9x 06-09-2013 08:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wmdavis007 (Post 3841049)
Get your friend to drive it to a good 4 wheel drive shop or good front end shop...and meet him there (don't drive it anymore if you don't feel safe doing so) and have them look it over. Get them to give you a quote on what needs repairing, cause it sounds like it's due for some. I would have him fix it then if you like the drive after you could buy it off him.

:thumb:


X2 - I wouldn't buy it like it is. You already proved to yourself this vehicle should not handle like it does, when you test drove another one and it handled just fine. Have him fix what ever is wrong first. May cost you more to buy it after that, but at least you know it's safe.

Besides, your buddy needs to have that stuff fixed if he wants to sell it to anyone. Anybody that test drives it is probably gonna feel the same way you do about it.

either way he is going to lose money on it. A - he has to spend some to get it handling right. or B - it's gonna be worth less to sell it as is. If he fixes it, it should increase the possible customer base.

Bottom line though, you don't want it as is. Unless you know exactly what needs fixing, you know that you CAN fix it, and you get a reduced price due to what you will have to fix.

Plenty other TJ's on the market, keep looking in the meantime. If he fixes it, go back and give it a second look.

1jeeplvr 06-09-2013 08:10 AM

I dont know about not buying it,especially if the price is fair.In my experience if you have play in just one component than its going to steer like ass.I would do like others mentioned(if you dont know how) and have the front end checked out by a shop who knows front ends.Maybe they can physically show you whats wrong so you can see it.This could be a good reason to get the price down.If hes not willing to lower the price than he should (as Mike Holmes says) "make it right".He wouldent want you buying an unsafe vehicle since he is your friend.:)

music_man185 06-09-2013 01:23 PM

We are going to meet at a local garage that installs lifts and can do front end work next week. He agreed that when we find out what is wrong and get it fixed, he will lower the price of the jeep to offset the cost to fix it.

I was looking for some possible causes of this problem so that I could tell the mechanic where to look first. Maybe from people that have had this problem before.

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badboydeafjeep 06-09-2013 02:35 PM

Almost sound like it got basic lift . Need fully parts lifts not minor lift and slo make sure if have whole parts at front sometime they remove it just for fun off road not for everyday driving .

1jeeplvr 06-09-2013 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by music_man185 (Post 3842050)
We are going to meet at a local garage that installs lifts and can do front end work next week. He agreed that when we find out what is wrong and get it fixed, he will lower the price of the jeep to offset the cost to fix it.

I was looking for some possible causes of this problem so that I could tell the mechanic where to look first. Maybe from people that have had this problem before.

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Anyone who is supposed to know what there doing should be able to figure out a TJ front end.There not hard to diagnose & repair.

music_man185 06-12-2013 05:40 PM

Update:
I have an appointment tomorrow evening to get the jeep looked at, but another mechanic offered to look at it today free of charge. He said the reason it pulls hard left when braking may be because the whole tie rod assembly needs to be replaced on that side. And the tie rod end on the other side needs to be replaced. He also said the sway bar linkage was bad and should be replaced. And that it would probably help to upgrade the steering stabilizer.

I'm still having it looked at tomorrow, but does this diagnosis sound about right for the problems that it has?

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junrboy13 06-12-2013 05:58 PM

Sounds right, had the same problem on mine recently and replaced everything. Now its back to normal.

music_man185 06-13-2013 08:40 PM

Another Update:

the other mechanic also said that the sway bars needed replacing. but he mentioned that the front sway bars needed replacing, but the back didn't have any sway bars at all and needed them. he said the tie rods looked fine. but i will probably have them replaced anyway.


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