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Old 04-15-2019, 03:36 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 245
Dead spot/vibration in steering wheel

Does anyone have a "dead" spot in their steering wheel and vibrations?

I have replaced the following:
- Metal Cloak tie rod - 8 months
- Metal Cloak drag link - 8 months
- Metal Cloak track bar (Had a Teraflex one but just replaced) 1 -week
- Teraflex HD ball joints 2- months
- Teraflex lower Alpine arms - 8 months
- NO Steering Stabilizer (Have tried many and none feel as good as none)

I still have a dead spot in my wheel from say 11:57 to 12:03 and nothing I have done seems to fix this. Also have slight vibrations still around 51mph.

I am at my wits end on what to try next. I feel like every month I am posting on here for something with my steering, and have replaced most everything up front.

I did have a friend stop by and look and we discovered my pitman arm bolt is kind of loose. Can feel it when turning the wheels back and forth, so just ordered a big open face wrench to get it tighten down. I don't have one big enough and not enough room for an adjustable to fit and get enough grip. If that is not it, then maybe the tires?

My tires are Nitto Ridge Grapplers and while heavy I do like them. They sit at 30psi warm and 28psi cold. I have adjusted them all the way to 40psi before and all that does is bounce me around. I have taken wheel spacers off/on and feeling is the same. Car tracks perfect down the road/highway and have been over 80mph with it and still fine. Minus the dead spot. Vibration is only around the 51mph mark.

Discount does a road force balance every 5k miles with a 5 tire rotation and they say they are fine. There suggestion was to run them higher psi

My Jeep is a 16 JKU Rubi with just over 36k. 2.5" Mopar Lift with 35's Nitto Ridge Grapplers with 20k on them. Full skids, and bumpers front/rear with winch, so pretty heavy. I am just sick of throwing money at the front end as nothing seems to work and I just live with it until I replace another part up front. I have now basically replaced it all and still not correct. Maybe its a Jeep thing


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Old 04-15-2019, 03:45 PM   #2
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Location: California
Posts: 756
18 JKUS stock - no play or vibrations in steering, far

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Old 04-15-2019, 09:03 PM   #3
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Location: NW NJ
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Yep, it's a "Jeep thing" -- depending how particular you are. My front end parts are all in new or basically new condition, recent drag link flip with tie rod too (SS/tera), 30k miles on the Jeep and everything is tight with 4.4+° of caster last I checked.

It's still quite sloppy compared to my 4Runner or my wife's QX56. However, it's not rack and pinion steering. It never will feel as precise as one of those type of systems. Especially not when running big tires.

I have had so many built Jeeps (YJ, XJ, TJ, ZJ many multiples of them in that list too) and as far as steering feel, this one is probably still the best of all of them. It'll never feel like a car though, and that's probably a good thing. If it did, something would be wrong, haha.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:45 AM   #4

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First, a loose pitman arm could cause at least some of what you describe.
Second, what is your caster? More caster is better for stability but my experience was that too much caster caused a dead spot in the center of steering as well a reducing how much it turns as you turn the wheel. It slowed down the steering and resulted in a dead center feel, much like an old Caddy from the 70's.
Caster is a balance, you want enough caster for happy steering but not too much. Too little is not stable and results in too quick steering. Too much results in slow steering and possibly a dead spot in the center.
Finally, do you have a stock or aftermarket front drive shaft (relating to the vibration)?
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:35 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 245
Tool should be here tomorrow to tighten the arm up more. Also attached is what my current alignment is at when I got the ball joints installed.

As for the driveshaft it is the aftermarket one that came with the 2.5" Mopar lift system. The vibration isn't from the seat, its in the wheel. Almost like an out of balance wheel type feel.


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