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Old 03-30-2009, 01:48 AM
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Help with Steering

I know this might be covered here already but I could not find anything..

The steering wheel does not turn to center after making a right turn (only). I did a 4" lift yesterday but that problem was starting to be evident recently. One thing we noticed during the lift install is that the stabilizer bushing was gone! We installed a different one but not luck..It also makes a sound when going full turn. I also did an alignment today which centered the steering wheel back. (it was waayyy off)

So, new stabilizer, new lower pitman?

Thanks

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Old 03-30-2009, 02:06 AM   #2
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If you don't extend the lower control arms it angles the axle down and the steering geometry needs to be fixed.

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Old 03-30-2009, 03:20 AM   #3
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What kind of noise does it make when at full turn? Is it more of a clicking in the steering wheel? Or a whining in the pump?
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:20 PM
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What kind of noise does it make when at full turn? Is it more of a clicking in the steering wheel? Or a whining in the pump?
It's not a clicking noise. More like something is pulled in there but not a metal noise of something rubbing. I suck when it comes to explaing sounds. Everything is tight though. Any ideas?
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:22 PM
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I still have the stock pitman arm on. I notice a higher angle do you thing the lower pitman arm will help this? Maybe it's streching it. Now that I think about the noise it's more of a pulling noise when something has a hard time turning.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:28 PM   #6
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It's definitely not caused by continuing to run the OE Pitman arm, in fact you should make sure to continue to run it and not run a dropped Pitman arm which will only cause bump steer.

I'm thinking your axle has been shifted so far to the driver's side as a result of the 4" suspension lift that its geometry is now screwed. Due to how the trackbar is used to hold the axle center but it then pulls the front axle to the driver's side after a suspension lift is installed, I'm betting that is at least part of the problem. I'd replace the OE trackbar with an adjustable length trackbar like the Rubicon Express RE-1600 to re-center the axle and see if that cures the problem. Incidentally, a suspension lift does the same thing to the rear axle but the trackbar pulls it out to the passenger-side instead.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:55 PM
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It's definitely not caused by continuing to run the OE Pitman arm, in fact you should make sure to continue to run it and not run a dropped Pitman arm which will only cause bump steer.

I'm thinking your axle has been shifted so far to the driver's side as a result of the 4" suspension lift that its geometry is now screwed. Due to how the trackbar is used to hold the axle center but it then pulls the front axle to the driver's side after a suspension lift is installed, I'm betting that is at least part of the problem. I'd replace the OE trackbar with an adjustable length trackbar like the Rubicon Express RE-1600 to re-center the axle and see if that cures the problem. Incidentally, a suspension lift does the same thing to the rear axle but the trackbar pulls it out to the passenger-side instead.
We did relocate the track bar (Drilled a hole) following the instructions. It got an alignment yesterday and the axles were centers. Is the fact that it was doing it with a 2" spacer lift ring any bells?
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:00 PM
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Now, I don't mind getting a adj. track bar. If I do I am installing it in the original hole? I should be able to do this myself right? I am not mech. fluent but I think I can install it? Maybe?
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:01 PM   #9
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No bells were rung, sorry. Probably the next thing I'd do is have someone sit inside your Jeep and after starting the engine, have them turn the steering wheel back & forth while you kneel on the ground in front watch for anything unusua happening on the steering systeml, especially when the steering wheel is turned all the way to the right.

Edit: Yes if you install an adjustable-length trackbar, its passenger-side mounting bolt should be mounted back into the original hole.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:59 PM
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Thanks for the input..Anyone else???
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:02 PM   #11
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Damn my idea was shot. I thought you might've blown out your clock spring.

I'd definitely follow Jerry's advice and have someone navigate the wheel while you watch everything and see if something obvious is binding.

I never trust that drilling of a new hole for the trac bar. I know that lift manufacturers put it in their instructions, but I think it's irresponsible of them. You might validate that the metal hasn't cracked around the new hole or that you have wallowed out that new hole.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:58 PM
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We just checked it and nothing unusual..The power steering was low added it and the turn is smoother but the steering wheel still stays to the right.

Now, I don't want to spend top $$ for an adj. track bar. Can I get away with just a basic adj. track bar in the $120 range?

Thanks again
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:53 PM
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Do I need to do an alignment again if I replace the track bar?
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:12 PM   #14
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At most, you'd only need to re-center the steering wheel by a slight twist of the adjustment link on the drag link. That is only because the axle would be shifting back towards the passenger-side when you re-center it using the adjustable length of the new trackbar, pulling the drag link and Pitman arm with it, rotating the steering wheel slightly.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:51 AM
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Thanks again.. I also read that this can be a caster issue? I don't know about that since it was doing it before the lift as well and now too. I have a feeling I am going to buy the trac bar and it will keep doing it.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:55 AM
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Just to clarify when we relocated the track bar by drilling a hole we did not use a lowering bracket..
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:41 PM
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ust checked the front axle u joints today at the shop and they are going bad. The right one is worse than the left...Could this be it?
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:59 PM
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Update: Update: So, went back to a different shop today and here is the story. The lower stabilizer on the tie rod was hit. I have seen that but didn't really worry me. Well, the tie rod is bend but it was not very obvious at least to me but looking closer it is. Also we removed the stabilizer and basically does not open therefore the pulling sound..I think. So a bent tie rod would mess up the alignment as well correct? The steering wheel almost returns to center right now. I am putting new tie rod tomorrow and hopefully this will fix the problem.
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:04 PM   #19
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What do you mean the stabilizer does not open? Do you mean you cannot pull it open with your hands or it does not open on its own? It will not open on its own because it is hydraulic and not gas charged. Only gas-charged shocks open on their own and there are no gas-charged steering stabilizers..
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:33 PM
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What do you mean the stabilizer does not open? Do you mean you cannot pull it open with your hands or it does not open on its own? It will not open on its own because it is hydraulic and not gas charged. Only gas-charged shocks open on their own and there are no gas-charged steering stabilizers..
Hhh.. i can't open it with my hands. I am suspecting that when it was hit and bent the tie rod it was rubbing on the tie road when turning. Honestly I did not look if it was opening on it's own but I can't do it. I guess I will find out tomorrow if the problem is solved completely. Thanks for the input again.

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