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Old 03-14-2018, 07:01 PM
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DEATH WOBBLE after steering upgrade!

Hey all, today I was finally able to get in to my mechanic for upgrades. I had the teraflex hd tie rod and drag link kit installed along with both front and rear track bars. Also had new track bar bolts put in since he was into it. After that was all done it was aligned. He was out of ink and didn't write down the alignment numbers. I picked it up and took a drive and the steering is awful! I hit a bump that I hit every day going to work and had the death wobble at about 50 mph. I went back and he checked all the bolts. All tight. I called teraflex and they suggested checking the ball joint preload in the tie rod and drag link and making sure it was to 7 lbs of torque. We did that and 1 was loose. He retightened the jam nuts as well. That helped but the steering is still flighty as HELL! Also had him check the upper and lower ball joints and they are good. Any suggestions as to what is going on??? I have a 2.5 inch lift with 35 inch tires so the drag link is bottom mount. Any help is appreciated and thanks I advance!

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Old 03-14-2018, 08:00 PM
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Hey all, today I was finally able to get in to my mechanic for upgrades. I had the teraflex hd tie rod and drag link kit installed along with both front and rear track bars. Also had new track bar bolts put in since he was into it. After that was all done it was aligned. He was out of ink and didn't write down the alignment numbers. I picked it up and took a drive and the steering is awful! I hit a bump that I hit every day going to work and had the death wobble at about 50 mph. I went back and he checked all the bolts. All tight. I called teraflex and they suggested checking the ball joint preload in the tie rod and drag link and making sure it was to 7 lbs of torque. We did that and 1 was loose. He retightened the jam nuts as well. That helped but the steering is still flighty as HELL! Also had him check the upper and lower ball joints and they are good. Any suggestions as to what is going on??? I have a 2.5 inch lift with 35 inch tires so the drag link is bottom mount. Any help is appreciated and thanks I advance!
UPDATE: I took it out for a drive and the traction control light kicked on a couple of times in places where the pavement isnt even at about 45 mph

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Old 03-14-2018, 08:04 PM   #3
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Try and have a good shop check the alignment. Your caster may be off enough from the lift that you'll need longer lower control arms or relocation brackets. It still sounds like something is loose, though, if you're getting death wobble.
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:08 PM
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:10 PM
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Try and have a good shop check the alignment. Your caster may be off enough from the lift that you'll need longer lower control arms or relocation brackets. It still sounds like something is loose, though, if you're getting death wobble.
I have one set up for tomorrow morning. My thing is that it drove great and had zero issues before installing all of this. I've had the lift since August along with the tires and was running factory steering components. I also have play in the steering before the wheels start to turn when driving whereas before I didn't. Sitting static the wheels turn as you turn the steering wheel.
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Old 03-14-2018, 09:52 PM   #6
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I have one set up for tomorrow morning. My thing is that it drove great and had zero issues before installing all of this. I've had the lift since August along with the tires and was running factory steering components. I also have play in the steering before the wheels start to turn when driving whereas before I didn't. Sitting static the wheels turn as you turn the steering wheel.
Was everything torqued with the wheels on the ground? This is a common thing for me too... keep modifying a Jeep that's working just fine until it no longer works fine... then try fix it.

Your traction control kicking in is because the steering wheel centre position is off... it thinks you are skidding. Your caster shouldn't have changed, but you are certainly describing what sounds like a caster issue... or if you toe is way out of whack that can make your steering fight itself. The only think that should have changed with your upgrades is the toe...
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:05 PM
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Was everything torqued with the wheels on the ground? This is a common thing for me too... keep modifying a Jeep that's working just fine until it no longer works fine... then try fix it.

Your traction control kicking in is because the steering wheel centre position is off... it thinks you are skidding. Your caster shouldn't have changed, but you are certainly describing what sounds like a caster issue... or if you toe is way out of whack that can make your steering fight itself. The only think that should have changed with your upgrades is the toe...
Teraflex was fairly confident that it was an alignment issue as well, which the more I read, I'm leaning that way as well. Hopefully the alignment at a different shop in the a.m. finds the issue. I'll give an update tomorrow. Thanks for the info. It is greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:09 PM
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Was everything torqued with the wheels on the ground? This is a common thing for me too... keep modifying a Jeep that's working just fine until it no longer works fine... then try fix it.

Your traction control kicking in is because the steering wheel centre position is off... it thinks you are skidding. Your caster shouldn't have changed, but you are certainly describing what sounds like a caster issue... or if you toe is way out of whack that can make your steering fight itself. The only think that should have changed with your upgrades is the toe...
And yes, it was all torqued on the ground according to the mechanic. I only have his word on that because I had another appointment to be at and wasn't able to stick around. He has done alot of work for me on vehicles over the years so I don't think he would BS me on it.
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:27 PM   #9
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Ran out of ink. LOL!
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Old 03-15-2018, 08:37 AM   #10
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Teraflex was fairly confident that it was an alignment issue as well, which the more I read, I'm leaning that way as well. Hopefully the alignment at a different shop in the a.m. finds the issue. I'll give an update tomorrow. Thanks for the info. It is greatly appreciated.
Teraflex should know that the only thing that can be aligned is toe unless you have adjustable control arms, etc. Over the years, the most common cause of death wobble (if it is truly death wobble and not something else) is due to a worn out track bar mount.

As was mentioned, the yaw sensor can act wacky if the steering wheel is not centered. Any mechanic worth his salt would check steering wheel alignment after replacing steering components or adding a lift. It literally takes 5 minutes to adjust the link.
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Old 03-15-2018, 06:04 PM
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UPDATE: I had another shop check the alignment today and the numbers aren't good. They suggested adjustable control arms and offset ball joints to fix the alignment numbers. An issue I didnt catch was the stock drag link had been moved to a top mount. The new one is bottom mount. Would this angle change possibly cause the steering issue I'm having? Tomorrow the old drag link is going back on as it was to rule out the location change. I don't get how the steering can go to crap after upgrading components that were already there and setup. Im banging my head over this! Here are the alignment numbers. Anybody have ANY ideas as to the steering issue now????

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Old 03-15-2018, 07:00 PM   #12
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Fix your toe and your caster and you should be good. Toe is adjusted on the drag link and you'll need either adjustable lower control arms or relocation brackets to adjust the caster. The camber isn't enough to worry about, really.
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Old 03-15-2018, 07:04 PM
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Fix your toe and your caster and you should be good. Toe is adjusted on the drag link and you'll need either adjustable lower control arms or relocation brackets to adjust the caster. The camber isn't enough to worry about, really.
So taking care of those should fix the nearly out of control steering issue?
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Old 03-15-2018, 08:31 PM   #14
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So taking care of those should fix the nearly out of control steering issue?
It will be a large step in the right direction, anyhow. After I lifted mine about 2.5", my steering was very twitchy. Toe was right on but my caster was borderline. I installed some TeraFlex Alpine adjustable lower control arms set about 1/4" longer than stock and now it handles like a dream.
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Old 03-16-2018, 05:38 AM
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It will be a large step in the right direction, anyhow. After I lifted mine about 2.5", my steering was very twitchy. Toe was right on but my caster was borderline. I installed some TeraFlex Alpine adjustable lower control arms set about 1/4" longer than stock and now it handles like a dream.
Ok. So toe and caster will cause the extreme change in steering that has happened? If so, how was the steering good before the aftermarket parts? I'm still trying to get a thorough understanding of alignment and what it can cause if not correct so bear with me. I figured just replacing factory parts with aftermarket wouldn't have really had that much of an impact on the setup as it was. Apparently I was wrong and everything went out of wack
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:05 AM   #16
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When I think of or try to describe caster, I like to use a shopping cart as an example. Notice how the front wheels are on a shopping cart. The axles are offset from the vertical axis (pivot point) so that when you push a properly aligned cart (not bent up) the front wheels automatically align and move forward smoothly with no flopping around. If the cart were bent (out of alignment) or if the wheel's axles were directly under the pivot point, the front wheels would wobble all over the place as you moved forward. Your caster numbers should be more than 4 degrees, 4.5 is quite stable usually. Once that's done, get your steering wheel centered as that's probably what is turning on your traction control light.
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:33 AM   #17
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UPDATE: I had another shop check the alignment today and the numbers aren't good. They suggested adjustable control arms and offset ball joints to fix the alignment numbers. An issue I didnt catch was the stock drag link had been moved to a top mount. The new one is bottom mount. Would this angle change possibly cause the steering issue I'm having? Tomorrow the old drag link is going back on as it was to rule out the location change. I don't get how the steering can go to crap after upgrading components that were already there and setup. Im banging my head over this! Here are the alignment numbers. Anybody have ANY ideas as to the steering issue now????

Attachment 3962386

So your alignment isn't spectacular by any means but I think you just clued us in on another huge issue. Your drag link mounting location requires your track bar mounting location to follow it. In other words if you flip your drag link do you have to have a raised track bar bracket. If your drag link is in its stock location than the track bar has to be mounted in the stock location. If not you will suffer bad bump steer! This is possibly what made your stability control go nuts.

The drag link and track bar have to stay as parallel as possible or as your suspension travels up and down the arc your steering travels is different than the arc your axle travels and that is what causes the bump steer.
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Old 03-16-2018, 07:44 AM
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So your alignment isn't spectacular by any means but I think you just clued us in on another huge issue. Your drag link mounting location requires your track bar mounting location to follow it. In other words if you flip your drag link do you have to have a raised track bar bracket. If your drag link is in its stock location than the track bar has to be mounted in the stock location. If not you will suffer bad bump steer! This is possibly what made your stability control go nuts.

The drag link and track bar have to stay as parallel as possible or as your suspension travels up and down the arc your steering travels is different than the arc your axle travels and that is what causes the bump steer.
Thank you! That is what I was thinking after seeing the old DL versus the new DL. today the shop is putting the old DL back on to see if it helps with the steering issue. After that gets back to what it was or close to it, im going to address the alignment and adjustable lower control arms
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