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'97 rear suspension issues

1192 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ncsucarjock88

picked up a '97 the other day at the auction. Just put in a new clutch.

First good test drive tonight... Definitely got something going on. Drives great - until -

55mph+ and "unload" the drivetrain - either through clutching, dropping off the throttle, or going to shift gears.

When you do this, the rear of the Jeep steps to the right about 12-18" - it's quite violent.

When under 50mph, it's less prominent, but if you're looking for it, you can still feel it.

I come from cherokees, and if this were a cherokee, I'd say it lost a centering pin on the leaf springs, or a shackle broke, or something like that.

Any ideas? It's dark out now - but first thing in the AM, I'm gonna check this sucker out.

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I would say its possibly your springs in the front if the nose is diving. maybe they are all worn, who knows. stand on either bumper and see how they react.
ensure your track bar bolts are in tact, and tight both front and rear.... is this a stock suspension? Any adjustable components like the control arms?

Possible you could have a rear locker which can cause 'unnatural' rear sway under heavy throttle and letting off.... if you are not used to a locker, this can be a weird feeling.
I doubt it's the front springs - won't rule it out - but it's doubtful. Lift kit appears to be relatively new... new springs all around. I also don't feel the front end dive.

What I feel is the rear axle stepping sideways when unloaded. I'm 90% certain it's coming from the left rear, as it seems I can feel that side of the axle move forward and back...

Gonna go check the rear track bar - it's mounts, and bushings... Just didn't know if anyone else has any other good ideas that I'm overlooking.
hung up brake maybe? jack it up and spin em.... see if you have too much drag on one side in the re... front and rear... could be a hung caliper up front as well.... just givin ideas here...
My 97 when new had a problem with the robot welds on the upper rear control arms. The bracket tore off the frame but stayed intact... was a very simple repair.

If your lift uses a track bar relocation bracket on the rear axle instead of an adjustable track bar, many folks had a problem bending or breaking the brackets.

Torque all suspension link bolts to factory specs and don't forget about the transfer case drop bolts if used.
Found it... It was the left rear lower control arm. Carquest had one for $60, replaced it, and all is well with the world now. Drives like a dream. Thanks guys.
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