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Discussion Starter #1
MY ball joints seem to be fine, no play but the hub assemblies on both front tires seem to have excessive play with no noise while driving. Could these cause the jeep to be difficult to drive at highway speeds? This isn't my first lifted TJ and my previous ones drove 10 times better than this one I currently have on the interstate. This jeep is just way to squirly, to the point that I don't even want to attempt interstate driving. Also, all my tie rods are nice and tight, almost zero play in steering wheel.
 

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What do you mean by difficult?
Describe what you feel and/or hear when driving the higher speeds.

If you have "death wobble", that is often cured by new track bar up front.

Here is how to check for bad hub assemblies.

Some aftermarket hubs just don't last. They could be shot, especially if high mileage.
If you need to do the hubs, here is a pretty decent
.

Report back on what you see during your off the ground inspection.
 

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MY ball joints seem to be fine, no play but the hub assemblies on both front tires seem to have excessive play with no noise while driving. Could these cause the jeep to be difficult to drive at highway speeds? This isn't my first lifted TJ and my previous ones drove 10 times better than this one I currently have on the interstate. This jeep is just way to squirly, to the point that I don't even want to attempt interstate driving. Also, all my tie rods are nice and tight, almost zero play in steering wheel.
The "no noise" bit is strange. Bad hub assemblies absolutely can cause tracking problems, but usually they start howling like a banshee before they develop visible play.

Normally I'd suspect castor or toe angle problems first for wandering on the highway, but if you can see your hubs wobbling, take care of that first and go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It wanders all over the place. Im hearing zero noise from them but I am running some loud mud terrain tires so that could be why I am not hearing any noise. I've checked caster with my digital angle finder and its within 5-6.5 degrees accounting for my garage slope. I have also measured the toe God knows how many times and all my measurements are putting me within specs. I can visibly see the tires angled /-\ when sitting on the ground and when I jack them off the ground they angle outwards. The hub assemblies are going to be replaced no matter what but Im just wondering if they could be the cause of such horrible driving. Also, I have zero death wobble even at highway speeds.
 

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If your lift has a drop pitman arm, that will cause those wandering symptoms BAD! Mine couldn't be safely driven at speeds over 45 mph. If the hubs are bad, you can move the tires in and out by hand with the tires off the ground. Tie rod movement is obvious when doing a dry steer test and will cause unresponsive steering. I recently replaced my axle u-joints, ball joints, tie rod ends and hub assemblies to get it all done at once.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If your lift has a drop pitman arm, that will cause those wandering symptoms BAD! Mine couldn't be safely driven at speeds over 45 mph. If the hubs are bad, you can move the tires in and out by hand with the tires off the ground. Tie rod movement is obvious when doing a dry steer test and will cause unresponsive steering. I recently replaced my axle u-joints, ball joints, tie rod ends and hub assemblies to get it all done at once.
There is a drop pitman arm on it. Is there a way around needing a drop pitman arm?
 

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There is a drop pitman arm on it. Is there a way around needing a drop pitman arm?
Go back to stock. TJs never need a dpa unless the adjustable track bar has a frame side drop bracket too (aka RC). IMO I've had both and going back to stock fixed all wandering problems. Cheap fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, the previous owner custom fabricated his own adjustable track bar and its mounted to a different location on the passenger side but factory location on the driver side. Tire pressure is 30psi. I am assuming the pitman arm is causing my steering to bind up and is the reason I have no return to center. I just ordered a factory one along with my hub assemblies. Hopefully this fixes the issue. 33x12.50 tire size.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You will probably want to try and fix the non standard track bar mounting as well. You will have to adjust toe after you are done with the pitman arm.

Psi for 33's is usually good around 26-28.
Unfortunately the only way to fix the passenger side mount location is to either cut everything that was "custom" fabricated in order to fit the track bar where it is now, or find an unaltered factory axle and swap it in.
 

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Unfortunately the only way to fix the passenger side mount location is to either cut everything that was "custom" fabricated in order to fit the track bar where it is now, or find an unaltered factory axle and swap it in.
A Sawzall works wonders.:)
 

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When I got my TJ, the steering was all over the place, I didn't notice any unusual noise either but it's my first Jeep and didn't know what to expect. Turned out to be the front driver's side wheel bearing. When I jacked it up, I could wiggle the wheel when it was bolted solidly to the hub.

This is what it looked like when I finally got it off. Seal was gone, also, notice that a ball had escaped.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, today I installed the factory style pitman arm and went for a ride on the interstate. Even with a strong side wind, it was a night and day difference. Seems to have fixed most of my steering issues. Still waiting on the hub assemblies to install them. Thank you for all your help everyone!
 
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