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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I have a 2013 JK that I recently installed the Teraflex HD tie rod and drag link kit on. I also installed Energy Suspension track bar bushings on the stock trackbar. Other than these upgrades the Jeep is stock. They were starting to wear and I plan on a lift/wheels soon so I thought I'd upgrade instead of replacing the stock stuff.

I didn't have an issue with wobble before the upgrades but now I do. I torqued and installed everything correctly as far as I know. I had my dad cycle the steering side to side and I don't see any slack in anything. The HD tie rod has adjustable ball joints. There is no play side to side but I can roll the tie rod easily with my hand. Maybe they need adjusting? I also thought about possibly bad ball joints but probably not since it just started after my install.

Does anyone have any suggestions on my next step? Thank you for your time.
 

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Hello everyone,

I have a 2013 JK that I recently installed the Teraflex HD tie rod and drag link kit on. I also installed Energy Suspension track bar bushings on the stock trackbar. Other than these upgrades the Jeep is stock. They were starting to wear and I plan on a lift/wheels soon so I thought I'd upgrade instead of replacing the stock stuff.

I didn't have an issue with wobble before the upgrades but now I do. I torqued and installed everything correctly as far as I know. I had my dad cycle the steering side to side and I don't see any slack in anything. The HD tie rod has adjustable ball joints. There is no play side to side but I can roll the tie rod easily with my hand. Maybe they need adjusting? I also thought about possibly bad ball joints but probably not since it just started after my install.

Does anyone have any suggestions on my next step? Thank you for your time.
I don't have any suggestions but I'll be following this thread as I'm going to be replacing my tie rod soon...I'm curious to find out what's happening to yours since you seemed to have tightened everything down correctly.
 
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Hi, the drag link you installed, does the nut face up or to the ground?

Also, do you have, and did you use a grease gun during the install?

Final thing, you referred to tie rod and adjustable ball joints in one sentence. I dont think the words you are saying mean what you think they do. (In this case) I'm not trying to knock you on this, we all learn the first time. (And then create new user accounts later to hide it)

Last part was a joke, or was it...
 

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What torques did you use? I know the track bar is 125. Sure your torque wrench is good?

I assume it came with castle nuts on the tie rod and drag link ends? Did you torque those and then turn even more to line up for the pins?
 

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The vast majority of the time, DW is an issue with the track bar... Did you verify that your frame holes are still round?
 
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Some track bars have bushing in their ends, which should not rotate. Others have spherical bearings like heim joints and they rotate even when properly tightened.
Rotation is not typically bad unless it is a bushing. And rotation should not cause DW. Back and forth play causes DW.
As others have indicated, first thing is to make sure everything is properly torqued and make sure the holes are still round and not ovaled out. You need a proper torque wrench for this, you can't just tighten these bolts / nuts with a standard wrench. You need a torque wrench that can do 125 ft / lbs or more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi, the drag link you installed, does the nut face up or to the ground?

Also, do you have, and did you use a grease gun during the install?

Final thing, you referred to tie rod and adjustable ball joints in one sentence. I dont think the words you are saying mean what you think they do. (In this case) I'm not trying to knock you on this, we all learn the first time. (And then create new user accounts later to hide it)

Last part was a joke, or was it...
The nuts face up on the drag link. I didn't flip it, was told I didn't need to at this point.

I did grease what was greasable after I finished the install.

I was talking about the ball joints at the end of the tie rod but I see where that could be confusing. They're still ball joints though.

I won't need a new account, I'm not going to waste time thinking about what the haters think. I'd rather be a rookie at Jeep mechanic than a rookie at life bro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What torques did you use? I know the track bar is 125. Sure your torque wrench is good?

I assume it came with castle nuts on the tie rod and drag link ends? Did you torque those and then turn even more to line up for the pins?
125 is the torque I used, I'm not positive how accurate my wrench is but it seemed pretty tight when I was doing it. I did torque everything else as well and installed the castle nuts correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The vast majority of the time, DW is an issue with the track bar... Did you verify that your frame holes are still round?
I did check the bolt fit in the new bushings to make sure there was no play in it but no I didn't looking at the frame holes. I had a TJ that egged out once and caused the wobble. Thanks for this, I think I will take the track bar back off and check everything again.
 

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The nuts face up on the drag link. I didn't flip it, was told I didn't need to at this point.

I did grease what was greasable after I finished the install.

I was talking about the ball joints at the end of the tie rod but I see where that could be confusing. They're still ball joints though.

I won't need a new account, I'm not going to waste time thinking about what the haters think. I'd rather be a rookie at Jeep mechanic than a rookie at life bro.
Thanks for clearing up the confusion because adjustable ball joints are something completely different. In this case you I believe you were referring to the tie rod ends which are not adjustable. There are some spacers you can get that will limit the front to back swinging, but that is not a real issue unless it is causing it to hit something.

The tie rod is length adjustable and if not set to the correct length will cause a wobble while driving. Not a true death wobble but it will vibrate and shimmy if the toe is not set correctly. Might be worth a trip to an alignment shop just to make sure the toe is in spec.

The same applies to the drag link, but if the length on it was off, your steering wheel would not be level and could cause some bump steer. (or if you flipped it without raising the trackbar mount location.)

Personally, I was in the process of upgrading my trackbar bolts and found the holes were significantly larger than the grade 8 9/16 bolts I was installing. To deal with that I am installing a teraflex track bar reinforcement bracket and have some ruffstuff weld washers in the mail to deal with the other holes. Funny thing is, I was not experiencing a significant wobble with the oversized holes.

Finally, your torque wrench, you might want to pickup a bar style. They are no fun to use but great for testing your click style. Nothing worse then an inaccurate torque wrench... I have had a wheel fall off because of one.
 

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I am no expert, but I was concerned about getting death wobble before I installed my 2.5" lift, so I asked my local 4x4 shop before I got the lift.
What they said was most of the time the problem comes from the steering bar and the track bar not being installed parallel. If they are on different angles you will get DW.

My daughter boyfriend had DW and it was driving him nuts. Shop after shop had no clue until he took it to my local guys and they showed him the problem.

He has replaced the track bar, but the one he used was too short and at max span it was still not parallel. He replaced that and DW was gone.
 

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I am no expert, but I was concerned about getting death wobble before I installed my 2.5" lift, so I asked my local 4x4 shop before I got the lift.
What they said was most of the time the problem comes from the steering bar and the track bar not being installed parallel. If they are on different angles you will get DW.

My daughter boyfriend had DW and it was driving him nuts. Shop after shop had no clue until he took it to my local guys and they showed him the problem.

He has replaced the track bar, but the one he used was too short and at max span it was still not parallel. He replaced that and DW was gone.
Your local shop is wrong... A track bar and a drag link out of line will cause bump steer not DW. If it was corrected after the install of the new track bar, I would bet money it is because they torqued the track bar bolts to the proper setting. This is normally the first thing that I check when dealing with DW.

Two things hold your front tires in a set fixed tracking position. The track bar and the ball joints. If either of them are loose or worn out they will allow the front end to create DW. I have seen tie rods that flopped all over the place and the Jeep never had DW, it wandered down the road but no vibration.

Based on all the Jeeps I have worked on and built, I think the TB and the ball joints are the two biggest contributors. A lot of the other parts get worn out from the violent action of the DW, as I have stated before my YJ got it so bad (worn ball joints) that it broke a grade 8 sway bar bolt. In 99% of the threads on this and other forums it came down to one of those two things...

But this is the internet and this is just my .02 based on owning jeeps for 30 years and being a builder of both cars and Harley's......
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It was the ball joints! The passengers side was worn out. I replaced them and the wobble quit. I still don't understand why it just started after I installed the Teraflex HD steering kit. My tie rod and drag link ends were worn out as well but no wobble until I changed them. I guess the tightening up of all of that caused more play in the ball joints somehow.
 
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