Jeep Wrangler Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of JUNE's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Turned down the powerlines with my 3yr old son and my brother because there was nothing better to do. Turned around down through a ditch and came back up on the road. Went to the other end and did the same thing but when my front end started to articulate a little bit there was a metal on metal sound/"thud" in the front end and it could be felt through the floor board. Now it feels pretty squirrely when driving at any speed...I can feel the front end floating back and forth instead of staying in a straight line. Basically like its out of alignment. If I hit a speed bump with both front tires at the same time I don't hear the noise I mentioned coming from the front end. If I do anything to make the front end lean one way or another I can feel and hear this metal on metal thud. First thing I did was measure my toe in and is was exactly 1/8" more in the front so I should assume that its not out of alignment, right? Next thing I did is jack the front end up and check for bad bearings (grab tire on top and bottom and try to wiggle back and forth) but there was no movement. Checked every bolt on the front end and everything is very tight. Tried jacking up only one side at time to make it flex some hoping this would make whatever is moving move so I can see it.....but nothing. I was thinking the bushing on the end of my track bar since the steering feels so out of wack. Does this mean I just need to start unbolting the front end one bushing at a time until I fix it or what? Any suggestions to point me in the right direction would be great! Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
I'm pretty sure you broke a swaybar endlink. Look at the little ball joint on each endlink just below the attatchment point at the swaybar. Easy 10 minute repair.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I checked both sides and they "look" normal and didn't have any play in them when I tried to move them by hand. I actually thought about it being a sway bar link also but I didn't think that would cause the steering issues I'm having. I could disconnect the sway bar and go for a drive to eliminate that as a possibility I guess...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
I couldnt tell mine was broken either until I got a buddy to bounce the fender up and down just right then could see the ball slightly seperate. A non functioning sway bar could cause unusual front end movements also, that's what it's there to stop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm going to do what you mentioned and see if I can see any movement when my wife hops on the front bumper. I thought the sway bar is to stop body roll...didn't know it could effect my steering. I'm hoping you're right about it being the sway bar though, easy fix for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I broke my left front sway bar link and it didn't pop out, the rubber boot held it together. From the sound it made I would have swore I had a track bar, control arm bushing going bad. It never acually came loose till I really flexed it bad on Hells Revenge.
Yeah the sound AND the feeling I can feel through the floor has me thinking control arm or track bar. Guess I should just disconnect my sway bar and go from there huh?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
341 Posts
Ha ha ha get my wife to jump up and down on the bumper> "Hey honey....jump up and down on the bumper for me willya?" While you're at it, get me a beer.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Want to add that after just driving home from work not only does the front end drift side to side and feel squirrely but it also feels pretty loose. (i.e. start drifting to one side and it takes more turning of the steering wheel than usual to straighten it back up).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,372 Posts
Your caster could be off, possibly meaning one of your control arms got tweaked or bushing went bad allowing play. Thats all I got.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was able to isolate the sound I'm getting when flexed to the sway bar. Thanks for steering me back to checking that again. I'll have to replace the end link and possibly the bushings in the middle of the bar.

I have to say I'm still skeptical about the sway bar causing the bad steering and all the drifting back and forth though. It feels way out of alignment but the toe in is perfect. Guess my only option is to start unbolting control arms and the track bar and check the bushings. I'll report back with an update Monday evening after I'm able to get away from work and do this. I'll be checking back for updates though so please keep the suggestions coming.

:wavey:

Thanks again
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Pic of CA bushing

This is a pic of one pf my rear control arm bushings. The bushings on all 8 arms look like this. I'm wondering if there is supposed to be the gap between the bushing and the frame that it bolts on to? Looks like they're pretty much dry rotted. Could this be causing the drifting back and forth when driving? Checked both ends of both track bars and everything looked good and snug with those. Any ideas before I just start having to replace parts?
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,893 Posts
Just a guess but once after a pretty gnarly wheeling trip I was getting the exact same sound and steering issues that you are having. No matter what I did I couldn't find the problem. I took it to a friend that had a lift, we lifted it just to the point all 4 wheels were just about to come offf the ground. While he was raising and lowering the jeep I took a look underneath and finally found the problem, the right front lower control arm bolt at the axle had come loose and the control arm was moving in the bracket every time I turned and shifted the weight of the vehicle, a new bolt and some 271 locktite was the cure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
957 Posts
This is a pic of one pf my rear control arm bushings. The bushings on all 8 arms look like this. I'm wondering if there is supposed to be the gap between the bushing and the frame that it bolts on to? Looks like they're pretty much dry rotted. Could this be causing the drifting back and forth when driving? Checked both ends of both track bars and everything looked good and snug with those. Any ideas before I just start having to replace parts?
There is a steel bushing in the center of the rubber bushing. The steel bushing is what will be against the mount, not the rubber.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update

I replaced the front track bar and both front lower control arms. The issue is a little better but still pulls back and forth, especially when i hit a bump of any kind. Can the upper CAs cause this problem also?...or can the rear lower CAs, or the rear track bar cause this problem? Just still trying to isolate the problem that is causing my Jeep to float back and forth on the road when driving like its out of alignment really bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
Toe in supposed to be 1/8 inch less in the front than the back? If it is 1/8 inch more that would be toe out and cause the jeep to float all over the road.

Still doesn't explain the noise though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Toe in supposed to be 1/8 inch less in the front than the back? If it is 1/8 inch more that would be toe out and cause the jeep to float all over the road.

Still doesn't explain the noise though.
The noise was the sway bar link. Fixed that. Since the lower CAs have the adjustment bolts I'm going to get it aligned and see if that fixes it. They should adjust the toe-in when doing the alignment shouldnt they?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,372 Posts
You better make sure they know you have adjustable control arms front and rear. Stupid mechanics will go by the book and see only adjustment is the front and with cam bolts. Also they will do your toe-in and castor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't have adjustables, just replacements cuz thats what $ permitted at the moment. Got it aligned today, toe-in and all. Doesn't pull anymore but still has bump steer. It drifts back and forth depending on the road condition. Perfectly flat road and its good but a slight rut or unevenness and its pulling one way or the other. Should I just start replacing more parts or is there anything else I can try? I had to replace the bolt to the front track bar a while back and just got the closet size from hardware store. I wonder if theres even a slight difference in the diameter of the bolt if it will allow the axle to move a little and in turn cause the probs I'm still having?.....thoughts? Suspension is all original, 13yrs old. If I can't figure something out I guess I'll just have to start replacing parts starting with the CAs. Should I replace the front uppers before replacing any of the back ones? Could a bad rear track bar cause the drifting? Its supposed to keep the rear axle centered isn't it?
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top