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2015 JKU Willys Wrangler
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been experiencing this issue for the better part of a month and I can't seem to diagnose it.

Lately when I drive the Wrangler it feels swishy on the road, generally on less than smooth roads. I've never had bump steer in any vehicle so I don't know if it's actually that but on even very slightly rutted roads the vehicle wants to make moves to one side or the other. Abnormal moves, in case someone chimes in with "Hold on the steering wheel like a man!!1!" level analysis.

Some specifics about the Jeep in case its germane:

  • 2" suspension lift (May)
  • 35-inch tires on Rubicon rims with 1" spacers (May)
  • JKS sway bar disconnects
  • JKS adjustable track bars (last week)
  • Everything else more or less stock

I do know that the tie rod has some play in it and when I have someone crank the wheel back and forth and I hold my hand on it that I feel some ticking in it. My last alignment was in May and everything checked out. Finally, the bobble head on wheels feeling seems to be front and back.

I plan on replacing the tie rod in the next few days but I'm at a real loss to figure out what exactly is causing this. I'm mulling everything from ball joints to u-joints and everything in between. If someone has any ideas what to check or definitive ideas as to what's causing it, I'm all ears.
 

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Have your wheel bearings checked. What tire pressure are you running in your tires? Should be 28psi or so.


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2015 JKU Willys Wrangler
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have your wheel bearings checked. What tire pressure are you running in your tires? Should be 28psi or so.
I'm running 28 PSI. I do notice at slightly higher PSIs -- 30 or so -- that it seems to be worse but without running the exact same roads the exact same way it could be in my head.

I'll add the wheel bearings to the list.
 

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The 1" spacer scares me, I don't know anyone that makes one since you have to cut to make them work....???



Other than that check out these videos to help diagnose:


 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The 1" spacer scares me, I don't know anyone that makes one since you have to cut to make them work....??
I'm not keen on the spacers either but I liked the stock Rubicon rims but was getting bad rubbing with them and the 315/70R17 tires I'm using so I went with spacers as a short-/mid-term solution. I'm probably going to dump the rims and spacers at some point and get proper offset rims.

At any rate, thanks for videos, I'll check them out.
 

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I'm not keen on the spacers either but I liked the stock Rubicon rims but was getting bad rubbing with them and the 315/70R17 tires I'm using so I went with spacers as a short-/mid-term solution. I'm probably going to dump the rims and spacers at some point and get proper offset rims.

At any rate, thanks for videos, I'll check them out.
I'm not saying that to knock spacers, I'm saying that about 1".
What did you use as it doesn't sound safe?

I've used and currently use spacers, typically not a biggie. But 1" is either not a true adapter type spacer or you cut a lot of the lug off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's entirely possible that I'm not remembering correctly the size of the spacers. I'll have to check tomorrow.
 

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A) Post up a pic of your front end so we can see geometry relation of track bar and drag link, mounting points included in pic. They should be close to parallel.

B) Could be steering box is done. Do you have a big dead spot in your steering?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No dead spot in the steering, pics are below. My apologies for the quality, it gets dark up here fairly early these days.

A) Post up a pic of your front end so we can see geometry relation of track bar and drag link, mounting points included in pic. They should be close to parallel.

B) Could be steering box is done. Do you have a big dead spot in your steering?
WF didn't seem to like my image links so I have to provide URLs to the pictures.

http://www.enterstageright.com/jeep/1.jpg

http://www.enterstageright.com/jeep/2.jpg

http://www.enterstageright.com/jeep/3.jpg

http://www.enterstageright.com/jeep/4.jpg

http://www.enterstageright.com/jeep/5.jpg

http://www.enterstageright.com/jeep/6.jpg
 

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How evenly are your tires wearing? When's the last time you rotated them?

When's the last time you checked the torque on your assorted suspension components?

Also, this is a long shot, but I'll get major points if I'm right. ;)

The sway bar is held on by u-shaped rubber... bushings I guess you'd call them. When those are super tight, the sway bar doesn't necessarily move quite like it should. Pop your quick discos off and see if the sway bar is stuck. If it is, hit those bushings with some silicone spray and work it in there.

Like I said, super long shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm not saying that to knock spacers, I'm saying that about 1".
What did you use as it doesn't sound safe?

I've used and currently use spacers, typically not a biggie. But 1" is either not a true adapter type spacer or you cut a lot of the lug off.
I forgot to respond to this, I eyeballed them as 1.75". Don't know how I came up with 1".
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How evenly are your tires wearing? When's the last time you rotated them?

When's the last time you checked the torque on your assorted suspension components?

Also, this is a long shot, but I'll get major points if I'm right. ;)

The sway bar is held on by u-shaped rubber... bushings I guess you'd call them. When those are super tight, the sway bar doesn't necessarily move quite like it should. Pop your quick discos off and see if the sway bar is stuck. If it is, hit those bushings with some silicone spray and work it in there.

Like I said, super long shot.
Tires are wearing perfectly, no problems there. I got them in May so I haven't rotated them yet. It's not a high mileage vehicle so I haven't needed to rotate.

Torque on the components were all checked recently and all good.

I haven't had the discos off in a month but back then sway bar seemed to be good. That said I'll try and check them in the next day or so. Thanks for the tip!
 

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Hard to tell if track bar geometry is off. Drag link and track bar need to be parallel.

Have you done a dry steering test? Have someone cycle the steering while you’re under there observing?
 

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Since it presumably was driving fine, and recently started to drive poorly it sounds like you have some worn out parts. You mention play in the tie rod ends, that could do it. Also check for play in the drag link and ball joints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Behold ye the alignment report. If this doesn't explain why I have wandering, bumpy steering, nothing ever will.

The alignment was so screwed that they didn't have time to do it today -- I have an appointment on Saturday to get it all sorted out.

Clicketh here: http://enterstageright.com/jeep/7.jpg
 

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Behold ye the alignment report. If this doesn't explain why I have wandering, bumpy steering, nothing ever will.

The alignment was so screwed that they didn't have time to do it today -- I have an appointment on Saturday to get it all sorted out.

Clicketh here: http://enterstageright.com/jeep/7.jpg
Around 3 degrees of caster is low. What are you going to use to make that adjustable? You can use either geometry brackets or adjustable / longer front lower control arms.
I would not let the shop use cam bolts.
I am not sure that alignment is your only issue, if it was driving fine before like this. It sounds like you were borderline low on caster and then a part or parts started wearing out and developing play.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Around 3 degrees of caster is low. What are you going to use to make that adjustable? You can use either geometry brackets or adjustable / longer front lower control arms.
I would not let the shop use cam bolts.
I am not sure that alignment is your only issue, if it was driving fine before like this. It sounds like you were borderline low on caster and then a part or parts started wearing out and developing play.
I'm probably going to go with adjustable control arms -- it was on the list of to-do's.

Anyway, I'll see what the alignment does and go from there. I've replaced enough parts in recent weeks that it can only get better :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm not celebrating yet … I've been down the road of hopeful victory before only to have it dashed :)
 
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