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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone - hoping I get get some more experienced eyes/ears on this problem. A couple weekends ago I spent three solid days driving over really rough washboard and various types of offroad terrain. As you know washboard really beats up the car, and I probably drove several 10+ mile stretches at high speed. Ever since then I've developed a "clunk" noise that I finally today isolated to the steering under certain situations. Often it is when I first back out of the driveway (straight) I'll get a "clunk" and then it seems very intermittent and hard to reproduce. It seems to be while turning and hitting a bump at a certain speed.

Today I was able to reproduce it on demand by traveling slowly, coasting and then waggling the steering wheel back and forth about 1/2 a turn. I clipped the GoPro underneath to see what was going on.

Any suggestions as to what might be causing this? The suspension is all Rock Krawler, with adjustable lower control arms and factory uppers.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well wouldn't you know that right after I posted this I did a bit more crawling around and discovered the issue. The jam nut on the track bar was loose, allowing the track bar to wobble a bit.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That jam nut is a MoFo to try to tighten. You can't really get a crescent wrench in there, even if I jack the frame up all the way and droop the suspension. Researching online it appears that the track bar must be removed from the Jeep in order to tighten the jam nut, and even then I'm gonna need a 1-5/16" crow's foot for my 1/2" drive torque wrench.
 

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That jam nut is a MoFo to try to tighten. You can't really get a crescent wrench in there, even if I jack the frame up all the way and droop the suspension. Sounds like a call to RK might be in order...
you need to pull it out of the bracket. I hated my RK track bar total pain. a TF monster track bar is so easy to adjust.
 

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I had the same problem with my RK track bar and the occasional clunk noise. I completely removed the track bar, cleaned up the threads, and put some red Loctite on both ends. Forgot about the torque wrench, you can go 300 ft*lbs on that nut which I doubt you will get to. I put the damn thing in a vice and used an extremely long half inch snap on ratchet with crowsfoot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys. For the price of buying a set of high quality gigantic 1/2" drive crowsfoot wrenches (so I can get proper torque) and the hassle of trying to get it torqued properly while maintaining alignment of the joints (and always worrying whether this thing is loose), I may just go the route of replacing it altogether with one that is either lower maintenance or easier to maintain.

Then the question becomes - Teraflex or Yeti XD...? Then I wonder about bracing the sector shaft - I do see some deflection of the steering arm when I look at videos of the underside while operating. However, the Synergy brace kit says it only works with the Synergy TB, which looks like has the same flaw (IMO) of the RK unit - those damned jam nuts (or does it also have an adjustment sleeve?).

Now I'm going down a rat hole...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I spent about 30 minutes trying to remove the track bar, but quickly learned that I need a 3" deep 7/8" socket to remove the Fox ATS steering stabilizer mount, plus a really long 21mm offset box end wrench to get the backing nut off the passenger side track bar (neither of which I currently own). What a PITA.

After a bunch of research I think I'm going to go with a Synergy TB unit, steering brace, drag link and tie rod at the same time. I live close to Polyperformance (about 90 minute drive) and will probably just have them do all the work to make sure everything fits without rubbing.

I'd saved up $1,000 to buy a 12v fridge, but guess that is now spent... I swear this Jeep costs me more than my 25 year-old 23' Parker boat to maintain!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just ordered the Synergy Track bar, Tie Rod, and Drag link (along with a TB relo bracket, TB brace, and sector shaft brace) from PolyPerformance and got 20% off everything for Black Friday weekend deal (saved $285!). Now I just need to replace the lower control arms and it will be "Jam Nuts Be-Gone!"
 
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