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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Whenever I have my swaybar disconnected, my steering wheel alignment moves. For example, just a few minutes ago, I was driving. With the tires straight, the wheel was a quarter turn to the left. After starting again off of a stop light, the steering wheel was straight. Next turn, it was a quarter turn to the right. Then it straightened.

Has anyone had this? This is incredibly odd to me, and it only happens when the swaybar is removed or disconnected.

Tie rod is a Duralast OEM replacement, aligned 3/32" toe in. Drag link is a Rusty's HD drag link, aligned within one degree on the steering wheel. Stabilizer is Rancho RS5000. Swaybar bushings and bolts were replaced. All ends are in good condition, jam nuts and adjusting sleeves are tight, and these three things were replaced within the last oil change.

No lift, stock pitman arm, steering angles are a little flat because of sagging suspension.

The only sketchy thing I could think of would be the steering box, since the swaybar bolts to it (if I recall correctly). Looks like a PO messed with it and welded the bolts in. Maybe the swaybar is part of its support?



 

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Ck the frame at the steering box for flex with the sway bar disconnected. Also, with a sagged suspension, the links may be limiting the total sag when they are connected. When I installed my lift last week, the steering wheel offset to the right while the alignment stayed right to spec. I've got to replace a frozen drag link to get it corrected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ck the frame at the steering box for flex with the sway bar disconnected. Also, with a sagged suspension, the links may be limiting the total sag when they are connected. When I installed my lift last week, the steering wheel offset to the right while the alignment stayed right to spec. I've got to replace a frozen drag link to get it corrected.
The sway bar can be disconnected with the full weight of the Jeep resting on the suspension, but I think you're onto something with the sway bar stiffening the suspension.

For the frame flex, I'm sure it exists. Would you recommend fabbing up a brace to tie the steering box into the frame where the sway bar would have gone? When I lift the Jeep, I plan on ditching the sway bar until I have $100 lying around to put new endlinks on it.
 

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My first concern would be whether the frame itself has been compromised. If so, that would be the place to start. Tap on the frame around the steering box listening to the steel. It'll speak to you. There are a number of braces available but, if the frame isn't sound, they're just a band aid.
 

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I agree with checking closely the frame around the steering box.

There was a post on here about one guy who had steering issues, a bit more severe. but his steering box was barely hanging on by a thread. He had to rebuild the frame area where the steering box mounted.

I'll say that after reading that thread I did go out and beat on my frame in that area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah I think I'll check my frame after midterms today. I just realized I posted two of the same picture, here is the other one. You can see how bad the springs are. I'll try to put a camera or something in view of the steering box to see if it moves as I steer.

 

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You may be experiencing drag link roll, a problem with our Y steering. If you go under your jeep you'll notice when turning right or left the drag link will twist up and down before it starts moving the tie rod causing a dead spot, excess movement of the steering wheel and movement of dead center. RuffStuff makes an insert between the drag link and tie rod that is supposed to take most of this away. With your worn out springs, and possible loose tie rod ends your problem may be exaggerated. Since the drag link and tie riod are not oem, I'd make sure everything was attached correctly.
 

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I had a similar problem. Took it to my alignment guy. He just found a bolt that was loosened. He tightened it, now it's fine. Wish I could tell you more, but hopefully yours is an easy fix like mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Frame is solid around the steering box. I do not know why the bolts are welded, because this is one of the better frame pieces on the Jeep.

Tie rod is OEM and the drag link is just DOM tubing with tie rod ends threaded in and jam nuts on it. Jam nuts are tight, but I'll double-check my toe and get the alignment checked at Goodyear. All ends are good quality, new, and grease boots are full. Upper ball joints are bad but probably not an issue with this.

I'm thinking it is that drag link roll, because when I was adjusting the tie rod, it would roll up and down about a quarter turn as I would tighten the jam nuts. I used a pipe wrench to hold it still. I'll look into that RuffStuff thing, it looks alright.

My question now is, what causes this to happen with the sway bar disconnected, and prevents it from happening with the sway bar attached?
 
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