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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think my lifted jeep with 35" tires drives pretty good, but my girlfriend hates driving it. She says she can feel it wonder all over the road and doesn't like to drive it. In the city I have no problem with it, but going 80mph down the highway it feels like it wonders a bit. I'm curious if doing some steering upgrades would help. I was looking at the steer smarts XD attenuator and heavy duty tie rod -- would I need both? Is there anything else I should look at doing?

I'm not sure how the jeep does off road yet. I bought it in September, started doing upgrades, work got busy and I haven't had a chance to take it anywhere yet -- sad, I know.
 

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Before you go spending hard earned money on expensive steering components it would be wise to get some alignment numbers first. Make sure your toe in is withing spec and more importantly your caster numbers. It sounds as if your caster may be a little low causing the flighty steering. A fancy steering attenuator or whatever it is will not fix poor caster. When you lifted your jeep did your kit come with any caster correction? What suspension are you running? How many miles are on your current balljoints? Just though I would reply first on here to help you identify the actual problem before you get countless posts to buy a $1000 worth of Yeti steering linkage
 
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I think my lifted jeep with 35" tires drives pretty good, but my girlfriend hates driving it. She says she can feel it wonder all over the road and doesn't like to drive it. In the city I have no problem with it, but going 80mph down the highway it feels like it wonders a bit. I'm curious if doing some steering upgrades would help. I was looking at the steer smarts XD attenuator and heavy duty tie rod -- would I need both? Is there anything else I should look at doing?

I'm not sure how the jeep does off road yet. I bought it in September, started doing upgrades, work got busy and I haven't had a chance to take it anywhere yet -- sad, I know.
Hi HydroRubi,

I would agree. I would get your allignment done and make sure it is within specs. If it is and everything is good to go I can honestly say the Steer Smarts upgrad is the best upgrade I have done to my jeep by far. It has tightened up my steering tremendously. If you have any questions about it feel free to pm me.

-JP
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So the Jeep has 8,000 miles on it; 3,300 of those with the lift and 35" tires. I have the Teraflex Sport arms to correct caster. I was thinking about getting an alignment, but was going to wait until after I got a HD tie rod.

At what point is an HD drag link and tie rod needed?
 

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What lift and how high? While the TF sport arms are a little longer than stock, they are the shortest aftermarket arms and probably not enough on a 3" and larger lift.
 

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So the Jeep has 8,000 miles on it; 3,300 of those with the lift and 35" tires. I have the Teraflex Sport arms to correct caster. I was thinking about getting an alignment, but was going to wait until after I got a HD tie rod. At what point is an HD drag link and tie rod needed?
How about the upper control arms? That changes steering as well. Rancho sells geometry brackets that fixes the lower and with a few choices of positions for your upper control arms depending on your lift. I personally did it and my steering feels better than before.
 
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I changed mine when I did my lift. I did my wifes after about 1000 miles of doing her lift. It made a world of difference on her jeep. Iy tightened up the steering a lot. Plus with the larger ends it takes a lot of stress off the steering. But it is up to you. You can wait until your joints give out and then do it. Me personally I like the fact there is no more play in my steering. I have a lot more control. With my steering set up it feels safer then when my jeep was stock. Plus when im wheeling my steering is a lot more stable and easy to handle. Im on a stock steering pump no hydro and on 37s.

-JP

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What lift and how high? While the TF sport arms are a little longer than stock, they are the shortest aftermarket arms and probably not enough on a 3" and larger lift.
2.5" lift

How about the upper control arms? That changes steering as well. Rancho sells geometry brackets that fixes the lower and with a few choices of positions for your upper control arms depending on your lift. I personally did it and my steering feels better than before.
I have stock uppers. I was told not to use both the Rancho brackets and the Teraflex arms, as it would be too much caster.

I was actually looking at doing the Rancho brackets when I was told the steer smarts stuff would be the best option. Several people have told me it's a single best mod they've done of the jeep. However, I also don't want to put money where it isn't needed.

Like I said, I really only have an issue when I'm going 80 down the highway. Around town I'm fine. I think what my girlfriend doesn't like is the 12.5" wide tires tracking cracks, etc in the road. All wide tires suffer from this, but I'm not sure if the attenuator helps with that.
 

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I am one of the SteerSmart fans. But I would make sure your geometry is right before getting one if you have a "problem". Having a decent shop check you alignment is usually pretty cheap. As there isn't much they can do other than adjusting toe, it is pretty much set toe and see where the other measurements are. If castor is out one way or the other you may need different arms or go back to stock arms and run the brackets.
If you find the geometry is right, I would get a SteerSmart Attenuator. But if you don't have enough castor you should fix that first.
The SSA adds a nice heft to the steering, and it also smooths out the bumps and jolts. I am not sure how it would be for "wandering".

I am not one of the experts here, first off.
I have the JKS front lower arms with a 2.5" lift. They seem to give me just a little too much castor, which has made the steering a little lazy. At some point I plan on adding adjustable front upper arms to dial a little of that castor back out. But it steers fine as is, it is just a little lazy steering (it takes more turning of the steering wheel to get the same amount of turning at the wheels compared to how it was before).
 

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I am one of the SteerSmart fans. But I would make sure your geometry is right before getting one if you have a "problem". Having a decent shop check you alignment is usually pretty cheap. As there isn't much they can do other than adjusting toe, it is pretty much set toe and see where the other measurements are. If castor is out one way or the other you may need different arms or go back to stock arms and run the brackets. If you find the geometry is right, I would get a SteerSmart Attenuator. But if you don't have enough castor you should fix that first. The SSA adds a nice heft to the steering, and it also smooths out the bumps and jolts. I am not sure how it would be for "wandering". I am not one of the experts here, first off. I have the JKS front lower arms with a 2.5" lift. They seem to give me just a little too much castor, which has made the steering a little lazy. At some point I plan on adding adjustable front upper arms to dial a little of that castor back out. But it steers fine as is, it is just a little lazy steering (it takes more turning of the steering wheel to get the same amount of turning at the wheels compared to how it was before).
That's what I was trying to say, either get uppers or go back to stock arms w/bracket.
 

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2.5" lift

I have stock uppers. I was told not to use both the Rancho brackets and the Teraflex arms, as it would be too much caster.

I was actually looking at doing the Rancho brackets when I was told the steer smarts stuff would be the best option. Several people have told me it's a single best mod they've done of the jeep. However, I also don't want to put money where it isn't needed.

Like I said, I really only have an issue when I'm going 80 down the highway. Around town I'm fine. I think what my girlfriend doesn't like is the 12.5" wide tires tracking cracks, etc in the road. All wide tires suffer from this, but I'm not sure if the attenuator helps with that.
Yes, the brackets and arms together would be too much in my opinion. We really do need to see your current alignment numbers to understand what is going on and make sure we give a good recommendation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the advice guys. I will get an alignment when I get back in town, and we'll go from there.
 

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Thanks for the advice guys. I will get an alignment when I get back in town, and we'll go from there.
I'll be watching for it... I'm curious as to what is causing the flightiness. If you don't have enough toe, it might also be contributing. Fortunately, none of these are a problem driving around town.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Alright, nothing like posting results a month later!


An hour after I dropped the Jeep off the shop called and said if I do an alignment, due to the bead protection of the tire, the alignment instruments might scuff the wheel sightly. I gave the OK, and went on with the day. By the time I got home I remembered to check the wheels, and yeah, they scratched the hell out of them ... It's so hard to find competent shops anymore...

 

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Those numbers actually look pretty good unless I have had one too many beers this evening. Toe at 3/32, caster around 3.5, camber fine. Does it drive any better since the alignment of the toe -- since that's all they really did?

What tire pressure are you running? If it's reasonable then I will vote for the "GF just doesn't like driving a lifted Jeep" answer. I ran about 28 or so when I was on "35's" and it worked about as good as can be expected with similar alignment numbers. If you run 40 psi. it won't be fun to drive and steer.

Now that I'm at a little over 3.5" and 37's, those steering upgrades you talk about are much closer to the front of my mind. Next on the list in fact, and I meant to do it a month ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm running about 30psi in the tires. It drives a bit bettter after the alignment, but there is still a bit of wondering. I'm guessing it's mostly due running a wider tire.
 

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I'd dial in a little more caster. It'll wonder less at 5* than at 3.5*. You'll trade off pinion angle, though.

Mark

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I'd dial in a little more caster. It'll wonder less at 5* than at 3.5*. You'll trade off pinion angle, though.

Mark

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Agree, I had a 3.2 and it was not a great driver until it was over 4. And even better now that it's at 5.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So what's the best way to dial in a bit more caster? Sell the Teraflex sport arms and go with an adjustable? How should I handle the pinion angle?

And, to make matters more complicated, since I've taken the Jeep off-roading a bit, I seem to have a small amount of death wobble. Driving over certain bumps or uneven road the steering wheel rocks from side to side a small bit. I'm going to check the torque on all the bolts tomorrow, but any other suggestions would be great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Alright, so should I sell my TF Sport arms and buy the TF adjustable Alpine arms? Dial the caster in to around 4.5* and let the pinion angle be whatever it comes out to?

I'll probably just get the steer smarts stuff at the same time, and go get another alignment.
 
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