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Unread 07-28-2009, 06:10 PM   #1
ABerry
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I'm sick of this steering shimmy

Ok, I have searched every single steering wheel shimmy thread on this forum multiple times over a few months but have yet to find an answer so I want to see current takes on the matter

My WJ has steering shimmy at any speed but felt greater around the 15-40mph range... when I drive over any bumps where one tire doesn't hit the bump the other does my steering wheel will shimmy back and forth, usually only 3 or so times, not much... it is definitely not DW as I've been in a car with DW and this is nothing like that... the almost for sure case where it will shimmy is if one front tire hits a slightly sunken manhole... if both tires hit a bump at the same time there is zero issue ( like any type of speed bump) I've taken it in for an alignment twice and asked the guys to check for any play in the steering as I dont really have any tools and they said there was none... the only thing I haven't done is balanced the tires because the shop wants a hundred some dollars

Some more notes are I have MX-6 shocks... the firmer they are the less it happens (it is still there just not as bad), also the hotter outside the much more obvious shimmy... sometimes during hot days like now (100f) i can get shimmy so bad it seems like a minor case of DW but stops immediately when i slow down slightly... also I have a rancho HD SS that helped but def did not cure it

any ideas? I've heard 50% say balancing does nothing but help tire wear and 50% say it causes steering shimmy

I don't want to spend money I dont have to but this is so annoying, I don't feel comfortable letting any of my friends drive my car

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Unread 07-28-2009, 06:38 PM   #2
benefred
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Wheel shimmy

I had wheel shimmy on my TJ, at 40- 50 mph. My tires are 32's. Here's what I found out!

The PSI listed on the sidewall of the tire is the max cold pressure for the tire carrying the highest (weight) load the tire supports.

Increase the cold tire pressure if the vehicle will be carrying a heavy load or driven at high speeds for long times.

Cold weather will reduce the air pressure, warm weather will increase the air pressure - it is important to recheck tire pressure when the seasons change.

Additional fuel economy and improved steering response can be obtained at the price of a firmer ride if the tire's inflation is increased above what is recommended by the car's manufacturer. This shouldn't exceed the max pressure listed on the tire's sidewall. Test the car to see if its driving feel is improved.

If the car has to be driven to add air note the pressure before driving away. Then add the difference above when the reading is now. For instance if you wish to inflate your tires to 35psi and they're reading 30psi cold. The tires are 5psi underinflated so when you add air after driving and they now read 33psi adjust them to be 38psi. They should then read 35psi when cold.

Sunlight heats up tires even if they're not driven. For more even readings take note that not one side of the car has sun shining on it.

Tires cannot be "eye-balled" for pressure, particularly modern radials. Always use an accurate gauge.
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Unread 07-28-2009, 06:56 PM   #3
ABerry
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very interesting... I know I am very close to max PSI and that was when it was 50-60f out... Anyone know the PSI for 31x10.5x15 BFG KM2's?
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Unread 07-28-2009, 07:00 PM   #4
ratmonkey
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on the sidewall.
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Unread 07-28-2009, 07:19 PM   #5
malibubts
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Did you check the front steering linkage? Is there play, bushings worn, etc?
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Unread 07-28-2009, 07:23 PM   #6
UrbanOffRoad124
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You could have a worn tie rod end. It could be any 4 of them but if it only seems like one tire, it might just be that side tie rod. Driver side has only one tie rod. Passenger side has two, one for the tie rod, one for the drag link. What you are describing is bump steer / DW, just a mild case of it. I would have someone turn your wheels back and forth while you inspect all of your tie rods. Moving them by hand doesn't apply enough pressure.

You may also have some worn control arm bushings.

Wheel balance and alignment can sometimes make all the difference.

It may also be just the fact that you are lifted and your steering geometry is different from stock. Steering stabilizers are a band-aid but can fix the problem. A drop ptiman arm gets your drag link back to a closer geometry to stock and can help bump steer and DW.

I would start cheap and go up from there. I have a slight case of bump steer but I have already determined I need new tie rod ends. I also plan on installing a Tenneco steering stablizer from IRO. If it's still there after, I'll install the drop pitman arm from Rusty's Offroad.
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Unread 07-28-2009, 07:35 PM   #7
ratmonkey
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only use a drop pittman arm if you also have a frame side track bar relocation bracket. it's more important to have the track bar and drag link parallel than it is to have them at stock angles.
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Unread 07-28-2009, 07:53 PM   #8
gatorayde
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Sounds like the HD SS is stopping you from getting DW. Go over the whole front end: bushings, tie rod ends, ball joints, etc. Anything that might look even a little worn should be replaced. Try getting your tires road force balanced. When I did that to mine, it helped my DW so much, but it didn't cure it completely.

When you installed your lift, did you loosen the control arm bolts and then re-tighten them once your jeep was back on the ground with the new 3" springs installed? If not, you probably have ruined your control arm bushings (unless you've hardly driven with the lift installed)

Also, I've got some 0-3.5" JKS disco's with ~2k miles on them, PM me if you're insterested.
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Unread 07-28-2009, 08:50 PM   #9
MoonyJohn
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You can always take a look at KOR steering brace if they make one for the WJ. I have been dealing with steering shimmy on my passenger side, and i figure its the tie rods/control arm bushings.
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Unread 07-28-2009, 08:57 PM   #10
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OK...I was in the same boat as you with the same year WJ. If you are still running the trackbar from IRO, I would swap out to a JKS unit and purchase KOR's hard durometer bushings (I'm not sure if KOR's bushings would work with IRO fixed track bar?)

This helped me alot, but it was still there a little. I come to find out that the mounting holes on the axle and the frame for the track bar were beginning to oval out. So what I did was drill out the holes to 9/16", had the metal bushings reamed out to 9/16" and installed grade 8 hardware. I also used a THICK grade 8 washer on front of the mounts and welded them to the mounts. This should not allow the bolt to oval out anymore(hopefully). Now the track bar stays where it is supposed to and no more shimmy.

At the same time I also replaced all my TRE. Other things I would like to replace are the ball joints, and the upper control bushings on the front axle.
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Unread 07-29-2009, 12:25 AM   #11
UrbanOffRoad124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratmonkey View Post
only use a drop pittman arm if you also have a frame side track bar relocation bracket. it's more important to have the track bar and drag link parallel than it is to have them at stock angles.
Yes, very true! I forgot to include that. It is more important to keep the TB and Draglink at the same angle. But it can help DW to drop both of them down. Although at 3", it's probably not your problem. As everyone else and myself is saying, check all of your bushings, tie rod ends, and ball joints.
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Unread 07-29-2009, 12:35 AM   #12
ABerry
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unbelievable... I went from 40ish PSI on a 104f day to 32ish and the ride is incredible... the same if not better than stock... there is only slight shimmy on the roads that did it horrendously 2 hours before the air deflation and no more shimmy than when I was stock... I now feel the ride that everyone has been talking about with the MX-6's

What a damn lucky day this has been plaguing me for months and everything seamed to check out steering wise no prob from a professional.. free fix except I put 75 cents in the machine forgetting I was just deflating and using the gauge

benefred thx for the info on your 4th post, I'm glad I finally made a thread about it instead of continued searching
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Last edited by ABerry; 07-29-2009 at 01:27 AM..
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Unread 07-29-2009, 06:22 PM   #13
ABerry
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is no one surprised with this fix? hmm
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