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Unread 06-25-2011, 01:40 PM   #1
Calypsokev
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Moog DS1235 track bar questions

I have a stock 97 ZJ with no lift. I just installed a Moog DS1235 track bar because I thought this was a direct stock replacement. I'm replacing the track bar and steering stabilizer due to death wobble, and this track bar has helped cure it, but I have had a couple issues with it.

After installing, my steering wheel is off center by an 1/8 turn and my axle moved 3/8" towards the driver's side. Since this track bar is NOT adjustable, I cannot get the axle centered.

Questions:
1. Since my alignment feels find (no drifting left or right), should I just adjust the steering wheel and be done?

2. With the axle being slightly off, will this mess up future alignments?

3. Should I get another track bar? The Moog seems to not be the correct length. I'm tempted to just buy stock, since most of the adjustable track bars are only if your jeep is lifted.

Thanks in advance for any help,

Kevin

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Unread 06-25-2011, 05:26 PM   #2
Calypsokev
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I think I know what might be going on.

A couple years ago I installed the yellow Bilstein struts for a stock (0" lift) ZJ. Although these are stock shock replacements, they lifted my jeep up a little. I never measured where the axle was after installing the shocks.

From what I have read in the forums, when you lift a jeep without an adjustable track bar, it moves the axle towards the drivers side. My jeep is 3/16" towards the drivers side.

I haven't read about anyone having trouble with the Moob DS1235 track bar, so I'm going to assume it's my jeep being slightly lifted by the shocks. Unfortunately, it's not enough to warrant an adjustable track bar.

Unless anyone believes there is a danger or reason not to drive with the axle 3/16" off center, I'm going to just adjust my steering wheel to center and be done.

Thanks to anyone who feels they could chime in with useful information.

Thanks,

Kevin
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Unread 06-25-2011, 08:44 PM   #3
TallyZJ
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What is the exact method you are using to measure the axle for center? Are you using the edges of the tires for reference? If so, that won't be exact. You would need to find exact center of the jeep frame/chassis and then find exact center of your axle and measure the difference.
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Unread 06-25-2011, 09:16 PM   #4
blackjack12982
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calypsokev View Post
I think I know what might be going on.

A couple years ago I installed the yellow Bilstein struts for a stock (0" lift) ZJ. Although these are stock shock replacements, they lifted my jeep up a little. I never measured where the axle was after installing the shocks.

From what I have read in the forums, when you lift a jeep without an adjustable track bar, it moves the axle towards the drivers side. My jeep is 3/16" towards the drivers side.

I haven't read about anyone having trouble with the Moob DS1235 track bar, so I'm going to assume it's my jeep being slightly lifted by the shocks. Unfortunately, it's not enough to warrant an adjustable track bar.

Unless anyone believes there is a danger or reason not to drive with the axle 3/16" off center, I'm going to just adjust my steering wheel to center and be done.

Thanks to anyone who feels they could chime in with useful information.

Thanks,

Kevin
Did you really mean to say that after you installed your shocks your vehicle was lifted?

Shocks don't lift a vehicle at all...
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Unread 06-25-2011, 09:37 PM   #5
Calypsokev
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There is a hole on the frame just behind the track bar bracket, and a hole in the exact place on the frame on the passenger side. I was measuring from there to the wheel rim. I found a 3/16" difference.

I also marked the center of the frame and hung a string and marked the center of the axle and hung a string. I then looked from the center marked at of front of the jeep to see if the strings lined up. They appeared to be off a little more then the 3/16" measurement.

When I lowered the axle end of the track bar and aligned the axle, I could not reinstall the track bar since it's not adjustable. I thought the Moog DS1235 was supposed to be a direct stock replacement.

What tipped me off something might not be right is the steering wheel was off center after the install.

Nevertheless, the Moog track bar is now installed, the axle is slightly off, and the death wobble is gone(except on one bump coming out of Boston where it appears for just a second, then goes away. Much better then before.). I wouldn't mind getting a different track bar that allows me to align the axle, but the JKS is for 1"-6" lift, Kevin's Offroad would hit the differential with no lift, and every other one seems to require lift. The Moog track bar I bought is still returnable.

Is it possible my track bar is faulty? Is there another direct stock replacement besides the moog that you recommend? Am I doing something wrong?

Thanks for responding,

Kevin
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Unread 06-25-2011, 09:41 PM   #6
Calypsokev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackjack12982 View Post
Did you really mean to say that after you installed your shocks your vehicle was lifted?

Shocks don't lift a vehicle at all...
Good to know. When I went from the stock shocks to the Bilstein, it seemed as if the vehicle sat higher. I must have been mistaken. I never measured before or after.

So if my ZJ is not lifted at all, when I install what should be a stock replacement non-adjustable track bar, the axle should automatically be centered?

When I put the Moog DS1235 track bar in, the steering wheel moved off-center, and the axle appears to be off by about 3/16". Try another track bar?
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Unread 06-26-2011, 06:42 AM   #7
sebian
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If it is off by 3/16", I would guess that is because the bushings in the old trackbar were worn down, causing the difference. I had the same problem when I swapped mine, old trackbar pretty much dropped right out, and I had to do a little finagling to get the new one installed since it had new bushings. Get an alignment and you should be good.
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Unread 06-26-2011, 08:42 AM   #8
JrMechanic
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Don't bother with an alignment, just adjust the sleeve on your drag link 1/2 turn to align the steering wheel. Might take a few tries to get it exactly right however.

Although I don't like Moog ball joints, the track bar they make for our Jeeps is the best stock replacement you can buy. I first purchased a house brand track bar for $50 with a lifetime warranty... Within 9 months the bushing was worn out, so rather than having it go bad again I spent the $12 for a poly bushing. 3 months later the joint end developed play, so I returned it for the Moog. I did have the same problem you encountered, but 3/16" is miniscule, your window for error when measuring is larger than that.
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Unread 06-26-2011, 09:00 AM   #9
AlphaLorde
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If the front axle is shifted to the passenger side. I would lift it a little, like some 2.25" spacers, that should bring it back to square.

When you are lifting the front it shifts toward the driver and when the rear is lifted it goes to the passenger side.
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Unread 06-26-2011, 09:56 AM   #10
Calypsokev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebian View Post
If it is off by 3/16", I would guess that is because the bushings in the old trackbar were worn down, causing the difference. I had the same problem when I swapped mine, old trackbar pretty much dropped right out, and I had to do a little finagling to get the new one installed since it had new bushings. Get an alignment and you should be good.
Your experience sounds like the most likely scenerio. Thanks for sharing. My old trackbar appears to be original. With 150k miles, the bushings are most likely worn down.

I checked the alignment. My tow-in seems to be at 1/8" and drives as well as it did before, so I'll take JrMechanic's advice and just adjust the sleeve on the drag link.

Thanks!

Kevin
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Unread 06-26-2011, 10:09 AM   #11
Calypsokev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z71tbi View Post
If the front axle is shifted to the passenger side. I would lift it a little, like some 2.25" spacers, that should bring it back to square.

When you are lifting the front it shifts toward the driver and when the rear is lifted it goes to the passenger side.
Since my alxe is shifted towards the driver's side, I guess lifting the back would bring the axle back to the center.

If I put 2.25" spacers in the back, then I would need spacers for the shocks too. I see where this would lead! This would be the beginning of my lift addiction. I would then want to get all new springs all around and lift to 3.5-4 inches with 35" wheels = new control arms, adjustable track bar, new front bumper with a winch! Ut-oh, my winter vehicle would take on a whole new life, all because my axle was off 3/16"!
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Unread 06-26-2011, 10:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calypsokev View Post
I haven't read about anyone having trouble with the Moog DS1235 track bar,
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f197/...to-wth-821786/

There's a little discussion on the topic
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Unread 06-26-2011, 11:53 AM   #13
AlphaLorde
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Since your already shifted to the driver side, the lift idea will not work. Once lifted, it will shift the axle more to driver side. Ignore my idea from before.
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Unread 06-26-2011, 04:41 PM   #14
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Put the old trackbar next to the Moog and see if they are the same length.
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Unread 06-26-2011, 06:19 PM   #15
Calypsokev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newfieZJ View Post
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f197/...to-wth-821786/

There's a little discussion on the topic
Thanks for the link newfieZJ. I read your thread. The Moog part I got was from the "Problem Solver" line. It has the Moog name ingraved on the part. It's a solid looking piece. Sorry to read about your nightmare with RockAuto. I bought several items from them when I lived in California without a problem.

Kevin
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