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Unread 01-06-2014, 11:08 PM   #1
ralph_801
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Sloppy jk steering?

The past few trips have made this very noticeable, for starters my steering wheel is off centered counter clockwise fairly noticeably, and the past few weeks I have really begun to notice how loose and sloppy my steering is anything over 40 mph I have a hard time staying in one lane. I have had an alignment done by the dealer and teraflex about 3-4 months ago. I'm looking for any other ideas? Or anyone that works in a shop that could take a look at it? It's very annoying driving to work everyday taking up 3 lanes. Thank you!

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Unread 01-06-2014, 11:12 PM   #2
Tuffjeeper
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Is it getting progressively worse? Or was it more of a sudden thing. One thing I recommend checking, understanding that I am not extremely familiar with the situation is checking the pitman arm to see if it is cracking, or if it is loose.
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Unread 01-06-2014, 11:16 PM   #3
ralph_801
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I would say when it first started it was very sudden and maybe slowly getting worse
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Unread 01-07-2014, 12:58 AM   #4
Moab_cj5
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There are many factors to look at. Tie rod ends: too much play? They should be tight. If you grab your tie rod or drag link and can move it around, you likely need new ends. Ball Joints: they should be tight. Jack a tire up to where you can get a pry bar under the tire and watch the ball joints as you lift on the tire. If the have any slack in them, they are shot and need to be replaced. Track Bar: Check to make sure none of the bolts are loose, and I suggest pulling some bolts to see if the holes are elongated. If so, drill it out and put a bigger bolt in. You don't want your track bar moving in ways it wasn't designed. Like mentioned above, check your pitman arm and make sure it is in good shape. There could also be an extra bend in your drag link, tie rod, or track bar. Any of that would cause your steering wheel to be off center and can effect handling.

Having just had an alignment done, the shops should have checked all of this stuff. If you still have stock ball joints, they are likely shot and are contributing to the problem.

Just my 2 cents, but stuff I have gone through on my jeeps, and am currently going through on my current jeep.
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Unread 01-07-2014, 08:16 AM   #5
ralph_801
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Is this going to have bad influence on tire wear? I'm getting new tires and I don't want to be running tread down fast
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Unread 01-07-2014, 09:23 AM   #6
Marhey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moab_cj5 View Post
There are many factors to look at. Tie rod ends: too much play? They should be tight. If you grab your tie rod or drag link and can move it around, you likely need new ends. Ball Joints: they should be tight. Jack a tire up to where you can get a pry bar under the tire and watch the ball joints as you lift on the tire. If the have any slack in them, they are shot and need to be replaced. Track Bar: Check to make sure none of the bolts are loose, and I suggest pulling some bolts to see if the holes are elongated. If so, drill it out and put a bigger bolt in. You don't want your track bar moving in ways it wasn't designed. Like mentioned above, check your pitman arm and make sure it is in good shape. There could also be an extra bend in your drag link, tie rod, or track bar. Any of that would cause your steering wheel to be off center and can effect handling.
^^ Everything he said, plus swap the 14mm track bar bolts for Grade 8 9/16" bolts. If you google for something like "JK 9/16 bolt swap" you'll get some information. The first thing I thought of was ball joints before I read the above reply but he hit the nail on the head. My steering was very loose until I swapped my ball joints to HD ones with my new front end. Now its pretty tight.
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Unread 01-07-2014, 09:44 AM   #7
ralph_801
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the ball joints were done about 7 months ago.. i'm wondering if my tie rod is having some issues? i posted on here a long time about what appears to be toe out on my front end? i'll check everything for tightness this saturday i'm wondering if this is a good excuse to buy a rock krawler tie rod.. but i don't want to be throwing money in the wrong place, the steering is bugging the hell out of me
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Unread 01-07-2014, 09:49 AM   #8
Moab_cj5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph_801 View Post
Is this going to have bad influence on tire wear? I'm getting new tires and I don't want to be running tread down fast
Anytime there is something loose or out of spec on your steering, it will have an affect on tire wear. Since most vehicles aren't in perfec spec for long, they reccomend rotating your tires every oil change.
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Unread 01-07-2014, 09:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph_801 View Post
the ball joints were done about 7 months ago.. i'm wondering if my tie rod is having some issues? i posted on here a long time about what appears to be toe out on my front end? i'll check everything for tightness this saturday i'm wondering if this is a good excuse to buy a rock krawler tie rod.. but i don't want to be throwing money in the wrong place, the steering is bugging the hell out of me
Did you have it done? What ball joints did you go with? It they went with anything beside Teraflex, Synergy, or Alloy USA, they are crap for a lifted Jeep with 33's+ becuase they have plastic coated parts. Only the Teraflex, Synergy, and Alloy USA use metal on metal joints.

I don't know anything about the RK tie rod, but I would look more at Ruffstuff, Synergy, or Currie. Im not a huge RK fan though, so grain of salt advice there.

Instead of throwing limited funds at random possibilities, I would look for the exact cause and just fix that. If funds are unlimited, redo everything: i.e. new adjustable trackbar, new drag link with a flip kit and 1 ton rod ends, new tierod with 1 ton rod ends, new steering stabilizer, steering box brace, etc.
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Unread 01-07-2014, 09:58 AM   #10
ralph_801
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ugh.. alright well i will go ahead and get the tires i suppose and try and quickly track down my steering issue.. something has to be loose from the last couple trips. thank you guys for all the help! i will keep updates on here as to what the deal is
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Unread 01-07-2014, 10:00 AM   #11
ralph_801
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i would have to check to be exact on the brand.. it was done at the dealer which was a mistake all by itself. ahhhh ok.. i will look into those for sure. funds are far from unlimited haha sadly. i'll lay under there saturday and find the exact problem and go from there i suppose. i did a new steering stabilizer maybe 2 weeks ago and it did nothing
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Unread 01-07-2014, 10:18 AM   #12
Moab_cj5
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If you had the dealer do ball joints, I am sorry to say they likely put OEM joints in which are crap, and WAY over priced. You may have to have it done again as if they are OEM, you could have worn them out again already. The OEM joints on a JK can barely stand up to a stock Jeep driven on the HWY. They can't handle 35's and offroad use at all.
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Unread 01-07-2014, 10:38 AM   #13
ralph_801
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yeah it sounds like ball joints are gonna' have to be on the list too
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Unread 01-15-2014, 10:00 AM   #14
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He brought it by my shop yesterday and he has in fact pretzeled the tie rod end to end. I'm starting with a new tie rod assembly since the oem jk one's have tendency to seize and not move anyways, but can't Do anything with it til it's straight.Once it's installed I can then proceed to align it and see about any other noticeable play in other parts.
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Unread 01-15-2014, 10:11 AM   #15
ralph_801
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picking up my new one Friday!
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