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Unread 09-10-2002, 03:12 PM   #1
tgc79cj5
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79 CJ5 / Need Advice on Front Sway Bar

Hello to all! I am a "new" CJ owner (1979) and new to this board and I need some advice:

The CJ5 I recently bought has the following set-up, but it just does not hold the road very well -- it wanders back and forth -- I can only safely drive up to about 40 - 45 mph. Here's the set-up:

1979 CJ5
304 V-8
3 speed tranny
about a 4" suspension lift (guess?)
33 x 12.50 BFG All Terrain (Brand New)
Rough Country Shocks (not sure how old)
Front steering stabilizer shock (Brand New)

It does not have a front sway bar -- would this help with the handling? I will be using the Jeep as a daily driver and need to set it up for better handling on the road. If a sway bar is the way to go, any ideas on where to find one?

Thanks for any help!

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Unread 09-10-2002, 03:37 PM   #2
rebelcj7
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The sway bar does exactly what the name says it does.. sway..
it controls the sway in the vehicle mainly in cornering but some as well during straight away driving..
The biggest thing that you need to look at on yours is not the sway bar, but the steering components, somthing is allowing it to walk back and fourth..
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Unread 09-10-2002, 03:50 PM   #3
tgc79cj5
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Thanks for your reply Rebelcj7! You're probably right -- I forgot to mention in my post that there is some slack in the steering shaft that goes into the gear box. ( I do have power steering) I tightened the gear box slack up a little, and that helped some, but I intend to replace the steering shaft when I can -- any suggestions??
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Unread 09-10-2002, 03:59 PM   #4
rebelcj7
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Well, it could be several things, the steering shaft its self, the knuckles on the steering shaft could be worn..
do you have a drop pitman arm?
ITs got to be soemthing in the steering.. but hard to nail down...
mine did the same for a while, ive got soa on d44's, it was jus a matter of gettin the knuckles turned backa couple degrees..
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Unread 09-10-2002, 04:05 PM   #5
tgc79cj5
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I'm not sure about the drop pitman arm. I'm pretty new to all of the Jeep components. I know what the arm is, I'm just not sure if it is original or not??? I just had the new tires and steering stabilizer put on a couple of days ago -- the guys at the tire shop could not find any obvious steering component problems (except for the slack in the steering shaft) -- but I'm not sure how familiar they are w/ CJ's.

Thanks again!!
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Unread 09-10-2002, 05:05 PM   #6
rebelcj7
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Well, most if nto all older cj's will have some slack in there steering, unless all has been replaced with new.. i know ive got about a 1/4 turn of slack.. and thats jus the box wearing out.. its normal..
The pitman arm, if stock is almost paralelle from eye to eye and drop pitman arm, on average the dpa, u will find about a 4" drop from one eye to the other..
replace the bushings on like the tie rod and drag ling and around the steering knuckeles.. might help also..
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Unread 09-10-2002, 06:58 PM   #7
BART CJ5
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You have my twin Jeep. I just bought a '79 also. I have a 4" Rancho suspension lift, drop pitman arm, and 31x10.5 all terrains. My front end, though is very tight. The lower steering shaft joint is very loose. This loose joint only effect my steering wheel play, and not how it drives down the road. Rebelcj7 or anyone else, have you replaced this lower joint or should I just bight the bullet and buy the Borgeson shaft. I can get the kit through 4WD Hardware for $36.75. The Borg shaft is $230.

Also do you know if there is any where I can get my hands on a new ignition modual. Mine has the innerds oozing out of it. What a mess. Maybe an after market suggustion would do me better. Thanks guys.
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Unread 09-11-2002, 08:32 AM   #8
Bulletproofcj7
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I just put the borgeson shaft in my CJ7, hurt my wallet but was well worth it, steering is nice and tight now! Easy to install.

The sway bar, though, SOME would disagree DOES make a difference in handeling on the road!
I suggest you get yourself a good CJ manual and check the torque of all your suspension bolts front AND rear....U-bolts, main eye(spring to frame) bolts, shackle bolts(german torque is no good here "GUDENTITE"), make sure these are torqued to spec.or youll bend the shackles,and cause them to bind. check all 4 ball joints and all 4 tie rod ends for play, make sure the pitman arm is tight to the steering box and that the steering box is tight to the frame. check the steering box for play and adjust if needed,
grab hold of the steering shaft under the hood and look for play (unlock the steering wheel)should be none. also check the bushing at the lower end of the steering column and make sure that is tight(just a plastic bushing) lube everything while your at it.
If you have long aftermarket shackles, this will throw the castor off and the steering wheel will not return to center while driving like it should. (as well as a steering box that is set to tight and if the axle U-joints are seized they will cause resistance in steering back and forth,regaurdless if the hubs are locked in or not!!)
Oh...also tighten the bolts that hold the spring hanger to the frame(at the shackle end of the spring)

This should straighten you out quite a bit! remember...its a CJ, it will probably never go perfectly straight down the road, especially the short CJ5
Good luck!
-Jason
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Unread 09-11-2002, 03:37 PM   #9
tgc79cj5
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Thanks for the suggestions -- I will double check everything this weekend. I have been trying to get a lead on a sway bar --- I talked to a tech at Quadratech and he tells me they no longer make "new" sway bars for the CJ's, but that they carry the bar-ends for the sway bars --- would anyone have a suggestion as to where to look for a sway bar to fit my CJ5????

By the way, it looks like my Pitman arm is the extended kind -- there is about a three to four inch offset on the arm , which allows the tie-rods to run parallel to each other.

Thanks to all for your help!!!
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Unread 09-11-2002, 03:45 PM   #10
rebelcj7
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for a swaybar... hmmm junlyards have em sometimes.. also seen several on ebay..
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