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Unread 06-02-2002, 09:03 PM   #1
Buff4lo
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Death Wobble

How do I stop my CJ-7 from going toe-in to toe-out every time a hit a bump? I have tried new ball joints, new rod ends, two differnet sets of knuckles and steering linkage, new wheel bearings and caster from +4 to +10 degrees?

Nothing I do seems to make a difference and I am out of ideas and patience. ANY help would be appreciated!!!

I have a wagoneer D44 front, spring under, 4" lift and shackle reversal.

Thanks

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Unread 06-03-2002, 12:35 AM   #2
cj7traildriver
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How is it going toe in to toe out. Toe shouldnt change much unless tie rods have play. Or are you meaning bump steer, where when you hit a bump the steering wheel jars and you go off into another direction. That can be caused with a Tracking bar haveing play or isn't parallel to you'r drag link common if lifted and not corrected. If larger tires are installed and you dont have a steering stabalizer shock this also can help out with the jaring.But I dont get the goes from toe in to toe out on a fixed axle front, only way that can happen with no play in the tie rods is if the link between the right and left tie rod bends and then bends back which I have never heard of though I have read about these new aluminum tierod links that bend if you hit a rock and then pop right back to normal wonder if they ever do that be a scarry experience at highway speeds.
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Unread 06-03-2002, 03:13 AM   #3
JIM79CJ7
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Are you running dropped pitman arm ?
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Unread 06-03-2002, 07:21 PM   #4
Buff4lo
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It is not bump steer! It is definately toe-in toe-out. The drag link is running parallel to the tie rod.

The best I can figure is that somewhere I get a vibration started and the harmonic picks up until you stop or slow way down. It also won't do it a speeds greater than 40 mph which I assume is because the centrifigal force of the tires keeps them runnig straight.

It got better with new ball joints but will still do it occasionally so with the new rod ends, etc. I am assuming it has to be the caster angle or a combination of caster, camber and toe-in setting.

Any more thoughts?

thanks,
buff4lo
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Unread 06-03-2002, 09:25 PM   #5
hollywood
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I've been having the same problem, and I think I've narrowed it down to the steering box. If you have power steering, there is a lot more adjustment to the box than just the allen bolt on the top. Also, air in the system can cause the wheels to wobble "in and out". What are you running for toe in? Did you have it done at a shop, or do it yourself? I have mine set at 1/8" in with 33" TSL's. I added a single stabilizer yesterday, and it didn't seem to help much. I'm ready to just chalk it up as a "jeep thing" and live with it, 'cause I'm tired of spending money trying to fix it.
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Unread 06-03-2002, 11:57 PM   #6
Buff4lo
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I set the toe-in myself for now - same as you at 1/8" at the outer edge of 33's.

I have heard the steering box can do this but I do not see how it would make a difference when the tie rod goes between the two wheels and the drag link attaches to one wheel.

I could rationalize it a little better if the drag link and tie rod were combined like in a TJ?

Any thoughts?
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Unread 06-04-2002, 12:39 AM   #7
cj7traildriver
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Hard to make a front end diagnostic without beeing there to see. Have you had it at a front end shop and had it looked at. Caster wont cause a toe in toe out problem. You say had positive 4 caster then whent to positive 10. have you had this on a alignment machine to acurately tell this.general rule is if caster between the two sides is different by more then .5 degrees will pull to one side the side with less caster, unless other things change that. 10 degrees of caster seems high to me been awhile since I have done alignments and fixed front axles cant change caster really fords can use a shim on the upper ball joint to adjust camber caster a very slight bit. 4 degrees where you had it before seems more reasonable I have read some recomend a 8 degree caster on SOA. Also just makeing sure when you say positive caster you have the upper ball joint behind the lower ball joint not in front. To much caster can have some wierd affects I would normaly have caster set at 3 degrees alot of cars and trucks set from factory 3 to 4 degrees caster is high generaly. All caster does is help to keep wheels going straight so when you let go of the wheel returns to straight, so not alot of caster is neccesary. Yet 0 caster will cause wanders so would need to hold the steering wheel more. Will find 0 degrees caster on vehicles with no power steering alot. So if you havent had a front end specialist look at it and have it have it on a alignment machine I would do that.

The drag link is parallel thats a good deal, they also get play in them very common on jeeps and dodge trucks, you can check this by haveing someone inside turning the steering wheel back and forth in a steady slow short pace left to right look for play there should be none, Ball joints, tie rods, drag links, track bars most every joint on a front end is a zero play joint, Chevy on there drag link arms since they suck so bad puts a tolerance so big on them that they are practicly falling off before they say they are bad, but them haveing play in chevy specs causes some very bad tire wear. Anyways make sure no play in front end parts.

But I still have a hard time seeing a toe in toe out occuring, maybe can explain a little more what the jeep is doing and what you are doing when it happens. Otherwise I would look at getting it on a alignment rack and check them angles correctly if not done so already.
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Unread 06-04-2002, 08:46 PM   #8
Bulletproofcj7
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What exactly do you mean by toe in toe out? Is it that your steering wheel turns itself back and forth after hitting a bump? Or do the front wheels actually turn independant of each other? (They turn toward each other, then away from each other rapidly)
You said that you replaced ball joints and tie rod ends etc,Did you check that your U-bolts that hold the axle to the springs (front and rear axle u bolts!) are tight and torqued to the proper specs ( 85-90 FT.LBS i believe) Also make sure that the locating pin that passes through the spring pack is not broken or out of place on all four springs.
Here is another problem that deserves being addressed, although it is attributed to more of a wondering problem than a wobble. If the axle universal joints are seized or tight (even if the hubs are not engaged for four wheel drive) they will not allow the wheels to self center themselves as when coming out of a turn and letting go of the wheel, the jeep keeps turning instead of straighting out.
Do you have after market lift shackles (shackles will affect the castor if they are longer than stock)or shims between the axle and springs to achieve your castor?
Is this a homemade shackle reversal or a purchased system?
Check for play as was stated above in another post by having someone turn the steering wheel back and forth while you look for play in the rod ends etc, also grab ahold of the lower steering column from below, turn it back and forth to check for play in the steering box, the pitman arm should move as you are turning the column with no dead spots.
Thats all that comes to mind right now, hope it helps some. Keep us posted!!
-Jason
P.S check your body mounts, i imagine they could give you the feeling of a death wobble if all were loose!
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Unread 06-04-2002, 09:37 PM   #9
Buff4lo
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It does not wander at all. U-bolts are tight, caster shims are in, centering pins are good. U-joints are good and hubs are not locked. Body mounts are tight. You can see the tires wobble (toe-in toe-out) if you look out the window while it happens! They move in and out a couple of inches. When this happens the Jeep shakes but tracks straight?

I will rotate the tires this weekend and check the steering box. The steering seems tight while driving - no wander, but I did adjust the allen/lock-nut adjuster last year so the steering is 'tight' at center. The box does not leak and there is no play in the shaft!? Is there any way to check the box - it has 200K on it.

THANKS THANKS THANKS!

P.S. - when you post you get a message from my website - sorry about this - I will fix ASAP!
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Unread 06-05-2002, 12:06 AM   #10
cj7traildriver
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How are your wheel bearings are they tight? How true is your rim is it bent? Have you taken it to a front end specialist yet?
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Unread 06-05-2002, 09:51 AM   #11
Bulletproofcj7
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When you see this toe in toe out thing happening as you look out the, drivers side window i assume? you can only see one wheel, the drivers side, right? so how can you say that it is a toe in toe out problem with out seeing the passenger side wheel at the same time as the drivers side wheel? perhaps it is just a left-right problem. and nothing to do with toe. If all of your components are new and installed correctly( ball joints,rod ends etc.)then the only way that toe problem can happen is if the tie rod is bending when you hit a bump.
Did you do the front end work yourself or did you have it done? did you replace the adjusting sleeve(if it has one on the d44) in the upper knuckle for the ball joint stud?
Is the tie rod from the pitman arm to the steering knuckle in the correct hole in the knuckle and not the hole for the tie rod from wheel to wheel?
If all the above is correct, I would suggest, if possible, trying a different steering box from a jeep that is known not to have this problem (steal your buddies for a night!)
And definately bring it to a reputable front end shop.
I imagine you're pretty frustrated over this problem as i would be! It's just hard to believe that after all you have done that the wheels could be turning independantly of each other.
No cracks in the frame are there?
keep us informed!
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1982 cj7. Frame off. shell valley kevlar body, stainless hinges, Bestop seats and supertop, KC titanium lights, Homemade swing out tire carrier with spare front wheel bearings/hub, Built 304,DUI,Edelbrock shorty headers with dual stainless 21/2 tubes into incynerator cans 21/4 dumped out the back,Edelbrock 600cfm, performer intake and cam, Borgeson lower column, Centerforce clutch, NV-4500, Dana 300 w/custom built twin stick, Homade 1/4" steel skid plate, 2.5 soft ride w/ 1" shackle lift, 33x12.5 mtr's. Stainless fuel and brake lines, Braided hoses. more...
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Unread 06-06-2002, 09:05 AM   #12
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I've also heard that some steering gear boxes need to be reinforced for some reason or other. My guess is that the bolts can loosen and cause the bolt holes to enlarge and no matter how tight it is the gear box moves. They sell a gear box mounting kit for solving this problem. Just a thought.

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Unread 06-07-2002, 12:25 AM   #13
Buff4lo
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Yep - you are right I only see one tire but I assumed (i know bad idea) that it was toe-in toe-out because the darn thing tracks straight when this happens.

I guess I am starting to think that maybe it is the steering gear. This does not make sense to me but I can rationalize that it could set up a vibration.

The steering gear is mounted to the M.O.R.E bracket that is bolted to the frame and to the cross member which is then bolted to my custom bumper and winch mount - it ain't movin'! I do have about 1.25" of play in the steering wheel measured at the outer edge which I suppose amounts to a degree or two. It does not seem like that much compared to what the Jeep has always done but perhaps it has progressed so low I didn't notice it.

I have not had it on an alignment rack yet - thats next after I get my truck back from my wife - after her car is out of the body shop!

I'll post more details as I get them.

Buff4lo
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Unread 06-07-2002, 08:19 AM   #14
twmattox
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Just a thought...
I have the same symptoms, and after much work, have narrowed it down to bad tires. You may want to swap on a set of tires from a friends rig that dowen't have this problem. If you are lucky (like me) then a new set of rubber will cure it...
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Unread 06-12-2002, 11:10 PM   #15
Jeep Daddy
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A couple of things come to mind after reading all the posts on this thread.

Do you have a steering stabilizer? Try a dual shock stabilizer maybe.

Also - how are the shocks? Mine have bad rubber inserts on the front shocks that I know can cause steering problems. My problems are only on somewhat rough streets. I don't want to replace mine now because I plan to lift my jeep soon and new shock, bushings, etc. will be installed at that time.
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