So I am new to the Jeep world, and was driving home from work in my 86 CJ7 when I hit a pothole. It wasn't a very big pothole, but all of a sudden I jerked about four feet to the left into oncoming traffic. I was able to correct myself, and made it home (never going over 30 miles an hour). I parked her right in the garage until I can figure out what is wrong, so I figure I'll start here. I'm thinking either its the steering dampener or something is wrong with one of the shocks. The Jeep is sitting about an inch lower on the front left side, but I didn't notice that until it was parked in the garage. Any thoughts/help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
Sounds like a bent tie rod or drag link. Also, check the spring on the low side for breaks or shackle misalignment. I broke the shackle mount on my cj7, it came right of the frame. That could be a possible cause. Make sure you inspect and fix the problem before you take it out on the road again!!
1980 CJ-7 with a AMC 401, RE 4.5" Lift, 4-1 Dana 300, Holley TBI Projection, 35" Goodyear MTR's
2010 Rubicon Unlimited
1997 TJ with various enhancements
I had a chevy do it once it was a ball joint on the dana 44. came with in a few feet of a head on. The guy I had just bought it from had put new ones on and didnt get a snap ring on right or put one on and didnt need it or something like that( getting old) any way check all your joints and bushing's. also be sure to check both axles and make sure the perches are sitting on the spring tie bolts right. that is a bolt that goes thru your spring packs that centers your axle. usally if they have moved there will be marks on the springs and the ubolts maybe loose, check your gearbox to and make sure it doesnt have to much play.
I too was thinking it could be ball joints...in fact I just got a set of MOOG ones that never need greasing. I suspected that too because sometime the steering would stick when I turned a hard corner (even at slow speeds). I was thinking that maybe the ball joints were rusted out so I was planning on replacing them this weekend...but was going to see if the weird "jerk of death" might have been something else. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions!!
Thanks I'll check that....but the thing about the pothole is it was a very small one, like going over a manhole cover or something like that. That is what is so perplexing about this problem, though I am going to check it out this weekend when I have more than 5 minutes to do anything. Thanks everyone for your help!