I was driving no faster than 30 miles an hour...and it wasn't even really a pothole...just a bump. It was really nothing more than driving over a manhole cover....the jerk I had ideally should not have happen. What happens is sometimes when I start driving if I turn the car too much, like pulling out of my driveway even, the steering feels like it sticks in that position. Then I hit the bump and it jerked me over so far though that I had to see what could be causing this. I was originally thinking ball joints, but now I don't know. Thanks for all the input so far!
Sounds like the shackel hanger( where the shackel mounts to frame), they brake all the time and if your spring is saging this may be why, other things to check are for a broken main leafspring, these are a few of the easier things to check, take about 2-3 min, the ball joints will take a little longer, also check frame behind steering box for cracks or if box is loose, easier if you have someone get in your jeep and turn steering wheel back and forth, jeep does not need to be running for this, just watch everything for loose looking movements, you will know the diference it will look almost like it is going to fall off, or pretty close.
Power steering...and that shackle hanger sounds like something I should look at, because the driver front side is sagging. I'm hoping to get a look at it this weekend, I have been working all week and had no chance to look at it. I appreciate all the insight though into this matter, I'm looking forward to looking into the potential cause.
I had something similar happen to me, and hopefully this isn't your issue. A PO of my new to me jeep put a drop pitman arm on. I don't really know why, as the drag link is now running under the tie rod instead of over like you normally see. In fact it is running so low, that the passenger side spring will smack it if the spring compresses. The drag link looks like the three stooges took turns whacking each other in the head with it. The correct pitman arm and a new drag link are currently sitting in m garage waiting to be put on.
Is the shackle hanger actually broken? You can take a look at this and it will take a few seconds to notice something is very wrong. How about the shackle bushings? Are they in good shape? Tie rod bushings in good shape? How about the power steering gearbox itself... any leaks? Has the spring pack shifted? U-Bolts secure and not shifted? Do the Ball Joints look OK? How about the Gear Box Bracket.. is this broken, twisted, or not secure?
Your steering is the most critical part of your Jeep. Even brakes aren't much help if you can't control direction. Surgically inspect all front end components as if your life depends on it. Take no chances.
1958 Willys CJ5 on a 71 Jeep CJ5 chassis, 231 Buick, Dana 30 front, Dana 44 rear, lockers, 5.38 on 33" tires.
OK so here is an update with my current problem. Did some inspection this weekend since I finally had time, and found several problems. This CJ is brand new to me and the PO did a number on it. Turns out one of the main problems is that the drivers shock is totally shot. I mean its almost bottomed out. Also the steering dampener looks like it is shot as well. Nothing is actually broken, that we saw, most of the other steering components are all in pretty good shape.
Right now I am placing an order for a new dampener and complete set of rancho shocks. I'll let you know if it fixes the problem =)
Ok, then maybe a broken or saging/bent main leaf in the leaf pack, I would get new leaf packs if it is sagging enuff that on leavel ground it is noticable.
Park the Jeep on level ground and take a tape measure and measure from same spot on each fender flair prolly at bottom in wheel well, that will give you some idea on how wore your springs are.
If they are shot they can act unpredictably. I would for sure replace them all so to have same spring rate, can't remember if you said if it was lifted or not, but if you want it a different height then now is time, do it befor eyou install new shocks if different height so you can return them if need be.
Could also be bad belt in tire, especialy a mud terrain, I have had this happen to me before, get a bad tire and it can act like funky steering. mine was so bad it took me about 15 min longer to get through town than it ever should because it was steering white line to white line. Very scarry, just out of no where it would change lanes.
I would be thinking ball joint because of the stick and the bounce jump, mine did that.
Rancho 5000 shocks are known as filling removers, you will want to order a good kidney belt also, the kind bikers and weight lifters wear. I was told victorias secret also make a body duct tape to reinforce a sport bra for the female riders.
They will work great if you have a hard top on and it is filled to the roof with camping gear for a couple weeks with a canoe up top and a full rack above the spare. It will then ride decent, any lighter and you think that ball joint bounced you, LOL!
86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG AT's, 'glass nose to tail in '00, 'New' frame,wires and plumbing in '09. Carter BBD Carbed 4.0 HO in '10.
89 YJ Renegade. BBD Carbed 4.0 HO. Locked front and rear with 33x9.5 BFG AT's
Some Canadian Bush Jeep Runs and Build Photos: http://mikeromainjeeptrips.shutterfly.com (10 new albums added Sept 16/10)
I didn't see anyone else mention it, but jack up the front of the Jeep and shake everything. Grab the tires and wiggle them up/down and back/forth. There shouldn't be any slop anywhere. It sounds like your LF spring is shot if that corner is low. Change springs in pairs. You might want to do all 4. Did the PO put taller spring shackles on the Jeep? If your shackles are in front of the springs and taller shackles are installed, it decreases the caster angle and can cause "fun" steering problems.