ok heres the deal, I almost killed myself and daughter yesterday, 45 mph went in a slite curve and the jeep started to wander off the road so I corrected a little and the jeep lost its mind. started to wobble almost like a bike at hi speeds only I wasn't going fast. im thinking maybe my shocks are worn and need replacing but not sure. im on a budget so I don't want to replace just to be doing it. how can you check out the shock to see if they need replacing. also when starting off I I get down on it the front lifts up and when I let off of it it slams back down and moves from side to side. im trying my best to describe what its doing, sorry for the long read.
06-11-2013 04:19 PM
take the shock off and pull it all the way out and push it all the way in. check your steering stabilizer out the same way, if you dont have a steering stabilizer get one. jack up each front wheel and wiggle it up and down and see if there is something loose. if you cant afford to fix it then park it. cheaper than being in the hospital, or sell it.
06-11-2013 08:46 PM
thanks for the info, don't get me wrong I can and will fix it I just don't want to start swapping parts just to swap parts. when I pull the shock all the way out and then back in, what should I be looking for? it has a steering stabilizer but looks about the same shape as the shocks. cant tell how long they have been on but I may just change them out. cant hurt I guess. thanks
06-11-2013 09:29 PM
A common test for shocks is to bounce the front or rear up and down. Once you stop, it should bounce less than three times if the shocks are good.
The steering dampener is basically a shock. You should feel some resistance as you pull it in and out. If there is no resistance, or it feels "notchy" change it out.
Do you have a sway bar?
Also check for condition of all suspension bushings, U-bolts for looseness, and any play in tie rod ends and ball joints.
06-12-2013 12:42 AM
There are lots of areas where something can break and give these symptoms. Two I can think of would be a broken leaf spring and a broken steering mount, both common areas.
06-12-2013 11:23 AM
You should take a good look at all 4 of your shackles as well as the spring hangers. While your shocks may be bad, that shouldn't really cause erratic steering.
06-12-2013 05:22 PM
Well it is a little bit of a guessing game to help solve your problem. You need to fill out your profile and let us know if you have a completely stock Jeep or one that has been lifted by a PO (Previous Owner) who doesn't understand steering geometry when doing front shackle lift and how it screws with your castor settings. Poor castor will have your CJ all over the place and scary as hell to drive.
06-13-2013 02:22 PM
ok cool, its a 73 cj 5 304 3 speed, 31" tires, it has looks like old rancheros shocks there old enough that the rubber bushings are worn out and badly cracked up, the PO did a spring over lift, see that's what im not sure about, if the pitman arm is to high or something not right, I just don't know a lot of things had been modified on this jeep, little things like seat brackets, bracket that holds the windshield, rear tailgate, so im not sure what if anything was done to the steering. after reading some other post im very sure I have what's called the death wobble. its scarry. things feel tight but not sure. im no mechanic so its hard to really know what to look at first and start fixing things. I mean I can fix stuff if I know what needs fixing, I really just don't want to start replacing parts in hopes of well great that fixed it......but it may not have.i just don't know , makes me want to sell it and I really don't want to.
06-13-2013 02:52 PM
First off, pictures.....of everything. Shackle angle, steering linkages, spring mounting. Second, have you ever had a wheel alignment done? Third, that high and short of a jeep on tiny/narrow 31's is going to make handling difficult to begin with. Does it have stock narrow track axles as well?
06-13-2013 03:27 PM
I have pictures but they will not load up, says there to big, not sure how to redue them. I can send them to a email or text them.
06-13-2013 03:37 PM
I always use photobucket and then paste the IMG tags into your post.
06-14-2013 07:48 AM
Go to Photo Bucket (It's free) and create an account. And as jeepwhore said, upload to the account and use the IMG link. the pics will resize and post.
Just by the description so far, you may have some work to do. Lifting the Jeep is one thing, understanding the geometry involved is another. Spring over axle jobs must be done right, and when they are, they're not cheap to do.
Is the Jeep new to you?
06-14-2013 09:59 AM
Yes its new to me.
06-14-2013 10:48 AM
Wow, a spring over with 31" tires. That is questionable to begin with. Sounds like the PO didn't do you any favors. I would suggest you take it for an alignment and find out what the caster is at (certainly the most common cause of "Death wobble"). For a early 70s CJ, I believe you should have caster at about +4 degrees (the alignment shop will be able to tell you for sure). Caster any less than specification, and you need to either shim the springs (this is only a Band-Aid fix), cut and weld the spring purches at the correct angle, and/or reconfigure your suspension (new springs, shackles, etc...).
If the caster is in spec, then you need to look for worn parts (shackles, bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends, etc...).
Best of luck
06-14-2013 11:21 AM
What you experienced is usually the result of a number of small things out of whack added up. In other words, there are probably a number of items that by themselves wouldn't cause a problem, but add them all up and suddenly you have an issue.
It's time to have an alignment and replace anything that is obviously not correct (like worn bushings, etc). It would probably be a good idea to check the balance of the tires and tire pressure as well.