control arm bushings - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 41 Old 08-17-2009, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
lawson1273
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control arm bushings

How do you tell if your control arm bushings are bad? I have been messing the the front end and tire balance for a while trying to get the shimmy out of my steering at around 40-50mph. I finally got the proper Track bar and replaced the bad shock and tightend all the front end just to be sure. While down there looking at everything I can move my lower control arms side to side a little with my hand. Is a little movement normal or could this be causing my shimmy. I guess the next step is doing the ZJ tie rod conversion, or replacing the control arms.

What do you guys think?

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post #2 of 41 Old 08-17-2009, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
lawson1273
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I just want this thing right before I put my son in it. I don't want this to become DW. I had my tires road force balanced and I am having the same issue so it leads me to believe that it is somthing else.
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post #3 of 41 Old 08-17-2009, 08:27 PM
Pillswoj
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I know my uppers were bad and contributed to my shimmy, but only because it got better when I replaced them.

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post #4 of 41 Old 08-18-2009, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
lawson1273
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Did you replace the bushing or the whole control arm. From what i have read a speed induced shimmy almost always involves tire balance. I had a tire that had excessive run out and I got it replaced from Discount tire and had all four road force balanced. Is it possible that the 5th time balancing the tires that they are still off. I mean I have taken it to three different shops and this last time had them road force balanced. Its DRIVING ME CRAZY....Or could it just be that the new Goodyear Mt/r with Kevlar siding just suck that bad?

Last edited by lawson1273; 08-18-2009 at 07:31 AM.
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post #5 of 41 Old 08-18-2009, 09:42 AM
Pillswoj
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I replaced all my arms this spring. The last of my shimmy was tire balance related, went away when I put my summer tires on. My winter tires I had "bead balanced" using the airsoft pellets, they shimmied at 45 mph were fine above or below. I am having the beads taken out and doing a conventional balance before they go on this fall.

Have you done the trick of having someone turn the steering wheel back and forth while you look for slop in the front end components?

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post #6 of 41 Old 08-18-2009, 10:00 AM
bradanslinger
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What about going with the Centramatic tire balancers? I am debating going this route, as I have the same problem with my 2000 XJ.
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post #7 of 41 Old 08-18-2009, 10:06 AM
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What about going with the Centramatic tire balancers? I am debating going this route, as I have the same problem with my 2000 XJ.
I considered those for a while. After talking to everyone on JF that I could find who had used them, I decided not to. I could only find people who had used them in the past and stopped, not any who had continued to use them...


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post #8 of 41 Old 08-18-2009, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I did that last night, I had my wife turn the steering wheel with the jeep off and on. I noticed that on the driver side tie rod it look like the steering knuckle was rising up some so I tightend down all of my tie rod bolts. The manual only calls for 55 ft/lbs but that didn't seem to be enough. I am pretty sure that it is a tire balance issue or a tire issue period but I have had them balanced numerous times, and the final time I had them road force balanced and I still get the same shimmy at the same speed. I asked about the control arm bushings because that is the only thing that I could really see any movement, but you would think the track bar would keep the axle from going from left to right.

Ok so I just dropped off the jeep for the second road force balance...I hope this works...

Last edited by lawson1273; 08-18-2009 at 11:47 AM.
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post #9 of 41 Old 08-18-2009, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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So just drove the jeep home and still have the shimmy, oh well I guess gasoline and a match should do the trick. Where should I go from here, control arm bushings, ZJ Steering upgrade. Funny I can't buy other toys cause I can't get it to drive right.
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post #10 of 41 Old 08-19-2009, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Anybody got recommendations...I have been through this since I bought my jeep. Now that I think about it I had a little wobble or shimmy before the lift and tires. Should the first thing i do is replace the steering setup. Could the rotors make it do this? I am just throwing stuff out there since I have no clue as of where to go from here.
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post #11 of 41 Old 08-19-2009, 10:32 AM
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Check your rear control arm bushings, my steering had nothing to do with my shimmy. My rear control arm bushings were shot and causing shimmy at highway speeds when i got on and off the gas.

Best way to see if your control arms are shot is to lay down on the ground next to the jeep where you have a good view at the control arms bushing area and then have someone roll the axle back and forth by forcing the tire back and forth by hand. you need to do this on perfectly flat ground so the jeep doesnt want to put tension on them. In doing this you will be able to see if the bolt is floating around in the bushing.

Or if you have a 25,000 lb drive on lift like me you can drive on lift it up and jerk the wheels back and forth yourself while looking at the bushings.

Keep the jeep in gear but with the e-brake off so you can see where all the play is.

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post #12 of 41 Old 08-19-2009, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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I will give it a try. so if they are worn it could be causing my steering shimmy and not a balance or steering issue linkage issue?
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post #13 of 41 Old 08-19-2009, 11:30 AM
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Is the shimmy feel coming from the seat or the steering wheel?
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post #14 of 41 Old 08-19-2009, 11:43 AM
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I have a similar issue to you. I haven't posted because since my return to JF a few weeks ago I've already seen 100 DW posts and I know how frustrated the regulars get.

I don't have DW (I have had it) but I currently have that evil precursor where you just know it can become DW if you don't speed up/slow down. Same speed as you, right around 48mph. I've played with tire pressures and that only modulates the speed at which it occurs.

Mine clearly starts on driver side. When there is the initial precursor it is really only the left side. If not stopped it can propogate. I've moved tires all around with no change.

I had a local jeep shop check the front end, they said all was tight and ok, but when I got home and checked my t-bar was not torqued down to spec. I fixed that but no change.

Alignment alleviated the full blown DW, but the precursor oscillation is still there.

Something is out of balance and begins to oscillate noticably at ~48mph. DW occurs when that frequency matches the harmonic frequency of the front end (springs, bushings, bars etc.)

I'll be redoing the tire balance.
I'm due for a brake job anyway, so I'll put new discs in front, maybe one of those has enough runout that it causes the vibration (although I don't feel pulsing brakes)
I've got poly bushings in the mail for my trackbar

If above doesn't help I'll just start going through things. TREs (appear snug but who knows), knuckle/hub/bearings, pull the CA and check bushings etc.

Frustrating thing for me is this all appeared after a 2" lift and shock install. Everything is installed correctly. I don't know if I always had the oscillation and never noticed beacause the old setup was damping it or what...

Very frustrating but hang in there, you'll find it.

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post #15 of 41 Old 08-19-2009, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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It is definately coming from the steering wheel. I take me hand off the steering wheel and watch it go back and forth. Like the above jeeper I know that it will eventually become DW if I don't find it out, but I don't have money to just throw at the jeep. I am gonna do the brakes soon see what happens, then maybe control arms. I don't have press so i would either have to buy new or used stock ones. I can't afford adjustable ones yet.
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