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CSaley 06-17-2013 07:42 AM

08 Steering Issues
 
My girlfriend recently picked an 08 4 door JK, Rubicon. Came with a 4 inch Rough country lift preinstalled. At the time of the purchase it was extremely "flighty" at any speeds above 35mph. I did some research. Lowered the tire pressure. (285/75 Nitto Terragrapplers w/ 3k miles on them)

First I had it aligned. issue was slightly better but still had it. I then read about changing the caster. It had caster cam bolts in it. I removed those. Welded washers inplace of the cut holes and got her a set of adjustable lower control arms. Set castor to 5.1*. Still has issues at highway speeds.

I also replaced the drag link and tie rod end as they had a slight bit of play... This past weekend I was checking it out and disconnected the front sway bar links... and the sway bar was moving about two inches in either direction on the one side. Pulled it apart to find it filled with mud water and ****. I cleaned it all out and re assembled. there is still about a half inch of play in the passenger side of it. but noticeably better. Took it for a ride. Still does the swaying at highway speeds.

I am not sure where to go from here. I have a brand new 2.5" rough country lift that I am debating on putting in. I am not sure what to do at this point. ANY input will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time.
-Christian

RockyClymer 06-17-2013 10:10 AM

Do a search for RC lifts and opinions before installing it...might be surprised at how they work/do not work on JKs. RC and BDS are known good lifts for trucks, but not so much for JKs from what I found by searching...

CSaley 06-17-2013 11:00 AM

I did some research and saw mixed reviews. Some guys with no issues. and others saying the springs wore out after a while. This jeep will never see any offroad action... She really is just after the look aspects of it. I have been researching all morning on what I should look into and ive came up with-

-Lower tire pressure to 30psi
-unbolt LCAs and front track bar and give it a good rock and retorque everything
-increase castor from 5* to 6*
-rotate tires
-make sure front track bar bolt is 9/16" G8. if not replace.
-check if axles are centered. if not, adjustable track bars.
-more toe in?

I think I am on the right track. Hopefully I can get this figured out as I dont feel comfortable having her drive it as is. Quick question. If the axles are not perfectly centered, will It cause this sway at high way speeds? I have found a lot of people saying make sure they are centered, but nobody actually explains what it will cause if they are not. It has the relocation bracket in the rear and front as well. I may just pick up the front adj track bar from rough country for $108. Seems like a decent idea for a low price.

Please keep in mind this jeep is a "mall crawler." I dont believe it NEEDs the toughest most expensive parts.

RockyClymer 06-17-2013 11:37 AM

I would set toe in around 1/8 inch each side and check caster angle is correct...should help the wandering a lot. And, yes, lower tire pressure to something reasonable.

CSaley 06-18-2013 09:08 AM

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. THanks

RockyClymer 06-18-2013 11:11 AM

If it still wanders, then I suggest a complete look at all suspension parts to see if something is warn or loose...there is a lot to look at, just start and go through the list. Does not sound like you have DW, but being "flighty" and wandering is usually associated with caster and toe in as a first place IMO to look, then move on to other items if no improvement.

straight-pipe 06-19-2013 06:17 AM

A quick check to see if the front end is where it should be is to cross measure from the center of the lower ball joints to the oval holes in the underside of the frame located just before the frame bends up front near the tranny cross member. If it isn't reasonable I'd get that corrected.

sieg 06-19-2013 07:59 AM

"At the time of the purchase it was extremely "flighty" at any speeds above 35mph." :confused:
WTF? She still bought it? Hope she got it cheap enough to stick all this time and money in it to get it drivable.

hrd2plz 06-19-2013 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RockyClymer (Post 15572224)
I would set toe in around 1/8 inch each side and check caster angle is correct...should help the wandering a lot. And, yes, lower tire pressure to something reasonable.

Agree with this. Also, who did your alignment? Do they normally deal with lifted vehicles?

CSaley 06-19-2013 01:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sieg (Post 15580948)
"At the time of the purchase it was extremely "flighty" at any speeds above 35mph." :confused:
WTF? She still bought it? Hope she got it cheap enough to stick all this time and money in it to get it drivable.

I assumed it only needed an alignment as they guy said it hadnt been aligned and he knew ZERO about anything mechanical. She paid $14800 for it.. 08 JKU Rubicon with a 6spd and 100k miles. Has factory nav. hard top and soft. brand new Terragrapplers. Id say she got a good deal. Thats why I wasnt hesitant about dealing with it... even if she had to put the stock suspension back on it or buy a new lift.

Quote:

Originally Posted by straight-pipe (Post 15580608)
A quick check to see if the front end is where it should be is to cross measure from the center of the lower ball joints to the oval holes in the underside of the frame located just before the frame bends up front near the tranny cross member. If it isn't reasonable I'd get that corrected.

What is reasonable? and should I measure to the opposite side? (P side ball joint to drivers side frame hole) Am I checking to see if its square?

-I will check to make sure both axles are centered under the jeep first. I have the adjustable track bar on the way. The rear Im sure I can modify the bracket to get it inline.. (Im pretty good with a TIG welder and torch)


Quote:

Originally Posted by hrd2plz (Post 15581228)
Agree with this. Also, who did your alignment? Do they normally deal with lifted vehicles?

I had the alignment done at Sears, which you may say oh horrible idea they dont know what their doing. which I agree with. The whole reason I had behind that was so Once they did it, I could see where it was at, and adjust it myself, and if I screwed it up, bring it back and they do it under warranty at no additional cost.

They wouldnt adjust the lower control arms as Im sure none of those guys own a wrench big enough to loosen the jam nut. but they did confirm that the castor was out of spec at 5.1*....... Right where I wanted it. I thnk I am going to try 6* and see what happens. Will their be an ill effect of too much castor? (excess swaying>?)

Thanks again for the help.

RockyClymer 06-19-2013 04:45 PM

To much caster castor angle may result in the "shopping cart" effect where the wheel will tend to over-correct when centering and wiggle back and forth...but at 5.1 deg I think you are already at a good angle. There is virtually nothing that can be aligned by an alignment shop on a JK, unless they adjust toe-in. The camber angle is set unless they install adjustable ball joints, same with castor angle unless they are willing to adjust adjustable control arms (the stock ones are not adjustable unless someone installed a cam bolt)....

straight-pipe 06-19-2013 05:36 PM

Quote:

What is reasonable? and should I measure to the opposite side? (P side ball joint to drivers side frame hole) Am I checking to see if its square?

-I will check to make sure both axles are centered under the jeep first. I have the adjustable track bar on the way. The rear Im sure I can modify the bracket to get it inline.. (Im pretty good with a TIG welder and torch).
If you have an adjustable track bar on the way I wouldn't worry about measuring, your alignment guy will center it for you. As for centering it I get it as close as possible at ride height. The center position of the axle changes constantly when the jeep dips up and down with normal driving....so IMO close is good enough....like 1/4" close.

CSaley 06-20-2013 10:28 AM

I will try to line it up best I am. Shouldnt be too difficult. Thanks again for the help. i will let you guys know what happens.

joeorzechowski 07-05-2013 03:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CSaley (Post 15576326)
Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. THanks

you should install the jks trackbar support kits. That cured my issues which sound like yours. you also sound like you need more caster, which may require an upgraded driveshaft.


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