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Unread 02-09-2013, 07:24 PM   #1
TWISTEDII
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I need steering expert advice

OK, I began hijacking another thread, so thought I'd make one of my own.

I have an 08 X 2dr. I have the RC 3.5 lift and 1.25 BL, JKS quick discos, and wheel spacers, and KM2s balanced with 9oz of BBs in each wheel. All on for less than 7 months, around 3000 miles.

The Jeep has always wandered some, wheel does the weird slight turn to the left and right as I drive depending on how the road is, etc. Just feels sloppy, but I deal.

I followed Planmans video because I've recently been experiencing some steering wheel shimmy around 40mph (If you had a nickel every time you heard that, right?). I noticed my drag link has a lot of play in it by the knuckle. So now I've been obsessed with steering geometry for the past 2 days.

I feel I need to do something to make the Jeep behave better, and be less prone to wearing out parts like this. I haven't had any experience with steering components, so to relieve myself from some of the searching I've been doing for 2 days, I was hoping some steering experts could help answer some questions.

First thing I feel I need to do is the AEV high steer kit. I figure it's a good investment and will replace the drag link in the process. However, is it true the one they give you is an OEM RHD that is just as prone to becoming damaged? If so, is there a "beefy" one that can be used with the high steer kit, or is the kit good enough? And from the other thread, I've gathered I need to ditch the RC drop pitman arm and use a stock one with this kit because I will no longer need the dropped one?

My Jeep has 41,000 miles on it. Would doing the Synergy ball joints be advised, or wait until I need to?

Was also thinking about doing the teraflex monster trackbar.

I also want to do the northridge bolt kit. I do not suspect I have an existing issue, but if a hole was ovaled out, what would be the fix for this? Would you need to weld a new bracket on?

Any help would be very appreciated. I don't even know if I can use these components with each other, or if they are the best options. I am still kinda new to the lifted Jeep world. I've owned 5 or 6, but this is the first one I have been able to lift, lol.

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Unread 02-09-2013, 09:20 PM   #2
RockyClymer
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Sounds like a caster angle that is too low...did you correct the caster with the lift using either cam bolts (I hate them) or adjustable control arms? Caster needs to be around 4 to 4.5 degress. Too little caster will cause wandering and some wobble.
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Unread 02-09-2013, 09:22 PM   #3
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What size tires?
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Unread 02-09-2013, 09:31 PM   #4
TWISTEDII
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyClymer View Post
Sounds like a caster angle that is too low...did you correct the caster with the lift using either cam bolts (I hate them) or adjustable control arms? Caster needs to be around 4 to 4.5 degress. Too little caster will cause wandering and some wobble.
I didn't. The RC kit did not come with adjustable control arms. I did not get the cam bolts because I was told the RC kit did not need them.

dauster, they are 35x12.5x16 on stock rims
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Unread 02-09-2013, 09:58 PM   #5
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That much lift will certainly reduce caster and IMO need correction to track true and straight with no low speed wobble....just MO.
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Unread 02-09-2013, 10:31 PM   #6
HappyTrails
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An 08 with 41,000 miles?! Whew! Glad to hear I'm not the only one that uses my Jeep as a "weekend testosterone toy". LOL! I'm at the same mileage, too. I drive 21 y/o Honda Accord to work everyday. (Hangs head in shame).

Like the others said, get some adjustable control arms. This will certainly make the steering feel better. If the shimmy just started, something in the suspension is becoming worn out.

I am, however, on 37's and just recently experienced the dreaded death wobble.

Already have Poly Performance ball joints waiting at home for me when I return from out of town. I've yet to do PlanMan's DW YouTube fix. I figured, at that height of tire, they probably need replacement anyways. (especially the way I play on the weekends).
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Unread 02-09-2013, 10:33 PM   #7
TWISTEDII
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Well the price difference between cam bolts and adjustable control arms is pretty significant, so on my budget at the moment, I think I am leaning more toward the cam bolts. I know there is a lot of negative talk about them, but I've been reading about it for a good hour and for every negative comment I read, I'll find 20 that say their caster and steering issues were fixed and they never slip or anything.

So for my first set of purchases, I will get cam bolts (any suggestions on the best ones?) and the Northridge bolt kit to hopefully dodge a bullet in the future.
I would also like to get a high steer kit (any suggestions on the best one?). I am leaning toward AEV because I've read the most about theirs, but I'm still concerned about the drag link being an OEM RHD one. Will it be fine, or is there a way I can get the AEV kit, minus the OEM RHD drag link, and get a beefy drag like that will work with the AEV kit?

Also, any thoughts on the tires being balanced with BBs? My buddy swears by it, and told me it's really hard balancing tires this size. Some people say, yeah, maybe if I had 40's, but they are just 35s and while it might be more of a PITA, its not impossible. Honestly, besides the wandering and the suspected caster issue, the Jeep drove fairly well with the BBs.
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Unread 02-09-2013, 10:36 PM   #8
TWISTEDII
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTrails View Post
An 08 with 41,000 miles?! Whew! Glad to hear I'm not the only one that uses my Jeep as a "weekend testosterone toy". LOL! I'm at the same mileage, too. I drive 21 y/o Honda Accord to work everyday. (Hangs head in shame).

Like the others said, get some adjustable control arms. This will certainly make the steering feel better.

I am, however, on 37's and just recently experienced the dreaded death wobble.

Already have Poly Performance ball joints waiting at home for me when I return from out of town. I've yet to do PlanMan's DW YouTube fix. I figured, at that height of tire, they probably need replacement anyways.
Whats sad is I bought this Jeep 1 year ago with 15,000 miles, lol. So it was a "weekend testosterone toy" before I bought it, then I put 25,000 miles on it in 1 year I hated using my Jeep for work.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 05:20 AM   #9
brianjw
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The AEV kit uses a stock RHD drag link. If you're replacing individual components I would go with something stronger. Also the AEV track bar relocation bracket will require shorter sway bar end links so you'll have to replace them as well.
What would I do in your shoes?
I would look at synergy/poly performance. Check out their high steer drag link (full replacement while the AEV kit just comes with the knuckle side), track bar relocation bracket, and maybe the track bar with frame side brace. The frame side brace will fix a wallowed out hole or help prevent it in the future. With the correct part, you can also install their sector shaft brace later if desired. Synergy ball joints are also a big improvement. With only 7k miles on my 2012 I feel a huge improvement every time I replace a stock/AEV part up front with a synergy part. So far I have their ball joints, tie rod, track bar, frame side track bar and sector shaft brace. Now I don't get wandering or tire kick from hitting holes etc, very solid and stable. I do feel like the stock drag link is weak compared to the other parts and I'm looking at replacing that as well.
To fix your caster, you might want to check out the AEV control arm brackets if you want something cheaper than control arms but better than cambolts. They will hang below the frame 2" but they will improve the front end geometry a lot. If you intend to replace the control arms later though, just do cambolts.
The synergy or Northridge bolt kits are a good idea as well.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 07:52 AM   #10
TWISTEDII
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianjw View Post
The AEV kit uses a stock RHD drag link. If you're replacing individual components I would go with something stronger. Also the AEV track bar relocation bracket will require shorter sway bar end links so you'll have to replace them as well.
What would I do in your shoes?
I would look at synergy/poly performance. Check out their high steer drag link (full replacement while the AEV kit just comes with the knuckle side), track bar relocation bracket, and maybe the track bar with frame side brace. The frame side brace will fix a wallowed out hole or help prevent it in the future. With the correct part, you can also install their sector shaft brace later if desired. Synergy ball joints are also a big improvement. With only 7k miles on my 2012 I feel a huge improvement every time I replace a stock/AEV part up front with a synergy part. So far I have their ball joints, tie rod, track bar, frame side track bar and sector shaft brace. Now I don't get wandering or tire kick from hitting holes etc, very solid and stable. I do feel like the stock drag link is weak compared to the other parts and I'm looking at replacing that as well.
To fix your caster, you might want to check out the AEV control arm brackets if you want something cheaper than control arms but better than cambolts. They will hang below the frame 2" but they will improve the front end geometry a lot. If you intend to replace the control arms later though, just do cambolts.
The synergy or Northridge bolt kits are a good idea as well.
Thanks for the advice. I have a few questions though.

First, you suggest the synergy high steer drag link. Is this the one you are talking about? http://www.synergysuspension.com/Syn...k-p-16410.html This would be the track bar relocation bracket you mention, which they say I would need to run the high steer drag link http://www.synergysuspension.com/Syn...t-p-16402.html So both of those are the same price of the AEV kit, so no biggie there. But am I getting the same components? From what I can tell, it adds up to be all the same stuff, except the AEV kit comes with an OME stabilizer. http://www.quadratec.com/products/16502_4002_07.htm (I was told you get an OME one, not the silver one in the picture). So you feel a better route would be the first 2 links instead of the AEV kit?

I have JKS adjustable quick disconnect sway bar end links, so I should be good with these, right?

You also mention doing these 2, correct? http://www.synergysuspension.com/Syn...r-p-16406.html and http://www.synergysuspension.com/Syn...t-p-30220.html I was leaning more toward doing this http://www.teraflex.biz/monster-forged-trackbar-jk.html but that doesn't come with a bracket or anything. Could I do the Synergy brace kit with the teraflex track bar, or if I do the brace kit, I'd need to use the Synergy track bar?

I was actually looking at brackets to lower my control arms last night. I found these http://www.roughcountry.com/jeep-jk-...tion_1106.html since I have the RC lift, I figured they may work better since it's the same company. My only concern with using these is, will my control arms be moved back down to basically stock location? The video on the RC site showed a fairly easy install, but it looked like the CA was low, like that'll be the spot I drag and hit when wheeling. I guess it seems counterproductive to lift my Jeep then lower components back down, lol. Logical or am I nuts?

And these ball joints http://www.rebeloffroad.com/product-p/ppm-8009-12.htm

And this is the correct bolt kit, right? http://www.northridge4x4.com/shop/nr...k-hardware-kit
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Unread 02-10-2013, 08:00 AM   #11
RedRyderXJ
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Post some pictures of our geometry knuckle to knuckle. The fact that the control arm relocators are RC and your arms are wont matter as far as improving anything.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 08:03 AM   #12
TWISTEDII
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Originally Posted by RedRyderXJ View Post
Post some pictures of our geometry knuckle to knuckle. The fact that the control arm relocators are RC and your arms are wont matter as far as improving anything.
OK I will take some pics as soon as the drizzle stops for a minute.
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Unread 02-10-2013, 08:20 AM   #13
TWISTEDII
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Heard thunder rolling in, so ran out real quick. Are these good enough, or did you want me to get some different ones? (I hope these do the mini picture thing so they aren't huge in my post).











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Unread 02-10-2013, 08:29 AM   #14
RedRyderXJ
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I was saying stand back and get both knuckles at a flat angle where you can see if the drag link and trackbar are at the same angle. When does your DW start? A specific speed, a bump, any noises?
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Unread 02-10-2013, 08:34 AM   #15
TWISTEDII
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Well the storm rolled in pretty quick. It might be a bit before I can get more pics. I had DW on my 04 TJ, and this is not the same. I remember DW being violent, to where I was like "crap, I need to pull over." This isn't like that. The steering wheel starts to shimmy like turning slightly left and right, at about 40-45 mph. I did notice that there was movement and a clunk in the knuckle of the drag link when following planmans video, so I'm guessing that is what's causing the steering wheel shimmy.
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