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Unread 07-29-2013, 09:27 PM   #31
brianjw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgfan77
thanks for the detailed replies and the time it took to post them, I really appreciate it. Brianjw, taking the time include links to the parts, awesome man
I'm trying to hash it all over and decide my best course of action. I'll be honest, the thought of dropping another $2000-3000 into a brand new vehicle doesn't really sit well with me.
While I completely respect the opinion of buying it all from one source, I'm not sure if I agree. I am new to jeeps for sure, but I'm not new to the off road scene. I have built quit a few steering setups over the years for much larger/heavier rigs; and the $$ I've wasted has shown me that if done properly, custom parts frequently out perform and out last shelf bought, mass produced items. I have no doubt that the kits you guys discussed are top notch, but the parts I mentioned weren't exactly what I'd call "leftover parts". I have a few spare sets of brand new MOOG Chevy 1-ton TRE's and steering joints, tube inserts, and 1 1/2" DOM in 1/4" wall. I haven't done a lot of research on the joints that these companies are advertising, but I did find that they have the same exact taper, and use the same "insert" that places like BallisticFabrication offer. If I had to guess, I'd say its the same stuff since these companies aren't building their own "metal on metal" TRE's. If I already have some of the parts, I'd be a fool not to use them right?

Again, I'm not trying to oppose anyone's advise, I really appreciate every post, I just felt I should clarify my intentions when I mentioned using some stuff I already have.
It's all a matter of opinion, you aren't hurting my feelings at all. I do agree that a lot of custom stuff can be built much better than off the shelf parts.

My opinion is that moog's quality has gone downhill the last few years, and I stopped using their stuff. I've had custom parts built using pieces from ballistic fab and I will never buy from them again. Their expected lead time for a couple of heims and large bushing ends were WAY off and I waited for months. Two of their grease zerk holes were destroyed as they tapped them wrong and somehow buggered them up. Once I finally got them to respond they said "well we can make a couple of new ones and send them out". Sure if I wanted to wait a few more months....
My point being, some of the custom stuff really sucks when you need parts of service and you can't get them. Having multiple different rod ends and tapers up front really makes a mess when you're stranded somewhere and need parts. On the other end, I have a couple friends who have older trucks with custom steering and the original builders couldn't remember what the rod ends came from, didnt remember the taper or anything. So they had to take the parts off the daily driver and measure threads, taper, length etc and try to find replacement parts all by measurement. It sucks to be put in that situation.

I'm all for making custom parts, I just wouldn't go drilling out the knuckles or pitman arm with a different taper, that would be my main objection personally. Give yourself the option of finding spares when you're out. Even if you destroyed your custom drag link, you can always find a cheap used jk drag link on nearly every Craigslist.

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Unread 07-30-2013, 07:56 AM   #32
dawgfan77
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Brianjw, next time you are under your rig, can you give me the measurement of your draglink and the degree of the angle, if its not too much trouble?
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Unread 07-31-2013, 09:54 AM   #33
chrisjsmith4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgfan77 View Post

I do love those Duratracs! And I do like the AEV kit. As far as sleeves and gussets, no need, this is a Mall Crawler except for occasional mild trails while camping. If/when it ever graduates to that point, new axles will be 1st on the list
4.56 is what I'm leaning towards also, but I want to go down to 33"s and I'm not sure if that will be a tad much or not....
4.56 will be too much for 33's i have stock 4.10 and was spinning 2700 rpm at 70. I have the 5 speed auto which is only .02 off of the 6th gear in the manual. What do you have for gears now?
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Unread 07-31-2013, 11:23 AM   #34
Yendor
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Dawg, you seem like a pretty sharp guy, but you didn't notice any of these short comings during the test drive? I would have put a used, modified Jeep thru the wringer, and had the dealer make it right before I handed over the check. Is it too late to take it to them? You could sight safety issues. That usually gets their attention.

You'll get if figured out.
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Unread 07-31-2013, 11:31 AM   #35
chrisjsmith4
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I am also curious if it is just wandering on the road or actual wobbling. If wobble does the wobble go away at higher speed?
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Unread 07-31-2013, 05:42 PM   #36
dawgfan77
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Originally Posted by chrisjsmith4 View Post
4.56 will be too much for 33's i have stock 4.10 and was spinning 2700 rpm at 70. I have the 5 speed auto which is only .02 off of the 6th gear in the manual. What do you have for gears now?
there are no tags on the diff covers, so not completely sure, but it is a sport so I assume 3.21's I need to jack it up and spin the wheels to be sure
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Unread 07-31-2013, 05:53 PM   #37
dawgfan77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yendor View Post
Dawg, you seem like a pretty sharp guy, but you didn't notice any of these short comings during the test drive? I would have put a used, modified Jeep thru the wringer, and had the dealer make it right before I handed over the check. Is it too late to take it to them? You could sight safety issues. That usually gets their attention.

You'll get if figured out.
I should have, but I got caught up in how good it looked. I did slide under it briefly, but I was looking at a jeep with 4k miles on it and with a brand new lift, tires, wheels, etc... and the salesman handed me a receipt from a local well known shop for $7k for all of it. I did drive it for 30 min or so, but I just thought it drove like any lifted jeep on 35's would. It wasn't until I drove to the beach on old back country roads at 60-65 that I saw its true nature. On the new streets near the dealership it wasn't bad. If I have to drop $2k into steering and gears, I'll still be completely satisfied with the purchase. I got a descent price and have always wanted one
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Unread 07-31-2013, 06:07 PM   #38
dawgfan77
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Originally Posted by chrisjsmith4 View Post
I am also curious if it is just wandering on the road or actual wobbling. If wobble does the wobble go away at higher speed?
no wobble at all, it just feels like the wind has a very exaggerated effect on it. I had some time yesterday to get under it and do some checking. This is a short list:
-front track bar raised 2.5" over stock, rear TB raised 3.7" over stock
-pitman arm is a 4" drop
-front axle offset 1/4" to passenger side
-draglink adjustment sleeve was loose enough to spin by hand

I actually drove it on the Interstate yesterday at 80mph and was pleasantly surprised, but with the differences in the geometry from stock, I'm surprised its not worse. So, ordering parts now...
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Unread 07-31-2013, 08:01 PM   #39
chrisjsmith4
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Originally Posted by dawgfan77 View Post

no wobble at all, it just feels like the wind has a very exaggerated effect on it. I had some time yesterday to get under it and do some checking. This is a short list:
-front track bar raised 2.5" over stock, rear TB raised 3.7" over stock
-pitman arm is a 4" drop
-front axle offset 1/4" to passenger side
-draglink adjustment sleeve was loose enough to spin by hand

I actually drove it on the Interstate yesterday at 80mph and was pleasantly surprised, but with the differences in the geometry from stock, I'm surprised its not worse. So, ordering parts now...
Ah ok, wider tires definitely make it wander some. It took awhile to get used to it in both my tj and my jkur. And keep in mind you drive a big sail now so any wind is going to push you around. . Almost got blown off the road in texas not expecting any wind coming off a draw on the side of the road. Obviously making sure steering geometry is as close to stock as possible is going the help.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 01:13 AM   #40
73azbronco
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We are now the proud owners of a 2012 JKU (my wife's actually), which came pretty decked out. I had my reservations the 1 st few times I drove it, but I've always wanted one and I guess that swayed my judgement, so when I finally convinced her to get one(I love my truck and cant afford both) I jumped at the chance. She found and fell in love with a freshly traded Sport with ~4000 miles on the clock, 6 spd manual, Hard top, a brand new lift kit(Rough Country), 20x35x12.50 Trail Grapplers on Hostage wheels, Bushwacker pocket flares, rails, and a few other things. I say I had reservations only because the idea of a lifted jeep on 35's isn't really what I consider a "family vehicle" for her and my 2 daughters, but damn is it cool! Anyway, it drives fine around town, but we took it to the beach this weekend and I got to really stretch its legs for the 1st time.... and it scared me! I can't use 6th gear.... unless going down hill(no biggie)! It will not hold speed. 5th will hold whatever speed you want, but on anything less than a straight, smooth, newly paved 2 lane road, 55mph is as fast as I felt comfortable driving. It has no DW, but it skates around as if you are driving in a 30mph gusting crosswind. I had the alignment checked the day before we left and was told it was less than 1/2 degree out of castor (or camber, which ever one is the forward/backward pitch, i forget) which I'm sure is due to the lift. All else was tight and still new, currantly ~6000 miles. I have a set of factoy 17" wheels with brand new 285-70-17 Destination MT's that I put on it for a day just to see the difference. It was noticably better and they rode better than the trail grapplers, but still not factory handling. I already planned on regearing to 4.56's, but now I'm wondering if I should scrap the RC lift and buy a better one. I'm not even sure what exact size kit it has, but it has fixed upper and lower replacement arms, new springs, no spacers and the twin stabilizer set-up. Looks to be 3-4" of lift. Any ideas on what to look for? I will check today to see if the track bars are also after market or the original, and if they are adjustable. I feel like the wheels/tires have to go even though the wife loves them, but not sure about the lift. Is this the type handling I should expect if I want to own a lifted jeep? In case it's not obvious, this is a "mall crawler", so offroad performance is not really a priorty. Hate if you must, but I have a trail only rig that gets trailered to and from, so this one is just for cruising with the family. Thanks in advance guys.... and gals
I just swapped out of a defective JKU no lift stocker Rubi for a two door JKR 3 inch lifted w/35s . I wont use the term night and day, but they are completely different animals. Like you, I thought the JKU with stock running gear liked 60-63mph, and struggled at anything above that unless going downhill or with the wind. It also might have been getting 15.5mpg on a good day broken in. The 2dr, with lift, and bigger tires gets 18MPG, loves 75mph with the same RPM. No real difference in feel of wandering or squirly-ness. In fact, today on the freeway, someone tried to side swipe me and when I aggressively steered away the jeep handled it just fine.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 07:15 AM   #41
Filthy-Beast
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Originally Posted by 73azbronco View Post

I just swapped out of a defective JKU no lift stocker Rubi for a two door JKR 3 inch lifted w/35s . I wont use the term night and day, but they are completely different animals. Like you, I thought the JKU with stock running gear liked 60-63mph, and struggled at anything above that unless going downhill or with the wind. It also might have been getting 15.5mpg on a good day broken in. The 2dr, with lift, and bigger tires gets 18MPG, loves 75mph with the same RPM. No real difference in feel of wandering or squirly-ness. In fact, today on the freeway, someone tried to side swipe me and when I aggressively steered away the jeep handled it just fine.
You don't need to swap the 4dr for 2dr to fix a handling issue. In fact a properly lifted JKU will handle better, simple physics due to longer wheel base.

The original owner went cheap and wound up with a jeep he didn't like. To fix the performance issue you'll need to re-gear the differentials.

For that handling issue my guess is it was not a complete kit. You might need to add adjustable control arms, adjustable track bars. First have your tires balanced and make sure they use Roadforce machine. Also have toe-in checked and all suspension part bolts to make sure nothing is loose.

Best bet is find a local jeep club. They can help get you squared away and save you a lot of money.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 09:24 AM   #42
SoK66
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Good advice. After reading the responses on this my hunch is the issues relate to poor setup & adjustment. Even a crappy suspension like the RC stuff can be made to handle acceptably if properly adjusted. Some of these "budget" suspensions are poorly engineered, or incomplete, lacking proper bracketry or track bars to center the axles, incorrect caster & pinion angles resulting from the longer springs and no or poor means to correct, no compensation for increased track bar / drag link angle resulting in bump steer, the list goes on. This can be true with even some of the better companies' budget stuff, too. Best to get it into a shop that knows what they're doing and sort the thing out.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 12:29 PM   #43
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Also I might add , find a new alignment shop, if they told you they couldnt get you enough positive caster, then you need to tell them how an eccentric adjuster works !!! In your pic you show the eccentric ( cam adjustment bolt) in the neutral position... ( cam pointing straight down) obviously if they knew how to do alignments they would have rotated the "cam" to the front giving you ALOT more positive castor.... Thats what the adjuster is for....... And have them check the toe in as well , ( if they know how). You get an abundance of toe in or out , it will be all over the road...Good luck .... Just some venting from an old front end alignment guy....
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Unread 08-01-2013, 05:36 PM   #44
dawgfan77
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Also I might add , find a new alignment shop, if they told you they couldnt get you enough positive caster, then you need to tell them how an eccentric adjuster works !!! In your pic you show the eccentric ( cam adjustment bolt) in the neutral position... ( cam pointing straight down) obviously if they knew how to do alignments they would have rotated the "cam" to the front giving you ALOT more positive castor.... Thats what the adjuster is for....... And have them check the toe in as well , ( if they know how). You get an abundance of toe in or out , it will be all over the road...Good luck .... Just some venting from an old front end alignment guy....
will do after new parts
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Unread 08-01-2013, 06:26 PM   #45
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For anyone who cares and is researching steering components:
I made a comment in an earlier post about the Synergy metal on metal TRE's possibly being copies of the 1-ton GM TRE's and how I didn't think they could be any better than what I ran on my trail rig once upon a time....
Well after a little research, I was VERY wrong!!
They are superior to the GM 1-tons, VERY superior! No necked down shank or taper at the ball, a larger ball, and better material! They even seen to have a much better boot design!! And the best thing is that they have the same taper and the same exact thread and pitch. So for anyone with an extra Ballistic Steering system(or similar) laying around like I do, these are 100% compatible and that expensive reamer that's collecting dust in a drawer,... it works as well! just an FYI
Synergy it is....
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