Hard to Control Steering - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 32 Old 07-22-2019, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
mikewiz38
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Hard to Control Steering

I've got everything re-assembled from a tub/frame swap and have taken my YJ out on a few short trips here and there. One problem area is steering, and I can't remember how it was before.

I've replaced most of the steering components; new tie rod, drag link, tie rod ends, and the steering dampener. I reused the track bars but used new bushings in them. Same with the sway bar and the links....I reused the bars and links but replaced the bushings. Everything I used to replace the parts was from Moog. I also replaced the springs with the Crown 1" to 1.5" lift. This included crown springs with a shackle and new bushings as well.

The problem that I'm having is that it feels like the jeep is all over the place. I guess the best way it feels is like you're behind a semi-truck and the car is kind of jumpy over the road......but I'm not behind anything and going 20 mph's.

Things that I've done was checked the torque on the driver side tie-rod end and it was to spec. I got tired and didn't check the torques of the other sides and got lazy. I then checked the torque of the steering dampener, which was at spec as well. I checked the torque of the shackles and they were loose, which I tightened to spec. Actually, all of the shackles were pretty loose.

One thing that I've questioned was the sway bar. I reused the sway bar and ordered new bushings. I forget what size, but I ordered a few different ones and was between sizes. One was too big, and the other was a bit too small. I ended up using the smaller one, thinking it would be better to be tighter than loose. But the smaller bushing that I used doesn't go all away around the sway bar. I want to say that there's an open air gap between the 2:00 and 3:00 position because it's too small. But yet the bushing that's too big is really loose. The sway bar itself was pretty rusty and there's almost like a bulge in it in the area where the bushing goes. It's almost like it got worn out and now there's metal missing in that area.

The other thing that I've questioned was my alignment. I did my own alignment using angle iron the best I could. I don't know if my eyes are playing tricks on me, but when everything is on, the tires look a little off.

And finally, I wonder if maybe that's just how YJ's are supposed to be. This is my first YJ so I don't know what to expect. It seems a bit strange, but maybe that's just how it is.

Thanks in advanced for anything to look at!


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post #2 of 32 Old 07-22-2019, 03:00 PM
Boojo35
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Alignment will make stuff wander. Excessive tow out will do it but opposite if excessive will do it also.
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If you cannot fix it with a hammer then it has to be an electrical problem.
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post #3 of 32 Old 07-22-2019, 03:38 PM
NHfireLJ
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get an alignment and check toe and caster although the later shouldnt be too bad

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post #4 of 32 Old 07-22-2019, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
mikewiz38
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Thank you very much for the responses. I've been thinking about making an appointment to get it done. I tried, but trying to measure it within 1/8" (or whatever it was) is not as easy as youtube makes it look!!!

I figured that it also wouldn't be bad for a real mechanic to look everything over as well and make sure I didn't really mess anything up.

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post #5 of 32 Old 07-22-2019, 03:58 PM
stephencbrinson
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Your jeep should not wander. I did a lift and removed the track bars and left the sway bar. After the jeep tracked like not was on rails. No wander at all.

Recheck all torques, have an alignment done, check your ball joints.

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post #6 of 32 Old 07-22-2019, 10:40 PM
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Are the shackles stock length? 4" bolt to bolt? Longer shackles can have negative affects on your caster which can cause wandering and failure to teturn to center.

As was mentioned, your toe-in is very important. For a garage alignment you should be 1/8-1/4" toed in.

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post #7 of 32 Old 07-23-2019, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
mikewiz38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randonexplosion View Post
Are the shackles stock length? 4" bolt to bolt? Longer shackles can have negative affects on your caster which can cause wandering and failure to teturn to center.

As was mentioned, your toe-in is very important. For a garage alignment you should be 1/8-1/4" toed in.

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You know, I'm not 100% sure they're 4" bolt to bolt. I would have to check, but considering they're the dog leg type of shackle, I doubt that they are.

I'm also aware of longer shackles having the negative effect, but I have no experience with it so I don't know what to expect.

I think my best bet is to check the torque on the track bar and then take it in for an alignment. I remember tightening the track bar bolts and wondering if it's ever going to click....and I'm pretty sure my torque wrench never did. I probably should had done this with everything apart as it would had been a ton easier. Oh well, lesson learned.

Also, me looking at the wheel and thinking it's not straight may also be an indicator. I figured if I think the wheel looks a bit off then it must be, and probably is more than an 1/8".

I wanted to avoid taking it in, but it may be my best bet. Now, to try to find a decent place to go...

Thanks!

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post #8 of 32 Old 07-23-2019, 06:19 AM
EABiker
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You can do a quick toe adjustment check with two straight pins and a tape measure. Stick the two pins in the tread half way up the front of each tire; take a measurement. Roll the Jeep backwards until the pins are now half way up in the rear of the tire; take that measurement. Subtract the two, and you now have the toe offset.
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post #9 of 32 Old 07-23-2019, 06:43 AM
stephencbrinson
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Your steering wheel alignment should not affect wander or drift or pulling.

The steering box could but not the wheel alignment.

Take pictures of what you have and post them. Answer questions with specifics, like how long are your shackles bolt to bolt. Do the things suggested and report back your findings.

There is a possibility that your suspension is bound up by your track bar. Did you hand tighten all of the suspension hardware, then lower the jeep and bounce it some then torque everything?

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post #10 of 32 Old 07-23-2019, 06:44 AM
stephencbrinson
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There are many experts and great mechanics on this site that can and will help you. You just have to give them the information the need to help.

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post #11 of 32 Old 07-24-2019, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
mikewiz38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephencbrinson View Post
Your steering wheel alignment should not affect wander or drift or pulling.

The steering box could but not the wheel alignment.

Take pictures of what you have and post them. Answer questions with specifics, like how long are your shackles bolt to bolt. Do the things suggested and report back your findings.

There is a possibility that your suspension is bound up by your track bar. Did you hand tighten all of the suspension hardware, then lower the jeep and bounce it some then torque everything?

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Thank you. I'll need a few days but will post pictures and specifics this weekend.

I torqued everything when it was sitting on the ground. I drove it a few miles and started to retorque things again. Last night I discovered the u-bolts needed a bit more tightening and last weekend I discovered the shackles needed more tightening.

Give me a few more days and I'll document things better.

Thank You!!

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post #12 of 32 Old 07-24-2019, 07:43 PM
Mechman71
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Have someone bounce your steering wheel from side to side while the engine is off, and take a look at the output shaft of the steering box. Is it just rotating or is it jumping around too? Your alignment has to be pretty off for it to wander badly, but if it is off just enough and the steering box is worn too, the effects multiply down the line. Larger tires and/or wheels can also affect how true it tracks, as can a slipped belt inside a tire. If you're having the alignment done, ask the shop to balance your tires too. A tire with a slipping or broken steel belt is usually next to impossible to get balanced.

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post #13 of 32 Old 07-24-2019, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EABiker View Post
You can do a quick toe adjustment check with two straight pins and a tape measure. Stick the two pins in the tread half way up the front of each tire; take a measurement. Roll the Jeep backwards until the pins are now half way up in the rear of the tire; take that measurement. Subtract the two, and you now have the toe offset.
This is simply awesome! I have a lot of years in the business. I can tell you over and over why tape measure alignments can work really well and then sometimes not so well. A lot of my rants are about compensating for runout. You solved this issue in the most simple way ever. Maybe you learned the trick from somebody else but safety pins. Never thought or heard of it. As long as they stoutly hold their position. Why not? Pure genius. The most simple solution ever I declare.

I will still take my hunter over the driveway method though. I am done on the hunter before I could possibly even find a tape measure somedays. LOL> . Or go back and forth with the tape. back and forth. rinse and repeat.

If you cannot fix it with a hammer then it has to be an electrical problem.
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post #14 of 32 Old 07-26-2019, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
mikewiz38
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I'm still working on getting those pictures done; I'm hoping to do it tomorrow. I did want to report something I found...

I installed the moog ssd107 steering stabilizer when I redid everything. I was poking around last night and discovered that the tie rod was rubbing up against the boot for the steering stabilizer so much that it started to rip the boot. I ended up removing the boot last night.

I still haven't driven it yet so I don't know if this was the problem or not. But it looked like it was a problem. I'm thinking/hoping that maybe this rub while the dampener was moving made the vehicle harder to control.

In any case, I still have to do the pin test and take pictures. I still intend to do it because I want to hear what others have to say about it. Thank You!

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post #15 of 32 Old 07-26-2019, 07:46 AM
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Steering stabilizers only mask problems. You should remove it entirely until you find the real problem.
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