Flat towed 500 ft w/ locked wheels - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-25-2020, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
Shiygirl1642!
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Flat towed 500 ft w/ locked wheels

I have a 97 ZJ and just flat towed it behind an RV across the state of Washington. In the Tri Cities I forgot to unlock the steering column and towed it approximately 500 ft with a really sharp left turn. It was dark and I couldnt tell that the wheels weren't turning! Les Schwab put in new front shocks and replaced both sway bar links for me. It drives better but still tugs when I crank the wheel to the left and theres an awful noise in the steering column like loose wires scratching inside. The power steering feels fine but it needed a little fluid.
Also, and unrelated to the towing screw up I did, I have an annoying squeal under the hood that isnt the dash or any of the pulleys that I can tell. There is a noticeable shimmy in the harmonic balancer tho. How difficult is that to change?
Thanks guys! I bought my Jeep last April and have had problems from day 1. I, alone, have replaced the starter, alternator, thermostat, water pump, fuel pump, ac compressor, radiator, new coolant lines, new vacuum lines and done my own oil changes. Not bad for never having worked on cars in my life. I love this site and the help of everyone!

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post #2 of 10 Old 01-26-2020, 12:21 PM
V8GCZJ
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Quote:
There is a noticeable shimmy in the harmonic balancer tho. How difficult is that to change?

What motor? Don't know who "Les Schwab" is but i would have someone look at the front end and explain to them what happened. You may have something bent that they didn't notice.
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-26-2020, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
Shiygirl1642!
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[QUOTE=V8GCZJ;40857535]
Quote:
There is a noticeable shimmy in the harmonic balancer tho. How difficult is that to change?

What motor? Don't know who "Les Schwab" is but i would have someone look at the front end and explain to them what happened. You may have something bent that they didn't notice.[/QUOTE

I have the 6 cylinder 4.0 Liter and Les Schwab is a tire company that does mostly tires and brake work. The squeal has been ongoing and I noticed the loose harmonic balancer before I towed it. When looking at the serpentine belt diagram its the very bottom, biggest pulley. As for the noise in the steering wheel, I took it apart and the airbag clock spring is unwound and wrapped around the column. I just cut it out and will pull the airbag fuse.
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-26-2020, 08:21 PM
cougarkid
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Not sure why they replaced shocks and links. Where they bad before?

Issues from the pull/turn would typically be scrubbed tires. Tires would typically break loose before anything else would give. 500’ is not a long way.

Ever watched a dual axel trailer in a tight turn? You can see/hear the tires scrubbing. Happens all the time. Nothing breaks.

Steering locks at the column/steering wheel. The steering shaft holds the steering box still. I guess the shaft could have twisted a bit, thus rubbing on something now. Really doubt it, though.

I once towed my ‘01 (behind our Rv) with the front tires slightly turned for 90 miles. 2-lane windy road. 6-7 sharp turns (road too road). Scrubbed one of the front tires on the outer edge. No mechanical damage at all.

Sounds like an alignment is in order. If anything, get the ball joints checked.



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post #5 of 10 Old 01-26-2020, 08:28 PM
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Flat towed 500 ft w/ locked wheels

Btw, the harmonic balancer depends on room between the radiator and the pulley. Typically you have to pull the radiator.
The pulley comes off, the big bolt to the crank, and then the balancer has to removed with a puller.
A wobble usually means a bad rubber filler, the “dampner” part of it.
Not that hard, just time.


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2001 Wrangler TJ, 4.0, 5-Spd, 2" Body Lift, BFG 31x10.5
Here and There - We Travel
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-26-2020, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I'm unclear as to what happened to the shocks myself but they said they were leaking severely. I had one missing sway bar link prior to towing and the other one must have snapped off during that 500 ft. The differential actually came apart from the transfer case about an inch so when I tried to put it into park after slowly shifting into all other gears it resisted. I gently forced it (if there is such a thing) into Park and it made a thud sound so I guess the differential slipped back into place. I dont know much about Jeeps. I can work on old Mopars, Chevy or Ford but once they started adding computers to vehicles they lost me. I think I'm doing alright for a tiny woman with no help from anyone other than these forums and youtube!
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-26-2020, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
Shiygirl1642!
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Originally Posted by cougarkid View Post
Btw, the harmonic balancer depends on room between the radiator and the pulley. Typically you have to pull the radiator.
The pulley comes off, the big bolt to the crank, and then the balancer has to removed with a puller.
A wobble usually means a bad rubber filler, the “dampner” part of it.
Not that hard, just time.


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Is the puller something I can borrow from Auto Zone, like the power steering pulley puller?
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-26-2020, 09:16 PM
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Yep. I think I had to borrow both puller and installer tools. If the 5.2 is similar to the 5.9 then they're should be plenty of room. Dorman balancers have had complaints, I would either go junkyard or mopar.

If your zj is worth it, it wouldn't be a bad idea to go all out and do the timing chain and gasket while its apart.
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-27-2020, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
Shiygirl1642!
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Thanks, thats a great idea. I've been doing all the work myself as a learning experience as well as necessary maintenance. It seems as soon as I fix one thing something else breaks.
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-28-2020, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Shiygirl1642! View Post
...I think I'm doing alright for a tiny woman with no help from anyone other than these forums and youtube!
You're doing great. Hang in there.

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- 1995 4.0L NP249 - mostly stock
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