Sticky/Wandering Steering - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-08-2020, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Sticky/Wandering Steering

So I’ve been dealing with steering issues on my WJ ever since I installed Synergy ball joints to resolve Death wobble. Prior to the ball joints I had terrible death wobble, but no steering wander. I’ll list everything I’ve done so far below, but my current issue is:

Steering wander, needing regular steering inputs to keep the car straight. Feels a bit sticky/side to side symptoms. I’ve made improvements but it’s still not right. I’ve searched the forums extensively and have seem some complaints for JK owners with the Synergy ball joints but not many have good solutions.

-My strongest guess is the synergy ball joints tolerances being too tight, resulting in a memory steer/pull. Has anyone experienced this before? The synergy rep said after I installed that sometimes it helps to press the ball joints in an out a few times to open up the tolerances, but this is a lot of work and I have a couple thousand miles on them now -I would think they would have worked themselves out by now.
-My other theory is the rear upper ball joint, although i had a shop check it out and they felt it was fine.

Build list:
-Zone 4” kit, base hydro shocks, fixed front lower arms, rear A-arm spacer + TC drop, rear ext sway bar end links
-All moog TRE (replaced after my death wobble issues)
-Timek(?) wheel bearings
-Synergy knurled ball joints(these resolved my death wobble)
-IRO Front Upper Adjustable control arms
-KOR Dual Steering stabilizers
-Red Head Steering Gear
-ADDCO rear sway bar (greatly helped the steering wander)
-stock rear control arms
-1.5” wheel spacers
-Rubicon wheels
-265/70/R17 Falken Wildpeak AT3W’s

Caster set at 4.5 deg
Total toe .24deg

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post #2 of 14 Old 06-08-2020, 12:50 PM
SD Overland
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How do the bushing in your rear control arms look? Seeing as they're stock and (possibly original?) they're probably shot. Loose rear arms cause the rear to wander and you have to counter steer to fix it.

My rear arms have dry-rotted and cracked bushings and mine behaves very similarly on the highway (3'' lift). If there's a good, stiff cross breeze, I'm all over the road.

2004 WJ Overland 4.7 HO, Quadradrive, Onyx Green Pearl Coat
IRO Rock-Link 3'' front, HD short arms rear, Billstein 5100's
265-70R17 Falken Wildpeak AT3, Spidertrax 1.5'' wheel spacers
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-08-2020, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD Overland View Post
How do the bushing in your rear control arms look? Seeing as they're stock and (possibly original?) they're probably shot. Loose rear arms cause the rear to wander and you have to counter steer to fix it.

My rear arms have dry-rotted and cracked bushing and mine behaves very similarly on the highway (3'' lift). If there's a good, stiff cross breeze, I'm all over the road.
You’re the second person to suggest this, and i’m leaning this way too. The timing of the wandering onset with ball joints install is why i am stuck on that.

Might be time to pick up a set of adjustables for the rear lower and see if it helps.
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post #4 of 14 Old 06-08-2020, 11:13 PM
coldspit47
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at 4in you need adjustable arms and good CA bushings for sure. IRO has a good set, I've been running mine for years with no trouble. Check with kolak for best prices, he hooked me up with cheaper than a sale they ran recently.

JEEP. making mechanics out of ordinary folks since 1940.
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-09-2020, 07:53 AM
jserna
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My issue was the rear upper ball joint. It was worn out, so I replaced it along with the 2 frame side bushings, it solved it.
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-09-2020, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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I ordered a set of adjustable lower arms for the rear through kolak yesterday, hopefully that helps but we shall see.

I’ve had the upper ball joint inspected and was told it’s fine, but i may need to just replace it anyways if these arms don’t help.
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-11-2020, 01:01 AM
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Sounds like the ball joints are tight to me, are they greasable? Im not familiar with this brand...Also, dual steering stabilizers is overkill on a wj with tires smaller than 35's. This could also be making the steering feel snug.

'00LMTD-4.7l,242hd,D30,D44A,3.73's,True-trac front,Spartan rear,4" short arm lift,JK'sW/32's
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-11-2020, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bigrigr View Post
Sounds like the ball joints are tight to me, are they greasable? Im not familiar with this brand...Also, dual steering stabilizers is overkill on a wj with tires smaller than 35's. This could also be making the steering feel snug.
They ball joints are greaseable, i’ll try and grease them next time i am under there.

I was only running one SS for about 4 months, only put the secondary SS on three weeks ago, it made the steering much more stable actually.
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-11-2020, 09:04 PM
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Those look like the same JK wheels I have on your Jeep. And our setup is very similar. 4" short arm lift, 265/70/17 tires. I have 6.7-7.0 degrees of caster up front, and only one SS in the factory location. It drives really well both in town and down the freeway at 70-75. So far i have what appear to be factory ball joints. And factory steering box. I have never had death wobble with this one, even with the cheesy factory SS. Still not sure why you would NEED dual SS?

'00LMTD-4.7l,242hd,D30,D44A,3.73's,True-trac front,Spartan rear,4" short arm lift,JK'sW/32's
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-12-2020, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bigrigr View Post
Those look like the same JK wheels I have on your Jeep. And our setup is very similar. 4" short arm lift, 265/70/17 tires. I have 6.7-7.0 degrees of caster up front, and only one SS in the factory location. It drives really well both in town and down the freeway at 70-75. So far i have what appear to be factory ball joints. And factory steering box. I have never had death wobble with this one, even with the cheesy factory SS. Still not sure why you would NEED dual SS?
My ball joints were shot, which caused my death wobble. Sounds like you’ve been lucky on worn out parts! How is your driveline vibration with 7deg caster? Mine was loud, dialed it back to 4.5deg and driveline vibes went away.
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post #11 of 14 Old 06-12-2020, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Also i didnt ‘need’ the second SS. But it did help the steering wander. Clearly i have a problem elsewhere which is what i’m trying to track down. The 2nd SS is really just a band aid for driveability while i scratch my head trying to find the real problem
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post #12 of 14 Old 06-14-2020, 09:00 AM
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Ah, gotcha! I get the idea of stopping the death wobble with whatever you can right now, while you find the bigger fix. I just didnt want you to throw the extra SS on and call it a day, because thats obviously not the real problem.



I have ZERO driveline vibes from my double cardon driveline with 7.0 degrees of caster. Even at freeway speeds. (i didnt even change any of the u-joints on this drivelne before i put it in, I believe they are the factory joints) I had the double Rzeppa joint setup before and it howled like crazy. I threw this double cardon setup in on a whim, and now it works so good i havent wanted to go back and rebuild it yet.

'00LMTD-4.7l,242hd,D30,D44A,3.73's,True-trac front,Spartan rear,4" short arm lift,JK'sW/32's
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post #13 of 14 Old 06-15-2020, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bigrigr View Post
Ah, gotcha! I get the idea of stopping the death wobble with whatever you can right now, while you find the bigger fix. I just didnt want you to throw the extra SS on and call it a day, because thats obviously not the real problem.



I have ZERO driveline vibes from my double cardon driveline with 7.0 degrees of caster. Even at freeway speeds. (i didnt even change any of the u-joints on this drivelne before i put it in, I believe they are the factory joints) I had the double Rzeppa joint setup before and it howled like crazy. I threw this double cardon setup in on a whim, and now it works so good i havent wanted to go back and rebuild it yet.
Interesting. I have the double cardan driveshaft, i’ve suspected that it needs a rebuild - this somewhat confirms that. I’ll add that to the list of troubleshooting, if i rebuild the shaft and dial caster back to 7 to test the steering.
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post #14 of 14 Old 02-14-2021, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Update: have since replaced the rear upper ball joint and body mount bushings, which helped my wandering bigtime. However, the steering, while much much better now, still isn't totally "right". i really tie it all back to the synergy knurled ball joints. I may replace with a moog set eventually...just not incredibly motivated to tackle that job again.
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