2004 TJ tends to wander at highway speeds - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-12-2019, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
1911Trigger
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2004 TJ tends to wander at highway speeds

I have a 2004 TJ set up for street only with non-offroad type tires. One thing I always noticed is that when I take it on the highway it tends to wander when it hits larger bumps in the road or likes to follow the ruts made from a worn highway. Other than that it performs fine. Where would you start to find the problem? I looked in the FAQ section and Death Wobble section but it seems to be more related to offroad vehicles that to a Jeep setup only for the road.

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post #2 of 11 Old 03-12-2019, 07:39 AM
Shark_13
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Jeeps are bad for handling ruts in the roadway.

Post some pics of the steering components.

What is your tire size and pressure? Any lift etc?

What is your toe in and caster?

Have you checked front end (rod ends, track bar bushings, unit bearings, ball joints)?
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-12-2019, 08:49 AM
TheBoogieman
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Mileage with stock tires? New shocks and springs if it's over 100,000 miles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
TheBoogieman is a jerk.
03' Rubicon/Zone 4.25" combo lift/Rancho 9000XL shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/BM brakes/LoD bumpers
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-14-2019, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
1911Trigger
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I am thinking to have the front end alignment checked for starters. This TJ is completely stock and no off road tires. it just feels like you need to constantly put input into the steering to keep it straight on the highway. Its a Jeep and I know it handles rough so it may be normal.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-14-2019, 03:47 PM
Jerry Bransford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911Trigger View Post
I am thinking to have the front end alignment checked for starters. This TJ is completely stock and no off road tires. it just feels like you need to constantly put input into the steering to keep it straight on the highway. Its a Jeep and I know it handles rough so it may be normal.
Since it is completely stock the very first thing I would suspect as a cause for it wandering would be the toe-in angle is off. Setting the toe-in is easy enough that it can be done at home with nothing more than a helper, a tape measure, a big pair of pliers, and a wrench. And with just a little care will produce results literally as good as the latest whiz-bang laser-guided alignment rack can produce when in the hands of an experienced alignment guy.

I haven't paid for a toe-in adjustment in over 20 years since learning how easy it was. A tire shop with an alignment rack scoffed at me when I said I did my own toe-in adjustments. They offered to check my toe-in for free and when they were done, they sheepishly admitted the toe-in was perfect.

If you're interested I'll give you a link to how to do it with a few photos to help.

And properly aligned with tires that aren't overinflated and the right shocks, a Wrangler will handle well on the highway.

What size tires are you running and exactly what air pressure is in them at this time? Overinflated tires will contribute to wandering on the highway.

When you have a choice, buy American made.
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-14-2019, 03:58 PM
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Also, is your front sway bar in place with no broken links?

2000 TJ, 4.0L, 4" suspension lift, 35s, rear D44 and front HP30 both with ARBs. AX15, 4:1 T-case.
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-14-2019, 04:17 PM
Shark_13
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What is your tire pressure?

You can measure toe-in yourself with a tape measure and 5 minutes. Don't have to worry about caster if you are not lifted, it is not adjustable & should be in spec.

Check your ball joints, unit bearings, rod ends on steering, and track bar bushings, and sway bar bushings.
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-16-2019, 08:42 AM
TheBoogieman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911Trigger View Post
it just feels like you need to constantly put input into the steering to keep it straight on the highway. Its a Jeep and I know it handles rough so it may be normal.
My old stock Jeep did that when the tie rod ends were shot. I had to constantly turn the steering wheel back and forth to keep it straight. $80 and an hour of my time fixed it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
TheBoogieman is a jerk.
03' Rubicon/Zone 4.25" combo lift/Rancho 9000XL shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/BM brakes/LoD bumpers
99' XJ Classic (JEEP #18) ) 5" BDS lift / HP30/ 8.25/ 33" DC Extreme Country/Tactik black satin wheels.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-16-2019, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
If you're interested I'll give you a link to how to do it with a few photos to help.
I use this link from some nice guy on another forum.

https://www.wranglerforum.com/f210/b...ent-86996.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
TheBoogieman is a jerk.
03' Rubicon/Zone 4.25" combo lift/Rancho 9000XL shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/BM brakes/LoD bumpers
99' XJ Classic (JEEP #18) ) 5" BDS lift / HP30/ 8.25/ 33" DC Extreme Country/Tactik black satin wheels.
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-16-2019, 09:30 AM
pcoplin
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It may also be steering gear play. Do a "dry" and powered steering test to check all steering components and front suspension bushings.

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post #11 of 11 Old 04-09-2019, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
1911Trigger
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Front end was in alignment but the control arm bushing was bad. Drives pretty good now! Thanks for the input
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