1997 wrangler drifting


Goose

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Jun 10, 2021
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North Alabama
I've noticed today that 1997 wrangler has started drifting side to side while driving down the road . It takes constant effort to keep it in my lane. Im posting pictures of my front end , any insight is appreciated.

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Jerry Bransford

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4 inch lift. Should it be a stock pitman?
Yes you should be running the stock Pitman arm, based on the fact that the driver's side track bar mount is not dropped either. Those two items need to match... both dropped or both not dropped.

Drifting is not usually caused by the wrong Pitman arm though, it's more commonly caused by any of the following or a mix of them. Unevenly inflated tires, overinflated tires, improper toe-in, or insufficient caster angle

I'd start by checking the tire inflation and the front-end alignment. Guessing your tires are 33's, 26 to 28 psi is appropriate... 26 psi when the TJ is lightly loaded, 28 when it's fully loaded with passengers and/or gear.
 
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Goose

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Jun 10, 2021
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North Alabama
Yes you should be running the stock Pitman arm, based on the fact that the driver's side track bar mount is not dropped either. Those two items need to match... both dropped or both not dropped.

Drifting is not usually caused by the wrong Pitman arm though, it's more commonly caused by any of the following or a mix of them. Unevenly inflated tires, overinflated tires, improper toe-in, or insufficient caster angle

I'd start by checking the tire inflation and the front-end alignment. Guessing your tires are 33's, 26 to 28 psi is appropriate... 26 psi when the TJ is lightly loaded, 28 when it's fully loaded with passengers and/or gear.
Thank you I will look into all those things. I appreciate the passing down of knowledge to a wrangler newbie
 
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pagrey

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If your Jeep used to not wander and now it does wander and you didn't just put on that dropped arm, then it ain't the problem. You also didn't just remove the sway bar so putting on those links on wont solve the problem either. That's just simple common sense. Something probably wore out and is causing play. Really, you just need to find out what wore out FIRST. People here are always going to jump on dropped arms and sway bars because it's all they know, it wont get you back to where you were before it started to wander. You might look into the dry steer test and find what is loose. Personally I would not even consider the dropped arm or sway bar at this point, it's just a distraction. Once you find what is loose then you can re-visit the dropped arm and sway bar.
 
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Goose

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Jun 10, 2021
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North Alabama
If your Jeep used to not wander and now it does wander and you didn't just put on that dropped arm, then it ain't the problem. You also didn't just remove the sway bar so putting on those links on wont solve the problem either. That's just simple common sense. Something probably wore out and is causing play. Really, you just need to find out what wore out FIRST. People here are always going to jump on dropped arms and sway bars because it's all they know, it wont get you back to where you were before it started to wander. You might look into the dry steer test and find what is loose. Personally I would not even consider the dropped arm or sway bar at this point, it's just a distraction. Once you find what is loose then you can re-visit the dropped arm and sway bar.
Thank you for the insight. I appreciate it.
 

Hog

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Get under it and have someone turn it on and turn steering wheel left to right.. look at all the connections and see if you see some slop.. also jack up each side and wiggle your tires and see if you have any thing loose there.. could be ball joints , bearings, steering components, .. all relatively easy to see and fix besides the ball joints.. check the wear on your tires and see if you have un even wear, could be an alignment that’s needed!..
 
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Goose

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Jun 10, 2021
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Get under it and have someone turn it on and turn steering wheel left to right.. look at all the connections and see if you see some slop.. also jack up each side and wiggle your tires and see if you have any thing loose there.. could be ball joints , bearings, steering components, .. all relatively easy to see and fix besides the ball joints.. check the wear on your tires and see if you have un even wear, could be an alignment that’s needed!..
Ill do that. Thank you
 
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BRTJ

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May 31, 2021
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Guess I'm the only one that clicked the title expecting to see some TJ drifting on 35s or something...I'm a little bummed.

Looks like you've got the answers you need and I have nothing more to contribute. Hope you get it figured out soon buddy!