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Questions about tires, suspension, and more

cahjeep2004

New Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2021
Messages
2
Location
Henderson, NV
So I purchased a 2004 rubicon about a year ago. A few things I know about it and a few things I have questions about:
-Currently has a 4" lift and 35" tires.
-Has stock front/rear track bars, control arms, etc. Is stock geared from the manufacturer.
-Already replaced U joints on the front axle, they become shot. Has some minor bump steer and definitely has the "wobble of death" in the steering wheel. Front axle is not centered with the jeep - can see its off by a bit.

I've been told by a shop the above issues are from the stock items not being modified with the tires/lift.

Is the solution as simple as a long arm kit and adjustable track bars? I'm getting new tires (probably sticking with 35") and want to do all of this at once, along with re-gearing to 4.88.

Drivers Side.jpg


Drivers Side 2.jpg


Passenger Side.jpg


Passenger Side 2.jpg


Front .jpg
 

jjvw

birds aren't real
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Feb 17, 2018
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Colorado, USA
Unless there is a dropped pitman arm, there isn't bump steer. Your wobble is likely coming from worn components, a lack of caster and poorly balanced tires.

A long arm won't fix any of the problems you have. Don't waste your money.

You need adjustable control arms, and track bars to let you adjust things to where they need to be.

New steering might be needed to get rid of worn tie rod ends. Bigger steering is a good idea because of the bigger tires. Whatever you do, stay with the factory Y link geometry.
 
Last edited:

RubiconRic

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
139
Location
Sarasota, FL
Yes good advice above. Unless prior owner painted the front trackbar red I'd venture to say that is aftermarket, but doesn't really matter bc it's not adjustable.

Based on your post, doesn't seem like budget is really an issue. Immediate need is to fix the death wobble. You never mentioned anything about a tummy tuck, so I'm going to assume it doesn't have one and it's lower on your to-do list than new tires and gears. Even though you mentioned long arm, I'm also going to assume you prefer to stick with short arms rather than go mid or long arm.

As such, I would recommend:
1) All new (x8) adjustable control arms
2) Adjustable front and rear track bars
3) Savvy/Currie front steering
4) Replace your front ball joints
5) Replace your front hub assemblies

35" tires can exacerbate wear on #4/5 above and if you've never replaced them, chances are PO didn't either since he put on a 4" lift with no "kit."

If I was doing all the above, I would also do:
6) Antirock or Swayloc for the front
7) Extended rear swaybar links for the back

And depending on your budget:
8) Tummy tuck
9) Rear CV DS
 

JEEPCJTJ

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2018
Messages
4,728
Location
Half way between Pittsburgh and Cleveland
I just zoomed in on the last picture to try and see if the pitman arm is dropped. Couldn't quite tell from that angle but it does look like where it connects to the drag bar may be somewhat lower than where the track bar mounts to the frame.

At the other end of the track bar, I see where it's bolted through a new hole drilled into the mount. That was an idea to keep the axle centered. Unfortunately it doesn't quite succeed at centering any axle. Adjustable track bar is the way to go. What brand? IDK.

I also noticed that the bushing in your NOT stock passenger side lower control arm is worn/loose/partially missing to the point that it looks like it might not be doing much of anything. If it's as bad as I think, any others may be similar.

I'll also mention that your "wobble of death" is only Death Wobble if you have to almost stop moving to stop the vibrating.
 
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cahjeep2004

New Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2021
Messages
2
Location
Henderson, NV
Thanks everyone. That is helpful. Keep in mind I'm going off of what a shop told me along with what my very limited mechanical knowledge and research has found. I bought this puppy to have some fun rock climbing and to learn from by working on it (hopefully with my son in a couple years when he is old enough). I figured the best way to learn is by making mistakes right - I just don't want to make super expensive mistakes! Im going to dig deeper into everything you all mentioned above.

Thanks again!
 
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SvtLdr

Search Engine Certified Mechanic
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Nov 26, 2019
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NE Indiana
Im going to dig deeper into everything you all mentioned above.
This is a solid plan. Keep digging and don't hesitate to ask questions. You've joined an awesome community here with lots of good resources available.