Steering wander and front axle movement

AndyG

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Jul 30, 2018
1,803
Alabama
Not trying to take away from the OP’s thread but let me break it down for you for a second. Death wobble is due to loose components - primary being the track bar. If you have a buddy shimmy the steering wheel back and forth while in park and engine off you’ll be able to see what components have play. Bumpsteer is due to your dropped pitman arm and the inverted T steering your currently running instead of the OEM Jeep steering of inverted Y. Wandering/tracking/return to center are affect by three things, loose components (death wobble also a symptom), not enough caster, or not enough toe-in. Check the toe by measuring the front of your tires across and the rear of your tires across and comparing the numbers. There’s threads on here for setting toe. Check your caster/pinion angles with an angle finder pressed against the driveshaft and input yoke to the differential. Loose components can be checked by the method I laid out above with your buddy, or by visually inspecting bushing for cracking and/or play. Feel free to PM me if you want some help with your numbers!
That’s a very good post here ....ought to be in a manual.
 
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MarkAlan

Member
Jan 25, 2016
25
I can tell you for sure if you have a 5 inch lift without adjustable control arms you do not have enough caster. Dump the dropped pitman arm anget adjustable arms.
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 9, 2015
9,973
Escondido California
That’s a very good post here ....ought to be in a manual.
True though he left out that imperfectly balanced tires are a common cause/trigger for DW too. The very worst DW I ever had was on my previous TJ. It was still near new with the stock suspension, the front-end was still tight, but one of the front tires had thrown a weight. The resulting DW was unbelievably VIOLENT. Getting that front tire rebalanced cured the DW. A spinning tire is what provides the energy required for DW to take place. A spinning unbalanced tire just adds even more energy. Something loose like a track bar just makes it easier for DW happen.
 
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AndyG

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Jul 30, 2018
1,803
Alabama
True though he left out that imperfectly balanced tires are a common cause/trigger for DW too. The very worst DW I ever had was on my previous TJ. It was still near new with the stock suspension, the front-end was still tight, but one of the front tires had thrown a weight. The resulting DW was unbelievably VIOLENT. Getting that front tire rebalanced cured the DW. A spinning tire is what provides the energy required for DW to take place. A spinning unbalanced tire just adds even more energy. Something loose like a track bar just makes it easier for DW happen.
Hey Jerry... I've got something going on on the front of the mind and I think it's death wobble looking for a place to happen

I have an adjustable track bar on the front and the mount on the passenger side seems to have a lot of movement where the bolt goes through the track bar.

it looks like that they used the stock diameter bolt and the track bar itself would require a larger diameter bolt and it's moving on the bolt.

tell me if that makes sense and if it's pretty typical for an stock track bar mount to be drilled to accommodate a larger diameter bolt to fit into the larger aftermarket adjustable track bar.

I am amazed it's driving as good as it does.. what made me catch it was a post that you had about axle movement being caused by track bars not being tight enough.
 
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Garrett Hoover
Supporting Member
Jan 21, 2019
188
Corvallis, Oregon
True though he left out that imperfectly balanced tires are a common cause/trigger for DW too. The very worst DW I ever had was on my previous TJ. It was still near new with the stock suspension, the front-end was still tight, but one of the front tires had thrown a weight. The resulting DW was unbelievably VIOLENT. Getting that front tire rebalanced cured the DW. A spinning tire is what provides the energy required for DW to take place. A spinning unbalanced tire just adds even more energy. Something loose like a track bar just makes it easier for DW happen.
Should have included that as well, mentioned it in the private conversation we had earlier today.
 
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Garrett Hoover
Supporting Member
Jan 21, 2019
188
Corvallis, Oregon
Hey Jerry... I've got something going on on the front of the mind and I think it's death wobble looking for a place to happen

I have an adjustable track bar on the front and the mount on the passenger side seems to have a lot of movement where the bolt goes through the track bar.

it looks like that they used the stock diameter bolt and the track bar itself would require a larger diameter bolt and it's moving on the bolt.

tell me if that makes sense and if it's pretty typical for an stock track bar mount to be drilled to accommodate a larger diameter bolt to fit into the larger aftermarket adjustable track bar.

I am amazed it's driving as good as it does.. what made me catch it was a post that you had about axle movement being caused by track bars not being tight enough.
If it helps to put your mind at ease, drill it out to the diameter of your track bar and put a larger grade 8 bolt through the hole. However, clamping force is what prevents movement in fasteners such a these. Properly torquing the track bar should be fine unless you actually begin to experience death wobble. It is commmon to drill this out as in the Currie track bar I run. However this requires new hardware.
 

AndyG

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Jul 30, 2018
1,803
Alabama
If it helps to put your mind at ease, drill it out to the diameter of your track bar and put a larger grade 8 bolt through the hole. However, clamping force is what prevents movement in fasteners such a these. Properly torquing the track bar should be fine unless you actually begin to experience death wobble. It is commmon to drill this out as in the Currie track bar I run. However this requires new hardware.
Thanks....it looks like I need to do that , the track bar moves left to right there about 3/16 both ways , so it’s got 3/8 total movement or more . Maybe the bushing has that much give , but it seems like the bolt is small....I’ll scope it out. Thank you man.
 
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