Jeep steering & suspension repair questions and answers
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david - 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Steering & Suspension - 3/16/2012clear fluid, rear axle transfer case
scott brown - 2003 Jeep Liberty - Steering & Suspension - 3/11/2012Are they interchangeable
Ray - 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Steering & Suspension - 3/8/2012
Coont - 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Steering & Suspension - 3/1/2012
3/1/2012 Spoon SportsAs you have already found out, “Death Wobble” is the horrible front end vibration that starts when one tire (usually the right tire first) hits a groove or bump in the pavement somewhere around 40~50mph. Death Wobble is quite possibly the worst possible downside to having a coil-sprung front suspension on a vehicle with a track bar or panhard bar. Vehicles affected by this design are the Jeep Cherokee XJ, the Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ and WJ, TJ and JK Jeep Wrangler, (and also include trucks like Toyota, Ford, and Dodge Ram, as well as early Ford Broncos). Death Wobble is also extremely difficult to try to diagnose and fix, because it is actually caused by slop in the entire steering system as a whole, not by one component. To diagnose and fix Death Wobble correctly, your mechanic needs to look for “play” everywhere in the steering and front suspension system, searching for anything that could have “play” in it. It’s very time consuming to find a Death Wobble fix, and can be downright dangerous while you are in “testing phase”, trying to exorcise this demon from your Jeep or Truck.
The place I tell people to start, is with an overall visual inspection. Spend 10 solid minutes under the front end, visually inspecting each one of the steering components for shiny spots on steel, rubber, or polyeurthane, which is typically indicative of suspension components that are moving around when they are not supposed to be. Pay CAREFUL attention to the track bar (also called a Panhard Bar inside and ouside the USA, as well as variant spellings (misspellings?) of trackbar, tracbar, and trak-bar ). The Track Bar is often the culprit in many cases. And, if any of your bolts are even the least bit loose, Death Wobble also can manifest itself and make your life a living hell, so check for looseness everywhere.
If everything appears to be “normal” on the underside of your Jeep or Truck, and you’ve verified the bolt tightness on both ends of the track bar, the next thing to do is to start with a front end alignment, making sure that caster (frequently misspelled as ” castor “) is set correctly as well as toe-in. If you have been offroading and have bent your tie rod even slightly, that, also, will throw off your alignment. Plus, it’s only $40 or so at your local alignment shop. By the way, DO NOT let the alignment shop talk you into a four-wheel alignment, as this is only useful on vehicles with independent rear suspension in my experience, and since there are no adjustment points in the rear of a live-axle vehicle ANYWAY, you’re merely paying for a service that you won’t get by the time you leave the alignment shop. Furthermore, if you have a lifted vehicle, make sure that the alignment shop you choose knows the variant specifications for lifted vehicles, and that they do NOT set it to the “default/stock” settings. A good quality alignment shop familiar with lifted 4×4 vehicles will know these settings, and a poor quality shop will likely tell you that it doesn’t matter whether it’s lifted or not…and that they use the stock specs. Walk away immediately, or hang up the phone and call the next shop, if they do.
If you are now *certain* that the front end alignment that it’s set correctly, and that you have not replaced ANY other front end components recently (including tires or wheels) that may have caused the oscillation to begin, I tell people the next most suspect thing is the factory front track bar. Over time, the tie rod end on the upper portion of the Panhard or track bar (some applications like the WJ Grand Cherokee, the Ford Truck and the Dodge Ram have a rubber bushing configuration instead, which also wears out) develops “play” in it due to wear and miles on the vehicle. The same findings often goes for the lower end bushing, which has a rubber or polyurethane isolator bushing in it, and this “slop” will allow the Dreaded Death Wobble oscillation to occur.
Aftermarket trackbars generally come with urethane bushings that allow a LOT less “play” (with respect to movement / crush) than the factory rubber bushings do. The problem with most aftermarket track bars for the Jeep is that they also come with either a Heim joint, Johnny Joint, or tie rod end on the upper end of the Track Bar, which works fine for a while, but wears out over time, leaving you right back where you started, with a large mess in your shorts, a temporarily deafened right ear (from the wife screaming for dear life, or, quite possibly at YOU, for buying the Jeep to begin with, lol), and an overall high level of frustration with your entire rig in general…which doesn’t often lead into a smooth, stress-free trip.
Here are some other steering components to check over for looseness or improper movement:
* Tie Rod Ends (all four, plus the upper track bar end)
* Upper and Lower Ball Joints
* Track Bar Mounting Bracket Bolts
* Steering Box Bol
tim fournier - 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Steering & Suspension - 2/28/2012this pump sluggish works good sometimes verry slow on quick turns
emily frake - 1995 Jeep Cherokee - Steering & Suspension - 2/26/2012Stabilizer bar broke
2/26/2012 Jay GironRemoval & Installation
Raise and support the vehicle safely.
Disconnect the stabilizer bar at the connecting links. If necessary, disengage the connecting links from the brackets on the front axle housing.
Remove the stabilizer bar-to-frame clamps and cushions, and remove the stabilizer bar.
Position the bar on the vehicle and install the clamps and cushions finger-tight.
Tighten the clamp-to-frame bolts to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm), the stabilizer bar-to-connecting link nuts to 27 ft. lbs. (37 Nm), and the connecting link-to-axle bolts to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm).
william - 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Steering & Suspension - 2/23/2012When I make turns, my jeep make a popping noise and my ailment is off and the steering wheel pulls slightly.
2/23/2012 Spoon SportsYes. A clicking sound when turning is one of the classic symptoms of a worn or damaged "constant velocity" (CV) joint. Your car has four such joints on the two front axles: two inboard joints and two outboard joints. The outboard joints are the ones that make a clicking sound when they go bad.
Inside the joint are six steel balls, positioned in grooves between an inner race and an outer housing. The balls are held in position by a cage that looks something like a wide bracelet with windows or slots cut in it. When the joint is new, the balls fit tightly into the cage windows. But as the joint accumulates miles, the cage windows become worn and allow the balls to rattle around. The grooves in the inner race and outer housing also wear, which further contributes to noise.
When driving straight, a worn CV joint is usually quiet (constant noise would indicate a bad wheel bearing or other problem). But when the wheels are turned to either side, the joint bends causing the balls to click as they slide around in their cage windows and grooves. The noise is usually loudest when backing up with the wheels turned. Repacking the joint with grease won't help because the joint is worn and needs to be replaced.
The "normal" life of a CV joint is usually 100,000 miles or more. But a joint can fail prematurely if the rubber boot that surrounds it is damaged or develops a leak.
Cv Joint Boots
The boot, which is made of rubber or hard plastic, serves two purposes: it keeps the joint's vital supply of special grease inside, and it keeps dirt and water out. After five or six years of service, it's not unusual for the boot to develop age cracks or splits. Boots can also be damaged by road hazards or a careless tow truck operator who uses J-hooks to tow your vehicle.
Once the boot seal is broken, the inside grease quickly leaks out. Starved for lubrication, the CV joint soon fails. Dirt and water can also enter the boot and contaminate any grease that's left inside. Either way, a damaged boot is bad news for the joint.
CV joint boots should be inspected periodically (when the oil is changed is a good time) to make sure they are not cracked or torn, and that the clamps are tight. If you see grease on the outside of the boot, it is leaking and needs to be replaced (the sooner the better). If a clamp is loose and the boot is leaking grease at one end, the clamp needs to be replaced.
Original equipment boots are a one-piece design, which means the driveshaft and CV joint have to be removed from the vehicle and disassembled to replace a bad boot. However, there are aftermarket "split-boots" designed for easy do-it-yourself installation. The split-boots eliminate the need to remove and disassemble the joint and driveshaft. You simply cut off the old boot, clean out as much of the old grease as possible from the joint, pack the joint with fresh high temperature CV joint grease (never ordinary chassis grease), then install the new boot. Most split-boots have a seam that is glued together. The seam must not have any grease smeared on it and the glue must be applied carefully for a good seal. Also, the vehicle must not be driven until the glue has cured (about an hour or so).
NOTE: Most professional mechanics do not use split-boots because (1) they don't think a split-boot is as reliable or as long-lived as a one-piece original equipment style boot, and (2) they don't like the idea of installing a new boot on a questionable joint.
By the time a damaged or leaky boot is noticed, the joint has usually lost most of its grease and/or been contaminated by dirt. Unless the joint is removed, disassembled, cleaned and inspected, there's no way to know if it is still in good enough condition to remain in service. If it's making noise, replacing the boot would be a waste of time because the joint is bad and needs to be replaced (most new joints come with a new boot, clamps and grease). But even if the joint isn't making any noise, it may still have wear or internal damage that will soon cause it to fail.
WARNING: A CV joint failure can cause loss of steering control under certain circumstances. If the joint locks up, it can prevent the wheels from being turned.
2/23/2012 HouseCallAutoElaborate a bit more please because this Jeep is known for a bad Viscous coupler inside the transfer case because this Jeep is all wheel drive all the time. Does your Jeep seem to almost come to a stop when trying to make turns going very slow? As though someone were applying the brakes?
joe - 2011 Jeep Wrangler (JK) - Steering & Suspension - 2/21/2012What gasket or o ring comes with the pump high pressure hose?
RayJR - 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Steering & Suspension - 2/20/2012I have a bad shake when I hit a bump at about 25-40mph I slow down to almost nothing and it goes away and then runs fine
DOK5150 - 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Steering & Suspension - 2/18/2012What would be the cost of labor only for the complete install??
robert - 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Steering & Suspension - 2/13/2012The shocks I bought was Monroe's cheapiest shock, around $25 dollars a shock. mileage is at 155,000
2/13/2012 Spoon SportsHave you checked your bushings? Are the shocks secured tightly?
At first i thought maybe the shock bound and rebound is not enough but then you said "only when I hit curtain bumps."
2/13/2012 HouseCallAutoCan you detail the location of this metal to metal noise. Left front, right front, left rear, right rear? It would seem logical that if you did not have the noise before changing the shocks that one of the shocks mounting bolts in not sufficiently tight enough.
nmotionrdr4 - 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Steering & Suspension - 2/12/2012Also there is a squeal the pulsates in the front end when driving. And at speeds over about 40 it begins to sway back and forth. I put new aggressive tires on it and all this happen so i know that is what effected it.
g - 2005 Jeep Liberty - Steering & Suspension - 2/8/2012Loud noise heard and felt towards the drivers side of car
joey5639 - 1987 Jeep Wrangler (YJ) - Steering & Suspension - 2/7/2012The car doesn't feel steady how can I get this to go straight. The vehicle has a 5.0 mustang engine in it. Also my front passenger side tire is not straight it's angled towards the engine I can see this by standing in front of the car.