Rubicon Owners Forum banner
21 - 32 of 32 Posts

·
Moderator
Joined
·
2,047 Posts
This is the tool you are talking about? I hate thin wrenches, except for something light weight like a table saw blade.
Camera accessory Cameras & optics Camera lens Table Auto part
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Yes that is the tool. I even ordered another one thinking that the tool that came with the ball joints was defective. But the new one did the same thing. I then bent the handle part on one of them to help clear the knuckle but that didn't help it grip much. I think the tool/nut design is poor. I regret buying them now especially with the Terafllex tech giving me the brush off with "it's no big deal!" But will stick with them for now.

Note: The shop that did the last alignment is getting back to me after consulting with the mechanic. I assume the Jeep will go back in for a better examination and new alignment. Fingers crossed.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
3,759 Posts
You should be able to detect movement in the balljoints if they are too loose. I like to use a section of pipe or a 4 ft long 2x4 under a front tire (while the frame is supported on a jackstand) that has no weight on it and use the pipe to lift the tire. If the balljoint is loose, you should see movement in it.

I agree with the other who have said to check the unit bearings as well.

The Micky Thompson Baja ATZ's are quality tires; sometimes tires contribute to this behavior, but unless excessively worn, these should be good.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,943 Posts
If the problem didn’t start until you put aftermarket balljoints in, start there. They are probably a little too tight . It may loosen up with some miles. You could also go back to a factory joint, see of it smooths out.
your alignment isn’t perfect but it shouldn’t cause it to drive like you describe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
FWIW, There is a TSB on the JL and JLU "wandering". They replace the aluminum steering box with a cast iron one and reprogram. Someone thought a steering box was a good place to save a few pounds. It took them over a year of revisions before they apparently got it right. May not be related but it might. Whatever you do, make sure to dissuade the dealer that it might be death wobble. They tried to tell me that was what I was experiencing and I told them I have had 6 Jeeps and I know what DW is. This is not that.
Here is link to the TSB.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
If the problem didn’t start until you put aftermarket balljoints in, start there. They are probably a little too tight . It may loosen up with some miles. You could also go back to a factory joint, see of it smooths out.
your alignment isn’t perfect but it shouldn’t cause it to drive like you describe.
Thanks for the response Eric,
I do have about 2000 miles on the ball joints. Also I recently loosed the adjustment and then tried to torque them to spec but the tool would not hold on the nut. I tightened them by hand up to the point the tool slipped. So they are below the 300 inch lbs required. Call Teraflex and the tech said that was OK. But don't like that a product does not work as advertised and the seller ho hums!

I got under the Jeep again today and my wife moved the steering wheel back and forth for awhile and I checked everything again. All is tight and looks like it is functioning as designed. Still it is wandering and diving into road imperfections. It's work to drive this Jeep now and must keep making steering corrections to keep straight down the road:(

I would buy new adjustable control arms right off to gain more castor but this Jeep handled fine before I changed out the ball joints and all the front end steering components, not the control arms though they look tight. Since two shops have said all looks good I just keep coming back to the alignment.
 

·
Super Moderator
2004 AiRubicon
Joined
·
4,477 Posts
That's a good suggestion
The stabilizer can hide a larger issue
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
OP here: I will check the stabilizer out by disconnecting it and report back.

Although I did check the stabilizer to see if it was working like a shock and it is stiff to push in or pull out. Also this Jeep ran straight and true before the rebuild of the steering components and ball joints with this very same stabilizer. Also was careful to bolt it up as it was.

But I may have centered it incorrectly, or something, so I will be on it soon. Thanks for the suggestion:)

Also the shop that did the last work on the Jeep and the alignment... I have been told to allow a few weeks before bringing it back in... they are short of help with several mechanics out sick... get vaccinated everyone!

Edit: Disconnected the steering stabilizer and safety wired it out of the way.

Drove into town and also got on the freeway for some 65 MPH testing. Over all not much effect and with no stabilizer the difference in steering was minimal to unnoticeable.

The Jeep still wandered but with less authority and I could recorrect with a steering wheel nudge with much less effort. So at this point the jeep seems to be better without the steering stabilizer... at least on the pavement and for this 25 mile test.

Anyone have a comment on this test?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
OP here: I will check the stabilizer out by disconnecting it and report back.

Although I did check the stabilizer to see if it was working like a shock and it is stiff to push in or pull out. Also this Jeep ran straight and true before the rebuild of the steering components and ball joints with this very same stabilizer. Also was careful to bolt it up as it was.

But I may have centered it incorrectly, or something, so I will be on it soon. Thanks for the suggestion:)

Also the shop that did the last work on the Jeep and the alignment... I have been told to allow a few weeks before bringing it back in... they are short of help with several mechanics out sick... get vaccinated everyone!

Edit: Disconnected the steering stabilizer and safety wired it out of the way.

Drove into town and also got on the freeway for some 65 MPH testing. Over all not much effect and with no stabilizer the difference in steering was minimal to unnoticeable.

The Jeep still wandered but with less authority and I could recorrect with a steering wheel nudge with much less effort. So at this point the jeep seems to be better without the steering stabilizer... at least on the pavement and for this 25 mile test.

Anyone have a comment on this test?
OP here: The plan to fix the Jeep wandering... Of course spend more money!

Since the castor is around 4.7 and it is maxed out with the stock control arms the shop is ordering Rough Country 11350 upper control arms so more castor can be made. The shop will install and then will do another alignment. I could install them myself but having them order the parts and do the install gives them more incentive to focus on the problem and get it right... at least that is the hope from my end. Fingers crossed!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
As I said I am running 6.5 degrees caster, which is probably too much but I can easily hit interstates at 80mph. It is still a Jeep, a big brick pushing wind.
Is your steering loose, stiff, or does it move on its own?
I ask this because a common complaint on early 2000's Ram trucks was that they wandered. The aftermarket had a bunch of fixes for them that did nothing. The cause was that the factory steering box was too stiff. The internals did not allow the box to self center. As you drove it if you corrected a little or hit a bump to move the wheel then the truck would stay at that position. People thought it was loose steering but it was actually too tight.

I bring this up because you say it started after your ball joint replacement. Are your ball joints too tight? There really isn't a good way to check this so it is just speculation. You could disconnect the tie rod ends and move the knuckle with your hands to see if they bind but you can only do this up in the air and it doesn't give you any indication what they are like with the weight of the vehicle.

Most people who buy Tera ball joints probably have a lot of issues and tight ball joints would help mask other things.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
2,047 Posts
Crazy how some of these things come to light, like what you said about the steering box. This year is the first year where I saw that new TRE’s and a proper alignment can take away the effect of really bad tires. I thought for sure I’d have to gut out a shake at 45 mph until I got new tires. The really satisfying thing is I did the alignment myself and know how to replicate it.
 
21 - 32 of 32 Posts
Top