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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2002, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Fixed steering - Same old problem!!! (PICS)

Well, I went to a local U-PULL-IT yard today and pulled a pitman arm off a '78 Wagoneer. It's flat, and LONG! The flat part was ok, but I was nervous about it being so long. Anyway, I came home and slapped her on my Jeep. Only problem with it being so long is it hits the old traction bar bracket on my frame when I turn all the way left. I'll just grind that sucker off. I thought everything was going to be fine, but when I started her up and cranked the wheel back and forth, she still pops!! WTF?!?! I can't tell where it's coming from. It can't be the draglink hitting the tierod anymore, it's too high up. The steering stablizer doesn't seem to be hitting. Only thing I could see it being is the joint where the draglink connects to the tierod. It's pretty damn close to the leaf, and comes in contact when it flexes. But this is a LOUD pop. And it doesn't happen all the time. I'm posting some pics below.


In this pic, you can see the nice new pitman arm. I shouldn't have any problems with it rubbing the tierod anymore. Only thing is the damn thing is so long, it practically places the draglink ABOVE the tierod. Is this bad?


Here's another angle of the pitman arm and draglink in relation to the tierod.


This pic shows where it used to rub on the tierod. But this can't be an option for the loud popping noise.


This pic shows the joint that rubs the leaf spring. But I just can't see it making that loud of a pop.

So what other thoughts are there on this? I'll be putting in a 1/2" spacer between the knuckle and steering arm, so that'll fix the problem in the above pic. What else could this be? It doesn't seem likely to be something wrong with my suspension since it only pops when I steer, and no other time. ARGH!! Any and all suggestions welcome!! Also, I have no problems taking some more shots if you want a different angle. Thanks!

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2002, 08:55 PM
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Re: Fixed steering - Same old problem!!! (PICS)

Your draglink angle looks just fine. That's about what mine looks like too with 4+" of lift and a drop pitman arm. Is it possible to find ANYONE to turn the wheel back and forth for you while you look and listen under the front?

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2002, 04:40 AM
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Re: Fixed steering - Same old problem!!! (PICS)

remember if you go with 1/2" spacer.. you will need new and longer studs.. if you go 1/4" you can retain the stock studs.. and your tie rod will still rub on the pitman arm when you flex.. mine does.. not badly.. but it does.. that is why i picked up that dodge arm.. its about an inch shorter than what you have.. and just as straight..

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2002, 11:08 AM
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Re: Fixed steering - Same old problem!!! (PICS)

If the loud pop sounds like it is coming from one side or the other, check to see if your leafs are moving. As the stearing moves, one side moves more than the other, hence, the leafs contort a little...on mine, the leaf would actually rotate just slightly, thus poping. Look at the leaf ends as you turn from side to side, if this is the case, you will see them slid out from center line.

Have you tried puting the axle up on jack stands and then turning the wheel? Is the pop still there?

John...
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2002, 11:36 AM
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Re: Fixed steering - Same old problem!!! (PICS)

I had some load pops on my Jeep awhile back. Just when I tured the wheel. It turned out to be my stering box brackets
You really can't tell unless you are under the the Jeep when it pops. I see you have a brace but the damage to the brackets might have happened before. Just another thought I had a cracked rim do the same thing that drove me up a wall. But the sound on the cracked rim was a little different. Good luck

post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2002, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Fixed steering - Same old problem!!! (PICS)

jeepgod:
I just don't know if 1/4" would be enough. Especially when I put lift springs on. Who makes the 1/4"? Parts mike only offers 1/2" and 1". As for the Dodge pitman arm, what year/model was it from again? I don't remember if you said. I remember pulling an arm off a Dodge yesterday at the yard and the hole for the TRE was fine, but the splined end was way smaller.

DDawg16:
I think I'm going to try the jack thing and see if I can get it to pop then. My biggest problem is trying to recreat the environment for it to pop. Cause sometimes it will, and sometimes it won't. I did get it to pop consistantly last night when I had the right wheel on a curb, and the left on the street. As for the leafs popping, if this turns out to be it, is this not really a problem?

Bill4x4:
Dirtdog told me to check my steering box out too. I'm not quite sure how to though. I checked the bolts and they're all super tight. I doubt something could of happened to the box before as it'd had puiny tires and wasn't really wheeled hard.

What other thoughts does everyone have?

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2002, 12:32 PM
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Re: Fixed steering - Same old problem!!! (PICS)

This may sound off, but I've seen both u-joints and ball-joints make popping sounds when turning. If either the axle u-joints are binding, or the ball joints are binding, they can and/or will make a popping sound. I concur, the best thing to do is get under there and have someone turn the wheels. Enlist a neighbor, friend...that kid down the street will delight in sitting in your jeep and turning the wheel for you...

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2002, 01:01 PM
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Re: Fixed steering - Same old problem!!! (PICS)

jammy, I gave jeepgod that pitman arm. it was on a 74 dodge p/u that i gutted for the axles. I'm such a swell guy...

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2002, 01:42 PM
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Re: Fixed steering - Same old problem!!! (PICS)

I had a simalir popping noise that i narrowed down to being the springs moving back and forth in the bolt on the frame bracket. no harm, for me.

Forgot to mention that I torched the trackbar bracket off the frame too, for clearance. (keep a fire ext. near I did and it came in handy)

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