CJ-5 sways during engine torque - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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CJ-5 sways during engine torque

I bought a 1975 CJ-5, 304, T-15, dana 20 transfer, dana 30/44 axles, about 8 months ago. It was stock with engine mods. It seemed to me that it was '10 lbs of crap in a 5 lb bag', lots of power and hard to control. It swayed, or lunged, or you could even say it turned on its own. There was no pulling or movement in the wheel. When the engine was pushing hard in an acceleration it wanted to go into the lane to the left. When I would let off the gas or downshift (4 wheel drums ) it would pull to the right. I put a 4'' trailmaster lift (all new bushings, shocks, and steering stabilizer) under it with 33 x 12.00's and it was undrivable. The problem had been magnified by 10. So I took it to a 4x4 shop and they welded the front of the frame where the bumper meets the frame rails and that flat plate under the winch mount. That got it to the point where I could drive it but it still wasn't right. So, I removed the rear bumper and found out that it was about 200 lbs. That made it a little better. Then I replaced the rear cross member - no change. Swapped trans to a T-18 (unrelated issue). Then my 44 rear end exploded, housing and all, and I had the shop install a donor 44 and redo the whole front dana 30 (all the bearings, 4 new brakes, axel joints, inner seals, upper and lower ball joints). I mean all they saved was the shafts, ring and pinion, and steering box. They even welded new spring perches on both axles. They looked at the frame and said it was in good cond. And that jeep still wants to change lanes when I hit the gas hard. What gives?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 11:53 AM
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Re: CJ-5 sways during engine torque

Well the pre `75 frames liked to flex alot. This why some people call this the flexy frame. I have completely boxed mine to hold up the torque of the Chevy V8 I have. I just bought a used `75 frame that was well boxed

This one has 3/16 thick plate to box the hole thing except where wires and fuel lines need to be in the frame. That's my .02. L8r,



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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 11:56 AM
 
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Re: CJ-5 sways during engine torque

My Cj-5 with 360, started acting like that after I installed the rear locker. Are you locked? Replaced all steering components, and adjusted drum brakes. Considerable improvement.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: CJ-5 sways during engine torque

No, it's still open, I spent all my locker money on the rear axle swap and front axle rebuild. But I was going to go with an air locker, so I think it will act the same on the street. What components did you replace? Linkage too? Thanks for the reply!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 12:08 PM
 
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Re: CJ-5 sways during engine torque

Replaced everything wheel to wheel . Bearings, ball joints, tie rod ends, drag link. Still "changes lanes" on its own ,when accelerating, but it is now much easier to correct.. Also, make sure to always keep the drum brakes adjusted correctly or swap to disc, if you want to stop straight.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 01:13 PM
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Re: CJ-5 sways during engine torque

Cool! My first LEVE List (tm).

1. Check for frame cracks (not just in the front where they usually are but the entire frame) and cracks between spring mounts (especially in back, with what you are describing) and frame. Sounds like you did that.
2. Check for slop in ALL spring bushings. Sounds like you did that.
3. Front axle sounds good, but I would have checked there next.
4. Equal tire pressure on all 4 corners. OK, THAT'S what I would have done first.
5. 4 (not 2) wheel alignment.
6. How much play in the steering wheel? If you have no play in the steering then disregard this part, however if you really have no play you are one of 8 people in the country with a pre '76 AMC CJ with no play in the steering [img]images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]. 3 places that those get loose. First is the steering box, second is the steering shaft that goes from the box to the steering colum and third is the bottom of the steering colum itself where the bearing was in '75, but probably isn't now.


You are gonna have to wiggle stuff around pretty good, if this is happening under acceleration loads, what ever is loose moves under stress. You may need to jack it up and push on stuff preety hard to se if anything moves.

What made the rear end die? That is aslo curious, don't know if it is related.
post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: CJ-5 sways during engine torque

OK, the air is good all the way around. 4 wheel alignment? Didn't think of that. When it sways, I don't feel any change in the wheel no movement at all. Even if I'm in a corner and have pressure on the wheel to one side. Slop in the wheel? If the wheel wasn't sloppy I'd think that something else might be wrong! I can't find any cracks in the frame and I've even washed the mud off. When I jack it up what stuff should I push on and how do I safely do that?

Oh, also, I forgot to mention. I twisted off my rear drive shaft one day climbing out of a ditch trying to go through my friends yard (don't ask he lives in the mountains) and when I went home in front wheel drive, it didn't sway!

I dropped the 44 rear end going down the highway at speeds to high for the speedometer (racing a stock wrangler and winning!) and the pinion nut came off or loose. When I let off the gas at say 100 mph the pinion sucked into the pumpkin and lodged solid stopping the tires instantly for a split second before blowing the pumpkin into pieces. The drive shaft then spun wildly for a couple of rotations before leaving. I'm sure the guy in the wrangler was laughing his a** off! Although he didn't stop to help.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 02:10 PM
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Re: CJ-5 sways during engine torque

If your Jeep is almost undrivable because of rapid lane changes, why the heck are you doing 100mph?????

Also, the wrong caster angle will also contribute to rapid lane changes.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: CJ-5 sways during engine torque

I've got it down to a fairly drivable situation by welding the front frame rails and front bumper, and by removing the heavy rear bumper. It still sways but is manageable. I've also become used to this trait and adjust accordingly when driving. But you are right, 100 mph in any early model CJ-5 is not something I would advise anyone to do.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2003, 04:22 PM
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Re: CJ-5 sways during engine torque

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
the wrong caster angle will also contribute to rapid lane changes

[/ QUOTE ]

You wouldn't happen to have a big shckle lift up front, would you?

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
what stuff should I push on and how do I safely do that?

[/ QUOTE ]

Well, given 2 serious failures in the rear end, I would focus back there. If it were me, I would jack up the jeep, put jack stands under the frame (not the springs) and measure the distance from axle tube center to axle tube center at the spring perch on both sides of the jeep. Then I would measure diagonally front to back. Both diagonals should be equal if you axles are parrallel (sp?). Then I would get a racheting tie down strap and wrap it around the axles right at the perches, left front to left rear and ratchet it down good (not crazy, but good) and take all those measurements again to see if anything changes. I would do it with the wheels off and watch the rear end closely as you tighten it down to see if anything shows itself. Then I would do the other side.

I would also lift each corner at the frame about 6 or 8 inches and recheck for cracks.

From what you are saying, not feeling anything thru the steering wheel, I gotta believe there is something in the back that is moving that shouldn't be.


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