Join Date: Sep 1999
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Dangerous wheel shimmy after hitting a large bump
Here's the story. I swapped a waggie d44 into the front of my CJ several months back. I have been driving it almost daily since then without any problems. However, yesterday I hit a very large bump and the front of my CJ started "jumping" up and down. It was like a tie rod end had broken and the tire folded in and being dragged sideways. This was not the case though. I looked out at the left front wheel and it was violently moving left to right. After I pulled over to the side of the road I gave everything a quick look (including my pants!) and it seemed alright. I went slowly up the street to a gas station to take a better look...nothing! Everything was tight. I had a friend turn the wheel so I could look for loose or broken parts...nothing! Could this be caused by to much caster...I ended up with 8 degrees after I narrowed it. For the past few months my CJ has driven better then it has for the past 10 years! Now, it kind of scares me. I checked both hi steer arms and they are tight. I also checked all tie rod ends and they are tight. Wheel bearings are tight too. The only thing I can come up with is the length of the shackles that I run. They are heavy duty shackled but they are slightly longer the stock. Now, when I turn the wheel the frame moves the opposite direction. Also, the steering box is tight and it does have a currie steering brace on it.
This has stumped me because it has been fine up until now, and it only happens when I hit a very large bump. Any ideas?