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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-16-2007, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Is this "normal?"

TJ with about 60,000 miles. Stock front suspension. But - it had been crashed bad in the front end - supposedly the dealer had fixed it.

Turning the steering wheel back and forth a little, the entire draglink and tierod assembly moves up and down about 3" - before it starts to move the wheels. Comparing it to mine, mine only moves less than 1/4", but mine is heavily modified.

Nothing seems to be worn too much, tie rod ends all seem to be tight, no cracks in anything I've found (like steering box mount,) yet it still flexes more than it seems like it should.

The reason I noticed it was the trackbar's bolt had become loose and warbled the hole out. It caused death wobble big time! I repaired the hole and replaced the bolt. No more DW, but was wondering if that looseness contributed to the trackbar's wear.

Wondering how much flex or play is normal for TJ's?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-16-2007, 04:13 PM
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Is the axle rotating?

If either the upper or lower control arms were loose, it would allow the axle to rotate and thus showing what you see.

I would check the steering again but watch the upper and lower arms this time. In a bad accident I would expect those arms to have been damaged.

So, to answer you, it does not sound right.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-16-2007, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JeepDawg View Post
Is the axle rotating?
my thoughts too. I can't see just the Tie rod & drag link moving 3" up with out the axle rotating.

I'd check the Control arms and mounts.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-16-2007, 05:18 PM
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Sounds like the bearings are out of your steering box and allowing the steering shaft/pitman arm to move like crazy.
Just had to fix one of those a couple of summers ago.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-16-2007, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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No on all counts!
The steering shaft is not moving even a tiny bit - except for the rotation from turning it. No looseness detected.

And the axle for sure isn't moving at all.

The control arms are not moving at all.

The bushings in the control arms are new - I just replaced them a few miles ago. And while I was at it - I reinforced the stock arms like I always do.

With a rocking movement of the steering wheel - just back and forth the amount of the freeplay, - maybe 1.5" at the wheel? - but more than the box's freeplay, only the draglink and the tie rod moves. The tierod twists as it moves, and the draglink really jumps up and down.

Remember - it's a TJ - the drag link is connected to the tie rod at the righthand end.

The Jeep seems to drive fine now, the DW is gone now that I've fixed the trackbar.

But I don't like what I'm seeing with the movement.
That may have been the cause of the stress on the trackbar that caused the bolt to warble out.

I've seen, and fixed several trackbars that the hole elongated on - fairly common (sometimes the cause of DW), but never noticed this kind of movement - but I never looked for it either.

This just doesn't seem right.

Can anyone look at theirs and see how much theirs moves?

I'm thinking this may be the age-old bug that causes DW.
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