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MattMaclaren

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Hi, My name is Matthew and I am 24 years old, I have had my first jeep for just over a year now and I absolutely love it! 

 

Used to to have a Land Rover for many years but my WJ just goes like a train and is a lot more comfortable to drive.

 

however I have signed up here now as I have a problem with my car and hopefully someone can help me, as I’ve tried a jeep specialist in chesterfield and he has been great but can’t help with my problem,

 

hopefully though I am in the right place for help here with many other jeep owners ☺️

 

Thanks for reading Matthew

Edited by MattMaclaren
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Matthew, so what's not right with your Grand Cherokee?

Is it a European model? If so it is a 'WG'. There are a few differences between WJ and WG so if you spot a supplier or technical document referencing WG you should use that over WJ. In UK and rest of Europe parts identification is mostly by year and VIN so not a big deal in any case.

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Hi yes its a european model but i always thought it was a WJ, Anyway the problem i have is death wobble, i know this is common with jeep but this  happened after i put a 2inch lift kit on. This was over 15,000 miles ago i lifted it and ive gone back to the jeep place which is not local by any means! so many times and he is not helping.

 

After the lift i went straight to an alignment shop (ATS)

After i noticed i then had death wobble so checked all my components and found play in a track road end so i replaced all 4 

re aligned again at ATS 

Changed front discs and pads at work and tried to shake everything for play and wear and there was nothing apart from slight play in the lower control arms

So i brought 2 lower control arms still feels the same

uprated the steering damper to rough country and still feels the same

the car just does drive nice at the front end, constantly feels like something is loose, as soon as i hit any pothole the steering is very snatchy and the front end of the car feels "loose" for a better word.

 

Also after the lift which i got assured with a 2inch lift there would be no problems my front diff has constantly been making a moaning noise and i think its due to angle of the cv joint propshaft? Also not sure if i should have got the adjustable lower control arms from rough country but cant see how that would help straighten the angle.

 

Finally though lately i have noticed the passenger wheel is not straight, its looks like its on negative camber but you cant adjust that on these, so does that mean something bent? i cant see how else to fix it. I keep thinking of getting rid but i truly love this car and i have recently brought a caravan but dont want to tow with it like this.

 

Sorry for any confusion in all this but trying to get everything down that i can remember :)

 

Thanks Matt

 

 

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Death wobble really does fit the description and it can be hard to diagnose.

 

From my own experience I would check the top and bottom ball joints in the steering knuckle first. The visible camber off vertical is a giveaway unless the axle has been bent in an impact.

Steering joints you have done - Good.

Steering damper - A working damper just masks the problem it never fixes it. The appendix of the steering system.

New LCA's - I have been running the same LCA's with twenty years of offroading and fixed death wobble twice without having to replace them.

 

Other things to check:

Worn wheel bearings, or one worn wheel bearing.Worn front shock absorbers, or one more worn than the other. If they have done 60,000 miles they should be replaced as they will be way passed their best.

Worn engine mounts, particularly the left hand mount on a RHD.

Cracked or corroded frame rail at the steering box. Cracked shim plate between the steering box and frame rail if fitted. Loose steering box bolts. A broken steering box bolt.

Tyre balance.
 

Adjustable length LCAs: Originally designed for U-joint drivelines that need parallel input and output axis. A Rzeppa CV joint will be stronger than a similar size U-joint and should be able to tolerate a higher degree of angular misalignment to a U-joint but a used CV shaft that is running at a new angle may be cutting a new wear path for the balls inside. It may grumble particularly if it has or is ingesting dirt from a failed boot or loose boot seal.

 

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Thanks for your reply, 

 

Would you say i need to buy the adjustable ball joints for the camber? or should standard be okay with a 2inch lift? and when i first got the car it drove fantastic! really well indeed and i can confirm its never had an impact in my ownership. so struggling to see how i could have possibly bent an axle? do they have weak areas?

 

the CV joint shaft has been making the same noise for a long time now but was debating to just put an inch plate under the transfer case mount to drop it and see if that eliminates that noise as it does not sound good but has been like it along time now and the boot is not split and it does not have any play as i got the jeep garage to check that out for me.

 

I am in Doncaster and after another jeep specialist really so i can take it somewhere as i am at a lose to try and fix it and i need specialist now so im not forking out money for the fun of it.

 

 

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The original equipment Spicer or Moog ball joints are usually the best. I am fairly certain that the WG front axle doesn't have any camber or toe when the wheels are pointed straight ahead. They will when turned left or right. If one wheel looks odd when parked with the wheels straight then it could be ball joint and/or wheel bearing wear.

 

How to check ball joints
How to check wheel bearings

 

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I forgot to mention to check the track bar pivots. I am assuming that with your lift the trackbar bracket was redrilled to centralize the axle. If the bolt holes have become enlarged and there is a lot of slack this can also be a contributing factor. Welding a suitable repair patch on the bracket with the correct hole size, or a repair washer of the right size should fix a wobbly track bar pivot bolt.

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I got told the track bar can stay stock with a 2 inch lift but i have had the bushes replaced with polybush and got a bigger size bolts which i heard about. forgot to mention that earlier.

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Also i have checked the wheel bearing play quite alot and no movement at all. Also that method is the same when checking ball joints as i have tried that too but will try checking the ball joints with a bar as recommended with the link you have shown me ?

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May be worth checking the track bar bracket for a sloppy hole as you have fitted poly bushes. At stock height the axle locus is roughly straight/vertical, after lifting it will be more of an arc.

 

For a lifted Jeep it is better to fit more compliant rubber bushing or a track bar with a Johnny Joint or similar that can relieve the stress caused on the bracket by a curved locus. Thinking about it some more, at 2" you probably wont max out the movement on the TRE at the other end of the trackbar. There could still be some front to rear resistance that could elongate the hole horizontally on the front bracket.

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8 hours ago, MattMaclaren said:

Thanks for your reply, 

 

Would you say i need to buy the adjustable ball joints for the camber? or should standard be okay with a 2inch lift? and when i first got the car it drove fantastic! really well indeed and i can confirm its never had an impact in my ownership. so struggling to see how i could have possibly bent an axle? do they have weak areas?

 

the CV joint shaft has been making the same noise for a long time now but was debating to just put an inch plate under the transfer case mount to drop it and see if that eliminates that noise as it does not sound good but has been like it along time now and the boot is not split and it does not have any play as i got the jeep garage to check that out for me.

 

I am in Doncaster and after another jeep specialist really so i can take it somewhere as i am at a lose to try and fix it and i need specialist now so im not forking out money for the fun of it.

 

 

Try Jeepey,

They're fantastic. And in Hull.

 

Edited by Motley
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So basically would it be better to buy a new track bar as you can get adjustable one to suit 2inch lift?

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35 minutes ago, Motley said:

Try Jeepey,

They're fantastic. And in Hull.

 

Thanks il give them a google and il phone them tomorrow, I don’t mind travelling anywhere as long as it’s fixes my car! ?thanks for that!

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1 hour ago, MattMaclaren said:

So basically would it be better to buy a new track bar as you can get adjustable one to suit 2inch lift?

 

2 hours ago, V said:

May be worth checking the track bar bracket for a sloppy hole as you have fitted poly bushes. At stock height the axle locus is roughly straight/vertical, after lifting it will be more of an arc.

 

For a lifted Jeep it is better to fit more compliant rubber bushing or a track bar with a Johnny Joint or similar that can relieve the stress caused on the bracket by a curved locus. Thinking about it some more, at 2" you probably wont max out the movement on the TRE at the other end of the trackbar. There could still be some front to rear resistance that could elongate the hole horizontally on the front bracket.

Just thought would that actually help my problem as the wheel is obviously not centred and that can’t be caused by a track bar can it? Would it not be best to try get the wheel straight again first? Just a thought? 

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The lift is displacing your front axle so that it sticks out a bit on the driver's side. It is the fixed length of the trackbar that is causing this. The resulting displacement is also pushing on the steering draglink which in turn is making your steering wheel off centred when the wheels are pointing straight ahead.

 

Trackbar: Quick fix is to drill a new hole in the axle bracket to reposition that end of the trackbar and centralize the axle.

Alternatively, buy or make a longer or adjustable trackbar.

 

Steering Wheel: Best done when adjusting the tracking which is dead easy to do yourself without lasers or mirrors as it's a Jeep. You need a couple of perfectly straight flat bars, I use spirit levels, some clamps to secure the spirit levels to the wheel hubs when the wheels are removed, and a pair of identical steel tape measures, and a marker pen. You can use broken spirit levels as long as they are both straight and identical, you don't need the bubbles for this.

 

Set the tracking first to achieve zero degree toe with wheels straight ahead. Jack up the front of the Jeep and put it on axle stands. Remove the front wheels. Mount the spirit levels centrally on the hub faces between studs so that the length sticking out at the front is the same as what is sticking out the back. Measure with the steel tape a position rearward on the bar where you can easily measure at 90 degrees from under the Jeep to the bar fixed on the other front hub. Mark the position with the pen, and mark the same distance on the forward part of the bar. Both measurements must use the centreline of the wheel hub as a datum. Transfer this measurement to the spirit level you have clamped to the other side. Get the wheels pointing straight ahead and check the length from left side to right side on the bar forward and rearward of the hub centre. Clue: for a 60" axle the measurement is going to be at least 60" in front and behind. Adjust the tie rod length to get equal measurements on the tape forward and rearward. Turn the steering wheel from lock to lock and recheck your measurements, adjust as necessary. Repeat until you have it. My spirit levels are about 1m long and it is OK for the front measurement to be 1/8" (3mm) shorter. You will need trigonometry to work out the toe-in fudge factor for your setup. I set my tracking up parallel with zero toe on 35" and 33" tyres.

 

After locking down the tie bar adjuster and straightening your wheels forward, undo the draglink clamps, then rotate the draglink adjuster to centre the steering wheel position. When happy lock down the clamps. Job done!

 

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That is brilliant advice! Thank you so much, I really appreciate that, I understand what you mean as that would explain the steering wheel always been off centered.

 

Also I think it may be worth buying one as it will be the right size and il try and get one with a Johnny joint as you mentioned, rather than drilling a hole potentially in the wrong place. 

 

I took oil a couple of pictures of my wheels too il attach them. 

BAB85E18-5ABE-4456-882A-66FE52630FB6.jpeg

69D6C77F-1A15-4764-A8DC-4244097F8DFC.jpeg

C5C29329-7F88-45B4-905A-5329C1446596.jpeg

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is there a certain measurement to drill away from the standard hole or just 2inchs away as its a 2inch lift? sorry but that might like a dumb question but i havent a clue ?

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No question is a dumb question if an answer is required.

 

Sometimes engineering problems can be solved with simple solutions, they just need a little thought one step at a time.

 

Here goes...

 

After lifting your Jeep the standard trackbar shifts the axle out from under the bodywork on the driver's side.

Jack up the front of the jeep on a concrete or tarmac surface so both tyres are just off the ground, this will be easier if you have two trolley jacks and two helpers but it just takes longer if you don't.

Unbolt the trackbar at the axle bracket only.

Fix a plumb line with tape to the bonnet and dangle it over the centre of the wheel arch over the centre of the wheel. Mark the position on the ground with chalk.

With chalk mark a reference line on your tyre tread. Near enough central is OK. Rotate the wheel to mark it if you find it easier.

Pull the axle back into central position. Use a straight edge on your tyre down to the ground and mark the ground with chalk.

The distance between the plumb line mark and the straight edge mark should be the same both sides.

When you are happy with axle position, chalk some marks on the ground that line up with the chalk marks on each tyre tread. When you lower the Jeep back to the ground the chalk marks on the tyre tread and ground should match up. If they don't the axle has shifted.

Lower the Jeep back on the ground carefully, you don't want the body to shift. This is when two people slowly releasing the jacks helps.

Check the plumb line marks for the body shifting position.

If all is well, push the loose end of the track bar into position. You now have a perfectly positioned trackbar. By lowering it just a little to sight the hole in the bushing you can make a mark on the edge of the bracket and project a vertical line that should be over the track bar hole when it is in the bracket.

Scribe a centre line mark that matches the centre line of the trackbar and you now have a cross marked with which to centre punch.

Drop the track bar out of the bracket and drill a new hole starting with 3mm drill, then 5mm, 7mm up to the bolt size.

Bolt your track bar into the new hole. Job done.

 

 

 

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Sorry late reply, been a hectic weekend as usual, that is a perfect advice I will definitely try that next weekend and let you know how I get on, Thank you so much! 

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