Jump to content

Steering gremlins

Recommended Posts

Just got the truck back from having new ball joints installed(uppers & lowers). The toe-in was way off so I set it to 1/8" in. It drives straight but will suddenly lurch right or left for no reason, & the steering wheel feels real funny when I try to correct it. Kinda how it feels when the fluid gets air in it(like when you first prime a new gearbox). The wheel feels like it is trying to turn on it's own. It doesn't death wobble, it just veers sharply to one side or the other.

I have a new lift & trackbar & everything is tight. Even swung by the dealership & had a mechanic look underneath while I seesawwed the steering. Nothing loose.

I'm wondering if it's possible to blow out internal seals or something inside the gearbox that could be letting fluid pass where it shouldn't be causing the eratic movements.

The wierd part is it seems it's worst at 30-35 going through town :nuts:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

nothing in the gearbox could let that happen, if the seals were shot you just wouldn't have any power assist.

The gearbox is mechanically linked to the wheel, so unless the gears are so far worn that it can jump teeth it just can't happen.


I'd tend to agree that it sounds like your caster is hosed up.


Also, I had an issue with the local alignment shop not knowing what parts to order for my knuckles, as they had screw in inserts. Might want to ask what balljoints were installed, and make sure they're the right ones for your knuckles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

get it profesionaly aligned then see how it feels, sounds like ur caster might be messed up?

Yep. Not enough caster. When you lift, the control arms swing down and back, reducing the caster angle. Caster is what makes the steering self-centering.


BTW -- 1/8" toe-in is too much.


P.S. BTW -- what the heck kind of a shop changes out ALL FOUR ball joints and doesn't do an alignment? You really need to find a shop with a clue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

what the heck kind of a shop changes out ALL FOUR ball joints and doesn't do an alignment? You really need to find a shop with a clue.


I had a friend do it that has a small garage with a frame lift. Trust me. He has a clue. Been the best jeep mechanic around my area for years. He does not have an alignment rack. I told him I would take care of it. After all, I had it driving perfect before. It drove straighter than my 2006 chevy. Only thing wrong was the uppers were wore out, so I changed all 4 while it was apart.


1/8" too much? That's what I always shoot for. Usually works good. I actually had it set at 3/16 in before & it was perfect, but I didn't drive it long enough to check tire scrub. What you guys set'em at? 1/16 or less?


I don't really think it's a castor problem. The lowers are longer than stock & the axle is layed back pretty good. The "return to center" is very good & it will usually disappear with insufficient castor.


Thanks for the reply's.I guess I'll have to put it on a rack to know for sure. Was hoping to get by on the cheap :roll:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well time for me to hang my head in shame. I don't know what I did(just a brain fart I guess). I rechecked the toe-in today & I had it set at 1/8" toe-OUT. oops :oops:

After a quick adjustment it still feels funny but not as bad. I know the castor isn't what it should be either, but I've seen worse. Just can't figure how it went from driving so perfect to "white knuckle" by doing nothing more than swapping in the new ball joints. It drove better with the front tire flopping around :nuts:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...