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  #1  
Old 01-21-2012, 09:10 PM
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Twitchy steering

With 200,000km on the clock, I finally needed to replace all the suspension bushings, control rods, a couple of ball joints, etc. The suspension is back to new, but the steering is really twitchy. Static alignment has been checked several times. I don't remember the steering being this quick before and I suspect there is a problem but I can't put my finger on it. On sealed roads, a relatively small turn of the steering wheel results in a fairly dramatic change in direction, more noticeable at higher speeds.

So, the challenge for all my friendly experts is to please help me think this one through. It's a stock 2000 4.7l Laredo, but right-hand drive.

Should I just let the new tight suspension work itself out, or look for another possible source of the steering anomaly?
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:35 PM
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Re: Twitchy steering

What do you mean by static alignment? An alignment shop? If not take it to one. WJs are very touchy on their best day and need to be professionally aligned especially after replacing everything you have.
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OK, fine...I'll admit...some amber lamps are good, and necessary.
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:40 PM
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Re: Twitchy steering

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Originally Posted by cheapjeep View Post
What do you mean by static alignment? An alignment shop? If not take it to one. WJs are very touchy on their best day and need to be professionally aligned especially after replacing everything you have.
Thanks for the response. By "static alignment" I mean the alignment you do when the vehicle is in the shop - not moving, i.e. static. Done correctly, static alignment will achieve the optimum "dynamic alignment" for the moving vehicle under cornering, braking, etc.

I've had the Laredo's alignment checked several times, but your suggestion to have it checked again is a smart one. It is certainly worth the expense before I start looking for more expensive solutions.
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:58 PM
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Re: Twitchy steering

Yes as "CheepJeep" mentioned, Your wheel alignment would best be served by taking it to a service station or your local Jeep garage if they have branches in Australia.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:38 PM
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Re: Twitchy steering

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Originally Posted by DanS View Post
Thanks for the response. By "static alignment" I mean the alignment you do when the vehicle is in the shop - not moving, i.e. static. Done correctly, static alignment will achieve the optimum "dynamic alignment" for the moving vehicle under cornering, braking, etc.

I've had the Laredo's alignment checked several times, but your suggestion to have it checked again is a smart one. It is certainly worth the expense before I start looking for more expensive solutions.
Sorry Dan but I've seen too many people try to align these things with a chalk line and a square just because the only thing you can adjust is the toe.That works fine on a dirt machine but not on pavement.
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OK, fine...I'll admit...some amber lamps are good, and necessary.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:15 AM
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Guys, thanks but you've gotten off-track. I agree with your inputs and I never suggested anything but professional alignment, which has been done on every occasion. Now, back to the main question. What could cause the steering to be overly sensitive to input from the steering wheel? The Laredo tracks straight, but it takes much too little turn of the steering wheel to result in an overly abrupt change in vehicle direction.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:05 AM
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Re: Twitchy steering

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Guys, thanks but you've gotten off-track. I agree with your inputs and I never suggested anything but professional alignment, which has been done on every occasion.
Why are worrying so much about the problem that's causing it when you could and should be looking towards the solution of your problem? As you have mentioned that you have sought professional alignment every time, why not ask the service station or Jeep Garage what makes it oversensitive after the repair and/or servicing has been completed? While I can see an answer to your question being helpful to know, I see it irrelevant unless you plan on trying to correct it yourself where then and there the knowledge of the problem would be a requirement for the solution.

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Now, back to the main question. What could cause the steering to be overly sensitive to input from the steering wheel? The Laredo tracks straight, but it takes much too little turn of the steering wheel to result in an overly abrupt change in vehicle direction.
As to this question, maybe a certain level of counter-resistance isn't being correctly applied to your steering. It could be due to a number of factors like power steering or your tie rod ends. Have you checked everything associated with your steering?
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:19 AM
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Re: Twitchy steering

Or over time, you got so used to the sloppy steering, due to all the play in the parts, that it now seems to be too sensitive?
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:40 AM
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Re: Twitchy steering

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Or over time, you got so used to the sloppy steering, due to all the play in the parts, that it now seems to be too sensitive?
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:06 PM
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Re: Twitchy steering

That's what I'm saying Dan. The wrong toe could cause this. What do you have it set at? Is your steering wheel centered? Also is it lifted or stock height? Also if you replaced the track bar bushings did make sure the bar is oriented the right way. It can go on backward. Are the sway links on the right side of the bar? That can happen with the stock links. Stuff like that I know I'm capable of doing if I get in a hurry. Sounds like you know how your vehicle should handle even with bad or good components so there is probably something wrong. WJs are a little twitchy on center no matter what but things should have improved. Another thing is the rear lower control arm bushings on the axle mount side.
Did you change these. Those oblong rubber things are a pain to change and can fail almost instantly if the metal itself is worn. It's easier and safer if you replace the arms. This in itself will cause serious turn in issues on the WJ. Put it on jack stands and try to move the rear front to back. When they were bad on our '99 it was real scary going around a turn because the drivers side of the rear axle was moving back and forth over an inch. I would retrace all of my steps and see if something just doesn't look right. Hope this helps a bit.
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OK, fine...I'll admit...some amber lamps are good, and necessary.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:44 PM
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Re: Twitchy steering

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Originally Posted by cheapjeep View Post
Also if you replaced the track bar bushings did make sure the bar is oriented the right way. It can go on backward. Are the sway links on the right side of the bar? That can happen with the stock links. Stuff like that I know I'm capable of doing if I get in a hurry. Sounds like you know how your vehicle should handle even with bad or good components so there is probably something wrong. WJs are a little twitchy on center no matter what but things should have improved. Another thing is the rear lower control arm bushings on the axle mount side.
Thanks, CheapJeep. Best input by far. Both upper and lower rear control arms were replaced, in fact the upper one twice with an immediate improvement. Front alignment is good (caster, toe, camber) but I'd not thought of the trackbar. The handling is definitely not right at the moment. One other possibility is weak springs, especially given the workout they've had.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:49 PM
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Re: Twitchy steering

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While I can see an answer to your question being helpful to know, I see it irrelevant unless you plan on trying to correct it yourself where then and there the knowledge of the problem would be a requirement for the solution.
Baffling, isn't it.....
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