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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 01 WJ 4x4, 4.0 Laredo. I put in 3" IRO springs with N3 series extended shocks. I replaced ALL of the front and rear upper and lower control arms, ball joints, and tie rod ends as well, then got an alignment. I also put on the extended, quick disconnect front sway bar end links as well as a Rough Country adjustable track bar. The issue is major road walk, sway, and some rear bump steer(I believe) at speed. Can a stock rear sway bar and bushing along with lacking a spacer for the rear A-arm be the cause of this?
 

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Yes.. Both Rear ARM spacer and Rear A-ARM ball joint can cause.

Put the Addco 1" rear sway bar and get extended swaybar links and Replace the Rear-A-ARM balljoint
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes.. Both Rear ARM spacer and Rear A-ARM ball joint can cause.

Put the Addco 1" rear sway bar and get extended swaybar links and Replace the Rear-A-ARM balljoint
The A-arm and the ball joint are both new. So I should install the upgraded sway bar and some extended rear links. Gotcha. I'll also make and install a 1/2 inch ball joint spacer for the A-arm. Thank you.
 

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2014 Limited
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My 04 WJ has the same IRO kit, I replaced all mentioned control arms and upper rear A-arm and ball joint, new sway bar bushing’s without extended end links nor and Addco sway bar and it’s fine. So just check your sway bar bushings any wear will cause it to get a little squirrelly. Did you check your front track bar?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My 04 WJ has the same IRO kit, I replaced all mentioned control arms and upper rear A-arm and ball joint, new sway bar bushing’s without extended end links nor and Addco sway bar and it’s fine. So just check your sway bar bushings any wear will cause it to get a little squirrelly. Did you check your front track bar?
I installed the Rough Country 3" - 6" lift adjustable track bar and adjusted it three times. The first time I adjusted was off of the tires like they suggest, but I have a 0.3 degree camber on one side and a 1.2 on the other so that threw it off. ( I need to get a 1 degree offset ball joint to rectify that.) The next two measurements were off of the axle pads beside the shock mounts versus the unibody, so it is good now. I haven't replaced the rear sway bar bushings or the rear sway bar yet. Everything other than that and the axle mount front control arm bushings are new. I should replace those as well.
 

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2014 Limited
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Do yourself a big favor also, get the WJ to a shop that can get it off the ground so that all 4 wheels can turn freely so that you can look for a bent axle/hub assembly.
I had a problem with a bent axle from my Daughter sliding into a ditch during a storm and I didn’t find it until I had all 4 wheels off the ground. It gave me a real weird shake at speed and would get loose while rounding a left turn at driving speeds and kept hearing a whomp, whomp, whomp that increased with speed. So while I was replacing the left rear axle shaft I also did carrier bearing/pinion and rear yolk. Good luck and keep me posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Do yourself a big favor also, get the WJ to a shop that can get it off the ground so that all 4 wheels can turn freely so that you can look for a bent axle/hub assembly.
I had a problem with a bent axle from my Daughter sliding into a ditch during a storm and I didn’t find it until I had all 4 wheels off the ground. It gave me a real weird shake at speed and would get loose while rounding a left turn at driving speeds and kept hearing a whomp, whomp, whomp that increased with speed. So while I was replacing the left rear axle shaft I also did carrier bearing/pinion and rear yolk. Good luck and keep me posted.
Oh yeah. I already did that also. LOL. This thing sat for almost 3 years. I am doing a ground-up rebuild. One front knuckle, both hubs, both shafts, new wheels and tires, all new ball joints, tie rod ends, control arms, etc. I rebuilt the trans and serviced the transfer case, put on a new valve cover gasket, new power steering pump, and lines, new rear axle shaft bearings and seals on both sides, new brakes all around including the parking shoes. N3 extended shocks, new steering damper, quick disconnect front sway bar links Man-alive... Just the front and rear sway bars and bushings as well as the axle mount front bushings are stock. Hmmm... Would it help to disconnect the rear sway bar until I can get the extended links and new bar??
 

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03 WJ, 4.Slow, 3" IRO
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I have the 3" IRO lift in my '03 WJ. I had the same rear sway, bump steer issues. With your 3" lift, do not use the stock sway bar links in the rear. The shorter links cause all kinds funky things to happen.

What helped with about 75% of my WJ floaty road manners, was replacing the rear upper A arms (complete with new bushings and ball joint), rear control arms and bushings and 1" Addco swaybar. BTW, i have an extra, Brand new, Addco swaybar for sale. PM me if interested.

What helped with the rest was, believe it or not, a new steering box. On a lifted vehicle a bad steering box can feel just like road/bump steer from the rear. You can adjust some of the play out of the steering box but be very careful about overdoing it, you can dangerously bind the suspension. Adjusting greatly increases wear and you will need to replace it sooner anyway.
 

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Oh yeah. I already did that also. LOL. This thing sat for almost 3 years. I am doing a ground-up rebuild. One front knuckle, both hubs, both shafts, new wheels and tires, all new ball joints, tie rod ends, control arms, etc. I rebuilt the trans and serviced the transfer case, put on a new valve cover gasket, new power steering pump, and lines, new rear axle shaft bearings and seals on both sides, new brakes all around including the parking shoes. N3 extended shocks, new steering damper, quick disconnect front sway bar links Man-alive... Just the front and rear sway bars and bushings as well as the axle mount front bushings are stock. Hmmm... Would it help to disconnect the rear sway bar until I can get the extended links and new bar??
It could be a bad steering box, “maybe” but since you feel it more in the rear I’d still say the sway bar bushings. I wouldn't Disco the rear sway as it won’t help the issue. Did you put IRO’s Tenneco steering stabilizer on it? That might help diagnose any steering box issues. And did you check the track bar mounting holes to make sure they weren’t oblong from wear?

You do get some handling transfer from front to back for sure but the WJ’s coil overs also produce some “wander”. I guess if you couple the two that would create it for sure. How are your spring perches? I had to replace mine when I did my 04, I’m in NY which just eats vehicles like cheese and pepperoni on a Ritz cracker. I spent about 10k on my rebuild 5years ago and it’s in the back of driveway awaiting another refresh. Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It could be a bad steering box, “maybe” but since you feel it more in the rear I’d still say the sway bar bushings. I wouldn't Disco the rear sway as it won’t help the issue. Did you put IRO’s Tenneco steering stabilizer on it? That might help diagnose any steering box issues. And did you check the track bar mounting holes to make sure they weren’t oblong from wear?

You do get some handling transfer from front to back for sure but the WJ’s coil overs also produce some “wander”. I guess if you couple the two that would create it for sure. How are your spring perches? I had to replace mine when I did my 04, I’m in NY which just eats vehicles like cheese and pepperoni on a Ritz cracker. I spent about 10k on my rebuild 5years ago and it’s in the back of driveway awaiting another refresh. Keep us posted.
I did double-check the mount holes for the track bar before installation and during the adjustments. They were in good shape. This Jeep was a highway jeep(fleet vehicle) for a company in West Texas before I picked it up. It was parked for overheating issues which turned out to be the fan motor and relay. Other than their failure to maintain it, it was in fair shape with little to no serious damage and no rust at all with under 200k on it. I pulled all the spring insulators and cleaned the perches before the new spring installation and they, surprisingly, were near perfect, as were the upper shock mounts on the rear. Yes, I did install a new stabilizer as well. That was one of the first things I did along with the 3' springs. front sway bar quick-disconnects, and N3 shocks as this thing had MAJOR death wobble. Now, there is no wobble at all, just wandering like a dog following a rabbit trail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have the 3" IRO lift in my '03 WJ. I had the same rear sway, bump steer issues. With your 3" lift, do not use the stock sway bar links in the rear. The shorter links cause all kinds funky things to happen.

What helped with about 75% of my WJ floaty road manners, was replacing the rear upper A arms (complete with new bushings and ball joint), rear control arms and bushings and 1" Addco swaybar. BTW, i have an extra, Brand new, Addco swaybar for sale. PM me if interested.

What helped with the rest was, believe it or not, a new steering box. On a lifted vehicle a bad steering box can feel just like road/bump steer from the rear. You can adjust some of the play out of the steering box but be very careful about overdoing it, you can dangerously bind the suspension. Adjusting greatly increases wear and you will need to replace it sooner anyway.
Did you go with the adjustable A-arm or a stock one with a spacer for your 3"? And yes, I also thought about the steering gear. There was a ton of play prior to the front-end refresh. Everything was worn out. Afterward, it is considerably tighter, but I did think about a small adjustment to the steering gear as well. I have not done it yet, but it is another link in the chain that I am pulling on.
 

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03 WJ, 4.Slow, 3" IRO
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Did you go with the adjustable A-arm or a stock one with a spacer for your 3"? And yes, I also thought about the steering gear. There was a ton of play prior to the front-end refresh. Everything was worn out. Afterward, it is considerably tighter, but I did think about a small adjustment to the steering gear as well. I have not done it yet, but it is another link in the chain that I am pulling on.
You have really done a lot of work to your WJ. I went with stock. You know how it is, once you start installing aftermarket, it becomes an addiction. I wanted to keep things as stock as possible.

Steering box is a known issue on the WJ. They usually fail around 80,000-100,000 miles. Yours may have been replaced but may need it again? The power steering pumps can fail with very little warning. It might be a chicken-and-egg thing, one may start to fail and the debris causes the other to go? Make sure to use the correct fluid. I know it is one more part to fix but the power steering box (and pump) is relatively inexpensive and easy to replace.

For an old-school solid axle front end the WJ, when everything is tight, has surprisingly nimble handling. The WJ does not show the typical symptoms of a quarter-turn slop in the steering wheel while sitting in the driveway. It does it at higher speeds giving the impression it is bump-steer. With a quarter-turn of play at 60 miles an hour, the WJ turns quick when it finally takes up the slack in the steering box, making it feel like the rear end is coming around.

Each adjustment on the steering box gets worn away quickly, within a few hundred miles. After the third adjustment in about 2,000 miles I got nervous about binding the steering box and just replaced it. Of course it may not be the steering box, but it sounds like you've replaced nearly everything else. As recommended above I would re-doublecheck the track bar just to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You have really done a lot of work to your WJ. I went with stock. You know how it is, once you start installing aftermarket, it becomes an addiction. I wanted to keep things as stock as possible.

Steering box is a known issue on the WJ. They usually fail around 80,000-100,000 miles. Yours may have been replaced but may need it again? The power steering pumps can fail with very little warning. It might be a chicken-and-egg thing, one may start to fail and the debris causes the other to go? Make sure to use the correct fluid. I know it is one more part to fix but the power steering box (and pump) is relatively inexpensive and easy to replace.

For an old-school solid axle front end the WJ, when everything is tight, has surprisingly nimble handling. The WJ does not show the typical symptoms of a quarter-turn slop in the steering wheel while sitting in the driveway. It does it at higher speeds giving the impression it is bump-steer. With a quarter-turn of play at 60 miles an hour, the WJ turns quick when it finally takes up the slack in the steering box, making it feel like the rear end is coming around.

Each adjustment on the steering box gets worn away quickly, within a few hundred miles. After the third adjustment in about 2,000 miles I got nervous about binding the steering box and just replaced it. Of course it may not be the steering box, but it sounds like you've replaced nearly everything else. As recommended above I would re-doublecheck the track bar just to be sure.
I definitely will re-check the track bar adjustment. I am going to get the extended links and new sway bar for the rear, make and install a minimum 1/2" spacer for the rear a-arm, and disconnect and check the steering gear. I didn't feel any slack in it when was replacing the tie rod ends on the drag link, but that doesn't mean much. BTW, I also went stock on all of the control arm parts. At 3" lift, it is the border edge of stock or aftermarket so I stayed with stock. However, the spacer can't hurt and it assuredly needs the new rear sway bar and links. I'm also afraid that if I tell the boss(wife) that I need a new steering gear right now, she'll have me sleeping in my new girlfriend(the one I spend money on). lol
 

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I definitely will re-check the track bar adjustment. I am going to get the extended links and new sway bar for the rear, make and install a minimum 1/2" spacer for the rear a-arm, and disconnect and check the steering gear. I didn't feel any slack in it when was replacing the tie rod ends on the drag link, but that doesn't mean much. BTW, I also went stock on all of the control arm parts. At 3" lift, it is the border edge of stock or aftermarket so I stayed with stock. However, the spacer can't hurt and it assuredly needs the new rear sway bar and links. I'm also afraid that if I tell the boss(wife) that I need a new steering gear right now, she'll have me sleeping in my new girlfriend(the one I spend money on). lol
Then do it first, and if she says anything just tell her, I told you about it before...Lol.
So far as the rear sway bar and links I’d def do that and see what happens. And the 3” lift on stock Control Arms is fine, the only issue you might have had was getting the rear upper A Arm Ball joint to seat when you put it together. With that being said it is a stretch and puts a severe angle on the stock set-up.
If you haven't checked it recently the stock one may have shit the bed although it may be relatively new and that would most certainly cause sway. Take a look at that again, and IRO does make a replacement one that takes care of the angle on the rear A Arm and balljoint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Then do it first, and if she says anything just tell her, I told you about it before...Lol.
So far as the rear sway bar and links I’d def do that and see what happens. And the 3” lift on stock Control Arms is fine, the only issue you might have had was getting the rear upper A Arm Ball joint to seat when you put it together. With that being said it is a stretch and puts a severe angle on the stock set-up.
If you haven't checked it recently the stock one may have shit the bed although it may be relatively new and that would most certainly cause sway. Take a look at that again, and IRO does make a replacement one that takes care of the angle on the rear A Arm and balljoint.
Hahaha.. do then ask forgiveness. lol. Yeah, the a-arm needed a bit of coercion to decide that it would cooperate... There is a definite possibility that some part of it shit the bed and needs a replacement. If that is the case, well, I'll fix it and I already have the IRO a-arm in my basket along with the sway bar and links. I hope to see a bit of difference with the spacer that I am making as well. As far as the steering gear goes, It will have to wait a bit, but it is definitely going to receive some attention as well.
 

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I definitely will re-check the track bar adjustment. I am going to get the extended links and new sway bar for the rear, make and install a minimum 1/2" spacer for the rear a-arm, and disconnect and check the steering gear. I didn't feel any slack in it when was replacing the tie rod ends on the drag link, but that doesn't mean much. BTW, I also went stock on all of the control arm parts. At 3" lift, it is the border edge of stock or aftermarket so I stayed with stock. However, the spacer can't hurt and it assuredly needs the new rear sway bar and links. I'm also afraid that if I tell the boss(wife) that I need a new steering gear right now, she'll have me sleeping in my new girlfriend(the one I spend money on). lol
I would get the rear A-arm sorted out first, even if it isn't a steering box you will still literally be chasing your tail.

Death wobble will hammer even good parts to junk in a hurry. Any one bad part can cause death wobble. A bad steering box can cause death wobble or a good one can be ruined by death wobble.
 

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Hahaha.. do then ask forgiveness. lol. Yeah, the a-arm needed a bit of coercion to decide that it would cooperate... There is a definite possibility that some part of it shit the bed and needs a replacement. If that is the case, well, I'll fix it and I already have the IRO a-arm in my basket along with the sway bar and links. I hope to see a bit of difference with the spacer that I am making as well. As far as the steering gear goes, It will have to wait a bit, but it is definitely going to receive some attention as well.
Yeah BC said he didn’t have any deathewobble? Just the sway and the rear end kinda diving out on him. Reread all his post’s, see if you can give any input from your view, It’s hard to try and diagnose when we can’t see or feel it. I’m with you on that rear upper A-Arm that will cause the back end to dance a jig if it’s crapped out. Keep us posted, My Friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah BC said he didn’t have any deathewobble? Just the sway and the rear end kinda diving out on him. Reread all his post’s, see if you can give any input from your view, It’s hard to try and diagnose when we can’t see or feel it. I’m with you on that rear upper A-Arm that will cause the back end to dance a jig if it’s crapped out. Keep us posted, My Friend.
Yeah, no death wobble. Anymore. Dancing a painful and uncontrollable jig was the norm. Hehe. But after the installation of the new ball joints and tie rod ends, steering damper, and shocks, thankfully, it has disappeared. With all the new upper and lower control arms, the a-arm, and the upper ball joint, the road walk was considerably better but it is still a major and unsafe issue. I am going to lift check, then lower and re-tighten the a-arm. After that, I'll get the extended links and the upgraded sway bar and go from there. Hopefully, that will correct my problems.
 

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Yeah, no death wobble. Anymore. Dancing a painful and uncontrollable jig was the norm. Hehe. But after the installation of the new ball joints and tie rod ends, steering damper, and shocks, thankfully, it has disappeared. With all the new upper and lower control arms, the a-arm, and the upper ball joint, the road walk was considerably better but it is still a major and unsafe issue. I am going to lift check, then lower and re-tighten the a-arm. After that, I'll get the extended links and the upgraded sway bar and go from there. Hopefully, that will correct my problems.
I’ve been all the research and talking to all my Gearheads and we’re all waiting to see what it is, lol.
 

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the stock WJ rear sway bar can be bent by hand. Upgrade to that rear to 1" addco and boom My Lifted 4.7 no longer had the wags.
 
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