Aftermarket Steering Damper?

Mike_n_Mitzi

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Mike n Mitzi
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White House, TN
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2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited
I took my JLR to the dealer a couple weeks ago for a reflash on my gauge cluster. While they had it, they also addressed a few other recalls/TSBs (welds, radio issue, and dampener). At first, I was a little concerned (because I had already swapped out the dampener), but the replacement they installed at the dealer has actually made the steering better than it's ever been.

I've never had a wobble, but- especially since going up to 37s- any little dip on one or other side of the road would really pull the Jeep in that direction. The aftermarket stabilizer seemed to reduce that a bit, but the one they installed per the recall is even better (I was surprised they still did the recall and replaced an aftermarket component). Pretty happy with the steering as it is now [knock on wood].
We took ours to the dealership and ours falls under the recall but the part is on backorder and no clue to when it will be in stock. My girlfriend called Jeep Customer Service, if you want to call it that, and they said they have the part in stock but not sending to the dealerships and the stock was for new vehicles coming off the line. Basically the "Customer service rep" suggested we deal with it... this will be our last jeep. That is ridiculous
 

JDM

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John
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I'd bet dollars to pesos that you'll get far more reward from your money by addressing caster than you would steering damping. If they didn't install extended LCA's with the Mopar lift, Mopar has a set (I believe they're 1/2" longer than stock) for $60 for the pair. Or, if you wanted to dive a bit further down the rabbit hole and dial your caster in better, a set of adjustable LCA's (pick your favorite aftermarket suspension vendor) will let you get it dialed between 5.5-6deg which should give you a heavier steering feel without sacrificing return to center.

First things first would be to get an alignment check done and see what your caster numbers are. You can do it yourself with a level and a tape measure (SFA vehicles are really straightforward) but having a digital readout of the actual caster numbers gives you concrete evidence of your symptom.

A heavier damper is nice, but is a last step, IMO. Any Jeep with a properly set up suspension should drive, track, and steer just fine down the road without a damper at all. Think of it as the whipped cream at the top of a root beer float; it should be nice to have but not at all necessary to enjoy the dish.
This is absolutely correct!

I have replaced all the front end linkage on my JLU one item at a time. The only item I haven’t replaced are the UCA. I have a FOX Steering Damper with a relocation kit and it did make a difference. But the biggest difference with respect to sensitive steering was made when the LCA’s were replaced with adjustable ones and a proper alignment could then be done. Longer non adjustable LCA’s will help but you will not be able to adjust the caster to the optimal for your Jeep AND the road conditions that are typical in your area.

Here’s the benefits of adjustable LCA’s:

1. Much, much better bushings. Mine have the dual durometer bushings. The Mopar are garbage.
2. Far more rigid construction
3. Fully adjustable. Not only can caster be set, but cross caster can also be set. Cross caster will account for the crown in a road and this will have no small effect.
4. Increase caster to a minimum of 6*+ especially with 37” tires. I’d say go 7*+ with a cross caster setting of +.25* up to +.5*. The Over all benefit will be that in a turn the amount of negative camber will increase and there will be a much larger contact patch of the tire to the road. The difference this will make when turning at all speeds is huge!

On my JLU even the characteristics of the dead spot in the steering system changed, not eliminated but much more manageable . A low caster setting makes the steering “lighter” but overly sensitive.
 

JeepCares

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We took ours to the dealership and ours falls under the recall but the part is on backorder and no clue to when it will be in stock. My girlfriend called Jeep Customer Service, if you want to call it that, and they said they have the part in stock but not sending to the dealerships and the stock was for new vehicles coming off the line. Basically the "Customer service rep" suggested we deal with it... this will be our last jeep. That is ridiculous
Can you send us your VIN and dealer name in a PM? We can look into this for you, haven't heard anything about a back order from the field.

Kaitlin
Jeep Cares
 
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