Another JL with Steering Wobble

mattnrach

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Hello all,

Matt & Rachael here. First-time jeep owners (2018 2 door JL with soft top + 2.0L turbo) having that steering wobbling issue. I hate to create another forum post but I must admit I am overwhelmed by the amount of posts and options. I just wanted to post something here before I spend $1200 on parts.

Jeep was fine for ~7000 miles. It happened once and now happens every time we exceed 60mph on the highway and hit a bump. Lots of shaking until we slow down to ~50mph or so. Obviously not ideal. When I say lots, I am pretty serious. I do not want to call it "death wobble" since I do not think that is the correct term, but it's bad.

We replaced the SS with the cheap rough country SS since I was never convinced that could help anyway. I was honestly blown away by how much it helped driving around town going under 40mph, but it offers no help to the wobbling issue on the highway. I do not see our dealer helping since they've always been extremely rude to us. I enjoy working on cars, so I am fine doing the work. I am frustrated but we love the jeep too much to part ways with it.

Suspension is stock with stock wheels and tires. no plans on changing suspension, but we do plan on changing tires (32" A/T not a big change). Really as stock as stock gets with respect to suspension.

Here is an image of the drag link. It has play and makes a "clunk sound. It doesn't have up/down play. It has rotational play.
draglink.jpg


Same thing with tie rod. Makes "clunk" sound upon rotation. No up/down play. This is harder to rotate though.

Here is an image of track bar. No "clunk" here. But still some slight rotational play. Nothing excessive but I can get it to twist slightly with my hand.
trackbar.jpg


Checked the steering box. Output spins when input spins. I cannot see any dead spots. I am under the car while my fiancé barely adjusts the steering to confirm this.

We plan on doing the Steer Smarts Tie rod, drag link, and track bar. Obviously expensive, but ready to pull the trigger. Could it be something stupid like out of balance tire or should we just get the Steer Smarts parts?

Also, is it worth upgrading the SS?

Thanks,
Matt & Rachael
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TScottG

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Have you taken your vehicle in for the steering damper recall?
 

TScottG

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mattnrach

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https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/steering-damper-recall-2018.46021/page-3#post-1017160

I was posting on another forum earlier this week about the recall. Your case seems eerily similar to the problem that I had. I think I had around 9 or 10,000 miles at the time. I had to slow down from 75mph all the way to 50mph one time to make it stop. I thought I was gonna have to pull off the highway.
I never took it in for the recall. I never agreed that that was the problem. After seeing the play in these parts, I am thinking an upgraded track bar, drag link, and tie rods are the answer... but waiting to see what others think.
 

Blades

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I have a JLUS with close to 30,000 miles. Mopar lift and 35s. The steering was concerning to me over the last 3 to 4 months. I had the steering dampener recall done and the steering box replaced under warranty. It drives/steers great since the dealer did the work. Maybe try another dealer if your current one is not giving good service.
 

quietpeen

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All that little bit of rotational play in the drag link and tie rod is normal. Not sure if there should be any in the oem track bar. Having said that there was more than one design of the track bar because the bushings were to soft I believe. It wouldn’t hurt having the tires road force balanced and even if that doesn’t fix it you are only out 45-50 bucks. You are right that a steering stabilizer won’t fix the problem(as you found out with your new one). Next you should check the torque on all your bolts to make sure nothing is loose.

The steersmarts track bar, drag link, and tie-rod are stout components and a great upgrade. Jeeps current “fix” for wobble or death wobble so if you want to actually fix it you are going to have to do it yourself.

Disclaimer, I’m far from an expert on this. My reply is based on my own experience and a lot of reading on the issue.
 

Jennalee

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I would take it to another dealership and have them fix it while it’s under warranty. Your Jeep shouldn’t be doing that especially at only 7000 miles. You’ll have to take it back to stock first since a dealership won’t do warranty on modified vehicles.
 
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mattnrach

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Thank you for the replies everyone. I am fairly confident the steer smarts components will fix our issue, but I will talk to a few dealerships over the next couple of days and see if they seem helpful. If they seem to be giving me the same responses, I will do the steer smarts components and update you all.
 
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mattnrach

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2 dealers told me play was normal and that they would replace stabilizer.

So I did steer smarts. The steer smarts parts do not clunk and have no rotation play after installation.

I no longer have wobble on the highway. I now have a very small shimmy, but it goes away in literally <1 second. I am going to re-torque everything after some more driving and check out ball joints, control arms, etc... I can definitely live with the shimmy for now. I will update again if I can get the shimmy to go away. Either way, the steer smarts parts definitely cured my problem, so add me to the list.
 
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