At the end of my rope of steering issues.***FIXED!****

TxJeepers

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Well based on your comments above, here’s another $200 to throw at it. Read good experiences with JK version.
https://www.rockjock4x4.com/rj-301000-103

I’m still gonna wait until I get a new box before anything else. Currently seeing if Jeepcares can help me get the part sooner.





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oceanblue2019

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I have been trying to explain there are two distinct issues that the new Jeeps have.

1. A wander , a pull in one direction typically to the right, or a dead spot.

This typically is caused by the steering gearbox, usually caused by too much backlash in the gearbox. When the Jl first came out in 18 the very very EARLY 18’s did not have ANY of these issues. They DID a however during the first winter have some that the steering would completely lock up momentarily. This was because of the different expansion rate of the aluminum gear box outer case and the steel worm gear and recirculating bearings in them. When cold they would swell up at different rates and lock up because the tolerance was too tight.

Because of this FCA at FIRST started shipping Jl’s with the SAME box but had the manufacturer increase the backlash on the box to compensate. This ended up with very sloppy steering and a dead spot because the box was set too loose but it would not cause the lock up condition in the cold weather. They solved one problem but caused another.

To attempt to solve the NEW problem they increased the line pressure of the electronic power steering system to try to compensate for it. It didn’t work.

They THEN they had the manufacturer tighten the tolerance up slightly but not as tight as the original setting. This was now the third version of the aluminum steering box. This was a little better but still not great. They then released another update to the electronic power steering system again adjusting the line pressure, still not great.

Now they took the same aluminum box and changed the spool valve out internally and now they are on the last version of the aluminum box. This also required a change to the program of the electronic power steering system. Still did work.

last September they scrapped the aluminum box and went back to the cast iron box, basically the same box as the JK. The cast iron box doesn’t have the same issues with temp difference between the two different types of metal so the tolerance is set much tighter. This now created the need for another change to the electronic power steering system. This has solved the wandering,dead spot, pull issues in a vast majority of the cases. There have been a few people that still have issues with a dead spot but I would be willing to bet if they could get FCA to swap the box again with another steel box they would be happy. The boxes are all actually set by hand at the manufacturer so there is some human error and mechanical tolerance involved.

My Jeep really has NONE of these issues so there is nothing involving the gear box or the electronic power steering system that would correct the problem I am having.

So problem #2 the Jl has. And also the TJ, the full size trucks, even the Ford F-250. ANYTHING with a solid front axel has had and can have this issue. A wobble that is induced by hitting a bump, a shimmy from hitting a bump, even full on death wobble that you need to actually come to a complete stop to get it to stop.
THIS is what I have on my Jeep.

This is 100% a harmonic oscillation that happens because something is flexing, loose, warn out, or has some kind of play in it. It is typically masked by a steering dampener because it helps to absorb the oscillation and get it to stop.

Jeep has upgraded the track bar twice, once changing the materials the bushings were made of, making them stiffer, and once changing the wall thickness of the bar itself making that stiffer. They have also upgraded the steering stabilizer making it stiffer in an attempt to correct it. Adding heavy tires and wheels makes things worse.

Typically warn track bars, loose track bars,ball joints, Tie rod ends, and even unit bearings are the cause of this shimmy. Tires Have been known to cause it and sometimes even control arm bushings.
Play in any of these allows the harmonics to start.

Out of all of these I have not 100% ruled out the tires, the fact it does it more when cold leads me back down that path. Also the control arm bushing on the upper front is actually in the axle and not on the arm itself. After a discussion I had with someone else on the form last night he suggested I check these because his were shot after 20k. During this discussion I did actually remember when I did the lift I first installed it without the front spacers. When it was done it was lower in the front because the weight of the winch. I drove it for a few days like that and then pulled the front springs the next weekend and installed the 3/4” spacers to level the Jeep. What I didn’t do was loosen the upper arms and re torque them. I absolutely SHOULD have done this, by not doing it I had the bushings in a bind and the sleeve in them was twisted. I drove the Jeep for probably 1K before I loosened all the arms and re torqued all of them chasing the wobble.

I also talked through the timeline with my wife last night after this conversation and the first time I actually felt the wobble was the day AFTER a I did the spacers and forgot to allow the bushings to center.
There is a very good possibility the bushings got destroyed during that time and could honestly be my problem all along.

I washed the Jeep yesterday when I got back from the dealer, I parked it in my shop, hooked the battery tender up to it and turned the heat down in the building. I am honestly letting it sit until at least April when it gets warmer out here. Just to clear my head and I never drove any of my older Jeeps in the winter and I really didn’t want to drive this one either. I made a note to check the bushings and a few other things and put it on the dash to remind myself where I left off.

So that’s why I don’t believe it’s power steering related, and that’s my next steps come April. 😉
Very nice detailed post.

There was one other attempt on the aluminum box to solve this you do not list and it was using a self-adjusting backlash mechanism. This would compensate for the temperature effects by giving you 'optimum' lash over a much wider operating range. I understand this worked well but the challenge was it made for a much more complex and costly gearbox assembly.

So they went back to the "JK" style steel case to get rid of dissimilar thermal expansion rates. Much cheaper to build.

What would be interesting is to know how many millions this will have cost FCA by the time it's done as this was all about saving a few kg to get better fuel economy. Same with all the other lightweight crap like drag link, track bars, tie-link, uprights, etc, etc.
 

TxJeepers

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I ordered them Saturday night! Lol!
LOL! Please let me know how much PITA it is to do this or are you still going to wait until spring?

I still wonder and don't remember if you ruled it out or not, if the Teraflex axle side raised track bar bracket might help with this. Part of me wonders if the little bit of bump steer isn't part of the issue and the better alignment of drag/tb by that bracket will help or resolve.
https://teraflex.com/shop_items/jl-jlu-front-track-bar-axle-bracket-kit-2-5-3-5-lift
 
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LOL! Please let me know how much PITA it is to do this or are you still going to wait until spring?

I still wonder and don't remember if you ruled it out or not, if the Teraflex axle side raised track bar bracket might help with this. Part of me wonders if the little bit of bump steer isn't part of the issue and the better alignment of drag/tb by that bracket will help or resolve.
https://teraflex.com/shop_items/jl-jlu-front-track-bar-axle-bracket-kit-2-5-3-5-lift
I am going to wait till spring at this point. Need to get away from it for a bit. Maybe the Jeep Elf will come fix it while I am away from it! Lol
 

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Oddly, I was on the cusp of buying the Reid Racing knuckles but now I'm hesitant worried it won't help, or perhaps make things worse. Sucks part swapping with no improvement. Really missing my JKUR right now.

Read issues with tires, and a few mentioning BFG k02. I'm running the 315/70r17 C rated. I may track down another local keeper for a tire swap test drive.
Like I mentioned I feel your pain with this and basically being abandoned by Jeep and Jeep cares. One of the many times my Jeep was at the dealer they had switched tires with a new Rubicon on the lot. Putting the new tires and rims on my Jeep did not help at all and when they put my tires and rims on the new jeep it drove fine, just as it did with the with its original tires. When hitting any potholes in the road it would cause a shimmy and the worst was when there was a transition from pavement to a concrete bridge. If I were to back off on the throttle and get on the brakes lightly right before hitting the transition it would pretty much kill the wobble boy not completely. I have never had the severe death wobble with my JL like I have had with other vehicles in the past. My Ford bronco with its twin i beam suspension with 35" Groundhogs was so bad I had to bring it to basically a dead stop. I replaced every bushing on the front end with poly bushings and bought the adjustable Superlift adjustable caster/camber bushings and after a alignment I never had the dreaded white knuckle death wobble. I really loved my JLUR Rubicon but after changing so many things with no success and Jeep basically not caring at all I gave it back to them and bought a Raptor, and I can tell you that between driving that and my wifes Grand Cherokee Overland it made driving a pleasure again, especially not constantly have constant steering correction.
The Raptor like the Jeep has several driving modes, Sport, Baja, etc but it also has 3 steering options to choose from basically changing the sensitivity of your steering input.
But my true love has always been Jeeps and I felt like I was forced to give it back of keep it and just deal with it. I changed everything that I possibly could on the froon end of that Jeep and it only had less than 500 miles on it when it started and 3200 miles on it when I gave it back.
I`m 57 and my first Jeep was a CJ5 with a 232 and a 3 speed back in 1978 when I got my farmers licence and I have never gone a single year with out owning some kind of Jeep. You all know that they are way overpriced for what they are and like most pickups they see little or no dirt at all, and that what just makes it more frustrating when you get something new and it`s not right from the start but you figure that if I just change to Steer Smarts or synergy components it will resolve the problem and the parts changed list just kept going on a on.
My concern now is with trading in my perfectly driving and no issues at all Raptor for a
392 Rubicon that I don`t have any of the same issues that I had from a Jeep that I special ordered back in 2018, and I just don`t understand why and the reasoning behind so many people still having the same issues into the year 2020+ I am just keeping my fingers crossed that there is a resolution for everyone who is and has gone through this. Some of the forum members definitely do have more knowledge and mechanical ability than Jeep dealerships and without this forum so many people would be left in the dark and the first time owners who being told "It`s a Jeep thing" over and over just come to think that is just what it is. I do regret trading in my JK Rubicon for the JL. The JK was nothing crazy, a simple AEV lift with BFG KO2s 35"s thad drove like a charm. I will just keep on reading and hope that a solution is found and Jeep will finally take ownership of the problem and reimburse and fix the problem for once and for all
 

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I ordered them Saturday night! Lol!
I can tell you that I had put a BDS lift on my 2011 Jeep and it drove fine before installing the kit and the only thing I did notice was that you had more of a feel of what you were driving on and it made the Jeep feel much more tight if that is the right word to describe it. I don`t know if BDS was owned by FOX back then or not, either way it was a great kit and was definitely overbuilt but with 37" Super Swampers it drove straight as an arrow but the 3.8 motor left a lot to be desired
The hardest part of the whole job was finding someplace that who understood the lift and could do the alignment correctly. There were not too many places in NJ that were capable, Thankfully there was OK4WD who had been in the 4wd business for 30 years at the time and they are still there in Stewartsville NJ going strong and doing everything from mild to wild.
I am still wondering if I did what they suggested with my JL it would have helped the steering issue. They had just done a swap of DANA 60 axles on a JL and offered to swap out the taken out Dana 44 and stick it under my JL but the front and rear set ended up selling before I had thought it through. My reason for hesitation was because the other Jeep had been driven real hard and God forbid if I had a warranty issue I`d be screwed once again
 
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richk225

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I`m sorry if you have been asked this question already, (meds. on Mon,,Wed and Fri have side effects ) but if you have done this TSB did it help your drive. It seems like it has been a big time help to some but I'm wondering if it has helped out the few that have not had any luck with everything else they have tried

https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/attachments/tsb-08-003-21-pdf.422345/
 
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I`m sorry if you have been asked this question already, (meds. on Mon,,Wed and Fri have side effects ) but if you have done this TSB did it help your drive. It seems like it has been a big time help to some but I'm wondering if it has helped out the few that have not had any luck with everything else they have tried

https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/attachments/tsb-08-003-21-pdf.422345/
Yes, drives fine. TSB has nothing to go with a wobble or shimmy and says so right in the TSB
 

richk225

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Have you come up with any other things that you plan on checking or changing? I would guessed that you have checked your wheel bearings? I do remember one visit to the dealer they had the mechanic go around and take pictures of the welds while it was up on the lift. Do you think that you could be having something on the frame or axle flexing due to a bad weld giving it just enough movement to cause a wobble. I noticed they mentioned reprogramming the EHPS, would the choice of the power steering fluid that is being used cause an issue like this? Foaming up or overheating? I know with my Mercruiser factory marine engines they had a raw water power steering cooler in the system, I know it`s a totally different environment but would it be an issue if it was getting to hot? putting a cooler inline will also increase the capacity of the fluid hopefully keeping it a lower temp. Any thoughts at to the compound used for the o-rings and seals, Viton, Nitrile, Silicone. Could any of these cause a issue with the pressure not being able to be maintained and allowing the wheels to shimmy?
 

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Have you come up with any other things that you plan on checking or changing? I would guessed that you have checked your wheel bearings? I do remember one visit to the dealer they had the mechanic go around and take pictures of the welds while it was up on the lift. Do you think that you could be having something on the frame or axle flexing due to a bad weld giving it just enough movement to cause a wobble. I noticed they mentioned reprogramming the EHPS, would the choice of the power steering fluid that is being used cause an issue like this? Foaming up or overheating? I know with my Mercruiser factory marine engines they had a raw water power steering cooler in the system, I know it`s a totally different environment but would it be an issue if it was getting to hot? putting a cooler inline will also increase the capacity of the fluid hopefully keeping it a lower temp. Any thoughts at to the compound used for the o-rings and seals, Viton, Nitrile, Silicone. Could any of these cause a issue with the pressure not being able to be maintained and allowing the wheels to shimmy?
Dude, the shimmy has absolutely nothing to do with the electro-hydraulic steering.
 
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@Jeep&dogs
Maybe pick this guys brain and/or have him take a look?

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCPFWDZMRDhzi1T9df60dO3g
I actually have a few ideas, I am going to replace the track bar bolts with 9/16 shoulder bolts. I can see some areas that are a little shiny in the inside of the mount surface like it might be shifting on the bolt. There is a decent amount of play between the bushing sleeves and the metric bolts that are in there. I also have the Johnny joints for the diff side. But I honestly have parked it and it’s sitting in the shop. I haven’t even been in the building for a week or so. I have about 24” of snow on the ground in the yard and haven’t even plowed back to the shop. I honestly have absolutely no intention of touching it until at least April.

When I do I will start by re torquing everything one last time, replacing the Johnny joints, the track bar bolts, throwing it on the alignment rack and verify where everything is and then I have found a set of stock Sahara wheels and tires , I will throw them on and once and for all eliminate the tire question. I’m going to think positive and believe one of theses things is going to correct the issue. 😎
 

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