Do all Wranglers handle like this?

Jebb

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I drove my son's 2019 Wrangler JL Sahara for the first time awhile back and was a bit startled by its handling. I have never driven any other vehicle, including trucks, that behaved like this.

There is almost ZERO "return to center" force at the steering wheel when coming out of a turn. You basically have to hand-over-hand it back to center otherwise it will just keep turning. He's used to it but to me it feels very unstable as if it could dart off to the left or right if you were to let go of the wheel - or hit a pothole, etc.

We added longer lower track arms to add more caster thinking this would help - and it did - but it still doesn't feel right to me.

Is this typical of how all Jeep Wranglers behave?

He bought the truck built by the dealer's customer shop with 2" Mopar lift and 35x12.5 BFG AT2 on 17x9 Method wheels. Everything has been checked (alignment, etc.) and all are within spec.

 

Tethmes

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It's less return to center than a normal IFS vehicle, yes. But not excessive where I have to fight it back to center. If you're not expecting it or dealing with it daily I guess it might seem like that? But can't say for sure in your particular case. There's a reason there are so many comments on threads warning people about how differently these drive compared to cars though.
 

Beachcomber72

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I drove my son's 2019 Wrangler JL Sahara for the first time awhile back and was a bit startled by its handling. I have never driven any other vehicle, including trucks, that behaved like this.

There is almost ZERO "return to center" force at the steering wheel when coming out of a turn. You basically have to hand-over-hand it back to center otherwise it will just keep turning. He's used to it but to me it feels very unstable as if it could dart off to the left or right if you were to let go of the wheel - or hit a pothole, etc.

We added longer lower track arms to add more caster thinking this would help - and it did - but it still doesn't feel right to me.

Is this typical of how all Jeep Wranglers behave?

He bought the truck built by the dealer's customer shop with 2" Mopar lift and 35x12.5 BFG AT2 on 17x9 Method wheels. Everything has been checked (alignment, etc.) and all are within spec.
What tire pressure is your kiddo running in his tires. Could simply be an under inflated pressure issue.
 


Heimkehr

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It's less return to center than a normal IFS vehicle, yes. But not excessive where I have to fight it back to center. If you're not expecting it or dealing with it daily I guess it might seem like that?
Agreed.

My JLU has less return-to-center feedback, so to speak, than do our IFS Hondas, and even the Chevrolet K1500 that I used to own. That said, I've not yet had to provide manual assist to re-center the Jeep's steering wheel after exiting a turn.

It is something that may require one to adjust to, true enough.
 

Tethmes

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and even the Chevrolet K1500 that I used to own.
I wonder if it might have something to do with the JL's not using a rack and pinion system too now that you mention the old Chevy. Could attribute to the different feel? Not sure, this is my first ball steering vehicle ever.
 

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Don't think the updated steering box will make much of a difference. My '23 has almost no return-to-center when making a 90° onto another road and seems to track equally true while driving. It pretty much just goes wherever the steering wheel is pointed and stays there until the direction is changed by hand.

Kinda weird coming from a sports sedan with nimble go cart handling, but seems easy enough to get used to once you realize how it behaves.
 


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Jebb

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What tire pressure is your kiddo running in his tires. Could simply be an under inflated pressure issue.
My 23 year old "kid" is running 35psi. (per spec. and to keep TPMS happy). Tire tread wear seems to show it's about right.

If this is normal/typical Jeep behavior I'm glad I don't drive one. My 4x4 RAM behaves nothing like this nor did my old solid axle Toyota 4x4.
 

Beachcomber72

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Yeah it’s a normal thing for us and your other 2 vehicles had rack and pinion which is obviously a whole different feel. I promise you though that if you drove it more frequently you completely forget about the other vehicles drive feel. Your kiddo is in good hands with what he has and hopefully lasts him a good long while.
 
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Jebb

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My '23 has almost no return-to-center when making a 90° onto another road and seems to track equally true while driving. It pretty much just goes wherever the steering wheel is pointed and stays there until the direction is changed by hand.
Yes, exactly what I feel here. Once it gets past a certain angle off-center it feels like it pulls in that direction rather than trying to straighten back out. I suppose it's great off-road but feels unstable (to me) on-road when making right turns, etc.

Just wanted to check with others to see if this is normal/typical. I guess it is. Thank you.
 
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kah.mun.rah

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It sounds to me that it is worse than normal but all of us have different thresholds of tolerance. Are you in SoCal by any chance?
 

azwjowner

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Yes, exactly what I feel here. Once it gets past a certain angle off-center it feels like it pulls in that direction rather than trying to straighten back out. I suppose it's great off-road but feels unstable (to me) on-road when making right turns, etc.

Just wanted to check with others to see if this is normal/typical. I guess it is. Thank you.
I guess I disagree. I had a WJ with solid axle front steering that absolutely returned to center. My 2 door JL a bit less, but it still positively does. I wonder if your caster is still low and the aftermarket wheels may have affected scrub radius, affecting the return to center.

 

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