Got hit passenger front tire. What should I check for?

wranglerguyman

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So to keep it short, my front passenger tire got hit by another vehicle. Now my steering sits at 12-6 when going straight but it does keep straight. What should I look for in terms of suspension/steering damage if any? This was a low speed fender bender (around 10mph).

I have attached some pictures, I noticed that my passenger tire sits flush with the fender and the drivers pokes out ever so slightly. I can't remember if this is how it should be or did my passenger tire go in a bit because of the impact.


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Before I realign the steering, I checked to see if I bent the drag link, tie rod or track bar, but everything does look good to me. The only thing I see is maybe the track bar's angle of bend looks narrower than usual.

IMG_0537.jpg


Here is a picture of the track bar which looks like it should.

IMG_0541.jpg

IMG_0547.jpg



Should I just go ahead and recenter the steering wheel and go along my day?





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jeepdabest

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That 12-6 happened to me last year. Now I just tilt my head 90 degrees while driving.
 

Melny67

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If you want the truth you need to change everything on the damage area along with steering stabilizer bar. Can you drive it like that for years of course you can. I would take it in to a professional alignment shop and explain to them what happen. If it was me I would have the insurance deal with it after getting a quote and get a whole front end done. No one can tell you anything on here from just photos unless you have every part measurements and have someone that can do that right. In the end it's your jeep up to you.
 

HackedJL

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I'm gonna guess potentially just needs an alignment.

As said above, going proper way would be best bet unless you prefer to handle yourself.

I just took off a bunch of stock parts at 100 miles on them - let me know if you need to look for cheap take offs for a DIY fix, there's really not much down there that Can go wrong. Aside from bent axle and other underlying trauma that causes her to drift right for the rest of her life lol

Screenshot_20200307-145658.jpg
 

Gregj

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I would definitely get an alignment check. I'm surprised you don’t have a “Service Stabilitrac” warning, I got one after installing a lift without re-centering the steering wheel.

Gregj

Edit; Stability control or something like that, I don’t remember what it was exactly.
 

sf5211

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The guys above are right WG, you've got to go to a professional alignment shop. Same happened to me years ago with my work van. A woman hit my tire. I get out and see nothing wrong. I let her leave, I climb back in to drive away and what do ya know the van barely could turn. Meanwhile I let her leave so I wound up having to pay for damages. Young and dumb.
 
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wranglerguyman

wranglerguyman

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I would definitely get an alignment check. I'm surprised you don’t have a “Service Stabilitrac” warning, I got one after installing a lift without re-centering the steering wheel.

Gregj

Edit; Stability control or something like that, I don’t remember what it was exactly.

That light came on for me too but as soon as I re-centered the steering wheel, it went away.

I’m going to take it to an alignment shop this week and see if there’s something they can catch. The only thing I’m concerned about is the wheels position compared to the other side.
 

Notorious

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So to keep it short, my front passenger tire got hit by another vehicle. Now my steering sits at 12-6 when going straight...my day?
Glad you’re okay but I’ll bite: what happened to lead up to the fender bender? Your rig sitting at 12-6 when going straight is NOT normal. I really hope you took down The other driver’s insurance information and plan on filing a claim. Get it fixed!
 

roaniecowpony

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All the comments about finding a good front end/frame shop are right on, IMO.

If I had to guess as to what bent, and something did bend to cause the steering to be that far off, it would be that weak ass factory trackbar with the whoop-de-doo in the middle. The trackbar keeps the axle centered when forces (including your accident) try to move it laterally. The factory trackbar is a thin, small diameter tube with staked on ends. It also has these curves (necessary, but bad for stiffness) in it that make it weaker. When your accident happened, it pushed sideways and likely bent your trackbar a bit more in the middle of that bend where it clears the differential. That's why your axle is pushed over. Since your axle is moved toward the driver side, that is toward the steering box/pitman arm. That then causes the draglink to push your axle steering knuckles. That's my long range, internet assessment.

Consider this an excellent opportunity to improve your steering and off-road component strength and buy a new trackbar. Don't buy a factory one. Good trackbars are made by Steersmarts, Synergy, Teraflex and probably some others. I stay away from RoughCountry stuff.
IMG_0537.jpg
 

johnparjr

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Not sure why people ask theses question but take it to a professional
 

barongan

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If you want the truth you need to change everything on the damage area along with steering stabilizer bar. Can you drive it like that for years of course you can. I would take it in to a professional alignment shop and explain to them what happen. If it was me I would have the insurance deal with it after getting a quote and get a whole front end done. No one can tell you anything on here from just photos unless you have every part measurements and have someone that can do that right. In the end it's your jeep up to you.
Agree with your opinion
 

roaniecowpony

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If you want the truth you need to change everything on the damage area along with steering stabilizer bar. Can you drive it like that for years of course you can. I would take it in to a professional alignment shop and explain to them what happen. If it was me I would have the insurance deal with it after getting a quote and get a whole front end done. No one can tell you anything on here from just photos unless you have every part measurements and have someone that can do that right. In the end it's your jeep up to you.
Well.....the truth is even a good front end shop will just be guessing at what's damaged. Whether they identify all the damaged components hinges on the particular mechanic's knowledge and experience. Accident damage assessment is a kinda 'where do you stop?' question. Changing "everything in the damage area" is not a reasonable thing, nor would any insurance company fund it. Should they change the steering box? New Dana 44?, New frame?, New body? The truth is; a good assessment is a guess by a knowledgeable person after an inspection, either visual or dimensional. As for the steering stablilizer, that particular part is mounted with rubber grommets, giving it a lot of flexibility on each end and is designed to extend and collapse in the direction this guy's axle is displaced. I wouldn't suspect that it could get damaged in this kind of event. The entire axle assembly could get bent if the hit was hard enough. You'd likely see some bent UCAs and LCAs if that happened. But, taking it to a front end shop is the best way to go, if the OP isn't a good mechanic himself.
 
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