Help, wobble after tie-rod drag link install - Solved: User Error!

Dogboyslim

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I had a minor wobble and a dented tie-rod, so I installed a synergy drag link and tie rod. I checked the torque with a torque wrench, straightened the wheel, and matched the old tie-rod measurement. I had just over 1/8” of toe in at the rotors.

test drive gave me violent wobble after going over a bump at 45 mph.

the drag link can easily be moved up/down, but it is the ends rotating, there is no movement at the threads. pinch bolts torqued to 90.

I’m frustrated and not sure what to do next. Any suggestions would be welcome!

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freddiegs

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Are you within the recommend spec of the thread length out on the tie rod end on the driver side? Do you know what your caster is set to?
 

AllJumpStyle

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My initial concern is both the drag link and tie rod do not appear to be adjusted correctly. The silver double adjuster sleeve on both is threaded way too far in like you are using it as a jam nut. They should have equal amounts of thread showing on either side of the hex flats. This is supposed to be your on-vehicle adjustment. Having them installed as you have them can potentially cause issues if you are not able to sufficiently clamp the assemblies.

To keep from chasing your tail, everything in the front steering and suspension needs to be inspected and tightened if loose or replaced/fixed if worn before driving the vehicle again. Getting death wobble again like you did can very easily damage newly replaced components and you can end up going in circles trying to diagnose it.
 
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Dogboyslim

Dogboyslim

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Both adjusters have 1-2 threads, but not much. Everything was torqued, but I’ll pull them to give more adjustment room and Re-align. Thanks for the advice.
 
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Dogboyslim

Dogboyslim

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Okay, so I pulled the passenger side drag link and driver side tie rod so I could adjust the spaces and have more silver threads showing. I used a tie rod puller for these but couldn’t get it into the tie rod space on the passenger side without removing the rotor, which I didn’t want to do. After putting everything back together I discovered that at the 90 ft lbs of torque, the pinch bolt doesn’t lock down the threads on the adjuster sleeve. I went to 110 before it was solid. Perhaps it is just my cheap torque wrench! After this adjustment, a test drive resulted in mild shimmy similar to what it had before. I will take it wheeling this weekend and check the pinch bolts before I drive home, then I have an appointment with a professional.

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Dogboyslim

Dogboyslim

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Steering stabilizer is on the floor to the right of the picture. I'm using the fox TS SS, but not the adjustable one.. I didn't install it until I made sure the steering wheel was straight. Sleeves align the notches with the seam of the pinch bolt as per indicated.
 

AllJumpStyle

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Okay, so I pulled the passenger side drag link and driver side tie rod so I could adjust the spaces and have more silver threads showing. I used a tie rod puller for these but couldn’t get it into the tie rod space on the passenger side without removing the rotor, which I didn’t want to do. After putting everything back together I discovered that at the 90 ft lbs of torque, the pinch bolt doesn’t lock down the threads on the adjuster sleeve. I went to 110 before it was solid. Perhaps it is just my cheap torque wrench! After this adjustment, a test drive resulted in mild shimmy similar to what it had before. I will take it wheeling this weekend and check the pinch bolts before I drive home, then I have an appointment with a professional.
That looks a lot better. It is imperative those adjusters are clamped securely. If you need to, you can torque those pinch bolts up to 120 lb-ft.
 

Chipe

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You may have yours right but double check. The silver adjuster sleeve has notches 180* apart and one of the notches needs to be in alignment with the notch between the pinch bolts on the tie-rod. Pinch bolts need to squeeze both sliver adjuster sleeve and tie rod notch. If notches aren’t lined up, It ain’t going to happen. I had that issue until I got the notches aligned.
Where is the Steering Stabilizer? Are you running one?
Could you explain this a little further please? I am going to order these and was wondering what you mean by aligning the notch, etc. Thank you!
 

Chipe

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My initial concern is both the drag link and tie rod do not appear to be adjusted correctly. The silver double adjuster sleeve on both is threaded way too far in like you are using it as a jam nut. They should have equal amounts of thread showing on either side of the hex flats. This is supposed to be your on-vehicle adjustment. Having them installed as you have them can potentially cause issues if you are not able to sufficiently clamp the assemblies.

To keep from chasing your tail, everything in the front steering and suspension needs to be inspected and tightened if loose or replaced/fixed if worn before driving the vehicle again. Getting death wobble again like you did can very easily damage newly replaced components and you can end up going in circles trying to diagnose it.
Another question: Don't you just measure the current length of your tie rod and then set the new tie rod at the same length?
 
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Dogboyslim

Dogboyslim

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Could you explain this a little further please? I am going to order these and was wondering what you mean by aligning the notch, etc. Thank you!
Click on the latest picture I posted and look at the passenger side tie-rod. Notice that as you go from the center of the jeep out, it starts with the grey bar, then there are silver threads, then black threads then the tie-rod end. The sliver threads are an adjuster that allows you to change the tie-rod length without having to pull the tie rod ends off their mounts. It is threaded both inside and outside. to lengthen or shorten the length depending on what you need to do. Looking closely at the silver, you will see a black line that runs just below the nut head back into the tie rod bar. There is another one on the opposite side. These open spots are there so that when you tighten the pinch bolts, the adjuster sleeve will have enough flex to grab the threads below and lock the whole thing into place. If you don't align these with the pinch seam opening, it is difficult to get the pinch seam tight enough to keep the threads from moving. Hope that helps.

Another question: Don't you just measure the current length of your tie rod and then set the new tie rod at the same length?
This is what I did the first time. I had all the same lengths in photo 1/2 and the latest photo. The difference is that in photo 3, there is more room for the adjuster to move, and since more of the sleeve is exposed, it is easier to get the pinch seam to torque and hold everything in place. My issue in the first one was mostly that the pinch seams held things in place when I first torqued them, but as soon as I drove they loosened up and then when I hit a bump...DW. Also, there are minor changes that allow you to get close, but still have to adjust differently than the prior set-up. My steering wheel was about 5 degrees off center with the exact same length center to center measurement (or at least my attempt at it). So your current lengths are a great starting point, but you need to double check that everything aligns before you call it a day.

I'm a white-collar guy and this is all new to me. I have it where I think its okay, but I'm still going to take it to a professional to make sure its not messed up. I would have had him do it in the first place if I hadn't smacked the tie rod falling off a rock with a jeep outing planned for this weekend. Time + pressure = try to work on my own jeep...poorly! HAH!

In a funny note, our neighbor texted my wife to find out what was wrong with my Jeep, as I've had it in the garage on stands with the wheels off on and off for a week! My wife just texted back one of my wheeling photos and said "It's a jeep thing!" LOL!
 

Lou_JLU

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Thanks for sharing your learning experiences. It'll help when I go to do my front end mods.
 

Chipe

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Click on the latest picture I posted and look at the passenger side tie-rod. Notice that as you go from the center of the jeep out, it starts with the grey bar, then there are silver threads, then black threads then the tie-rod end. The sliver threads are an adjuster that allows you to change the tie-rod length without having to pull the tie rod ends off their mounts. It is threaded both inside and outside. to lengthen or shorten the length depending on what you need to do. Looking closely at the silver, you will see a black line that runs just below the nut head back into the tie rod bar. There is another one on the opposite side. These open spots are there so that when you tighten the pinch bolts, the adjuster sleeve will have enough flex to grab the threads below and lock the whole thing into place. If you don't align these with the pinch seam opening, it is difficult to get the pinch seam tight enough to keep the threads from moving. Hope that helps.



This is what I did the first time. I had all the same lengths in photo 1/2 and the latest photo. The difference is that in photo 3, there is more room for the adjuster to move, and since more of the sleeve is exposed, it is easier to get the pinch seam to torque and hold everything in place. My issue in the first one was mostly that the pinch seams held things in place when I first torqued them, but as soon as I drove they loosened up and then when I hit a bump...DW. Also, there are minor changes that allow you to get close, but still have to adjust differently than the prior set-up. My steering wheel was about 5 degrees off center with the exact same length center to center measurement (or at least my attempt at it). So your current lengths are a great starting point, but you need to double check that everything aligns before you call it a day.

I'm a white-collar guy and this is all new to me. I have it where I think its okay, but I'm still going to take it to a professional to make sure its not messed up. I would have had him do it in the first place if I hadn't smacked the tie rod falling off a rock with a jeep outing planned for this weekend. Time + pressure = try to work on my own jeep...poorly! HAH!

In a funny note, our neighbor texted my wife to find out what was wrong with my Jeep, as I've had it in the garage on stands with the wheels off on and off for a week! My wife just texted back one of my wheeling photos and said "It's a jeep thing!" LOL!
Yes, thank you very much!
 
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Dogboyslim

Dogboyslim

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UGH!!! Got an alignment. My axels were off center, and after adjusting the axels, I'm back to like 1 thread left on the drag link collar and the pinch-bolt won't hold it. I have to repeat the process of putting it up on jacks, popping off the DS tie rod end, popping off the passenger side drag link end, adjusting the drag link to expose more of the sleeve, and reconnecting it all. This has been very frustrating. So learn from my lesson: GIVE YOURSELF LOTS OF EXPOSED ADJUSTMENT SLEEVE, and make sure your axles are centered BEFORE you attach the drag link!!!!!
 

Wt247

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UGH!!! Got an alignment. My axels were off center, and after adjusting the axels, I'm back to like 1 thread left on the drag link collar and the pinch-bolt won't hold it. I have to repeat the process of putting it up on jacks, popping off the DS tie rod end, popping off the passenger side drag link end, adjusting the drag link to expose more of the sleeve, and reconnecting it all. This has been very frustrating. So learn from my lesson: GIVE YOURSELF LOTS OF EXPOSED ADJUSTMENT SLEEVE, and make sure your axles are centered BEFORE you attach the drag link!!!!!
Hey man we’re you ever able to correct this problem. I’m having similar problem after installing synergy steering system.
 
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Dogboyslim

Dogboyslim

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Hey man we’re you ever able to correct this problem. I’m having similar problem after installing synergy steering system.
Not the DL, I went with a metalcloak on that. My tie-rod got settled, but required 130 ft/lbs, which is WAY higher than what it's supposed to be. Key is just to get as much thread exposed as you can to give it purchase to hold.
 
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