New 2.5" Teraflex ST2 installed, steering jumps left to right?

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nerp

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So, just as a followup ... the tire balance appears to have been the problem.
Famous last words. Just to update this thread so others can benefit... I've changed my Rubicon wheels to hub-centric Stealth Custom Series (SCS) K5's (https://www.stealthcustomseries.com/products/jeep) which fit and ride well, but I would not recommend them due to their cheap/uncured powder coating and inflexible warranty. The new K5's enabled me to dump my 2" hub spacers all around (yay!) and generally tightened & improved my ride.

After about 4,000 miles on the new wheel/tire combo, my little shake/shimmy (as illustrated earlier in this thread) has returned. :(

I'm hearing that some have had luck with installation of a beefier track bar (adjustable like https://steersmarts.com/products/yeti-xd-jl-jlu-adjustable-front-track-bar ) and/or sector shaft brace (something like https://www.synergymfg.com/synergy-jeep-jl-jt-front-track-bar-and-sector-shaft-brace.html) ... I'm still running it down.

*sigh*
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... I'm still running it down. *sigh*
Ok - so, I feel like this thread is kind of my personal blog. No less than a week after posting that last message, I experienced full-on death rattle. I see what people mean. I mean, it could have been bump steer, but 20 times more violent than the video I posted earlier. I thought the engine was about to drop out of its mount. Fortunately, I was on a road with pretty minimal traffic and I pulled over while keeping my hands on the wheel and braking in a controlled manner. I drove about a mile down the road and it happened a second time. So, it had gone from Never (when new) - to -> Ghost Shudder (after lift install) -to-> No Shudder (after wheel balance and steering stabilizer installation) -to-> Ghost Shudder (after driving for 10K miles) -to-> Full on Death Wobble.

I called my trusted overland lift mechanics and asked to schedule an inspection. Here's what they found:
  1. My drag link was moving slightly from side to side. This is what they said was most likely the problem.
  2. The front coil isolators from my lift installation were not installed correctly. The spring start was not abutted against the little step on either driver or passenger side.
  3. The Teraflex lift has left and right coils in the rear (some lifts have identical coils, but not Teraflex). As installed, my rear coils were swapped left for right.
  4. Rear track bar bracket was loose / not properly torqued. My trusted mechanic fixed this. (I personally suspect this was caused by washboard desert roads - but who knows?)
  5. The front track bar was not centered but instead slightly driver-centric.
Item #2 & 3 have been that way since installation. They are recommending a fix. They quote $600 of labor for the fix on 2 & 3; so, I'm going back to the lift installer to let him take a crack and fixing it.

I will be:
  • Ordering and installing a new track bar
  • Ordering and installing a new drag link
  • Ordering and installing a new track bar and sector shaft brace (as linked above) ... but these dudes are on backorder (!)
 
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Not sure if anyone is following this debacle, but here's an update:

I took the Jeep into DCD Customs (my lift installer), and after presenting him with the diagnosis from 4WP and arguing for about 5 minutes with the owner, then having him call Teraflex to check that the rear coils were actually different and showing him they were installed backwards, he agreed to take a look. He corrected all of the misinstalled components and tried to sell me a Falcon steering stabilizer (I already have a less expensive aftermarket steering stabilizer), and offered to install my drop link and track bar once they come in. On all accounts, I simply thanked him and told him that I really no longer trusted his garage with my Jeep.

Honestly, I don't think people do this enough: when you lose faith in a mechanic for something so fundamental as proper installation of components, and failure to notice that improper installation after having been inspected and adjusted on two separate occasions - it's time to cut bait.

After the corrected lift installation, I noticed my Jeep no longer "hops" on certain pavement sections (geez, I thought it was standard and just "came with the lift"). I also noticed a marked improvement in tow stability (my trailer wasn't wandering nearly as much).

About a week ago, 4WP installed the Synergy track bar and drag link (still waiting on the sector shaft brace), inspected DCD's work, and did a quick alignment.

Night and day folks.... Driving my Jeep is a pleasure again - no ghost or death wobble, no wandering, no steering drift! I'm not even sure I need the new brace but I'm getting it done anyway.

Thank you to everyone who continue to PM me and support my newbie adventure!
 

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I have been following your saga hoping it would come to a good outcome.
I installed the same lift last weekend myself in my garage. First time ever doing it and it drove perfect when I was done. I am glad that you got it figured out.
 
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...I installed the same lift last weekend myself in my garage. First time ever doing it and it drove perfect when I was done.
Damn bro - go big or go home, right?? :) Grats on that achievement. Anything - and I mean ANYTHING that I try to install on my Jeep involves a doubling and often tripling of the official installation time. I think I might be the most unmechanical Jeep owner EVER, but I'm learning.

Terry
PS - Hey my Aunt and Uncle used to live in your neighborhood. Ever hear of House Springs? They moved there after living in a little town nearby called Weir on state road Y. House Springs was a nicer house for them, but growing up, I always loved the fact that their lived in "Where" on "Why" lol.
 

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Overall how do you like this lift kit? I am thinking about getting it but hopefully I won't run into the same issues you have endured.
 

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Damn bro - go big or go home, right?? :) Grats on that achievement. Anything - and I mean ANYTHING that I try to install on my Jeep involves a doubling and often tripling of the official installation time. I think I might be the most unmechanical Jeep owner EVER, but I'm learning.

Terry
PS - Hey my Aunt and Uncle used to live in your neighborhood. Ever hear of House Springs? They moved there after living in a little town nearby called Weir on state road Y. House Springs was a nicer house for them, but growing up, I always loved the fact that their lived in "Where" on "Why" lol.
yep I know people that live in House Springs small world!
 
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... About a week ago, 4WP installed the Synergy track bar and drag link (still waiting on the sector shaft brace), inspected DCD's work, and did a quick alignment.

Night and day folks.... Driving my Jeep is a pleasure again - no ghost or death wobble, no wandering, no steering drift! I'm not even sure I need the new brace but I'm getting it done anyway.
Until....

[More update, 3 months later ... and boom, the bump steer is back...]

So, I'm driving in the mountains of southern Colorado during a hailstorm. I'm towing a 2000+ pound trailer. The car in front of me loses control on a corner and flips into the side of the mountain. In an attempt to avoid the accident, I steer quickly away and the trailer hits a bump - then suddenly ... death wobble. Ugh.

From this point on, deceleration through 47 Mph with the steering wheel turned in any way plus hitting a bump would cause the death wobble to begin. I felt like I was driving the bus in Speed. I made it to Denver and asked what I thought was a reputable shop to take a moment and do a safety check on the front suspension. My first thought was that in the 5-6K miles of driving on and off road since I got the suspension parts installed had loosened a connection somewhere - so I asked: "Can you check the torque on every front suspension bolt?"

According to the people at Parker 4 Wheel Drive & Auto Rape (don't go there) ... my steering stabilizer had gone bad and had "dead spots." I hadn't paid much for that, so I agreed to have a nicer Fox stabilizer installed. After that and a ridiculously expensive front-end alignment (again), the death wobble has gone away.

For now.

Stay tuned for the continuing saga of "what the f*** caused it this time?" and "Which random mechanic will fleece Terry next?"

Terry
 

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@nerp Thank you for continuing to post, I am definitely still reading up/awaiting your updates. I am a brand new owner and was doing research into lift kits... this was one that made the shortlist. Im hoping your situation in a one-off. I would hate to have to go through everything you went through. Hopefully its all in the past now!
 
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@nerp Thank you for continuing to post, I am definitely still reading up/awaiting your updates. I am a brand new owner and was doing research into lift kits... this was one that made the shortlist. Im hoping your situation in a one-off. I would hate to have to go through everything you went through. Hopefully its all in the past now!
I hope so too - but I'll tell you this: I would likely purchase the Teraflex ST2 again. My original installer did an extremely poor job with the installation, and I didn't find out until the bump steer/death wobble issue caused me to have different mechanics to look at the suspension.

Here's some stuff that I've learned:
  • Do your research. Learn how to install the thing that you are putting on your Jeep. Thanks to our vibrant community, there are plenty videos out there that show you - in detail - how to DIY. You don't have to have a goal to DIY the install to watch those videos.
  • Trust yourself, even if you're not a mechanic. If something looks wrong, question it. The rear springs were installed *swapped* on my Jeep: left for right, and right for left. They were clearly marked as "left" and "right." When I pointed this out initially to my installer, he scoffed and claimed it didn't matter and that they were identical. They were not and it did matter. Which leads me to:
  • Get a QC check. Dude, if you just paid $3000 to have a bunch of new stuff installed on your vehicle, have a completely different mechanic at your backup shop check the other shop's work. My experience is that most mechanics will do this for free, but even if they charge say $60-100 for the service, it's 100% worth it.
  • Sweat the little things. Don't accept "it's not a big deal to do an alignment after you install X or Y." Bullshit. Any chance to measure your Jeep and apply a factory standard is worth while.
  • Try to get it all done at once. This may sound counter-intuitive, but frankly, I did wheels, tires, and lift all at once. Then changed wheels and added a steering stabilizer. Finally, I added track bar, sector shaft brace, and drop link. (..and most recently, a more expensive stabilizer.) I really think I should have had it all done at the same time.
Crap .. I guess I ranted a little. I intended this to be just a "thanks man" response. So, thanks man. :P

Cheers!
Terry
 

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I hope so too - but I'll tell you this: I would likely purchase the Teraflex ST2 again. My original installer did an extremely poor job with the installation, and I didn't find out until the bump steer/death wobble issue caused me to have different mechanics to look at the suspension.

Here's some stuff that I've learned:
  • Do your research. Learn how to install the thing that you are putting on your Jeep. Thanks to our vibrant community, there are plenty videos out there that show you - in detail - how to DIY. You don't have to have a goal to DIY the install to watch those videos.
  • Trust yourself, even if you're not a mechanic. If something looks wrong, question it. The rear springs were installed *swapped* on my Jeep: left for right, and right for left. They were clearly marked as "left" and "right." When I pointed this out initially to my installer, he scoffed and claimed it didn't matter and that they were identical. They were not and it did matter. Which leads me to:
  • Get a QC check. Dude, if you just paid $3000 to have a bunch of new stuff installed on your vehicle, have a completely different mechanic at your backup shop check the other shop's work. My experience is that most mechanics will do this for free, but even if they charge say $60-100 for the service, it's 100% worth it.
  • Sweat the little things. Don't accept "it's not a big deal to do an alignment after you install X or Y." Bullshit. Any chance to measure your Jeep and apply a factory standard is worth while.
  • Try to get it all done at once. This may sound counter-intuitive, but frankly, I did wheels, tires, and lift all at once. Then changed wheels and added a steering stabilizer. Finally, I added track bar, sector shaft brace, and drop link. (..and most recently, a more expensive stabilizer.) I really think I should have had it all done at the same time.
Crap .. I guess I ranted a little. I intended this to be just a "thanks man" response. So, thanks man. :P

Cheers!
Terry
Terry, thanks for keeping the community updated on your saga. How’s she riding, did the bump steer come back or still riding smooth?
 
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Terry, thanks for keeping the community updated on your saga. How’s she riding, did the bump steer come back or still riding smooth?
Thanks for the question. I recently did some 4x4 in Mojave and Arizona near the Superstitions Mountains and had no issues getting there or while I was crawling / etc... Good performance on and off-road - but for these trips I wasn't towing.

I'm moving from SoCal to Denver so I recently loaded up the trailer again (2000+ lbs) and headed out on the 1800 mile journey.

BTW, ProTip: I don't work for them and I'm not endorsed by them, but take your Jeep and trailer to a CAT scale or similar and get weighed. They are often at truck stops and CAT has a locator map on their website. The people I spoke to in Sun Valley, CA were knowledgeable and helpful. They calculated tongue weight (and showed me how) as well as described the weight on each axle. They recommended what my best performance would probably be given the weight I was carrying. It costs only a few bucks to have this done, and the piece of mind you gain is enormous on long trips.

In any event ... drum roll ... No bump steer, shimmy, or death wobble. Brakes are getting a bit soft after 50K miles and that's probably my next investment.

Thanks for asking. I shall keep this thread updated if there's any change!

Take care,
Terry
 

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Thanks for the question. I recently did some 4x4 in Mojave and Arizona near the Superstitions Mountains and had no issues getting there or while I was crawling / etc... Good performance on and off-road - but for these trips I wasn't towing.

I'm moving from SoCal to Denver so I recently loaded up the trailer again (2000+ lbs) and headed out on the 1800 mile journey.

BTW, ProTip: I don't work for them and I'm not endorsed by them, but take your Jeep and trailer to a CAT scale or similar and get weighed. They are often at truck stops and CAT has a locator map on their website. The people I spoke to in Sun Valley, CA were knowledgeable and helpful. They calculated tongue weight (and showed me how) as well as described the weight on each axle. They recommended what my best performance would probably be given the weight I was carrying. It costs only a few bucks to have this done, and the piece of mind you gain is enormous on long trips.

In any event ... drum roll ... No bump steer, shimmy, or death wobble. Brakes are getting a bit soft after 50K miles and that's probably my next investment.

Thanks for asking. I shall keep this thread updated if there's any change!

Take care,
Terry
Great to hear. Thanks for the update!
 

Halstem1

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I love your death wobble “blog”. Makes me wish I had started one for mine. Very similar experiences with how it progressed and showed back up. Like you, mine has come and gone. I really think there is an underlying issue like ball joints.

my most recent alignment with some toe out and re-balanced tires has me confidently running 80 mph again. It’s still there very slightly on big bumps so I’ll continue to look for the true cause.
 

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I love your death wobble “blog”. Makes me wish I had started one for mine. Very similar experiences with how it progressed and showed back up. Like you, mine has come and gone. I really think there is an underlying issue like ball joints.

my most recent alignment with some toe out and re-balanced tires has me confidently running 80 mph again. It’s still there very slightly on big bumps so I’ll continue to look for the true cause.
Have you tried to re-torque all the steering components? While I have not had one issue with bump steer I do have a serious wandering issue and I was able to sorta address just by torquing the steering components, nothing was within spec.
 
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