Bad Control Arms? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-13-2019, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Bad Control Arms?

Hey everyone new member here looking for some help for my issues I have a 2013 JK SaharaUnlimited and Iíve been experiencing ďfloatingĒ steering which has gotten pretty bad itís worse at high speeds where it just wonders but my steering wheel is straight the trucks just wanders left and right even at low speeds I see myself having to pull back into the lane due to the wandering, I recently upgraded my Tie rod and track bar to Yeti and have a fox 2.0 steering stabilizer and also upgraded my front upper and lower ball joins to TeraFlex so Iím assuming it would be the control arms any advice would be greatly appreciated
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-13-2019, 05:04 PM
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Need more information to even begin. For starters:

Did this issue recently appear? Gradually or suddenly?
Before or after changing out the front end components you listed?
Any other modifications done within the suspect time period?

Do you know that all the components recently replaced were installed correctly?
Are you mechanically inclined enough to make that determination?

Are the joints tight on your drag link (not listed as recently replaced)?
Have you verified no loose fasteners or slop in drag link, tie rod, track bar, and control arms?

Have you checked your alignment (or had it checked)?
Is anything bent?

What tires are you running, and at what pressure? Are the tires wearing evenly?
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-13-2019, 05:47 PM
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x2 on what ExWrench is asking, more info would be helpful here, but I'll take a stab in the dark.

Wander is usually caused by a lack of proper caster angle, or misalignment...BUT I see you listed your ball joints as recently replaced. Some ball joint are installed "tight" and take a bit of time to wear in properly. It's a matter of the joint not moving freely enough for the caster angle to work it's magic and re-center the wheel. During this period the steering can seem flighty or wander-y. You end up manually making a million small corrections, that normally are smoothed out by the caster doing it thing.

I'm NOT sure, however exactly how to test for this. Maybe jack it up, and disconnect the drag link and tie rod to see if each wheel turns freely ?

The good news is that if that's it, it should get better after a few hundred miles.

If it's not... then the alignment seems suspect. Maybe the control arm bushings? Control arm bolts loose? Steering box mounting broken/loose?

Shooting totally in the dark here.

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post #4 of 14 Old 11-13-2019, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies fellas, let me get into detail and see if it can help.

I run 35s on a 3in lift
Recently upgraded were Tie Rod - Drag Link(forgot to mention) - TrackBar
Equipped with Fox 2.0 steering stabilizer

I upgraded my front Lower and Upper ball joints on Aug 2018

This problem seemed to have occurred gradually and if it did occur it must of been easily ignored because within the last week it became more noticeable and gotten worse over the past weekend and this week. The upgrades Iíve done to the front end happened around(Sep 26) of this year and I took it to a 4x4 shop who I was recommended to and the mechanic was very savvy which he said he mentioned when I picked up my truck he also took her to get an alignment.

The wandering was not noticeable when I drove off, Iíve been meaning to get under there and check the bushings of the control arms but havenít got a chance due to work but thatís first on my list. Thanks again appreciate the replies
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-13-2019, 08:38 PM
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If only to satisfy my curiosity, what pressure are you running in your tires?

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post #6 of 14 Old 11-13-2019, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExWrench View Post
If only to satisfy my curiosity, what pressure are you running in your tires?
Iím running them at 31-35 psi in between those numbers
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-14-2019, 04:51 AM
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Make sure everything is torqued properly. Loose track bar up front will allow you to wallow all over
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-14-2019, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jadmt View Post
Make sure everything is torqued properly. Loose track bar up front will allow you to wallow all over
I second this thought. your symptoms mimic some I had long ago when I discovered the more affordable & supposedly " HD Adjustable front trackbar " from RR was actually flexing and bending as I would turn my wheels. It can be of great assistance to sit on ground in front of the Jeep running & have someone turn lock to lock for you to observe all linkages functioning in that capacity, fwiw.

balljoints can be crazy stiff when new.
I can't stress strong enough how often people overlook the super important need to grease HD new balljoints . it preserves their life AND prevents the cintered-ball on the stud from running dry & partial-bind locking your turning enough to cause similar symptoms to what you're seeing.

my last consideration would be OPs new Fox 2.0 SS. When they're new, some of these gas charged steering dampeners tend to push a Jeep's steering to driver/left side since the charge is positive & it wants to always decompress . That's why I preferred the nuetral resistance of my former Fox ATS* , even at it's higher price-point.







* ( fwiw, I have one of these for sale in my " parts" thread on here in our 'For Sale' section . I have been surprised no body has snagged it for as cheap as I have it priced. I only stopped using it after upgrading to hydraulic assist.)




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post #9 of 14 Old 11-14-2019, 08:22 AM
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did your lift come with any caster correction? I would drop the pressure on the tires to 28 and see if it helps.

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post #10 of 14 Old 11-14-2019, 09:24 AM
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Hubs and bearings is a place I would look. I used to have a bobblehead feel to my steering. Jacked up both sides and noticed play in front wheels that should not have been there.
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post #11 of 14 Old 11-14-2019, 08:33 PM
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Did u get an alignment printout?

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post #12 of 14 Old 11-19-2019, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Ok fellas I finally got the chance to check and see if I could find anything that was loose but in my opinion everything looked good, Iím still running my stock control arms and have about 62k mi on the Jeep so I also checked the bushings and while they look how I expect they would look with 62k mi of use I didnít see any major cracking or excessive play so the last thing Iím assuming it will be is my caster is out of wack which should suggest I should invest in adjustable control arms
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post #13 of 14 Old 11-20-2019, 11:58 AM
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https://www.allensoffroad.com/suspen...ontrol-Arm-Set

Add to cart for pricing. Yes it sounds like the caster is off. Also make sure you run the 28 PSI suggested to see if that helps. Take off the stabilizer and run it. Regrease the ball joints. Make sure the mechanic torqued do the arms etc when on the ground under the vehicle weight. One more thing, if you drive 90%+ on pavement and at higher speeds, get the caster correction brackets. They keep the lower arms more flat for better surface ride. Lots of good advice above.

Namaste,

Allen

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post #14 of 14 Old 11-22-2019, 05:09 PM
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Really double check the wheel bearing. I had the same problem and checked them once but they seemed ok. I was rotating the tires a little later and with the tire off I wiggled the hub. A small amount of play. Remedied that and the steering floating was all gone.

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