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post #1 of 7 Old 04-16-2018, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Wandering 4 door JK

I have a 09 Rubicon on 4 inch lift, and 37's. I was experiencing a lot of Death Wobble, and went through the steps to determine the problem was bad ball joints. I replaced them with the new Teraflex ball joints, and that took care of the death wobble which is great!! However, on my first test drive, it seems that it wants to wander all over the lane. I am pretty sure that I may have appeared to be drunk with the way it was turning left and right uninitiated, and I was white knuckled to try to keep it centered in the road.
I am going to drag out the tape measure and check tow in, but I don't remember the JK having this issue before. However I have been too scared to drive it on the road for such a long time because of the death wobble, that maybe I forgot how to drive it on the road. I normally just trailer it to the ORV parks.
My question is, beyond alignment, what else could cause this rapid wandering, at even slower driving? It seems to do better at higher speeds, and everything is tight (meaning normal) in the steering now from what I can tell.

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post #2 of 7 Old 04-16-2018, 08:43 AM
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Tire pressure, tire width, suspension geometry, bad steering box, low caster.

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post #3 of 7 Old 04-16-2018, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
Tire pressure, tire width, suspension geometry, bad steering box, low caster.
I will check tire pressure, tire width shouldn't have changed much, I wouldn't think, from a time back before the Death Wobble. I have been really curious about caster though. How do I find what caster is supposed to be set to? I have a guage to measure it, just don't know what it should be set to.

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Last edited by Garden Spyder; 04-16-2018 at 12:07 PM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-16-2018, 09:37 AM
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balljoints could be a little tight too. if everything else checks out, drive it a few hundred miles to break in the balljoints

09' White JKU Rubicon with some stuff
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-16-2018, 09:37 AM
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At 4 of lift you are unlikely to get what you need in caster, around 6 degrees, without a caster corrected axle. You will have to balance it and get as much as you can without getting front driveshaft vibrations. I would say it will be hard to get 4 degrees. Take some time and adjust the control arms and drive it taking note of any vibrations.

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post #6 of 7 Old 04-16-2018, 09:49 AM
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Your new balljoints are tight, there is a procedure to retorque if it doesn't go away.

https://www.autoserviceworld.com/car...icky-steering/

“If you press a ball joint and you hit the crown and not the flange—and some applications don’t have much of a flange on them—you could crush the Belleville spring and you will instantly create a memory steer issue,” says Caron.

Finally, use the correct torqueing sequence when installing the ball joint. Start by hand-tightening the lower ball joint. Then place in the camber/caster adjustment sleeve for the upper ball joint. Do not tighten the upper ball joint yet. Just hand-tighten the nut. Using a torque wrench, torque the lower ball joint to about 35 ft-lbs. Then torque the upper ball joint to 70 ft-lbs. Then re-torque the lower ball joint to specification (anywhere from 150 to 190 ft-lbs). Do not use an impact wrench.


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post #7 of 7 Old 04-16-2018, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Excellent information! Thank you all so much for your input. I will follow this closely and report back what I find, but it may take a while to put a few hundred miles on it first.

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