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theksmith

Fiona: 2009 Wrangler X (B's First Car)!

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, dzJeepChic said:

How random. Why would you have a thing like that?  🤣 😂

 

thanks to Harbor Freight sales most likely!

 

 

2 minutes ago, Trail Toy said:

I would have taken my sawzall and chopped about 2" off, lol! 😁

 

that's what i did with Gadget before ultimately getting a different exhaust. if Brady really gets into wheeling harder trails, then we'll chop his too.

Edited by theksmith
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Posted (edited)
On 4/23/2021 at 9:44 AM, theksmith said:

Fiona started to get a little shimmy in the wheel when hitting certain bumps. nowhere near "death-wobble", but a little shakin' can easily turn to something worse quickly with solid front-axle rigs.

 

as a first step, we took her back to Discount Tire to double-check the front tires balance and they were all good... so we'll spend some time this weekend looking for loose bolts or worn components in the front-end, starting with the track-bar bolts.

 

we dug into that shimmy problem on Sunday...

 

having already double checked tire pressure and balance, our first order of business was the 9/16" bolt upgrade on the front track-bar. you can read about that in this great post on WranglerForum. we got the hardware from Ace, but i saw someone is selling a little pre-made pack on Amazon if you can't source it locally.

 

the holes in the track-bar brackets looked good (not wallowed out), and the bushings seemed fine as well.

 

ACtC-3fYAPbTijUd207TpBTFiS79fUh1n0NAAw55

 

while we were in there, we installed an inexpensive steering stabilizer relocation bracket to rotate the dampner up out of the rocks. IMO, this is an essential upgrade if you go off-road at all.

 

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we also replaced the factory dampner with a lightly used Teraflex stabilizer i had in my parts pile.

 

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next we checked every front-end bolt we could find to make sure they were all tight. besides the track-bar and steering stabilizer related hardware, there are 8 control arm bolts, the adjuster collars on the tie-rod & drag link, 4 TRE nuts, 4 ball-joint nuts, and the sway-bar link hardware/ends.

 

then we looked over the ball-joints, unit-bearings, and TRE's for excessive play.

 

the only problems we'd found at that point were:

  • the passenger upper rod-end on the sway-bar link rattles/clunks. that's not enough to cause a shimmy, but we'll get some new disconnects ordered soon to fix the noise and possibly help with handling.
  • the TRE's on the actual tie-rod might be starting to get a little sloppy, but i think they still have a few thousand miles left in them. this would be a candidate for replacement if the shimmy comes back.

 

finally, we checked the front toe and found there to be considerably too much (front wheels pointing inwards too far). using these handy-dandy helpers, we dialed it back down closer to the factory spec of 0.2*.

 

we did not completely remove the control-arms to get a thorough inspection of their bushings - this would have been my next step if the problem remained...

 

after a few test-drives, the shimmy appears to be fixed. i think the over-zealous toe-in was the primary issue. the track-bar bolts could have been loose as well, we didn't actually check before replacing them with the 9/16" upgrades.

 

 

 

 

Edited by theksmith
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guess we spoke too soon... the shimmy was gone, but a couple times now we hit just the right bump and got full blown "death wobble"!

 

toonces the driving cat GIF by Saturday Night Live

 

...so i took another look at everything on the front end. we did the "jiggle test" and found there were some decent clunks coming from both ends of the tie rod.

 

we decided to just buy the entire Moog steering linkage assembly (DS800982A). for $250 to $300, it replaces the tie-rod, drag-link, TREs, and even includes the adjusters and stabilizer bracket so you don't have to take apart your old stuff to reuse anything.

 

other than a little cussing while using the pickle fork on the drag-link upper TRE, the R&R went smoothly. we finished in a couple hours even with Brady learning-while-doing. and so far, so good on the death wobble not returning.

 

ACtC-3c0dKwQdeZd0Z1W69ByBdbvTxaeJx0iAkeX

 

 

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5 minutes ago, theksmith said:

other than a little cussing while using the pickle fork on the drag-link upper TRE, the R&R went smoothly. we finished in a couple hours even with Brady learning-while-doing. and so far, so good on the death wobble not returning.

 

I had the same problem in the same location. I hope it's a LONG time before I have to do it again.

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Posted (edited)

That death wobble still sits in the back of my mind every time I'm driving my rig especially on the freeway. 😬 I try to avoid pot holes and what not but sometimes I still hit them.  So far so good *knock on wood* haven't experienced death wobble and hopefully I never will.

Edited by Trail Toy
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On 5/26/2021 at 9:20 AM, theksmith said:

other than a little cussing while using the pickle fork on the drag-link upper TRE, the R&R went smoothly. we finished in a couple hours even with Brady learning-while-doing. and so far, so good on the death wobble not returning.

 

So, what new swear words did Brady learn during this technical session?

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11 hours ago, mesach said:

 

So, what new swear words did Brady learn during this technical session?

Maybe not new, but creative ways of stringing them together in a sentence? LOL

I've experienced death-wobble a couple times in my first Jeep and I hope to never experience that again ever. I thought I was going to die!

 

Could Be Worse Let It Go GIF

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13 hours ago, mesach said:

 

So, what new swear words did Brady learn during this technical session?

 

1 hour ago, dzJeepChic said:

Maybe not new, but creative ways of stringing them together in a sentence? LOL

 

 

he'd probably be teaching me new ones at this point, and he's pretty good at stringing them together all by himself!

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last weekend we installed a new head-unit and speakers that Brady bought himself (the base model OEM radio was serious weaksauce).

 

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then, as of this weekend, he can officially drive Fiona solo!!! ...he ruled the driving test with a perfect score!

 

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Now it's time to take her out and pick up some pin stripes!  Oh, "weaksauce"... 🤣 

 

Also time to rock out with the new system! 

 

driving waynes world GIF

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